Thursday, 25 August 2011


Today I have been nourished in so many ways.

First up was the resident complementary therapist, who from her armoury recommended a reflexology treatment. This sent me into a lovely doze, so profoundly relaxing that I was unaware when she left the room. Recommended!

Next appeared a Roman Catholic lay minister, who used the helpful expression "The Sacrament of The Present Moment". We had a very fruitful talk about how suffering can work good in our lives. She called in because the dear staff on the ward were hazy about my chosen Christian denomination. No matter; it was a blessed conversation. She promised to call by again and also to let the Anglican chaplains know that I would like to see them.

Shortly after that a Buddhist friend offered me these words from Nichiren Daishonin: "Suffer what there is to suffer, enjoy what there is to enjoy".

Then my family arrived and there was much joking about the polythene aprons they had been asked to wear before entering my neutropenic microcosmos.

Then a consultant I had not met before appeared with four juniors. She was reassuring about my progress from now. My white-cell count has risen to 1.7. Other counts could be expected to rise at their various rates over the next few days. My abdomen and anus remain pretty uncomfortable but I am able to live with them. You should hear what they say about me!

A counsellor called in and we spent an hour reviewing my earlier and current experiences of this odd cancer and its treatment and looking to life beyond hospital. She will also call in again.

Final treat was a visit from a Twickenham friend.

Flies in the ointment? My hair is removable in clumps and hospital food is for the most part dire. Small potatoes (metaphorical, naturally).

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