Thursday, 1 October 2009

The power of the word

I wrote today’s blog just before I went to see my MP but having a sleepless night after the meeting on Monday I just had to get up and put pen to paper to get my feelings out of my system so I used what I wrote then instead. I am grateful for the thoughtful comments which make this worthwhile.

For the past few days I have been struck by how calm and still everything has been when we have gone for our early morning walks. The large oak and beech trees in Westwood have been standing for so many years it puts our lives into perspective. The calm has prepared me for what may be a battle to come.

Since finding out about my conception I have been very struck with the way in which other donor offspring are handling the issue. Some have taken cases to court which has required determination, money and much research. Others are tackling on a daily basis comments on the internet and judgements by lawyers and medical staff which take no notice of the needs of donor offspring. They are very articulate and knowledgeable people.

As a newcomer I have much to learn and I am aware how much chemotherapy has weakened me mentally, physically and emotionally. I could never have imagined how the news would change me and my concepts of identity and family relationships. I could never have anticipated how these changes would come between me and the other interests I have had, taking me over and forcing me to rethink just about everything.

Anyone who has had chemotherapy will know not only about the overwhelming tiredness but also how concentration and recall are affected. I feel very conscious that I am less articulate than usual which affects my confidence. However, this is not a time to sit back and give up. I have a wonderful cousin who has spent 37 years in a wheelchair without an ounce of self pity. No, this is a time for coming to terms with my limitations, but maximising my assets, one of which is determination. In his poem Digging Seamus Heaney looks back at his forbears’ much more physical life on the land and says:

Between my finger and my thumb

The squat pen rests.

I’ll dig with it.

The power of the written word is strong and who knows what may come of it.

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