Raymond and I had a long discussion about the practicalities of our situation. It has been something we have avoided with each of us ploughing our individual furrow. I don’t mean we haven’t discussed my treatment and prognosis but there are all sorts of practical things like wills and funerals which, when you are hopeful of a successful outcome, you avoid like the plague. I have persuaded Raymond that once we have tackled these matters I can relax more knowing that I haven’t left a mess for others to sort out and then I can concentrate on survival. As you read this you may think it is all very morbid but I haven’t given up; there is always hope.
I have an up-to-date will but my mother hasn’t; she leaves everything to me and I am her executor. In the normal way of things that would be fine but I don’t know what happens if I go before her. I also want to make sure that she is properly cared for during and after I have chemotherapy. As she is very deaf, she is already very isolated, so I would like to ensure she has visits, letters and telephone messages to the home which I know the carers will pass on to her.
Other people’s reactions to our situation vary enormously. Most of our friends, even quite new ones, have been very supportive but occasionally we have had some surprises where a few relatives have avoided us perhaps out of embarrassment at not knowing what to say. I don’t think what is actually said is so important; it is the act of making contact which is so warming. I think Raymond is going to need quite a lot of support over the next few months – not because he is weak – far from it, but because the situation is difficult and he is so supportive of me.
On a lighter note, I have just looked at my head and neck in the mirror. I strongly resemble a footballer who has headed too many balls. It is a good job it is winter and I can wear polo necks at the moment but I hope the swelling doesn’t get any bigger before the chemo starts.
These last few postings have been rather dark and gloomy because they have been rather factual and all about lymphoma. Fortunately, in every day there is some humour and pleasure and we shall never give up hope.