I was just starting to write yesterday when the post arrived and I went to open it. It was 4.00 p.m. which is late even for Royal Mail. Just before it arrived I had been thinking how much I had been encouraged by two chatty emails and a telephone call. I like to keep in touch with what is happening in other people’s lives as it makes me feel less constricted. Most of the post consisted of catalogues of items I am not going to buy but there was also a card which I shall treasure. I love phone calls and text messages but somehow a handwritten card is something you can look at again and again.
The card was a map of Venice and, of course, I could not help but think of the two very happy times we spent as a family visiting Venice. The first time we arrived by boat which is the traditional way to approach Venice. The second occasion was by train and far from it being an anticlimax all of a sudden we arrived at the station and came out of the concourse immediately onto the Gran Canal. Immediately all sorts of memories were evoked of the narrow streets, the markets, the masks and colourful headgear.
In fact, in recent days I have been thinking about all sorts of things from the past. Occasionally someone else remembers something which is deep in the recesses of my mind and usually the memories make me smile.
As so much of next week is taken up with hospital visits and procedures, we are hoping to have a good weekend. I decided to go to Waitrose to pick up a few items I can’t obtain locally. It was good to feel like a normal person going shopping independently like everyone else instead of a patient.
I have had a call from my oncologist saying that the chemotherapy will start on Thursday in Southampton. I told him that my throat was swelling more every day and he suggested that as I shall be at Southampton General on Monday, if I am at all worried he will prescribe some steroids. These will be a stopgap until the chemo starts. Whatever my worries on that score, and the underlying disease, I am encouraged by the kindness and efficiency of the medical professionals. So despite the pouring rain, the early darkness and the prognosis, I can’t be miserable all the time and a kind of happiness creeps in. Life is so strange.
Just as I was going to sleep I had a message on my phone from a friend which reassured me that Ray and I were doing the right thing with our practical plans. People are so kind.