I’ve been having some timeout to recover from the surgery but felt that the end of the year deserved to be marked in some way. The recent death of George Michael made me think back over some of my favourite song lyrics, so here is a status report in song:
Well I guess it would be nice
If I could touch your body
I know not everybody
Has got a body like you (Faith by George Michael)
Unfortunately almost everybody who wanted to touch my body had either a needle or a scalpel in hand (we are trying to forget the bone saw thingy). I know it’s important but sometimes all the invasion of what used to be your private space gets to you.
Oh, rhythm of my heart
Is beating like a drum (Rod Stewart)
Well I think it is. Before surgery I could take my pulse by putting a hand almost anywhere on my chest, abdomen or neck. I could hear my blood pulsing through my ears. Now there is just quiet. It took a bit of getting used to but I love the peace and quiet. I can now hear the weird noises my bowels are making! I am now on annual checkups for my heart which is fantastic. The cardiologist said the only way my heart could be better would be to have my original heart with no illness. For those who are interested my new heart valves are made from the heart of an American cow, stitched into a new valve in Vietnam. I am NOT an old cow or Born in the USA although both have been suggested.
Hello, I love you, won’t you tell me your name? (The Doors)
Classic chat up line from my youth. Another brilliant lyric. I am still a bit vague in the memory department. The more tired I become the worse my memory gets. It’s become an indicator that the family is getting used to watching out for! I think it’s just the deep seated fatigue due to the operation and having a large tumour in my liver. It doesn’t help that I get frustrated when I forget something the moment after I have been told it, although some friends assure me it’s just old age! Particularly if I have been introduced to someone and then can’t remember their name.
These boots are made for walking,
And that’s just what they’ll do (Nancy Sinatra)
I’m enjoying walking again and can walk around the shops, to a cafe or just round the house all day doing basic housework again. With good energy levels I can do everything I used to – washing, shopping, cooking etc. The only things I struggle with are heavy lifting, reaching for high or low shelves or long periods of driving.
I’m never gonna dance again, guilty feet have got no rhythm (George Michael – Careless Whisper)
One of my favourite lyrics (who didn’t swoon over George singing Careless Whisper?) but now I need to substitute “tired” for “guilty” feet. I can sing again now the breathlessness has gone but dancing is a bit beyond me at the moment. We have the dance party at our church camp coming up in early February so that will be the big test. Generally tiredness is still an issue, but a different sort. I am tired now because I am more active so it’s just a matter of getting used to what I can manage each day.
So 2016 is a year which I would like to forget in many ways, but a year that restored me to an almost normal life. 2017 will be another challenging year as we look at options for treating the cancer. I’m on holiday and having a rest from testing and making decisions about how long or how well I want to live. I’m going to take a break from writing on this blog for a couple of months but I know it’s valuable for many of you who don’t see me on a regular basis and communication is more fun when we can talk about other things. So I wish you all a Happy New Year and leave the last words to George Michael and Aretha Franklin:
Like a warrior that fights
And wins the battle
I know the taste of victory
Though I went through some nights
Consumed by the shadows
And was crippled emotionally
Somehow I made it through the heartache, I escaped
I found my way out of the darkness, kept my faith
Kept my faith
And the river was deep I didn’t falter
When the mountain was high
I still believed
When the valley was low
It didn’t stop me
I knew you were waiting
Knew you were waiting for me