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Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Seeing it in black and white

My left hip has been deteriotating a lot recently and at the chemo clinic yesterday I got a copy of the referral letter that my oncologist has sent to my GP.  In it he states that "she has a limited life expectancy, it would be appropriate to push for this to be done as a matter of urgency".  Gulp.  That gives me a cold feeling actually seeing it in black and white.  I realise that he is trying to get things moved along more quickly, but it is still spooky.  At least this time the problem is only osetoarthritis in a hip deformed from birth, it is not the really serious problem that did for my right hip, so there is some good news in this.

I don't think of my life in terms of how long I have to live any more.  My uncle died earlier this year at the age of 96, my aunt is 87 (siblings of my mother) but these are just numbers.  Does it really matter that I have a limited life expectancy?  No is the answer.  I know that my life has not been a sparkling 'success', I am not famous, beautiful, wealthy and I haven't really achieved much in life, but I rather think that my life has been a success in a different way.  I have done the best that I could at any particular time which I think is more important than some of those things listed above.  At the Olympics who is really the greater success; the person with a gold medal run in an average time for that competitor, or the person who came last and smashed their personal best by seconds?  We may remember and hear of the person with the gold medal, but I think the one who came last will be able to look back on that day with the greater satisfaction of not only having made an Olympic final, but also of having done better that they had ever done before.  It is the one who finished last who will be able to look back on that day as a truly golden moment in their life.

I don't have any expectations in, and of, life and as such I don't think that I have any feeling that there are things that I should have achieved, and didn't.  I hope that a few people will remember me fondly when I do manage to drop off my perch, and I wish to make it clear that I have no intention of doing so for quite a while.  After all there are a lot of people who could benefit from my opinion as well as my annoyance factor.  It is kind of like, if I haven't done it by now maybe I was just never that interested in doing it.  There are places in the world I would like to visit, but there are far too many places I haven't seen in my own country to worry too much about the rest of the world.  There are times when I am driving in the countryside that I just wonder why people want to be anywhere else in the world.  I love this country, and that is not in a jingoistic way, I just feel that it is the right place for me.  I even love the weather.  After all if you don't experience the bad then you can't really appreciate the good days.

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