Where there is hope

Stumbling around the Internet the other day I came upon this quote from Desmond Tutu.

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”

 As a version of light at the end of the tunnel the quote seemed particularly apt for our present difficult Covid days.

And the quote chimed considerably with my own experience in recent years.

I haven’t visited this blog for many months but returned a few days ago to start updating some of my old posts. I’m recovering from surgery and gradually piecing my old life back together.

In mid-2017 I was diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer which had metastasised into my liver. The diagnosis was terminal and palliative chemotherapy to “extend life and manage pain” was offered. I quote the colorectal surgeon who’d been given the unfortunate task of telling me the news.

I commenced the first cycle of treatment which entailed six hours in the local chemotherapy unit followed by a chemo pump at home for two days. I returned to the hospital every two weeks to start a new cycle of treatment. After six months the tumour in my liver had stopped growing and the bowel cancer markers in my blood test were lower. I continued with the treatment every two weeks throughout 2018. And for the whole of 2019. By 2020 the tumour had reduced hugely. The specialist liver cancer team agreed to resection my liver if the specialist bowel cancer team could remove the primary cancer.

In March 2020, just as UK lockdown started, I had my bowel surgery. Three months later I was sufficiently recovered for the liver surgeons to remove about 15% of my liver. And now I’m well on the road to recovery and my first post-operative CT scan didn’t show any signs of cancer. I’ll have another CT scan in May and regularly thereafter for as long as necessary.

If you’ve read this far, I’m pleased to share with you my light despite all the darkness. My hope is to make the most of every single day for the remainder of my life.

Throughout the years of my ordeal I’ve been surrounded by the love of a dear husband and our family and friends. Michael’s caring and support has been the daily light in my darkness.

Of course, I wouldn’t be writing this blog post at all if it wasn’t for our wonderful NHS. I’ve lost count of the doctors, nurses and support staff who’ve looked after me and used every available wonder of medical science to keep me alive. Needless to say, my gratitude is unlimited and eternal.

Hopefully, medical science will give us the Covid immunisation that will start to allow some return to normality.  Although that hope, as yet, is shrouded in darkness and life can never return to normal for many.

Do you remember New Year’s Eve 1999 as midnight approached? As well as the excitement of a new millennium we’d been led to believe that untold cyber horrors were to befall us caused by the Millennium Bug.

And nothing happened.

Except Auld Lang Syne as usual and too much flat champagne.

Twenty years on, the coronavirus has taken on the mantle of that millennial bug and caught us out.

Take care and stay safe.


Photo credit: Image by Myriams-Fotos from Pixabay