Saturday, 2 June 2012

The gift of time and love in all it's forms.

The reason today was looming it was the day I made the decision with my GP on when to return to work. I started the week thinking maybe an additional week would clinch it for me. But my trip to see my daughter in Ireland taught me that may be a bit early. I loved our time with her. We discovered beautiful beaches to walk her dogs. I even walked barefoot in the sand and sea, collecting shells and laughing at the dogs antics. But each walk knocked me sideways. Sleeping flat out in the car as soon as we drove home again. Maybe what most illustrated my fragility was how upset I was to leave her. The tears still ever present as I write. So I have two more weeks off and that sounds right, I am confident  it's the time I need to be fully strong. I think maybe this time off, convalescing, has connected me to the impact of this my second diagnosis of breast cancer. Until now I have been busy saying this won't kill me, it's early, I can do this,  but giving little space to the emotional or indeed physical impact. After my last diagnosis the legacy for sometime was a fear of not being there for my children. It's not surprising really given that i had my treatment as my father was dying of cancer. I guess this will always be my fear so time with them is the most precious thing. Not only does a visit to her mean the beauty of Ireland and the excitement of Dublin but also she works with the charity the Dogs Trust who rehome dogs so we get to visit the dogs. They have all shapes and sizes of dogs from giant St Bernard's, Akita crossbreeds to gentle Staffies and beautiful Fox terrier crosses. It's my idea of heaven. She loaned me a book about women and the dogs who love them and it made me reflect on our own lovely Golden retriever who we got as a pup. He came to us the year after I had cancer the first time. And I would say he brought back laughter into our house, it was a turning point for me. He brought chaos for a time as a pup too, presenting underwear to unsuspecting visitors at the door, being dominated by our cat, having crazy gallops around the garden, thinking he was one of the children and joining in on their games or stealing space in the paddling pool. He was a boy so on one occasion he also tried to hump the Church Minister, something I don't think I  ever lived down! But most of all I remember the love and laughter he brought, somehow that soft gentle head on your lap could make everything feel OK. And we had many wonderful walks all together. Indeed when he died we scattered his ashes in Loch Lomond his favourite place in all the world. So dog therapy is my recommendation this week. If you have the space in your home, your life and most of all your heart and are able to give  the commitment to a dog you won't regret it. And a rehoming centre will match you up with the right dog for you and your situation. If we hadn't flown I had a short list drawn up! Ahhhh maybe next time? Reasons to be cheerful are much needed and it's the jubilee weekend so we have my step granddaughter visiting for the first time on her own. We have all sorts of nice things planned including a trip to see the pandas and also to see the musical "Oliver". Her own Grandma died of breast cancer a few years ago again that reminder ( as if we need it) of the importance of time with those we love. I hope this weekend offers you that too, treasure it, I know I will.

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