Summer days, drifting away


Summer days drifting away 

When I did grief counselling it was striking that the bereaved often found summer worse than winter, when adapting to losing their loved one. Winter allows us to coorie in at home, the rest of the world closed off from our experience. But summer rubs your nose in the pain. Postcards from another world, of families, intact and making memories. The grieving sit alone, an acute longing separating them from how summer used to be. 

I recognise that feeling as my summer moves slowly. Bereft of holidays or breaks from the relentless slog of chemotherapy. On top of my chronic pain and disability, life feels like pretty hard work with little return. 

And yet I know it could be so much worse, as my treatment plan left out taxotere from the typical regime. With my existing conditions it was thought to risk tipping me over. I worried it would knock me down and I literally wouldn’t be able to get up again. So I’m not as sick as I might have been and I have my hair so far. But a recent urine infection showed my vulnerability and I struggled to get through. A relentless headache led to having a head CT to rule out brain metastases. Thankfully it was clear but it does hint at how things have been.

And over this time I see others making the most of their summer, having holidays seeing other places and I envy them their break from the routines of life  and seeing new horizons. I just feel the need to have something to look forward to. But with covid at the highest levels yet going amongst others is risky. I wear my mask against a tide of indifference and denial. 

My friends and family are literally keeping me putting one foot in front of the other. Also climate change temperatures ( even in  Scotland!) have taught me the danger of being too hot. I slept most of the days when the temperatures were over 30 here with no hint of a wind. I’m suited to cooler temperatures I’ve decided. But I watch the evidence of climate change with cold dread for future generations.  Being a political geek the recent democracy farce that is British politics would have acted as high entertainment. But with so much angst about cost of living rises and climate change it failed to entertain me but instead forces people like me to realise just how politics is separated from reality or compassion. Not much to laugh about there! 

So to all you who are struggling this summer, I hear you. It’s enough to get through for now and here are my very personal suggestions. Be kind to yourself and to others. That can be enough to change someone’s day and it will definitely change yours. Oh and eat ice lollies is my other tip, aside from midget gems they are my best guilty pleasure. Yes my life is a riot! 


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