I’ve been in hibernation. I was battle weary after the long illness last summer and the medication which was prescribed to dampen down the neuropathic pain in my head, had the side-effect of dampening me down as well. For the past month, I’ve been sleeping like a baby at night and feeling drowsy by day. The good news is that the severe headaches have now gone and I’m beginning to feel energised again. There’s life in this old dog yet!
I’d like to thank those blogging friends who continued to send words of encouragement even after I’d disappeared off the radar. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt out of all of this, it’s never to give up hope.
The enforced rest has enabled me to rediscover the joy of reading books. Thanks to Lily’s recent review, I’m busily re-reading an exceptional book written by Lia Mills, an award winning novelist. Lia was diagnosed with advanced cancer of the mouth in 2006. She had to undergo radical surgery and aggressive radiotherapy in order to survive. Her book ‘in your face‘ is an account of that experience.
Lia talks about hope in a way that really resonates with me. She says “Hope is something you can’t always feel but I think you can lead yourself towards it even when you don’t feel it, by taking everything as it comes, minute by minute, and by appreciating small changes as they happen”.
While undergoing treatment in hospital last summer, my condition suddenly took an unexpected turn for the worse. The flurry of activity around my bed and the look of concern on the medics’ faces, was enough to confirm my worst fears. The infection was winning the battle and I sensed that my life was in real danger. Despair began to set in. The hospital chaplain happened to visit when I was at my lowest ebb and the poor guy got the full brunt of my despair. The infection was visibly worsening around my eyes so he went off in search of a fan to see if it would help to ease the discomfort. That fan was to become my beacon of hope throughout the difficult night that followed. It really was a breath of fresh air and bit by bit, I came to realise that I had the strength to survive. Hope had been restored.
Where there’s hope, there’s life. Check this out!
I highly recommend Lia’s book to anyone who wants to understand illness and recovery, fear and hope and love.
‘in your face’ is published by Penguin, Ireland (€19.99).