It’s no wonder the end of my days keep creeping into my thoughts, eight weeks ago I had a letter from 10 Downing Street, no less, in it Boris told me about the steps being taken to combat coronavirus and instructing me to stay indoors for six weeks and various other rules. This morning I had a text from the NHS Coronavirus Service (the latest of several) informing me “You have been identified as a someone who may be at high risk of severe illness if you catch coronavirus.” It told me that support is available to get food or basic care should I need it.
It’s all very good and I’m impressed, but it’s another reminder of the stage I have reached in my life, isn’t it?
My sister’s lung cancer was inoperable, she had it in both lungs. Mine was operable, and I went into St George’s Hospital, London, last July, and one third of my right lung was removed. Since then I have been unable to run up the stairs, or, in fact, run. But still, what’s the hurry when you are 83?
Apart from that minor irritation I also get out of breath easily – which I suppose is not surprising considering Dr Nimako removed one third of half of my breathing apparatus. I can and do still ride my (electric) bike and I take walks now and then. Some weeks after the lung op I had an appointment with an oncologist. She told me radiotherapy in my case was not necessary but I should consider chemotherapy, “to be on the safe side,” she said. She spent some time explaining what it could do, went through the side-effects, and ended by saying the percentage of people’s condition being improved in this way was around 5%(!) I declined and here I am almost a year later and I don’t regret that decision in the slightest. I’d heard too many negative stories about that treatment to risk it and had spoken to a couple of people who had endured it, and both said I had done the right thing. Even Sandra (one of the Macmillan nurses assigned to me, more of later) agreed.