I deliberately took a small break for the past couple of weeks as I was feeling rather sad about my mother again. I’m sure these feelings will ebb and flow as the months go on. Perhaps recognising that I am still grieving helps? It is using up a lot of energy at the moment. I don’t feel like moving on but I know that it is inevitable that I must. That in itself is compounding the grief. I really don’t know what to do about this as it is all new to me but I am keeping myself busy, continuing to feel grateful for my good health and the fabulous weather we have been experiencing.
I believe when we experience low periods in our lives we cherish the highs when they come along. Well, we had our “50 and Fabliss” weekend away with friends that I have known for over thirty years. Many of us have turned fifty in the past year and we decided that we were going to celebrate by spending a few days together. I spoke of these dear friends of mine before, whenever we get together there are guaranteed belly laughs within an hour of meeting up. A much-needed and welcome antidote.
On a wider scale, we have undergone a lot of change in Ireland for women over the past couple of months. Only last week we have voted to repeal the eight amendment which has been part of our lives for over thirty-five years. In addition, a controversy involving the cervical screening programme has been evolving where terminally ill women are facing shorter lifespans because of a false negative cervical smear test. This is not unusual in itself as there is a percentage of results within the screening process that yield false negative results. The sting in the tail was that it was only found out by accident by one of the women concerned. The scandal arose out of how it was handled. Maybe I am naive but having worked in the health sector previously , the last thing a health care professional would want is to cause any upset for a patient. I am hoping that the decision made not to tell the women concerned was truly one of not wishing to exacerbate the devastation a terminal illness diagnosis brings and not just a financial one. Another thought is that our health services still espouse a patriarchal system and no one thought to consider that perhaps some or all of the women would like to know? There is a review ongoing at the moment and it will be interesting to see what the actual facts are as it is causing a lot of anxiety for people. The lack of confidence in the screening services have now spilled over to our breast cancer screening services where there is an increase in women seeking a review of their mammogram results before their cancer was detected. I truly hope that the fear and uncertainty is only temporary as the statistics have shown that screening services have helped detect cancers earlier thus prolonging many people’s lives over the years.
I had my six monthly check up the other day, another glorious blue-sky kind of day. As I automatically turned to go to the Consulting rooms the doorway was all blocked up. The hospital has been undergoing a lot of renovations over the past few months. On enquiring at reception I was given directions to where my Oncologist was running his clinic. As the lift door opened, my heart sank a little. I was walking into the old Oncology Day Ward. Memories from five years ago rushed at me. A feeling of nausea rose in me as I looked around me. The day room doors were open and I looked in. It is been used for a different purpose now but I used to call it “The Cave” or “The dungeon” as it seemed very dark when I attended. I could feel the anxiety building in me but then I realised that it was good that I saw this place again, especially when I am well. I am definitely glad that I have moved on from that time, well for now anyway. (Hastily, crossing fingers and toes!). Thankfully all is well except for a few issues with scar tissue and I don’t have another appointment for six whole months.
Enough of my ramblings for now. Until next time, take care…