Star-crossed, crabby, but blessed

crabBorn in July under the star sign Cancer, I always doubted astrology’s predictions — until  I was told I had cancer. In July.
A switchback time followed with deep lows and surprisingly good highs. I’m still cynical about astrology, but at least my metaphorical stars now show signs of a brighter future.

Wonderful highs came from repeated, generous support from family and so many friends and acquaintances; a birthday which at one point I had feared I wouldn’t see; and especially the Golden Anniversary celebration with family of my half-century marriage to darling Marilyn. We plan to celebrate well into the next fifty.

Low points were the cancer diagnosis, anaemia, surgery, and the start of chemotherapy. But to level things up, I have the least threatening form of stomach cancer (a GIST — gastro-intestinal stromal tumour.)  And the CT scans showed that my enlarged aorta (arterial aneurism) is the smallest it has been for over ten years.

Daily, tablet chemotherapy was challenging at first, but gradually settled into a comforting, and not too uncomfortable, long-term routine. Proof that it was working came in a back-hand way when a routine CT scan showed new growth on the outside of my stomach. The growth was removed in March 2018, and the subsequent, challenging fortnight in hospital that followed was soon compensated for by the news that the new tissue was non-cancerous. So the chemotherapy is working to prevent tumours, and I am now feeling better and stronger than I have for a couple of years.

The whole experience brings a new perspective and growing confidence and hope. I’ve got the gist of what my future contains – including the shared hope that my ability to find decent puns will improve. Certainly my creative juices are flowing as well as ever, as I’m now working on a new play, revising one which has had some encouraging feedback, and producing lots of new poetry. One of the new poems, ‘Midnight words’ has just been accepted for Graffiti magazine.                           updated August 2018

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