Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Always look on the bright side

She found the lump late one evening. It looked and felt....well, lumpish. Unusual. And threatening. She Googled it, and after half an hour of frightening pictures and even more frightening statistics, she knew the news would be bad, and she panicked.

How would she tell her family? If she wasn't one of the 35% who survive for five years, how would she cope with the inevitable? She would miss births and marriages; holidays and family occasions. She hadn't finished that course she was planning, written that novel, painted that picture.

She discussed all this with her husband of thirty years, and despite his protests, she spent an hour discussing hymns for her funeral. The Lord is my Shepherd (her favourite) and All Things Bright and Beautiful (a glimmer of cheer for her grieving family). And there would be something noisy and triumphant on the organ, to go out to at the end, and lots of flowers. She loved flowers.

But when she saw the doctor, the news was good. There was nothing to worry about. It had all been a false alarm. Feeling light-hearted, ecstatic even, she almost danced out of the surgery and down the road. She would never again take anything for granted. She heard a blackbird singing, and it was the most beautiful sound in the world. She breathed in the fresh spring air. It tasted like champagne. She would write that book; paint that picture. From now on, she would always look on the bright side.

Afterwards, everyone wondered why she hadn't seen the juggernaut as she crossed the road; hadn't heard the warning cry of a passer-by. The shocked driver said that "the poor lady looked as though she was dancing", which seemed very strange.

But to look on the bright side (as she might have said), at least she had chosen her hymns. And there were certainly lots of flowers.



14 comments:

  1. There are several morals in that story, and I think we need to take note of all of them.

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  2. I thought this a horrible tale and then I laughed and have been smiling ever since,

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    1. It is pretty horrible, Adrian. I agree.

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  3. An interesting morning read. It made me remember how I felt when I had a false alarm for the first time (many more following). It is unbelievable but true - I almost felt cheated, and definitely that I had been wasting hours sitting in the waiting room at the radiologist's. Daft, I know, and I kept scolding myself for feeling that way, but that was my first emotion upon learning the diagnosis.

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    1. Meike, what were you doing at the radiologist's if there ws nothing wrong?

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    2. Tests, not treatment. Maybe it's different in the UK, but in Germany, you go to a radiologist's surgery to have tests as well as treatment.

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  4. Oh dear. I'm getting to know you too well. I had expected a bus rather than a juggernaught though. Look on the bright side though. It wasn't autobiographical (all of it anyway).

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    1. Graham, it was written in haste, after a similar return frm the doctor's (but luckly, without the juggernaut). I'm afraid it was pretty predictable. I'll try to do better next time.

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  5. I think many of us have had that feeling of relief at a diagnosis that wasn't the dreaded 'C' word. You never know what is round the corner, do you?

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    1. Maggie, I try not to call it the C word and call it cancer. There are so many euphemisms for cancer, aren't there? It's almost as though we're afraid to say the word. Perhaps we are...

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    2. Sorry, I'll remember for next time.

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  6. Loved the dark humour mixed with the lesson to learn.

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  7. Years ago I found a lump. I didn't google, but I did panic. Fortunately it was nothing serious (and must have been there some time before I noticed it) I don't remember dancing, but I think it did encourage me to make the most of my life instead of worrying what might happen if I tried to do some of the things I wanted to attempt.

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