Latest posts by Martin Moodie (see all)
- Around the world in 80 (or so) days - May 15, 2022
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- A sneak preview of a new wonder of the world - May 10, 2022
“There’s no disease in your body as far as we can tell.”
The date was April 1. But this was no April fool’s message. The caller was my oncologist’s perennially sympathetic assistant Toni. Both her tone and message were full of conviction – and good news.
She was calling just two days after the first of regular six-monthly scans I will face (hopefully) over the next five years, before I am declared officially ‘in remission’ from cancer.
How do you respond to a call like that in the middle of your office on a Friday afternoon? I had not expected the results until the following week and the magnitude of the message was, and is two days later, overwhelming.
I remember very well how my gastroenterologist commented on my ‘serenity’ when he told me I had cancer on June 9, 2010, a date forever torched into my mind. Was I serene or simply in shock?
This was different. This was a moment of release, not of acceptance. A moment of almost bewildering escape from the tension that binds anyone who faces such a diagnosis and endures the subsequent treatment.
How do you explain not being able to jump for joy when you hear such deliverance? How do you explain just wanting to cry rather than smile? How do you explain your sheer confusion? How do you explain the weakness in your legs to the point of collapse?
I guess you can’t. It is a victory, albeit of sorts, to be enjoyed quietly. One, after all, knows that it may be temporary and, more importantly, there are too many fellow sufferers, notably poor, beautiful Brönte Hogan who passed away last week, who cannot indulge in such celebrations.
So let’s accept the quiet success. Let’s accept that the sun has broken through the ten-month cloud cover. To not do so would be miserly.
Tonight, in honour of that thought, I supped on a glass or two of fine New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and listened to the beauty of Kiri te Kanawa singing ‘Greensleeves’ with the purity that arguably only she can manage. It is the song (as I have explained on a previous Blog) that I will forever associate with my mother and my failure to buy her the green dress that I had always promised her when I was a child.
I think tonight that she might finally forgive me.