A moment of release

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

“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.

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  • Dear Martin,
    This news is wonderful and your feeling of release so special. Life is fragile as we know with Bronte. Paul and all of us were so touched by your caring words about her and reflections from a ‘fellow sufferer.’ Thanks for your call last Friday and I look forward to sharing a Cloudy Bay with you on the next trip!
    All best

  • Bronte’s news are indeed sad- it is not fair- at any age!
    Nevertheless… your good news, your awesome news, are certainly worthy of a smile and of a celebration. May this scan be the first of many, many more that show ‘no disease in your body’. You certainly deserve a good song, a good memory, and a good glasses of wine. You give us hope, you teach us a true example of what is to be a brave spokeperson, and a real fighter. April 1st. will always be welcomed! Stay strong!

  • Martin this is wonderful news! Hope to see you on the events calendar in the near future.