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Rock Maze
  • Writer's pictureNeil

One swallow doesn’t make a summer.

It is not one swalowe that bryngeth in somer. It is not one good qualitie that maketh a man good. Erasmus, 1539:

Just for this post I’ll tell you a bit about the night I’ve just had.

We've all just had a sunny springish day which means the queue for the dump is going to be chronic. Yesterday, Tony from next door queued for an hour and a half.

A sunny day for some people means, ah, fantastic, chill. Unfortunately for most others, especially at this time of year, and I’m one, it means, better weather is coming lets get to work before the rain sets in. So, in my condition what could be so pressing? Well there’s a few bits of furniture sitting in a house that’s about to be sold. There’s two weeks to empty it and the weather this weekend is perfect. Nothing heavy, just a bit awkward and definitely not a job for a wet day. There’s also a bookcase and a complete car load of stuff go load. Two trips max. Most just to be delivered across town. Easy out easy in. My brother-in-law is bringing his van and thankfully his mate for the few heavy bits.

But there's another job. We have been storing about 35 large boxes of paraphernalia and ephemera in our roof space for a few years. The time has come for it to go elsewhere. I'm feeling pretty fit so let’s do this. What I want to know is how these boxes have gained so much weight? Anyway I can’t get too many down at once because regardless of how strong I think I might be chemo and fatigue go hand in hand. 5 or 6 boxes and I’m pooped. It’s slow progress. Lift a little rest a lot.

The weather forecast is looking fair for the next 2 or 3 days....crack on.

This whole job however is being done during the worst effects of my chemo but it seems that having a target, a challenge, a job is an invigorating experience. I’m having an ok weekend. But I have an issue, my back is bad!

Last spring I had an operation to remove a tumour from alongside my spine. This tumour unchecked would have been deadly. In an emergency operation one week after it’s discovery and just two weeks before lockdown, it was removed. While at the time it was a significantly big operation it seemed successful. As it transpires the tumour has returned but now held at bay by my chemo.

Now when I say bad back we all know it’s a relative thing. One person’s bad back is another person’s twinge. So to you I’m probably just being a wimp. Lifting boxes down from the loft hurts like mad. Bending into the car hurts as well. Oddly keeping a very straight back alleviates the pain a bit so moving the sofa wasn’t as bad as I expected, nether is, gingerly walking around.

But come the evening and I’m shagged. I can’t get out of the sofa. I’m in pain. At 8pm I go to bed. It’s so painful to get in and out of bed that when I remember I haven’t brushed my teeth I immediately abandon the idea. But, here’s the problem, the night time visit to the facilities becomes a logistical nightmare. I have now really seized up and time is of the essence. Eventually I get my feet on the floor. Agonisingly I stand up. I shuffle to the bathroom as if looking for my Zimmer frame. I get there, just. I feel sick. Standing at the sink reminds me that pain ages. I’m looking a bit tired and haggard. Then to top it all my nose starts to spontaneously bleed. I really am having a fine old time.

I get back into bed but a comfortable position eludes me. For an hour I try to find some comfort to no avail. Again I struggle and get out of bed. This time I decide to find a comfy chair. A dining chair. Aah! Relief finally.

An hour later I’m back in a different bed. A firmer higher bed. One I hope I can get out of.

And tomorrow? Shall I struggle through the discomfort and shift those boxes? They’ll not shift themselves.

To give you a further insight into my head. Because I’m kind of committed to a birthday party we’ve already started to refurbish our shed/summer house/pavilion/man cave. It’s all go here.

So with all of the above aches and pains which I think is a muscular thing....experience tells me to carry on eventually the pain will disappear because that's what happens.

Or is it something more sinister? Who knows? It’s difficult not to think it might be related to my cancer.

But what we do know is the seasons are changing. Time is passing. My time is passing!

But beware.

It is not one swalowe that bryngeth in somer. It is not one good qualitie that maketh a man good.

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