Life Can Change In A Heartbeat . . .

It’s funny, isn’t it, how we mostly take everything in our lives for granted? I don’t mean to and many a day I stop and stand and stare and appreciate everything that’s before and around me. The garden – its heartbeat quickening now as days lengthen. The wood – still with bare-leafed trees, their upper branches clacking against each other in the wind. Oh yes, I know how to stand and stare and appreciate things but . . . it takes an episode in one’s life to bring you up by the braces and recently I had, what I consider to be, an episode. There has been a legitimate reason why I haven’t been here, tapping out silly blogs and it is this . . .

I’d been poorly for quite some time, my digestive system in total spasm every day, so much so that I could barely leave the house unless there was a loo within trotting distance. After many weeks of this, and several G.P appointments, I was referred for a C.T scan. I’m no fool, I knew they were looking for the Big C.

Waiting for the appointment was difficult, I’ve always been an impatient type. Surprisingly, or maybe not considering the urgency, I only had to wait just over a week.

During this time I became totally introverted. Bowel cancer was the last thought on my mind as I drifted off into spasmodic sleep. It was the first thing on my mind when I woke.

I cried about the possibility of not seeing my newly seeded patch of woodland flowers and grass come to fruition. I stressed about not seeing my newly planted climbing rose in flower this summer, not being able to sit by the pond and watch . . . well, nothing really, just life buzzing around it.

The scan was awful. They inserted gas into my bowel and abdomen and I thought I would cry like a pathetic baby – but I didn’t. Then came the worst bit of all – waiting for the results.

I tried moving on from the worry but it was impossible. I had visions of my grandchildren, Grace 6, and Jake 11, asking why grandma was always too ill to have them over for the day. Who would my son turn to when only a mother would do? And Richard, dear Richard, what would he do without me? As you can see I was totally pathetic, my mind running free like a rabid dog.

On the morning of the results being available at the doctors, Richard was out working with my son. This was good because I needed to be alone. They both had instructions NOT to ring me. I would need time to run it all through my brain, time alone.

I could barely breathe as I sat in the waiting room. I considered bolting out of the door and never stopping. I was on the verge of a panic attack. I was no longer me.

I was called through and all I could think was . . . ‘keep breathing.’

I cannot described how I felt standing before the consulting room door. The doctor was scanning the PC screen as I walked in. He announced that the results weren’t in yet BUT he had looked on the hospital’s site and the scan was clear.

I felt nothing, except disbelief.

‘Are you sure?’ I said.

‘Yes,’ he said.

‘No bowel cancer?’


‘No stomach cancer?’


‘Have you got my name right? You ARE looking at MY results.’

‘Yes, you are clear, nothing abnormal detected.’

I won’t bore you with the rest of the conversation. I walked out of there like a zombie. The fear had been with me for around 6/7 weeks and it refused to allow me to feel anything.

I think I shed a little tear on the way home. Was I really going to see the meadow in the wood blossom? See that bloody rose bloom? Not have to explain to my grandchildren why their normally bonkers grandma was suddenly not bonkers, but always poorly?

I didn’t feel anything until the following day.

I had three days grace and then I went down with a virus that flattened me and I was bedridden for over a week. It’s now been 4 weeks and the virus has moved to my head, Labyrinthitis – apparently. Do I care? Not on your bloody life!

I have now address my health issues and besides being vegetarian (30 + years now) I have gone gluten-free and dairy free and my ‘health’ has improved by 95%.

The biggest thing I learned was this . . . I now understand how other people in this situation feel. I can relate. I feel for them with every ounce of my being. I handled my ‘situation’ by going ‘inward.’ I didn’t discuss it. I took it deep into my very soul and lived with it. That is the downside of being a strong, independent person.

I haven’t become dulled to the experience yet. I hope I never do. I need to feel grateful for the things and people around me – sometimes I’m guilty of forgetting that, or at least I was. Our lives can change in a heartbeat – and do. I’m just so grateful that, on this occasion, my didn’t.

This isn’t my normal blog, as you know, and I won’t be continuing in this vein. I simply wanted to explain my absence.

Love to you all x

Newly seeded woodland flower and grass patch

18 thoughts on “Life Can Change In A Heartbeat . . .

  1. You ar vety brve Gail, even though you id nit think it. It s hard to come to terms with such fears. I too am gaving them sep in, not C but kidney nd hear damage.. appts. Ate long distant, the waiting is hard, o I can sympathise. The change ill be good o you. I have bern told I must cut own my orotein and I do not have so much anyway. Best wishes and hugs,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Having been in the same boat just two years ago, I can so empathise with you Gail. So very glad your outcome was as good as mine. Now it’s time to look forward to Spring (although by all accounts Winter hasn’t quite finished with us yet) and enjoyed the beauty of your woodland xx

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  3. So glad the results were negative – and terribly glad to see you back. So hope to see more blogs now on your lovely woods!! They say that whatever you are thinking, gets referred to your colon. It’s kind of like the second ‘brain’ (for some people it may be the first) and it gets screwed up by everything you worry about. I’ve been through something similar myself, and only now after a major operation and much reflection, have I learned to worry less about things, and enjoy as many small moments as I can. So be well, be peaceful, and be kind to yourself. xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • I couldn’t agree more Malla. I think once the idea was in my head the stress levels rose on a daily basis. Before long I had added to them by worrying about what would happen to my son, partner and grandchildren, my garden, the wood, blah, blah, blah. It was like a merry-go-round of nerves and stress and I couldn’t get off. Of course it made the whole thing worse. I’m sorry to hear about your previous health issues and I’m relieved that you are OK now. It has taught me, like you, to live in the moment, to smell the roses often, to listen to the faintest birdsong. . . and to breathe. Take care my friend and thank you for your kind comments xx


  4. Thank you Gail. As you say, it us the waiting, in my cas…for the appts. Next month I have appts.. to see local Cardio, not sure if this is a kind of District Nurse or what.. Consultnt at hosp. Said they would home visit, that was in different Borough to where I live and GP, so local hapoens to be at least 3 miles away. Best of luck though. You sound better. Hugs my dear friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh Jennie how terrible for you to go through this. I am so pleased you have the all clear. I know how life can change in a heartbeat. You have to be grateful for every day and appreciate everything around you. I’m not a vegetarian but I very rarely eat red meat and it has made a difference. To be honest many of our meals consist of just vegetables or salad. At our local market a Spanish lady sells ecological free range eggs from her own farm. She told me all about her chickens etc for about 20 minutes which I had to translate for my friend. Healthy living and lifestyle is definitely our way of life now. Take care and I look forward to reading your next blog 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you Nicola. I can’t pretend that there hasn’t been an improvement since I went gluten free and I firmly believe ‘we ARE what we eat.’ And I often wonder about all these ‘out of season’ foods that are ‘force’ grown in simulated conditions these days? If man hadn’t intervened wouldn’t we only have access to seasonal food? Who knows, hey? I know something is going to get us ONE day but maybe the fitter we are the better chance we have of out running it? Take care xx


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