I’m in the Lake District! I couldn’t bear the thought of not seeing the mountains one more time, so here we are. Jane and I are here for the week, sharing the first weekend with Alex, Emma and Will (Emma’s partner) and the rest of the week with two good friends from London. Once again the care services have pulled out all the stops to enable it to happen. I have a syringe-driver attached permanently putting in a particular drug. This needs changing every 24 hours, in Leeds administered by the District Nurse team co-ordinated by the hospice: a fine example of voluntary sector and NHS working well together. The Leeds hospice arranged for a hospice here to deliver the care this week. The nurses come to our rented house every day, and are doing it with a genuine delight in enabling me to do this trip.
As at home, I’m having good days and not so good days here. On Sunday we got out into the Langdales with Alex and Will managing to push me in a wheelchair up a one in four hill to Blea Tarn. I did walk the steepest bits down! What a treat to see Crinkle Crags, Bow Fell and all the Langdales. I suffered the day after, but it was worth it. Tuesday we got out in beautiful evening light. It’s a time of day I’ve always loved, with the shadows of crags cast onto sunlit fells invoking memories of returning, tired, after long a satisfying day on the fells. Today we took in the Newlands Valley, Buttermere and Borrowdale. It’s an emotional week with a mix of the joy of being here, the memories it provokes of the wonderful times I’ve spent on the fells, with deep sadness knowing it will be the last time I will see them.
I don’t know what the definition is of an invalid, but I’m sure I’ve now become one! My mobility is very poor, I certainly can’t go out on my own, and some days very basic tasks are difficult. Not long ago I was dreading this bit of the journey but now I’m here it’s not as bad as I feared. I seem to have an inherited pragmatism – almost certainly from my mum. And of course helped by the love and care of my wonderful family and friends as well as the care services.
In a recent blog I spoke of me living with cancer and not battling it. This was reinforced by a further thought I had on this. The cancer is killing me, but ‘it’ makes no gains from so doing. It too will die when I die.
The mystery of the Armorial Bearings mentioned in my last blog is now solved, and I can thank my long standing friends John and Jenny for their wonderful creativity – which continues to make me smile.
So there we are: a bit of a random collection of thoughts this time, but wanted to bring people up to date. My blogs now are probably going to be shorter. Please do let me know if they descend to incoherent ramblings!