Friday, 23 September 2011

There and back to see how far it is.

When I was a kid, and we asked an adult where they had been, the stock answer was 'There and back to see how far it was'. Having just been there, I can tell you it wasn't that far at all. In my life I've been shot at, blown up a bit, knocked off my motorcycle, and had cancer - but I still have no real feeling of 'cheating Death'. I think you either do or you don't - 'near death' just means you crossed the road without getting hit by a bus! We have very fragile bodies - it will either happen or it won't.
There is, however, an opening for a 'Bloody hell that was close!' club though.
Before starting to write I would also like to extol the virtues of a product I had always believed was over hyped - Bach Rescue Remedy. It works. That's really all I can say. Thanks to the lovely Beth who insisted I take it into hospital with me, and who brought Nina to visit me - for that she gets to be my big sister! On with the blog then.....................

Well, I made it. I've been away to a few places  in the past three weeks, and without being maudlin or presumptive, I want to write one and only one, blog about what happened.
I had oesophageal cancer, which is cancer of the gullet - the bit the food goes down. I opted for surgery rather than chemo and radiation. The op went well - I'm still here - and I woke up in purgatory. This is the High Dependency Unit, which does an amazing job of keeping post op patients alive. It was also my own personal Hell. No windows to see, artificial lights permanently on, the white noise from the monitors deafening, and no sense of time. I am an Artist - a week of HDU nearly took my soul.
I was moved to a ward, to a 'side room' of my own, with a huge window and a view of inner city flats, and a dozen one legged feral pigeons flying around. It was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. I cried. I also had a window to open - it was only closed rarely during my stay - Room 6 in Ward 82 was now my home.
The strange thing was the line I had just crossed. HDU was for poorly people, I had now been promoted to a 'getting better' person. I began to realise what I had got through. Again, I cried - I still haven't stopped.
I didn't see Death, I didn't go towards a white light, I did, however, see what is left when all pretence at living is stripped away - Beauty. Nothing else. We have built everything in our lives from Beauty. Every baby is called 'beautiful' - what changes that life from beautiful to ugly? Pretence and the baggage of life.
From my room - which I was confined to for 7 days due to a chest infection - I watched the sun go down over the city of Leeds, listening to the 1812 overture playing on my little cellphone - Beauty.
I did learn one thing, even bouncing round in Dante's levels of Hell, I never once felt the need to question my convictions and call upon a God I didn't believe in. That is not to say He doesn't exist, I just seem to get through life with a few guardian angels and a lot of dumb luck. It works for me.
While I am on a personal note, I will explain my reasons for cutting down my Facebook friends before I went in. I have done hospitals before, and I know how much someone being there at 3am can help when you hurt. As most of you know, I have a very special friendship with Nefer Kane, and I knew she would be there - mainly because she sleeps during the day! At times our relationship becomes very intense and French, and I didn't want any of this to be interpreted wrongly by people who don't know me, and if you know me you know how devoted I am to my lady Nina - who, incidentally, counts Nefer as a friend. Nina is my soul, nothing could touch that, but Nefer has a large piece of my heart which she can use as she wishes.
It has been suggested that our relationship is 'not right' - that is so English. Love is not black and white, we are both Artists, we are both slightly damaged, we are also the closest of friends. Life is too short to please everyone, so I make my own way. Thank you for being there when I needed you mon amour.
Not a bad segue to my next point. I have decided that if I owed society any debts, they have been paid. I am now free to be me. I have also made a truce with Death - I'll stop laughing at Him if He stops picking on me. Sounds like a good deal from here.
I'm writing this on the Tuesday - two days before I leave hospital. It's been an experience I NEVER want again, but it's also shown me how strong I can be when the chips are down - thanks Mum.
I won't blog again about this, if anyone wants any advice I will be happy to give it if I can, but now is the time to move on - I am not a 'survivor', I had cancer, I had it cut out, let's Rock and Roll!!!!

I also want to thank with my heart everyone who wished me well, although I missed most of the messages I was amazed by the concern of my friends - thank you all.

Now, I want you to support a lovely lady who supported me..............then had to have brain surgery. She's tough, but we all need help. Linda L Jones you get better girl!


  1. I am ever so grateful to be called a friend. and to watch the love from all of your friends (aka harem)....was a lovely experience I shall not forget. I am glad you are still with us, and owe no apologies. I am also grateful to watch the love you have for the 2 most special ladies in your life. That alone fills my heart with joy.....
    Rock and Roll, Jupeter.....Rock and

  2. Now the whole world knows I sleep during the day XD WHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    You are most welcome Mon Amour, and to rejoin you about that misunderstanding about our strong friendship : the only one allowed to criticize it would be Nina. She counts me as a friend as I do count her for such. Then, World : it's none of your business!

    Welcome back mon amour and don't you ever do that again! ;)

    IB XXX <3

  3. then it's okay to sleep during the day too??? This is such good news!!! :)))
    As for you Peter... I have no words that can adequately express how I feel and how relieved and happy I am to have you back whole and on the mend...
    So I won't try... you understand anyway, yes? :)

  4. Welcome back.Glad you are on the right side of all this. HDU's are awful places to work in as well.

  5. So glad you posted. So glad you had your two best friends to help you through it. I totally understand your friendship...I have one, as does my husband. Only those of us that are confident in our marriage can have that kind of friendship.

    Stay the hell well, please.

  6. It's so nice to see you back. Onward and upward form here.


  7. So glad to have a new post from you and even happier to have you on the mend. Its great to see the power of positive thinking in action. I look forward to more posts in the future.

  8. So glad to see you back and blogging, Peter! Rest up, take care, get better and start beading again. :-)

  9. This sounds like a cliche, but the support I've had from people I have never met has pushed me on when I felt like crap - thank you all, you have helped more than you know!
    peter xxx