Wednesday 25 May 2016

Roller Coaster

Thankfully Richard had some excellent news about his early-stage prostate cancer cells. All readings were normal - so the radiotherapy has blasted them away. A bonus has been he hasn't had any ill effects either. Well done the Royal United Hospital Bath. We were so pleased with the help he's received we raised money for the RUH from his Open Studio over May Day weekend. A win-win situation. If the weather holds we can raise a bit more at our garden party on July 2nd. A percentage of the proceeds from sales of Richard's prints and cards will go to the RUH funds for the new cancer unit. It cost £8 million+ and so much has been raised they 'only' need £1 million+ now.

So that's the good news.

That's the down ride on the roller coaster - the fun bit. But the hard slog up to the top of the ride has yet to be achieved. We are very slowly trudging up to the pinacle. Mum's house is - as I write - having a trench drilled through the drive, garage and conservatory. Why?

After months of negotiation with mum's insurance firm my brother has managed to get them to see that the cracks in mum's bathroom, kitchen and above the landing are caused by root damage from the massive trees on the field next door. The foundations are being weakened - slightly - just enough to create structural problems. Last month a result; the trees have been lopped in half. Equally important soil samples showed roots from said trees had broken water pipes and upset the water table under mum's house - hence the cracks. So now the pipes are being replaced. Hoorah! But it'll take another year of monitoring the fissures to see if the damage has been stopped - or if the cracks in the brickwork are continuing to widen. A new kitchen and bathroom are waiting to be installed in mum's house. It may take yet another twelve months before work on those installations can even start.

But it's been a very sad few days as mum's health has deteriorated such that she barely has the energy to speak. This is largely, though, in her own hands. If she drank more water, tea or juice she would revive. One nurse even mentioned bringing in the hospice and instituting end-of-life-care. So we were upset to hear this. My brother is having to travel north - and is exhausted - visiting a member of his wife's family in intensive care. What a terrible few days. We thought we would have to cancel our Guernsey holiday and my brother still doesn't know if he should go away this weekend and have his early summer break.

So we sit in the buggy on the roller coaster waiting for good news: we want to plunge on the down-rides and have some excitement - away from the doom, gloom and difficult situations. Our short holiday in Devon, in full sunshine, was upset by health news. Let's hope the next time we see mum she's got some strength back, is drinking and can hold a conversation without being so depleted of energy.  "Where there's life there's hope" has never been more pertinent.