Last Thursday I was back at the hospital for a check up. The result: no change from the last time. So that is a huge relief. It is also a relief that the doctor suggested that I wait 6 months for the next check up. It’s stressful reliving the hospital routines: the scans, the blood tests and then waiting a week or more for the results. You never know when the cancer is going to come back; maybe not soon, or maybe I would rather not know for just a little bit longer? I’m trusting to the doctor’s confidence in the “no change”.

In general I am getting stronger, weigh 53kg and am able to do more. I’m also much better at accepting how things are; but more about that later. The summer in Stroanfreggan was wonderful and was the best medicine.

Now an update on my various symptoms. In August I returned to the dermatologist and saw, not the one I didn’t like, but another in the same practice, Marie. She says I have rosacea, not eczema, and is treating me with a new cream, which works very well, and laser treatment. Since then I have had only a couple of flare-ups.

My string of colds gradually petered out over the summer and held off so I could get my ‘flu jab at the beginning of the month. Since then, I am sneezing and my nose is running again, albeit intermittently and without any obvious cause apart from the cold air when I’m cycling.

My front left ribs are still numb and feel “like a metal plate”, but I have become habituated and normally hardly feel them. The spot on my back where the rib was broken on the other hand is constantly sore even though the rib has now healed. The doctor has referred me back to the physio at the cancer centre. I hope I get Christina again, she was good!

I’m getting stronger, which is perhaps why I am coping better, but I think it is also because I’ve become interested in stoicism. I don’t know much about it, apart from that it doesn’t mean just putting up with things that you can’t change. The concepts of practical wisdom and courage are giving me a useful framework for …… perhaps I could say surviving well. I wonder that Bjarne didn’t introduce me to it as the basis of the behavioral therapy he gave me.

Have a look at the TEDed video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9OCA6UFE-0

I anticipate that the next bulletin will be in April. Maybe we will have heard about our applications for Danish citizenship by then? In the meantime, I am very much enjoying my water colour painting: watercolours.kandp.dk