Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ups and Downs

It didn't take long for the promotion pleasure to wear off. When I got home from running club last night there was a flurry of messages on the answerphone. Looks like the rollercoaster is running again.

It seems that the plan a wedding as fast as you plan approach might not be enough. My grandmother saw the oncologist yesterday, and the general gist of it (filtered through various re-tellings) is that the time periods they're talking about are measured in terms of weeks instead of months. She's having some radiotherapy on Thursday in an attempt to delay things a bit, and there's an outside chance of her making the wedding, but we're not holding our breath.

To be honest, it's come as a bit of a shock. She is looking far better than she has done at any point in the past 10 years. The doctors are amazed by how well she is feeling, and say that quite simply she shouldn't be feeling so well at her stage of the disease. For years while she's been suffering from various ailments she's become more cantankerous, argumentative and difficult, but when I was there over the weekend she'd gone back to the sweet, caring Grandma I remember from when I was little. She was chatty and cheerful, and entirely at ease with everything. It made me realise that I've missed the real her, and I just wish we'd have her back for longer than we will.

The whole thing is giving rise to a huge dilemma in my head though. Do I go to New York. On the one hand I have a once in a lifetime experience I've been looking forward to for months. I have a team who need me, to get Matt round the course safely. I have people who have sponsored me and who I don't want to disappoint.

On the other hand, I have a few more precious moments with someone I love. If we're talking in terms of weeks, do I want to spend one of them on a different continent? What if something happens and I can't get back in time?

If things are as they are today, I'll go. I've spoken to mum, and she agrees with that (she raised it before I did - I'd been thinking about it, but unsure how to raise it) But things can change quickly, and there is a line somewhere beyond which I might want to stay. At the moment I don't know where that is, maybe I'll know when I cross it.

I'm making contingency plans. Today I went and sorted out a new mobile phone - the one I had won't work in America, and if I'm not going to be there in person I at least want to be contactable without having to check emails or pick up messages at a hotel reception desk. So now at least I can be kept up to date with what's happening. I'm wondering whether I could go, and get a last minute flight back on the Monday if necessary. I've warned the organiser about the situation, and emphasised that I'm not trying to back out, and that no-one would be more disappointed than me if I have to, but sometimes life, and death, get in the way.

At the moment I'm definitely planning on going to Amsterdam. Unless something goes badly wrong during the radiotherapy, my thinking is that the trip is short enough, it is close enough, and there are enough flights, that it won't be much harder to get over there than it would be from Leeds. But at the moment it seems like plans can change in an instant, so watch this space. I have to say that I've barely thought about the race, which isn't perhaps the best preparation (what has happened to the obsessive list making? Putting together piles for weeks before the race? Writing long complicated pacing plans so I can ignore them on the day?). I guess I'll just have to wait and see what happens.


Blogger Paige said...

I think you are making the right choice.

Back in 2000, my gramps had his heart attack, he was scheduled for a triple bypass the next day. I was in college and wanted to drive 4 hours to be with him. He specifically called me from his hospital room and told me that he didn't want me to stop living my life just cause his might be ending. It was a sad moment, but I'll never forget him telling me "Don't worry, I'll be fine, even if I don't make it out of this place". He did technically make it out of surgery, but was in a coma for about 8 weeks after. I've NEVER forgotten that phone call, and completely know that going on with my life at the time was the right thing to do.

8:43 PM  
Blogger nightowl said...

I work in long term care and have seen people with life expectancy measured in days hang on for a special reason like a visit from a out of town loved one, Christmas, a birthday, a wedding. I hope this holds true for you.
Best wishes from a Canadian Lurker

12:47 AM  

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