For a long time now I have been putting one foot in front of the other and plodding through life waiting for God to take me home. During that time I have withdrawn more and more until there was nothing left of me but an empty shell going through the motions.
I didn’t interact with friends or family more than was unavoidable and I even unfriended one of my nieces and my sister when they upset me.
I’ve gotten colder, harder, more and more emotionless and it all came to a head when clients began complaining about me.
My bosses listened to the calls that were complained about, three in total, and said I didn’t do anything seriously wrong but there was a definite lack of patience evident in them. They said it was most unlike me and they wanted to know if I was OK.
I said I am running on empty and perhaps I just need a good long break from work. Over the past few years the only time off I have had has involved hospitals and doctors and other unpleasant things.
The people at work all pulled together in response and before I knew it I was on seven weeks leave!
My daughter said we should go overseas as a family so we all got passports and chose a place to go – Phuket in Thailand. Our plans didn’t fully pan out as my daughter was not able to get time off to come with us but my son and I flew off and spent three weeks together over in Phuket.
The plane trip there was horrendous as I was in serious pain after a few hours to the point where I was ready to jump out sans parachute just to get relief! It was at that point that I thought to take pain killers so I made it through. I was smarter on the way home and took pain killers before leaving and again halfway through the flight but I still suffered.
Once we settled into the first place we stayed, a small place consisting of eight individual bungalow rooms, and everyone else had gone to bed my son and I had the pool to ourselves so we went for a swim. When I got into the pool my body was nothing but one big pile of pain. Anything that didn’t hurt ached and I was truly grateful when it all eased during the swim. What I was not prepared for was how swiftly the aches and pains all came back as I emerged from the water and gravity took hold of my body again.
I came to the conclusion that most, if not all, of my aches and pains might actually be due to carrying far too much weight on my frame! I filed that thought away in the back of my head and went on with the holiday.
I won’t bore readers with details but I found Phuket to be overpriced, overcrowded, and over rated and the one thing I got from being there was a serious appreciation for my own country and the laws and regulations that stop people from trashing it the way Thailand is being trashed.
We went to one of the major attractions, Phi Phi island, and it is even more overpriced and well on it’s way to being totally destroyed by pollution. There is a 20 baht charge per person to enter the island and the sign says it is to keep the place clean but, from what I saw, someone is getting rich while all the island gets is trashed.
We took a tour of the islands and went snorkeling and the sight of trash floating past in a long line, like a trash-road in the water, was awful. The contrast between the beauty of the water itself, such a spectacularly beautiful colour, like a living jewel, and the filth of pollution made you feel like you were looking at a work of art being deliberately defaced! I watched the fish swimming beneath me when I snorkeled then surfaced and found myself surrounded by oil and debris that had been pumped out of the little native boat we had hired to take us there along with the water that had washed into it on the journey. I felt like an art lover being forced to watch someone draw a mustache on the Mona Lisa! An art lover who had paid for the desecration. In an act of contrition my son and I collected a piece of rubbish each when we had our picnic and took it away with us along with our own trash.
The holiday was a bit of a wake-up call for me. It made me realise my life doesn’t have to be the treadmill of work, eat, sleep, eat, pay bills, eat, gamble, feel like a loser, eat, sleep, work, pay bills that it has been for so long. I could stop spending money on junk food that adds to the weight an already overburdened skeleton is struggling to drag around and I could stop wasting money on slot machines that only add to the sense of being a failure and a loser that I already struggle with and I could save that money to go and do something that is actually FUN instead!
I loved snorkeling and I am sure Australia would never permit such desecration of our own snorkeling spots so I am hoping to take my next holiday at our own Barrier Reef.
I got sick the last few days we were overseas and my stomach shrank a bit. I also got used to hunger pains because I was afraid to eat any more Thai food while I was there. On the way home I got more and more angry with my stomach and taste buds for causing me to put on the weight I was sure was causing the pain I was in and the end result is I have been on a diet ever since we got back. I have lost about five kilo’s and it has only been just over two weeks! My knees already hurt less.
Two days after my return I had to get a blood test done as I was due for my appointment with the hospital endocrinologist so I got the test done and went to see her a week later. She said my THS level was so high it was tantamount to suicide as it was providing fertilizer for any remaining cancer cells to grow in. She said I am due for a follow up scan to see if the cancer has returned anyway so we should take advantage of the situation, take me off my medication so the level gets to that required for the scan, and do the scan now.
I’m supposed to get another blood test tomorrow and, if the levels are correct, take the radioactive iodine six days later and have the scan two days after that. I suspect the levels won’t be correct which will mean staying off the medication another week and having the scan after that but we will see.
If the cancer is back I will cross that bridge then but, if I get the all clear, I am off to snorkel at the Great Barrier Reef next winter for sure! I might even learn to dive and who knows what that could lead to – especially if I have lost enough weight to be able to fit into bathers and wet suits by then!