As I lace up my running shoes, (okay walking ones,) and begin the rest of my life, I am more than ready to put this long journey behind me. It’s been 13 months and I’m primed for my new normal to evolve. And yes, it will unfold within the bigger Covid path that we are all still on. I don’t plan to dwell on the road well travelled. My sights are set on the endless possibilities ahead of me.
But there is one more thing I want to say… Thank you, thank you, thank you to every single one of you out there! You have been part of my journey every step of the way. Yes, I had to crawl through some of it on my own. But make no mistake. I would not have got through the tunnel without all of you in my life.
I’ve said before that I am very wary of singling people out. I’ve been through the awful experience of forgetting someone momentarily and then not being able to rectify my mistake. Just know that my heart is so full of love for you, my fellow travellers, especially those who went the extra, extra mile for me.
In this beloved country of ours, where we struggle with corruption, violence and insurmountable problems at every turn, we also produce pockets of unbelievable excellence. I’d like to hone in on one of these – the Oncology unit at Vincent Pallotti Hospital in Cape Town.
I am a major white coat syndrome gal, (and that’s another story.) Let’s make that was…until a year ago. My cancer diagnosis changed that. I found myself swept up in a whirlwind of doctors appointments, scans, tests, chemotherapy, surgery, emergency hospital stays, seromas, pep talks with angelic surgeons, isolation within isolation, all the complementary therapies I sought out and finally… state of the art radiation. And through it all, I found myself treated by world class practitioners at every level! I could digress here but I want to pan in on VP Oncology.
From the stylish and spotless reception area, to the doctors’ chambers, the chemo treatment room, the radiation area, pathology unit, restaurant… I have found only service of such excellence it blows my mind. VP has managed to pull together a team of experts and form a family of such love and integrity that I think you’d be hard pressed to match anywhere on the planet! I am a ‘vibe’ person and I can tell you that the vibrations in this place are divine. That’s not to say laid back though. These particular seraphs deal with trauma and drama minute by minute. Believe me. But this team has an excellence mindset. And that is worth more than any pot of gold.
So my final experience in this extraordinary place, was a four week stint on their state of the art radiation machine, which to this Sugar Plum fairy felt like a daily whirl on a sci-fi space rocket. I was pretty daunted by the idea of being strapped to this gigantic creature and ordered to hold my breath for long enough to pull my heart out of the way of the radiation beam. 20 seconds a shot, to be exact. ( I practised 60, just in case.) But I needn’t have worried. The radiation team are remarkable. They are professional beyond imagination. Add the excellence factor plus bucket loads of compassion and love and you have a match made in heaven. I couldn’t, couldn’t, couldn’t have been in better hands for this final stretch of the journey.
Would I have chosen this voyage? No, of course not. Have I learnt things along the way? Yes! And it will take me the rest of my life to process the lessons.
But in a nutshell it’s this…Life is for living. Every single moment.