Miracles and that old grizzly

Almost a year ago I wrote about going to the corner shop for a loaf of bread and being confronted by an eight foot grizzly bear. What an incredible shock! I was and am referring of course to Dee's grade four lymphoma diagnosis.

Monday last we attended the usual clinic at Raigmore hospital. Dee always writes down her questions in advance of these meetings. Bear in mind that her pain was at least as severe as ever it had been. This was her first question Monday last ... I was diagnosed a year ago and since then have had extreme chemotherapy, two sessions of radiotherapy and an operation on my spine. Can we assume now that my cancer is in remission? 

The doctor shook his head; I'm afraid not, he said, not in any way unkindly, Your recent blood tests indicate that the lymphoma has returned and is growing. Later ... I'm sorry, there's nothing more we can do here. 

Dee took the verdict as calmly and with as much stoicism / courage as she has displayed throughout her illness. I, for once in my life was virtually dumbstruck. Even though we both knew that things had not been going according to plan, for the first time we were hearing in effect that the grizzly bear had beaten us - and bigtime..

After leaving Raigmore Hospital (for the last time?) we automatically carried on with the day's plan A: lunch in downtown Inverness, my eyesight test, bit of shopping :etc. Driving in beautiful weather back the 80 miles 'across the hill' we spoke little. There didn't seem very much to say. I was sorting out my own feelings and I'm sure Dee was doing the same. But we stopped off halfway at a friend's house for a cup of tea and a chat and that helped us, in an odd sort of way to get back on to something of an even keel. Then on the spur of the moment I diverted from the main highway to the village of Badachro, by Gairloch. There's a great little pub/restaurant there, one we used to frequent on our holidays in the area before we migrated to live permanently in Autlbea. .

Looking out over the boats and the calm waters of the loch and with a superb meal in front of us it was time to talk. Talk about all the important things, some of which most of us would rather not. Things I will not talk of here. But the next day I wrote an e-mail for our 'children' - all of them well grown up these many years but to us still our children.

One of the things I wrote was: We will take each day as it comes , live it to the fullest of our ability and hope for a miracle. Miracles do happen.

Yes, they do. That old grizzly bear hasn't won yet.

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