Monday, 21 May 2012

Home and away

I think it's fair to say that we haven't had a truly "normal" week since Steve was diagnosed with mesothelioma in June 2009.  However, there have been a few occasions when our week has been planned ahead, we know pretty much what to expect and do not anticipate acting on the spur of the moment or being taken by surprise.  Last week started out as one such occasion.

The Nomads Artweek exhibition was hung and in progress. Steve was at home, working on his images of Marrakech, dealing with some business matters and transferring data on the computer.  I was away in Guernsey for part of the week, then working at home for the rest of the time preparing for tribunals at the end of the month.  Just a "normal" working week....

However, although forewarned, it had slipped my mind that Steve's story was going to be posted on the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organisation (ADAO) website, so it came as a bit of a surprise to see it shared last Monday. But the best news was hearing from Linda Reinstein of the ADAO that since posting the story, the organisation had received many positive messages and that by sharing the story, we had helped many people.  Isn't that wonderful?   

On the photography front, news of the Nomads exhibition on the RPS forum had resulted an invitation to give a talk to a local photography club, which is very flattering. My images which recently gained a "Distinction" from the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (DPAGB) are going to be used as an example of the standard which candidates are expected to achieve and featured in PAGB news.  In addition, we have been approached by the organisers of a national photographic competition who want to use some of our images to promote the competition, and I have been invited to be a judge.  Whatever next!

What started out as an ordinary week ended up being rather extraordinary for reasons we hadn't anticipated.  Enough to take our minds of the hay fever which we have both been suffering from recently, particularly Steve - the tree pollen has been irritating his eyes and making him wheeze. But antihistamine tablets are effective, which is a relief....any unexplained coughing or wheezing is always a cause for concern with mesothelioma.   

This last week has also seen the start of a new group on Facebook "Mesothelioma Survivors and Caregivers" which has introduced us to even more meso warriors with inspirational stories - a haven for those who continue to believe that a cure will be found, one day.  Admission to the group is by invitation only, to protect the integrity and privacy of its members.  If you think being part of this group would help you as a meso survivor or carer, please contact me on Facebook with you details.  

It is now just over three weeks until Steve's next hospital assessment, so we will be keeping ourselves busy trying hard not to get too stressed about what might or might not have been happening inside him since last time.  I'm hoping that the weather will improve so that we can enjoy some warm sunshine and get out and about without jackets and an umbrella!

Lat but not least, a big hug to Debbie in Plymouth who is suffering from the side effects of chemo - you will be back to your "old self" soon enough Debbie, in the meantime, try to relax and take it easy for a bit....  

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