Sunday 23 August 2009

PETAL revisited whilst in limbo

In June, I said that Graham Sherlock Brown's philosophy for living with mesothelioma sounded good to me. Two months on, how are we doing?

P = Positive attitude
We're trying to have a positive attitude and in the main, succeeding. Need to work on having realistic expectations!

E = Eating and exercising well
If anything, I think our diet has improved; Steve has a good appetite, in spite of the nausea. Although not jogging at the moment, he's done a lot of walking and hasn't used his bus pass once

T = Targets
There isn't a list of "10 things to do before I die" (as far as I know). However, Steve has set his long term sights on being one of the 10% who are still alive five years after diagnosis, with milestones along the way like his millionth birthday (in binary) and our 40th wedding anniversary. I know he is aiming to get at least one more distinction from the Royal Photographic Society (RPS), may be two. But the main target is to make the most of every day

A = Adapting to change
We have had to adapt to a new regime based on the 21-day chemo cycle, rather than the standard working week and weekends, and to acknowledge that Steve will need to rest when he feels tired after treatment. There is the morning and evening ritual of rubbing cream into the two circles of skin affected by radiotherapy, which were fading nicely, only to be inflamed recently by the last round of X-Rays/CT scan. And we (try to) never leave the house without anti-nausea tablets and a supply of emergency nibbles....

L = Living your life
We're certainly doing that...out and about whenever possible, visiting family and friends towards the end of each treatment cycle, when not tied into hospital visits or plagued by fatigue. The cameras are being out to good use, as is the NT membership card. Housework takes second place to being sociable and creative (nice to have a good excuse) but the essentials are getting done.

I think we're getting our priorities just about right......

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