Whenever my life is ticking away nicely, I feel as if the big man upstairs likes to remind me, "Do not, under any circumstances, allow yourself to be too complacent. Suddenly, something could come your way and test your coping mechanism."
My dad has steadily, over the last year, lost weight. He sees a nurse regularly owing to the fact he's diabetic. The nurse also noticed these pounds slipping away, due to recording his weight and checking his general health. Bemused by the weight loss she ordered him to have a blood test and a full body MOT. We were grateful that someone was looking out for him, yet concerned about the test results.
It turned out my dad had a cyst in his liver. This cyst needed to be examined further. After anxious waiting it was confirmed it was nothing sinister. Phew, how lucky did we feel.
But, yes I'm sorry, there is a but - we then received another letter. The cyst was bothering one of the doctors, they wanted a panel of experts to examine further, in case it was a rare form of cancer.
Uh oh, someone mentioned cancer.
Someone was right.
It was a rare form of cancer.
Our worlds tried not to collapse. We all tried to be positive and to hang onto the news that it could be operable.
They just needed to check the rest of his liver, his kidneys, and ensure his body could handle a major operation.
Cue lots of hospital appointments and more worry.
Dear readers, my dad, and his family, have been incredibly lucky. The doctors were reassured my dad is still very fit for his age and the cancer was currently contained. Therefore they removed the offending c word. He rested in hospital for a few days and came home in his pajamas, frail yet happy to be home.
We've been warned it's the type that could return so he'll have to be monitored.
I'm painfully aware that not every cancer story has a happy ending. I thank my lucky stars that so far this one has.
Life really is a funny old game, one day you can be minding your own business, then BANG! Bad news hits you right between the eyes.
I for one will be eternally grateful to the lucky stars.
And a nurse named Janet. A nurse who thankfully decided to investigate my father's weight loss.