I'm flying to Barcelona tomorrow for an unexpected family reunion in hospital. After my brother's horrendous 9 hour surgery in March last year I thought that would be the end of it and we could put it all behind us.
But during a checkup a couple of weeks ago they discovered sarcoma in his liver. I couldn't believe it. It was a shock to everyone. The old terror crept back into my chest.
The good news is this time it's all moving much quicker. They will be doing radiotherapy on it tomorrow. Apparently he'll be able to feel the burning. Hopefully it will only require one session. He's being really upbeat and brave about it which puts the rest of us a little more at ease.
When I moved from London to Mallorca I was sure I'd see my brother more often but I didn't expect it would be because of illness. After this is all over I plan to visit him more often and to hang out with him far away from the hospital!
I had my own little shock this morning when the gynecologist declared it was time to consider inseminación artificial. If he'd been speaking English, I guess he would have said IVF. I was sure he must have misunderstood me and my life. I had certainly not planned to have any such thing. I was to have a baby easily and naturally with my wonderful husband as simple as that, thank you very much.
I'm not going to jump to conclusions. There are tests to be had and anything could happen in the months ahead. I tell you what though, to anyone planning to have kids in the next few years, I recommend swapping the pill for an alternative contraceptive. It can take over a year to flush it out of your system. I wish I'd known that!
I think it helps to know what you want in life. I think it helps to have goals and dreams. But sometimes your plot will dole out a twist you didn't see coming and what matters is how you deal with it. Luckily, I feel I'm a stronger character than I was a few years ago. I'm determined to call on all the little lessons I've learned over the years to help me take on whatever comes my way. Thank you for letting me share them.
You have to have emptiness before you can be filled.
You have to exhale before you can inhale -
Tom Yeomans, spiritual director