Thursday, 15 March 2012

A time for reflection

Wow, what a last three days I have had. On Monday/Tuesday I had more dialysis, and after finishing treatment on Tuesday afternoon, I was driven to the funeral of one of my very dear friends. Then I went to do a talk about Buddying.

On Wednesday I had an appointment with a specialist who after various scans and tests confirmed that I have Graft Versus Host Disease on my tendons. This means that the major muscles in my limbs are like taught elastic bands, and everything aches whenever I move. I can't even straighten my fingers or hands.
The treatment I am having for this is improving things but it will be a slow gradual process, so we will see what happens.

After that appointment, I had my weekly fix at Macmillan. As you can imagine in that 3 day spell, there were many highs and lows but I certainly felt valued when I left the office on Wednesday afternoon. I received some wonderful emails from people who I had a chance to talk to previously, who have felt encouraged by what they heard and wanted to tell me how positive they were now feeling about things. Wow!!! This is the very reason that I do what I do. In many respects I never ever got that satisfaction when I was doing paid work. If only Waitrose take my currency of goodwill, but even they still want cash!!!

I would like to mention my friend, who sadly died a couple of weeks ago. His death had no connection with Cancer, but whilst at his cremation I had a time to reflect on my life with him and his associates, many of whom were also present, but I hadn't seen them since I had to stop working.

He was a larger than life character and I met him when I first entered the rag trade approximately 30 years ago. Both our lives ran very similarly and we earned a lot of money, then one day he asked me if I would like to work with him as he was starting his own company. Those of you who know me well, would understand that was an opportunity I couldn't pass by. I then had probably the most exciting few years of my life!

Fast cars, worldwide travel, all night parties, money coming in quicker than we could spend it. Something told me that this would have to end, so I took certain decisions and he took different ones.He would light up the room with his presence, and in many ways I felt in his slipstream. As my life continued on a fairly standard path, he experienced massive highs, and then some terrible lows!!

His life started to crumble, and eventually he lost his wife and children, his house, and a lot of his friends, and ended up in prison. When he came out, he heard about my diagnosis and came to see me. He told me he was there for me, and that everything was going to be ok. At that stage I didn't have very long to live, and it gave me great comfort to see my friend.

Now, he has gone before me. The stresses and srains of his life eventually taking their toll.Tuesday afternoon was certainly a time for reflection. A lot of our peers in that industry were very rich and ruthless, and would do almost anything for money.I was lucky, as I knew all the key players, but it was interesting to hear the converstations now. Everyone mentioning the good times with my pal, and how money has come and gone but it is not important now.

It really showed me that we only have the real knowledge as we get older, and it is like we have only been given half of lifes instruction manual, when we really need the complete version. Sometimes it feels like when we are younger we have the tools to do things, but not the entire knowledge. As we get older we gain the knowledge, but the tools get worn out!

Would I have changed things with a little more knowledge. Yes. One thing, but that is not for public consumption!! What would you change if anything??


  1. Chris, I'm sorry to hear you lost your friend recently...

    Another lovely blog update from you and to answer your question, I guess if I could change one thing it would be to not have stressed over the small stuff so much!

  2. Thank you Maribel. You are so right with you observation, but we all do it!

  3. thank you , very inspiring and lovely xxxx