I am a-political (always have been) an advocate of the Edith Cavell version of government, “patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone”
The amazing thing about being ill is incorporating imperfection into your life, it is like speeding up age. Suddenly you can’t jump so high, walk so far, swagger so easily -and the younger it happens the more that there is at stake.
I vowed to thee, my country, all earthly things above,
Entire and whole and perfect, it didn’t last my love…
The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test,
The treatment and the surgery, and you live with the rest!
The love that never falters, the love that pays the price,
That patches up, you carry on and think hope will suffice!
And there’s another country, a place I’d like to go,
Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know;
Where overcoming challenge and experience are king,
Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering;
And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase,
And her ways are ways of gentleness, and all her paths are peace.
For me I have kept a sense of humour and perspective but even now I am regretting some of the physical decisions I made about my treatment, as 11 years on the sustainability of reconstructive procedure (fat and tissue redistribution) diminishes. I am part of the Absolutely Fabulous generation, get the tambourine out, we need to promote uniqueness and gloriously embrace imperfection!
(with apologies to Sir Cecil Spring-Rice)