Saturday, 29 January 2011

Invictus by William Ernest Henley 1875

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.


This poem to me has always meant taking control or having responsibility for one's own destiny. As some may already know I recently received a new diagnosis this month to challenge me with my other health issues. This new challenge while not totally unexpected with my history has created a new impact on my life and is currently imposing itself on me. The upside to this new diagnosis is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel as I am fully treatable and expected to make a full recovery. Not a bad prognosis.

The two side effects of the treatment include the interaction of the chemotherapy (oral and topical) drugs and my still not sure which one of the auto immunes ?fibromyalgia? plus those I have already added to my collection of rheumatoid issues, and the unpleasantness of the topical chemo on my face. I can put up with a countenance which will terrify children as I know it is temporary and I keep saying to self that is a free cosmetic treatment. My skin after this will be so young looking due to the dermal peel effect from the chemo creme. My line manager could not understand my attitude when I described it as positive side effect while showing her the patient information leaflet and its oh so graphic photos. Just because I will look like an ugly muttly does not mean I can not come into work. Some of the students are scared of me already due to my lack of tolerance for fools so this will just make me even more of the office fire breathing dragon.

So beside the mug only a mother could love, the other downside is that the chemo has a greater impact on me (knocks me about up and down the stairs) due to the rheumatoid issues. Due to trouncing that this manifestation of maladies is having on me I have reduced my working hours to a half time load. Even though I have more time to knit or create I am not getting this opportunity since I am frequently finding myself having a very quiet interlude where I drift off for forty winks or more. My propensity to nod off on a extended granny nap has caused a total knitting hiatus. 

So a final word of caution that everyone can do from my experience please check your skin if you notice any changes in shape, colour, texture, an itch or bleeding get your butt down to the GP's and get it checked out that means everyone even if you have a darker skin pigment. If I had left it a couple of months I would have radically different prognosis. Thanks for all the supporters and well wishers you have been wonderful in more ways than you can know and we will keep ticking along.