#Jaye’s Journal ~Week 46

Jaye's Journal x12

 

The day of my hospital check-up had arrived, and I felt oddly apprehensive. I had been worrying (just a little bit) that this might be the year that the mammogram would not be clear. Whether I thought four years clear might be pushing it a bit, I don’t know, or maybe it was because they had called me early?

For four years, I have been summoned the week before Christmas, so today’s appointment felt strange, even before I got there.

It was cold and wet as we travelled to Portsmouth, and I forced myself to think about everything else, determined to ignore the feeling of dread that had been following me around like a stray dog for days.

Turns out my summons was just for a check-up chat, and that the mammogram will be next month, like always.

The doctor gave the boobs the once over, checking the lymph nodes lumps and for lumps, and found nothing untoward, whatever that means these days.

All in all, this pointless visit (to me, anyway) made a four-hour hole in my working day, and I was already playing catch up.

But that’s life, isn’t it?

 

I read something the other day, something that made a lot of sense when I thought about it. These days, having a good think almost needs an appointment, but I digress.

Apparently, if you concentrate too much on all the small details, you will never get anywhere and end up going around in circles. A bit like I have been doing all week!

We must keep our eyes on the horizon… the one major goal that shines brighter than anything else, for if we allow our concentration to wander, even a little, we will end up getting nowhere, or worse, in the wrong place entirely.

I have a lot of plans in my head now, but my major goal isn’t at the top of the list. I had thought it would get there all by itself if I got all my ducks in a row!

 

My muse is clearly frustrated and wants to be writing. If I am honest, so do I.

I miss the daily discipline!

 

So, I don’t seem to be progressing much lately, most of the things I plan to do are proving both difficult and downright impossible. Maybe I am getting too old, at least I hope that’s all it is. Everything is either too complicated or takes too long, and my patience is wearing a bit thin.

My enthusiasm has given up and taken a walk, and I sincerely hope it won’t stay away for too long!

Tomorrow I will pull up my socks and get organised…

And that is a promise to myself that I intend to keep!

©jayemarie

 

#Jaye’s Journal ~ week 33

Jaye's Journal x12

 

“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen…”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

I have a pretty big bone to pick with Mr Emerson, for in my experience, he had it backwards. Just try to make a decision and see what happens.

The minute you do, unseen forces start to work to make bloody sure it won’t happen, and it seems to have all the resources in the world at its disposal.

This year, it has been one thing after another to slow down our working progress and my current WIP, PayBack has taken several ages to finish.

Most of it was to be expected to be fair, what with various age-related ailments and the eyesight falling to record levels. Then the extended period of surgery, first one eye and then the other. Throw in a cartload of family problems and the result isn’t pretty. If I could see where I was going, I might start running!

I have been blessed cursed with more than my share of patience, so I have weathered each obstacle and handled it to the best of my ability, but it has left its mark. I am so tired of never getting where I want to be. Of constantly fighting that small voice in my head that tells me to give up and forget about everything, to go and sit in the garden.

Well, that idea is very tempting and if it stopped raining for a while, I probably would. I have been known to sit out there, rain and all, but I can’t get my freshly hacked eye wet, so not this time.

Speaking of the latest eye surgery. After the first time. I thought I was prepared for the ordeal. It isn’t a pleasant procedure and left me giddy and feeling very sick last time, but it didn’t hurt at all and the improvement in that eye was almost immediate.

This time it hurt. It felt as though he was gouging my eye out with a spoon and several times, I nearly signalled him to stop as I feared it would get worse, but he managed to finish without me screaming the place down. Like last time, I was giddy and nauseous, but also very upset. He never apologised for hurting me, or asked if I was all right, just disappeared, leaving the nurses to take care of me. They were wonderful, and after a lovely cup of coffee and ginger biscuits, I felt better. The eye was aching, and this would continue for several days.

Two days on, and the ache is fading. I am a little disappointed with the result so far, compared to the first eye. The sepia effect has gone but the lens glare is worse this time. The first eye manages without glasses now, but the vision in the second eye is still blurred.

(They don’t tell you about the lens glare, and it was disturbing until I discovered what it was. My first thought was that the new lens was loose and/or trying to come out, but I was seeing the edge of the lens catching the light. This fades as the lens beds itself in its new home and the edge of the scar heals over…)

I am not allowed to do much for a while, bending, lifting, wash my hair etc… so I thought I could get cracking on the preparation for the book launch. A golden opportunity to sit at my computer all day, or so I thought. But the eyes get very tired, so not getting as much done as I thought.

Hopefully, all of this will pass and the sooner the better…

 

(Thank you for all your kind thoughts and for listening!)

 

 

 

#Throwback Thursday: Chasing Daylight byEugene O’Kelley

 

Approaching death, doing it in style

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Chasing Daylight is the honest, touching, and ultimately inspirational memoir of former KPMG CEO Eugene O’Kelley, completed in the three-and-a-half months between his diagnosis with brain cancer and his death in September 2005. Its haunting yet extraordinarily hopeful voice reminds us to embrace the fragile, fleeting moments of our lives-the brief time we have with our family, our friends, and even ourselves. This paperback edition features a new foreword by his wife, Corinne O’Kelley and a readers’ group guide and questions.

“Voicing universal truths . . . shared . . . simply and clearly.”-Janet Malin, New York Times

“Words to live by.”-Kerry Hannon, USA Today

“One of the most unexpected and touching books you’re likely to read this year.”-Edward Nawotka, Bloomberg News

“An honest, thought-provoking memoir . . . O’Kelly has many lessons to teach us on how to live.”-Steve Powers, Houston Chronicle

“[A] well-written and movingbook.”-TheEconomist.com

Our Review for Chasing daylight

I have been reading a beautifully written and thought provoking book this week, called, ‘Chasing Daylight’ by Eugene O’kelly. I did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did, for all sorts of reasons.

For a start, it is all about how he handled the fact that he had only months to live following the discovery of several brain tumours.  I thought it might be hard going, considering I almost died from a heart attack myself two years ago, and still feel I am on borrowed time sometimes.

I started to read, pleased to discover that he handled the news well, that he was determined to die with dignity… all very profound and somewhat comforting to me. He goes on to describe how  he said a pleasant ‘goodbye’ to all his hundreds of friends, and I found myself looking back at my own life. At what I had achieved, and what I hadn’t, and how many people’s lives I had touched.

Three quarters of the way through the book I began to feel sad – not for him, but for me.
You see, I know now for sure that my life has not been that exciting or profound. Too much heartbreak and disasters for a start.
I have been a loner for most of my life, which will probably be a good thing, as there won’t be masses of people saddened by my passing.

That’s if I decide to go (I am still undecided about that!)

Dylan Thomas once said that he would ‘rage against the dying of the light’ and I agree with him, as I still feel there is something I haven’t done or achieved yet, but there is still time!
Time to think about all the things I still want to do, or see, or achieve. ‘Never too late’ is fast becoming a mantra and I wonder what will happen next?

There is a lot to be said for dying suddenly. No time to worry about it or try to plan it, neither of which is very desirable. Mr O’kelly learned to meditate and unwind using water, something I have been doing all my life. Rivers, waterfalls, the sea, all have a deep profound effect on me. The only thing that does, actually.

So, ‘Chasing Daylight’ was sad but uplifting in a way. The fact that his illness was painless was a blessing and to be desired by all of us, and possibly what stops this book becoming a harrowing reading experience…

#Jaye’s Journal: January Week Two

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The New Year and the new month were slipping past me at an alarming rate, as I suffered the throes of one of the worst colds flu I can remember having and I was becoming more and more depressed.

I wasn’t doing anything, couldn’t think straight and I suddenly realised just how close to despair I was getting.

I was having small moments of pull yourself together girl and quite a few just have a look at the WIP… but nothing was working. Two weeks of solid inactivity, but it felt like an eternity.

Every now and then, I would have a day when I seemed better and the head would clear, only to be extinguished when the paracetamol wore off, leaving me a pathetic sniveling heap again. It wasn’t just the aching joints, headache and streaming nose, it had affected my eyesight too and I really didn’t need that to deteriorate too. The cataracts were doing a grand job of that!

I have been trying to keep on top of the emails and other small jobs, but anything else didn’t bear thinking about.

But that was the thing, I had been doing a lot of thinking. Not enough, obviously, to get me doing anything creative but at least the grey matter was trying to function. My WIP was beginning to haunt me. I knew it was a mess, with different piles of pages depending on what I was researching at the time and somehow never tidied up. Before I could move in any direction, I would have to sort through the entire 60.000 words and put them in working order.

And this morning, that was what I did. The germs have retreated enough to allow a little get up and go to creep back into my life, and I now have a working copy of my manuscript.

Yay!

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Muddy Waters, Revisited…

History does repeat itself, and to prove it, this is what happened early last year…

Getting an appointment with my doctor is becoming impossible these days, as he must be the most popular person in Petersfield, that’s all I can say. For several days I tried, finally giving up and making do with another doctor.

I wasn’t expecting much, to be honest, for me and doctors don’t normally get on. I swear they think I am a malingerer or something.

To be fair, she did check me over quite thoroughly I thought and did her best to assure me that there was nothing in my head that shouldn’t be there. The earache and four-week-old headache were dismissed, as it didn’t keep me awake at night so couldn’t possibly be that bad.  I don’t think she believed a word about my constant giddiness and nausea.  When I tried to describe the way my brain seems to ‘slide’ sometimes, I could tell she thought I was barking. A typical hypochondriac with possible dementia thrown in for good measure.

I left the surgery with a prescription for something to help with nausea, and when I got back home, I checked this drug out on the internet. Turned out to be a strong antipsychotic, not be given to the elderly or anyone with dubious brain activity. Taking it under these conditions, they said, “could result in death.”

Needless to say, that prescription found its way into the bin a bit sharpish. Whatever is wrong with my brain will just have to get on with it, or go away. I know which I would prefer!

In an endeavour to ease my symptoms, I decide to cut back my workload and time spent on the blessed computer. The optician had offered to darken my reading glasses to help with the glare, so I thought the future could be doable.

Once I took a good look at the situation, I realised I was on my own regarding my future.  Assuming of course, that I had one. It was up to me to find a system that would work, as the alternative didn’t bear thinking about. War had been declared between me and everything I wanted to do.

My eyes would grudgingly allow me a little time at the PC/laptop/kindle before throwing in the towel, so I had to come up with a decent routine.

The problem with my knees was more easily solved, a comfortable pair of kneepads and I was good to go. Something I was pleased about, for I tend to do a lot of work on the floor. (don’t ask!)

The constant tiredness, headaches, and arthritis would be harder to manage, but not impossible with the help of copious amounts of soluble paracetamol.

After a cold hard look at my workload, I realised I had far too many balls in the air, or irons in the fire, whichever you prefer. I had to get out the pruning shears and cut back some of the things that really weren’t getting us anywhere.

All that searching for the magic answer/angle had to stop too. My life had to be simplified if I wanted to come out of this mess in one happy piece!

A further post about how I chopped and pruned may well follow, once I get past the pain of deleting and unsubscribing all the dead or dying wood in my forest!

Fast forward 18 months and this all happened again this week.

I have often thought I was going around in circles, now I know I do…

All My Balls in the air…

 

This year is nearly over and has been one of the slowest ever.  The jobs are piling up, and my to-do list has never been this long before.

Under normal circumstances, this would not be a problem, but certain conditions are conspiring to slow me down. Whether it is due to a slowly growing cataract or not, my brain is beginning to tire easily, requiring me to break up the amount of time I spend at my PC.

I have been trying to arrange my working day to minimise the tiredness and still manage to be productive, but another aspect has decided to rear its ugly head. My memory always had its share of holes, but nowadays it has more holes than a colander. I can forget things faster than you can blink. So despite all my safeguards, it is beginning to look as though my days are numbered. But what does this really mean? Just how many computing days do I have left?

I am now 74, (although I swear certain parts of me are older), and have no intention of hanging up my mouse or my pencil, but it seems fate might have other ideas. All I am hoping for is the ability to take my foot off the gas pedal now and then. So I might not be posting as often, even though it really hurts me to say it. I have a feeling there might not be any new adventures in my marketing attempts either as I find it hard enough keeping what balls I have already in the air.

I started this post last week, and that was pretty much how I was feeling then…

Fast forward to today… Gallons of determination have arrived from somewhere, making everything look so much better than they did before.

All the routine stuff, e-mails, marketing, and social networking, is being done quickly and efficiently, well I think it is, and that’s what matters, isn’t it? My brain is happy, and if I could just get my muscles, bones, and eyesight to buck their ideas up, I’ll be good to go and laughing my socks off!

 

 

 

JAYE’S JOURNAL 18TH ~ 24TH June

 

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I haven’t been writing in my journal this week as I don’t have anything of interest to tell you about.

My life is wall-to-wall pain at the moment, and I am sick to my back teeth with the whole subject. I am not good with waiting, especially when it hurts, but have nearly finished the second course of antibiotics. Several bottles of my blood are winging their way to be tested, which might mean there could be good news coming my way soon.

I have learned one thing this week though. Writers should never get ill because our imaginations will try to kill us off in numerous ways. Fresh out of optimism, I have imagined countless ways in which I will stagger from this mortal coil and none of them are pleasant or even remotely romantic.

Deep down, somewhere the truth has receded to, are the memories of every test I have ever had, and the fact that almost all of them came back negative. Even when they weren’t, so this is probably my default setting!

I have always been a disgustingly healthy person, but also someone who has occasionally test driven emergency scenarios, probably for the benefit of the medical profession. It would seem that equally occasionally, I have to suffer for no damn reason too, with unexplained pain and symptoms. All of which eventually fade away, leaving no reason or explanation.

This time though, as I said before, I have a sneaky feeling they won’t be fading away any time soon. I mean, at my age I must have run out of lives by now.

The worst part about this week, all the above notwithstanding, is my lack of progress on just about everything. The memory of my WIP has receded into the distance, accompanied by the suspicion that I won’t be able to finish it. I am somehow managing to cope with the daily routine stuff, so maybe everything else is on a temporary hiatus?

I have tried very hard to encourage the grey matter to kick into action, but it’s not listening to me. Maybe the constant stream of paracetamol is affecting my muse, for she isn’t listening to me either…

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Jaye’s Journal: 11th ~ 16th June

 

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MONDAY: The new week begins and I’m not having a great time of it. The pain in my back continued over the weekend and shows no sign of abating yet.  I will try to carry on blogging as usual, despite being in agony, as I intend to keep up our presence on the web and work on my WIP, for it will give my mind something else to concentrate on. I’ll update you on this theory later in the week!

TUESDAY: The muscle spasms seem to have stopped and I am glad about that, but the pain continues.  Anita offered to massage my back with the Ibuprofen Gel and found some of the muscles in my lower back knotted into hard lumps. I am deformed!

My mood has sunk to a new low even for me, as I feel so helpless. The high spot of my day is staggering to the loo after climbing the stairs on my hands and knees!

WEDNESDAY:  I received a telephone call from my GP. The results of my recent urine test show a nasty kidney infection, so maybe the pain in my back isn’t from juggling couches after all! Antibiotics are winging their way to me, so relief should be arriving soon after with a little bit of luck.

THURSDAY: Another depressing day. Pain is no better and the frustration of being unable to do even the simplest thing is taking its toll. Everywhere I look, there are jobs that need doing, jobs I just cannot do at the moment and I want to scream, as in my depressed state I imagine I might be incapacitated for the rest of my natural life.

FRIDAY: I awoke the next morning with a strange revelation. The pain seemed to have receded a little during the night. It might have been my imagination, but it did feel different. I realised that it hadn’t hurt so much during the night either. One hour later, I knew something had changed. The crushing pain had indeed lessened and walking to the kitchen didn’t have my body begging to sit down.

Against Anita’s better judgement, I decide to have a shower, as I desperately needed one. We have a strong handrail over the bath, so all should be well. The pain passed an opinion on my activities later on, but even then, it wasn’t as bad as it has been.

I hope that I have turned a corner and will be back to normal in no time, although I do know I will have to be patient! All of which is a pain (no pun intended) as I have discovered that my muse has gone into hiding. Apparently, she doesn’t do pain!