Come Fly With Me

One of the downsides of having cancer, is that it leaves you unable to fly, the reason being that your immune system is radically reduced both by the effects of cancer, and the effects of the chemotherapy. This has meant that since last July I have not been on a plane, some might suggest that this is clearly a first world problem, however as far as I am concerned it has been something of a professional barrier. The reason being that I have business interests in both Poland and Ireland.

On the positive. Since the CT scan revealed that my cancer had not spread, which given everything that happened is pretty amazing. I today have been told by my cancer surgeon that I am able to fly, which is amazing news. Incidentally the reason that I was told that I could not fly is simple, planes are basically big, thin germ buckets, and people with either low or indeed no immune systems are free to pick up any illness that happens to be around, free of charge (except of course for Ryan air, who would no doubt love to charge you for getting a cold, as they charge for everything else).

So, slowly but surely my life in remission is beginning to get back to some normality at last. Yes, the insomnia is still an issue as is the constant tingling in my fingers and toes (reminds me of a Wet Wet Wet song “I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes”) and indeed I most certainly do, it is constant and mildly annoying and unpleasant. If I had to describe it, it is not unlike the feeling that you get when you scrap your finger nails against a chalk board at school. Not that i ever did but had I done so it’s that sort of nerve ending sensation. It also makes doing up buttons a bit of a challenge but in fairness compared to what many go through it is a small inconvenience.

So, fortified by the green light by Doctor Peter, I am at that enjoyable stage where I can start looking and planning city breaks and work related visits to both Dublin for uTrack, and Warsaw and Krakow for Verita HR. The important thing is that having survived cancer against the odds, I am allowed and able to live again, and the one thing that I have learned is that life is too short and needs to be lived to the full. And in truth I am at high risk of the cancer returning over the next three years, this will require regular blood tests and CT scans and if I am lucky an operation to reverse the stoma bag. The ideal solution is to get back to normal and avoid cancer, but I am also a realist and if the cancer comes back at least it will be detected early and can be treated, which I will accept and deal with as I already have. As I say Never Give Up, Never Give In, there is a lot of living to be done and I intend to do it.

Written by Austin Birks

August 2, 2019

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