In February 2015, David & I spent the day with the Spanish clan whilst on vacation in Spain. It’s really odd, as at this stage everything was ‘normal’ with no health scares or concerns to worry ourselves over. Fast track one year to March 2016 and my Dad has now undergone an intense course of Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy and countless visits to Alzira & Xativa hospitals.
There is one difference though – Alan is currently spending some essential time with his family in the UK, so on this occasion it’s just the four of us spending the day in the glorious Spanish sun.
We met up with them just after 11am and both of them looked extremely well. The stand out feature was my Dads hair, which has gone from having been fully shaved off having started to lose it during Chemo to now being fully restored and back with a vengeance. To be fair it’s in need of a good cut, but understandably he feels quite connected to having hair once again so even though it has actually had a slight trim recently, we can tell he’d prefer to have it longer and messy looking than not at all.
The picture below was taken 26 Feb 15 (again in Benidorm).
On the face of it, you can’t even tell he has been through anything given the picture of the four of us, taken just yesterday. He looks perhaps a little older. Then again he is, so this is a non-argument. He continues to potter about and do as many jobs as he can and does get out of breath much quicker but he is 72 this year so hardly unexpected.
Psychologically I think based on a brief conversation with my mum it’s taken its toll and has affected his own bionic feeling but he does still have a test in April looming in the background. It’s been confirmed now that the test will take place on April 5th with the results being available on the 11th.
It’s difficult not to play the ‘what if’ game again, but based on how well he has coped over the last 9 months, there is ‘every’ reason for him and all of us to remain optimistic and hopeful that he has a good few years left in him yet. This goes against the prognosis we were told and quite possibly against better judgement but why shouldn’t he defy the odds?
As I said before he is one of life’s good guys and we would all miss having him (and his jokes) around. I told him my elevator joke yesterday which I like as it tends to work on ‘so many levels’. He wasn’t impressed, lol. And rather than the one about the clown that got eaten but tasted funny, I told him about the time a clown opened a door for me in a restaurant which I though was a nice ‘Jester’.
Bad jokes aside we did have a great day together exploring the outdoor market, enjoying a picnic my Mum had prepared for us, as well as hopping from café to bar trying to dodge the intense 28c heat the sun was pumping out.
Last month also did him good as it was the first time he had been able to travel abroad since being diagnosed in June 2015 and he got to spend some much needed quality time with his nearest and dearest siblings. He stayed at his… ahem ‘older’ sisters house (sorry Aunty Margaret) and also got to spend an evening with both her and his other ‘younger’ sister (Aunty Glenda). Both of them were clearly relieved to get to spend this time with him and it has done the three of them the world of good. There was also a small shindig on the Sunday before they flew home and he got to see a number of other family members including his beloved nieces Belinda and Elaine and nephew Graham as well as Michael, Elaine’s youngest son (down from Sheffield especially) and Gracie, Graham’s daughter who was named after my Grandma.
Below is the picture of the Family shindig followed by one of just him and Aunty Margaret which sadly doesn’t feature Aunty Glenda as I assume she took it.
I think the most refreshing thing at the moment is how close my parents have become. They have been through many things in their lives together and this latest Cancer scare has clearly had a massive impact on them both. They are however, stronger than ever together and you can feel that no matter what has been thrown at them this past 9 months, they have bonded and united over it.
We will next see the clan when we take the short plane trip back to casa ‘Finca Lykitere’ during the week of his test. Whilst we won’t be around on the day of the results, I will make sure to provide an update as to where things then stand. Much Love xxx