Thursday, 17 May 2012

This week.....

....has been quite an eventful one for me.  I spend a lot of time on my own for weeks, even months, and then all of a sudden things happen.

Mr A returned home on Monday.  I know...you probably can't keep up with his movements..just imagine what it's like for me!   When he went over to Kusadasi to work in March, I did try to tell him that not only would he miss his home (and me of course) but he would have to pay for a hotel to stay in, his food, laundry etc, and this would cut a big chunk from his salary.  He doesn't listen to me, but after a while he realises that I am right.

He finally considered all of these things, and having received a call from the Bodrum hamam boss where he worked last year, decided to take some time off from the Kusadasi job and explore the possibility of working at the hamam.  He started there on Tuesday.  The Kusadasi job was originally only temporary, but they had asked him to stay on.  He wanted to keep his options open in case the hamam job didn't live up to his expectations.  This evening he tells me that he will stay with the hamam and has informed the Kusadasi people that he won't be returning.

I am of course delighted that he's back home.  I hadn't realised quite how much I had missed being able to  chat in the evenings, and to sit with him on the balcony in the mornings drinking coffee, before he set off to work.  It's also so helpful that he can now get my shopping for me on his way home from work, to save me struggling on the bus and up the hill with heavy bags.

Mr A's woodwork phase seems to have ceased for the time being and the latest obsession is to make the garden pretty with lots of flowers.  The past two days has seen him arrive home with plants and pots and as I write he is outside digging up soil and planting.  The garden has been somewhat neglected while he's been away and there's a lot of weeding to do, but he enjoys it and will have a couple of hours of daylight to do this when he gets home every evening.

I've had visitors this week.  Yesterday Gwen and Suleyman called in for a couple of hours, on the way back to their hotel in Bitez from their house in Aydin.  They were accompanied by Gwen's parents who are over from England for a month.

And today I had a visit from a blogging friend, BacktoBodrum, who I recently met for the first time.  A very enjoyable afternoon.

Next week looks set to be busy too.  The other Gwen, from Selçuk will come over at the beginning of the week for a couple of days.  I also plan to visit Gwen in Suleyman in Bitez, and Karen from the Turkish Animal Group will hopefully be collecting me from Milas towards the end of the week, to take me to the dog shelter for the day.

All this activity has helped to lift my depressive mood.  However, an hour or so ago I opened my emails to find one from the sister of a dear friend in England (I'll call her P).   P was the first real friend I made when I moved to Turkey almost 14 years ago.   About 5 years later she returned to England to live but we have kept in touch.  The year before last she came back to Turkey for the first time since she had left.  It was for a short holiday in the August.  I met up with her in Bodrum and we had lunch and such an enjoyable time together.

In the October, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She had to wait until January for a biopsy, by which time they could not operate because the cancer had spread to her liver.  She has spent the past 15 months undergoing chemo and radio therapies, and has suffered immensely.  Two months ago she was told that there was nothing more that could be done for her.

This morning she finally lost her battle.   I know she had reached a point where she had had enough, and the only consolation is that she is now at peace.

Rest in peace P.  I will miss you so much my dear friend. 

25 comments:

  1. I am so sorry that you have lost your friend.
    Thank goodness that you were better placed to cope with the blow than you would have been a week ago.

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    1. So true Fly. I'm glad Mr A was here.

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  2. What a mixture of joy and sorrow in this post, Ayak. So sorry to hear about your friend. That's very hard for all who love her. At the same time I'm very pleased for you that Mr A is home with you again. Just think - he'll be there to take the strain when FIL decides to come with Grandfather. :-)

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    1. Thanks Perpetua. I think the impending visit will be easier to manage with Mr A around.

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  3. What a terribly sad end to this story Ayak. I am so sorry your friend P lost her battle with cancer...life can be so cruel. I am however, delighted that you have had so many lovely visitors and that Mr A will be at home now, and providing you with good company and possibly the content for lots of future blogs. I look forward to seeing photos of the garden.

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    1. Thankyou Janice. I'l take some photos when the garden is in better shape.

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  4. Has Mr A started on those pots already? Sorry to hear the bad news. Keep your chin up.

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    1. Not only started BtoB, but actually filled all the pots, including those piled up on the picnic table. He says he's off to get some more tomorrow. He does tend to get a bit obsessed with things.

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  5. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. I'm shocked that she had to wait so long for a biopsy. Why wasn't there more sense of urgency from her medical providers?

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    1. Hi giftsofthejourney. It's a question that has been asked many times and one that has never received a satisfactory answer. I think as far as the NHS is concerned, the amount of waiting time largely depends on which area you live in. Shocking isn't it?

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    2. I've never heard of anyone waiting as long as that for a biopsy, Ayak. I've had breast cancer twice and the biopsy was done as part of the initial clinical examination and in each case resulted in a diagnosis within a very few days. In the UK there is what is know as the two-week rule which says that anyone coming to their GP with symptoms that indicate the possibility of cancer should be referred to a specialist within 2 weeks. Your friend was extremely unfortunate in having to wait so long for a diagnosis.

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    3. Hello Ayak, I have been reading your blog for ages but rarely commented. With this post I wanted to tell you that I follow your "adventures" with eager expectations. But this last post has left me in disgust. 3 MONTHS between a diagnosis and a biopsy????? Where is this happening? Timbuktu? I am furious and very much surprised that nobody of your readers seems to find this a disgrace.

      Just saw the post of giftsofthejourney and your reply. It is indeed shocking and as much as I love the old Britain of the 80's I am glad I don't live there. And not only because of the NHS.

      Keep yourself occupied through dark times, it will get you out of the tunnel again, for sure.

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    4. I think the diagnosis was made quite quickly. I'm probably mistaken in saying that it was this amount of time waiting for the biopsy. It was definitely from the October to the January though that my friend waited to be admitted to hospital for her operation. Far too long. She had a scan the day before this op was due, which showed that the cancer had spread to the liver, thus preventing the op from going ahead, while the various therapies were started to try to reduce the tumour on the liver. So from then on, she went through days, weeks, months of feeling terribly ill, while the cancer continued to spread.

      It's a nasty disease isn't it? There are no guarantees of recovery. I was angry at the time that she had to wait so long...I'm still angry about it.

      For those of you who have had cancer, or are close to someone who has. If you have managed to get prompt and efficient treatment and have recovered, I am so delighted for you. I just wonder though how many people have been put in the same situation as my friend. Perhaps more than we realise. I'm grateful to now live in a country where you can get immediate treatment for the smallest of ailments, without waiting, without appointments. It's very reassuring.

      Thankyou all for your comments and concerns. You are no more disgusted or shocked than I am xxx

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    5. That makes more sense, Ayak. The golden rule is that treatment should start within 4 weeks of diagnosis. The first time I waited nearly 3 weeks but only because Christmas and New Year got in the way. With my recurrence it was exactly 4 weeks as I too had to have scans and other tests to see if it had spread before I had the op. I'm sad that your friend didn't get such prompt treatment.

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    6. Yes Perpetua. I used the word biopsy instead of operation (possible mastectomy) when obviously the biopsy would have produced the diagnosis. I wasn't really thinking straight yesterday.

      However if the golden rule is 4 weeks for treatment...the 3 month period of waiting by my friend hardly meets that. And yes it is sad, but more than that...it gets you saying all the "what ifs" and "maybes" and thats also distressing.
      xxx

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    7. And that way lies madness, Ayak. :-( Sadly, my experience and knowledge tell me that if the spread to her liver was detectable in January it must have been happening for some considerable time (months, not weeks) before. It takes a surprising long time for a single cancerous cell to multiply enough to form a detectable tumour. That still doesn't excuse the delay in treatment, but it's very likely that the outcome would have been the same. With breast cancer, once spread has started, however slight, the genie can't be put back into the bottle permanently. :-(

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    8. Sadly you are most likely right Perpetua. It's a wicked disease. I'm so pleased that you recovered twice from it. It must make you appreciate life so much more xxxx

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  6. Thank you, Ayak for taken time to respond. I was so shocked I forgot that now might not be the best time to pose such a question. Please forgive my focus on the why of her death instead of the loss of your friend. ~ Elizabeth

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    1. No problem at all Elizabeth...thankyou xx

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  7. I am truly sorry to learn about your friend. Even when someone is as ill as she, we are never quite ready for their passing. I'm glad that Mr A is with you. May P's soul rest in peace and rise in glory on that Day when every tear will be wiped away.

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  8. Sorry to hear about your friend ayak xx

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  9. I'm very sorry to hear about your friend. This wretched disease certainly takes its toll.

    Good that Mr A is back and that you've had a good time with friends.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

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    1. So true Maggie, and you know more than most.

      Yes I'm glad to have had some distractions this week xxx

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