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Today as been “a day off” – celebrating Angie’s birthday early and quietly together. We watched the movie Brooklyn this morning (with cat on lap) and went out for a delicious lunch at the wonderful Soif, in Hull. The sun shone and the air was crisp (actually it was closer to -20C, very crisp).

Our ‘at home’ gathering on Sunday was lovely. The extraordinary Jen and Charlie of Les Fougeres catered with delectables.

Severe weather forecasts prudently kept some people away and colds deterred others, but about 60 dear family, friends, colleagues and neighbours flowed through our home at some point during the afternoon. They brought love and hugs along with profound gifts of word or images for my vision board together with offers of practical assistance (the evolution of the vision board in appended photo). Other offerings have come in mail and email from those who weren’t able to be with us. Thank you. We are moved and overcome by peoples’ graciousness and generosity of heart. Angie will be following-up. We will find a way to channel all this goodness.

As at least one person has commented, by inviting people in we’ve (inadvertently) defused the awkwardness of how to be in touch and relate to us after such news. Much the same as ever, but with an added layer of awareness of caring for one another. I am thankful for Angie’s gift of gathering and organizing! She is my rock in this.

Thus begun, the week has evolved as a week of ‘turnaround’. On Saturday I finished clearing out my office. Shovelling might be a more apt description of the process. Very therapeutic. There was also a very moving gathering at the Institute for speeches and a few tears of farewell. It also included the most astonishing cake creation made by a staff member, a program officer when she’s not following her true talent. Photo appended (and note that Persey the cat makes an appearance). It seems that my partiality to a good cup of tea is generally known! (as to which, I’ve also fitted in an order to my favourite purveyor of teas, Murchies in Victoria).

Tuesday was about sorting things out at the University. I’ve relinquished my planned summer teaching. I’ve had the experience of being brought along a process of ‘letting go’. At first, I thought I would simply juggle things around and carry on. Then I realized that one piece of work would have to go and then another… I’ve come to terms with this and am actually relieved that I will be able to take a medical leave. A burden has been lifted. As a New Zealander (therefore ‘gadget gal’) I have consoled myself with purchase and set up of an iPhone 6s Plus. I also got the most extraordinary news in the last two weeks. The Special Issue on Gender and Judging which I co-edited for the International Journal of the Legal Profession is to come out as a book published by Routledge!

Medical appointments continue.

Monday included a dental appointment scheduled and forgotten long ago – but reappearing at just the right time as I was able to get dental information going into chemo.

A full heart function test/ECG on Wednesday morning (with more ‘glow in the dark’ substances injected) and a consult with radio-oncology coming on Friday.

I was also able to meet with my new GP in Wakefield this week. Again, an experience of relief – there is someone to quarterback this medical process with me moving forward. Through the week, I’ve talking with other women who’ve taken this journey – tips and laughter along the way.

One poem sent to me seems particularly apt to conclude this update:

How to Get There (Leunig)

Go to the end of the path until you get to the gate.

Go through the gate and head straight out towards the horizon.

Keep going towards the horizon.

Sit down and have a rest every now and again,

But keep on going, just keep on with it.

Keep on going as far as you can.

That’s how you get there.

With love,

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