"Today I go into hospital again to get another Cat Scan. This will reveal how successful this course of chemo therapy has been in countering the cancer nodes in my body. My natural hope is that they will have been either greatly reduced or removed; thereby providing me with an unknown period of respite before they next return.
This past month (the sixth and last treatment month in this six-month-course of chemo therapy), has been without doubt both best and worse month I have ever experienced. Upon three occasions since the age of twelve years I have faced the prospect of death on the horizon, and yet each time I have emerged the stronger in faith, spirit and belief for having had and endured the experience.
There have been occasions during the past month, when I couldn’t eat or drink for six successive days and yet I would ‘sick up’ daily more than I had consumed in the previous fortnight. There have been times when the discomfit and feeling of unwellness was harder to physically bear than when I lay in a hospital bed at the age of twelve for six months with a damaged spine, twenty two of my twenty four ribs broken, a lung puncture, two crushed legs, a broken arm and a collar bone.
‘How can this be’ I hear you ask with a certain amount of incredulity? True that as a boy, I encountered multiple injuries caused by a traffic accident and after nearly dying was faced with the medical prognosis that I would never walk again. Yet, such injuries to my body were so extensive that after the first two months, most of the pain had numbed and proved to be containable and physically endurable.
This past month however, has been harder to physically endure in discomfort and containable terms; not because of my age, but more due to my bones being diseased as opposed to broken and my blood having been poisoned and decreased in its white and red blood cell count. While laid up in hospital as a boy, at least I was able to stomach food and drink, whether through a straw or not.
And yet, I have endured it and know that I've emerged all the stronger for it. I have always held the belief that when the mind tells the body ‘I can’t stand it’, not only is it telling an untruth, but it is instructing the body ’not to stand it.’ How do we know that to be so. Consider for one moment. One can yell, kick, scream and shout ‘I can’t stand it’ at the top of one’s voice all day long, yet through all our protest what are we doing? We are in short, ‘standing it!’ We can stay anchored to the rational belief of not wanting it, liking it, finding it a pain in the butt, but we cannot deny our capacity for ‘standing it.’ We can stand anything until we are dead and then arguably, it’s our corpse that is standing it, not us!
Despite the trial of the past month, I have discovered so many more positives in my life than I could ever have previously believed existed within the field of physical adversity. I have made more new friends in the past six months than I have ever made during any previous year, along with discovering a greater love and appreciation of things that have always surrounded me in my everyday such as partner, family, neighbours, fellow church members, reading, writing, music and nature.
Having no immune system, I have been obliged to spend most of the past six months under virtual ‘house arrest’; being able to go for no more than five minute walks when I did step outside the house and only being able to entertain visitors in their twos and threes after receiving their assurances that they brought no bugs or carried any cold germs with them. Had I not been accompanied for the most part by my cell mate and love of my life Sheila, my condition would have been a hundred times harder to withstand.
During my five minute daily outings, I have rediscovered the true wonder of Nature simply by being able to literally taste the freshness of the breeze on my face and the warmth of the sun. To hear the sound of the birds and real people going about their daily business and to see the gradual movement of the seasons from spring, through summer and into a late autumn through my watering of the plants outside my house and watching the nearby trees and hedgerow has been the most wondrous of sight and sound.
I have taken this enforced opportunity to write a couple of new books and despite having had sixty one previous books published, I have found a freshness in my words allied to discovering a courage and fearlessness of expression that hitherto didn’t exist. I have never previously gone out to offend another and have on many occasions drawn back from what I would have dearly felt the urge to say.
The past six months has however reinforced in me a conviction of purpose that not to express love, hope, sincerity, appreciation and charity of thing and thought is a great loss to the totality of humanity. Also, wherever necessary, I have learned anew that to express apology for past wrong whenever the opportunity presents itself not only clenses the soul, but rejuvenates the spirit. I have discovered that it is no less than a wasteless folly to deny the true worth of life that is within the grasp of all who dare to live it to the full. Have a good day. I love you all.” William Forde: September 18th, 2014.