It was back in 2008 I think that a routine blood test (I hadn't had one since my last child was born some 25 years previously) revaled my failing thyroid gland. At the time I asked what would happen if, instead of taking a daily tablet of synthetic thyroxine, I managed my diet better and ate things that might enhance thyroid function. The GP told me that gradually over a few years my body would decline and I would die.
It's not easy coming to terms with one's reliance for future life on medical science and the necessity to pop a pill a day. Whereas I'd breezed through life with no serious illness, bar having my tonsils removed at five and an odd week in an isolation ward (just in case I had something nasty) when I was 13, facing mortality was another matter. That diagnosis somehow diminished me. I was less of a human; I was certainly no longer immortal.
I believe we all live in a state of denial of our own mortality. To do otherwise would, I'm sure, lead to global insanity. No, we have to carry on from day to day secure in the knowledge that other people die suddenly, other people have life limiting and terminal illness but that we ourselves and those near and dear to us, are immortal.
Labouring under this misconception for about 50 years I found in my mid-life that it made a lot of sense to come to terms with my mortality to a certain extent. It didn't seem sensible to deny the inevitable. As 60 approached I became even more aware that life was limited and I was beginning that mid-life wind down. I started to think about tidying things, organising for the rest of my life properly and accepting what was really important and what was not; coming to terms with things I could no longer do, or no longer do as well as I once did.
That second diagnosis back in November - which came with some scary statistics - brought me up short. Short in meaning that I immediately made plans for end of my life. I sorted out insurance, a will, all the many web sites I hosted for people. I closed the business - I put my life on hold for chemo. Even my eventual demise and what rituals might follow formed part of my thinking. Before the diagnostic surgery I lodged with a friend a letter for the family - just in case I didn't make it through. I always like to plan for the worse case scenario. If you can tackle the worst case then the rest is easy. And that was how at that point I viewed my life, or rather my oncoming death.
It was this pragmatism which led to a failure of grounding - a tendency to move elsewhere, and certainly not forward, before my time. Both my Reiki practitioners detected it somewhere in the region of my knees. Both told me so. I was perfectly aware of it. My delusion of immortality had slipped and I was peeping through the door of inevitablity.
That might seem sensible and even a realistic approach, but it's not a good way to proceed. What quality of life can anyone have if they are constantly reviewing their own demise? In any case you lovely readers were carrying me along on a crest of optimism and faith in my survival. How could I let you all down?
So I've been working at it. I had new business cards printed and a couple of days ago designed myself a new web page. I've piched for some more work. We are buying the van. This morning I woke at some ridiculously early hour planning what would go where when we packed it for a week away in August. And it was at that point that I realised I've regained my immortality.
The point at which I cease to be has receded to the degree where I no longer contemplate it; it no longer has a place in my planning. I'm back with you folks, I'm going to live forever. The transition has been gradual but now I really believe, once again, I'm immortal.