The last few months have been a journey. My relationship with cancer has been much like my relationships with a number of women, brief but intense!
For those of you who don’t know, the pathology results are in, and they got it all. There is no current evidence to suggest it will return.
I feel like I have my very own group of Guardian Angels, The Coffs Harbour Writers’ Group, Lorraine was there almost every day, Yvonne brought me flowers from the group, no one ever bought me flowers before, I feel as though you were all there willing me through it.
I had the operation Thursday the 1st December, had my first walk the next morning. Saturday I was moved from intensive care, to the surgical wards. My first shower is always-good therapy. When diagnosed and preparing for the operation I went into training, running cycling and swimming, got rid of a couple of kilos, and reduced my at rest heart rate from 48 to 45. The physiotherapists thought this was wonderful. I knew it would help my recovery.
I set myself the goal of attending our Christmas Lunch, I wasn’t sure I could do it, but goals should be about stretching yourself. When I arrived and Suzanne greeted me with “I cannot believe you are here”, I actually felt quite proud of what I had achieved. My apologies to Leonie for scaring her, when on the way home I asked her to drop me back at the hospital as one of the dressings had started to leak.
Suzanne has been bringing me food parcels; I have been thoroughly spoilt, and loved it of course. But here’s the thing, I now have about 0.5 percent of understanding of what it might be like for a woman to lose a breast to cancer. I’ve only been for a walk in the park.
When I was first diagnosed I said cancer and I would rumble, and we would see who got tired first. I thought it would be me, but cancer couldn’t take the heat, so I won.
So what is next? Well it’s back to normal, finish the kitchen, a holiday in Cambodia, and 11, 12 March 2017 marks my return to motor sport.
I cannot begin to explain, what your support has meant to me, many of you know some of my background and childhood from my book, ‘My Sisters and Other Witches’. At 66 it’s been a first to feel that others care about Roger Harris, and it feels good.
My first Love
I was only twelve when I first met her, it was my father who introduced us, I think he suspected she was out of my league, but at that moment I swore she would be mine, as soon as I was old enough.
I was in love.
Some may say she was a bit on the slightly built side, defiantly a performance model, and I wasn’t too young to appreciate that, even at that age I knew she had style, and it was a style I wanted.
I’ve been lucky in love, looking back it’s not often you set out with a dream and it becomes reality, most times you yearn for something in your life, it turns out to be an anticlimax, but not my love. No she was even better than the dream.
I had to wait a little longer than just simply being old enough, she was no easy mark, no she was going to make me work to get her. Still, there are some things in life it’s worth waiting for, and earning them makes it all the more rewarding, my dream never wavered.
I can remember coming home from our first date, it was so exciting, like your whole life had come together in just one short moment. I recall I was very reserved, not wanting to do anything that may cause offence, once I got to know her better I could be myself more.
I’ve never thought of myself as a romantic, but I pampered her, from the very first, we spent may happy years together, travelling Britain and abroad, we ultimately settled in Australia. We didn’t initially travel here together, I arrived first, even after the years together, I couldn’t wait for her arrival.
If I wasn’t a guy, I might have cried when she left, I suspected that I would never experience anything like that again, and wasn’t sure I wanted to, surely there was nothing that could compete with what I’d had.
As you know, things change, times change, people change, I changed, I became ready to do it all again, I missed that inner satisfaction I had once enjoyed. I was ready, my criteria was more stringent, well I had experience.
Well I found her, sadly she had suffered some abuse with her prior partner, she looked tired, but underneath there was beauty, I nurtured her for two years before she came into her own, she was spectacular, sexy, any man would be proud to be seen with her.
I could never explain why I was never able to feel the same emotional attachment to her, maybe I had come to realise that nothing lasts for ever, still we had a great time together, six years, they were good years. I was able accept her loss this time, and just reflect on the time we had together, how good she made me feel. After that life took a dive, I became resigned to being alone. I was happy enough, kept myself busy, never thought about how things had been, just accepted them the way they were.
But of course that only lasts so long, and the hankering returns, it hit me one day, why not? It was on a trip to the UK this time that I met her, she was much younger, that didn’t trouble me, she had a lot of style. There’s a lot paper work in moving countries, so as it had been when I first arrived in Australia, I was going through that seemingly endless wait for her to arrive.
It’s tuff waiting for something you have not had in your life for ten years, it may be shallow, but I couldn’t wait to show her off. She had lots of leather gear, now us men like leather, it signifies a certain style, and she has plenty of that, maybe not so racy, more classic I would say, but defiantly hot. Although younger, she somehow seems ageless.
We are still together, I’m still loving it, she brightens my day and that’s the way it should be, it has to be both ways of course, so once again I pamper her, we should all pamper things of such beauty. She’s a bit more explosive than I’m used to these days, maybe it’s age, but she needs to be treated with respect and consideration.
She let me down last week, so I’ve locked in the garage.
I Can Get You A Woman
“I can get you a woman” he exclaimed. One has to admire the entrepreneurship of the Cambodians. Yes I was a single male travelling alone, the single seven kilo backpack and camera bag might have been a give away. I was transacting for a single ticket on Mekong ferry from Phnom Penh to Siam Reap, the home of Angkor Wat.
I politely responded by suggesting we limit ourselves to the purchase of a ticket. I’d spent a week in Phnom Penh, loved it, loved the people, I wondered where the inherent sense of humour came from after their history, but it was there with a burning spirit. But it was also sad to be sat in one of the many alfresco café’s along the banks of the Mekong and realise that the beautiful young lady at the next table wasn’t with the grossly overweight, ageing slob tourist because she like him, or wanted to be with him, she was there because she was being paid to be.
It’s sad because this is one of the legacies of the Pol Pot regime that Cambodia has yet to rid itself of.