Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wisdom and maturity

Everything is conspiring to remind me that I am getting older. It doesn't help that I have a birthday later this month. (I can just about remember the days when I couldn't wait for birthdays.) I had such a busy few months with visitors and visiting that I've had to devote November to catching up on wear and tear appointments: dentist, optometrist, chiropodist, hairdresser, hearing care etc. All reminders that things are not what they used to be.

Yesterday, I had to go to the hospital in Exeter for my six-monthly check up with the lovely Macmillan nurses who have cared for my arm since I developed breast cancer related lymphodoema (BCRL) in 1995. Alison and Jayne have become special friends through the years and these appointments are more about celebrating life and survival than reminders of physical decline.  In the early days, when the arm was very swollen, I would go for two-week stretches, staying in a hotel and attending the hospital daily for massage and bandaging to reduce the swelling. Things are much better now and the condition is managed with a compression sleeve - my "badge of survival." My check-up appointments tend to be routine and an excuse to chat and share my home made cakes or biscuits.

As Jayne was marking off the measuring points on my arms and inspecting the skin for any signs of potential problems, she noticed a small lump on the affected arm. I told her that it wasn't troublesome and that Alison had been keeping an eye on it. "It's probably just another sign of ageing," I said, gloomily. Perfectionist Jayne asked if I minded having it checked out and she returned a few minutes later with a bubbly, attractive young woman who, despite her youthful appearance, was a consultant dermatologist. She looked at the said blemish and laughed. "That's a seborrhoeic wart," she said. "A mark of wisdom and maturity."

From now on, I shall not flinch at the sight of a new grey hair, a thickening toe nail or a yellowing tooth.   No more miserable signs of ageing for me - just more marks of wisdom and maturity! Bring it on!


  1. Hello Maureen
    Yes I know - long time no see - we are all busy bees aren't we lol
    Don't get me started on birthdays - I'm still smarting from my last one - the one with an oh on the end. I have a very dear friend who just said to me, there's nothing you can do about it Cathy, just enjoy everyday and think about this time when you have an eight before the oh - it will seem a very pleasant time I can assure you. She is a bundle of mischief and energy and you wouldn't think she turned 83 in July.
    Luckily for me, unlike you I haven't had any really dramatic illnesses in my life so will remember your last paragraph and thnk 'with age comes wisdom and maturity' Bye the way I have a couple of thickening toe nails I can offer you - that's if you really want them lol
    Take care

  2. Hi Cathy
    Where does the time go?

    Having had that period of dramatic illness, I do appreciate how lucky I am to be here but I still feel that smart of the changing numbers on the birthday cards! Fickle or what? Your 83 year old friend sounds wonderful and gives great advice. I'll add that to the wisdom and maturity attitude and celebrate the birthday in style!

    You can keep your old toenails, I have enough now, thanks!

  3. "A sign of wisdom and maturity" I shall cling (somewhat desperately) to that idea.
    Gosh darn it... the Mirror has been far too truthful of late...the only 'kind' mirror of late is in the children's library... so if you see a mention in the news (odd bits section) of woman arrested for stealing mirror from library in Alaska to keep it at'll know who it was (and that I failed the wisdom and maturity test)

    1. We could all use a mirror like that, Val. But I bet your daughters are as lively as mine is, she showers me with compliments probably knowing I need them more than deserve them!

    2. My daughter is LIVELY but I actually meant to write LOVELY!

  4. Lively and lovely sound good and you're right mine are too :0)
    Isn't it nice to realize that how you look doesn't have to have anything to do with being loved (Thanks for reminding me):0)

  5. Replies
    1. Thank you, Nan. That is very kind of you. I have been very lucky.


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