Four weeks later, I had the bandage removed from my hand and quickly regained use of my thumb. The doctor later said that if the cut had been any deeper, I may have suffered damage to the nerve endings and battled a little to get use of my thumb back. For a change I got lucky. There was no time to dwell on it however, as we were preparing to move house yet again. This would be for the third time in just 5 years. Being expats, life is very transient especially in the Middle East where people come and go all the time. As a family we were pretty much the same, just with accommodation. Every place that we had stayed in had something wrong with it that proved intolerable in the end, resulting in mounds of cardboard boxes, bubble wrap and mile upon mile of duct tape. In this place, it was the utilities bills that we would have to pay every month that was in the thousands. Nobody had stayed in this particular villa for longer than 2 years at a stretch, but we couldn’t know that when we chose to move into it. I had spent the last two moves in agonizing pain with a pinched nerve in my back and I would be damned if I was going to make the same stupid mistake this time around. With that, we got a moving company to help us
The move went off smoothly with no injuries and once we’d settled into our new abode, life continued as usual.
I had been sticking to my exercise and diet plan and had by that time lost about 8kg’s and was feeling much more comfortable and stronger. The winter months had just rolled around and we all enjoyed barbeques outside during the day, and gazing up at the stars at night. As the months passed and my health remained stable, I slowly but surely started settling down into a routine and could finally breathe and relax. I didn’t feel as though I had a sword constantly hanging above my head anymore. With that however, an inner restlessness began to develop within me. I would sit outside in the evenings and wonder what it would be like to have no family or obligations and to just be able to drop everything, pack my bags and jump on a airplane and go anywhere in the world that my heart desired. It was probably a combination of the fact that we hadn’t been on holiday back in our home country for close on two years by that time, because of my health issues and added to that was the sense that I was acutely aware of how short life could be, and now suddenly I had this yearning to travel and see the world. To meet different people and immerse myself in their cultures. I suddenly felt as though I was missing out and that life had started to pass me by while I was lying in a hospital bed, and that it was still continuing to do so. I would look up at the heavens and hoping that somehow my mum was up there somewhere listening to me, I prayed for her to please bring me something…anything that would calm and satisfy what had now become my restless spirit.
Months later in June 2012 on one quiet evening I was going through my emails and like most people, I receive my fair share of junk mail which I delete without a second thought. As I was scrolling down, my finger was hovering above the delete button. I was about to hit it again, when one line caught my eye. It said, ‘Seeking breast cancer survivors to venture into Antarctica to raise awareness.’
My finger moved away from the button as my hand settled down into my lap. Opening the email and reading it, my eyes widened and my heart rate quickly increased. I immediately realized that this was an opportunity of a lifetime and that my prayers had been answered.