Candes Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in La Touraine.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Changes ... I could have done without

I don't know whether there is still someone out there reading my blog? After all, I haven't been a very loyal contributor lately.

A lot has happened since my last post. On a national level, Belgium is slowly recovering from the March 22nd attacks. Life is more or less back to normal with all undergound/metro stations open and operational again (even Maalbeek, where a bomb killed and injured a great many people). Brussels airport is running at 80% of its normal capacity - 70,000 people on Ascension Day! Part of the departure hall is still under reconstruction though.

A photo from happier times. Almost a year ago I was about to set out on my Corfu adventure.
These are the three palm trees that grow near the entrance gate of the hotel.

On a personal level, disturbing events have been popping up as regular as clockwork. First of all there are the sleepless nights due to my noisy neighbours. Asking them kindly to keep the noise down after 10 p.m. only have a 24 hour effect ...

Next, beginning of April, I learnt that my cleaning lady, who has been coming in every fortnight for the last 15 years, has a serious heart condition and is not allowed to work anymore. Finding a new cleaning aid, whom one can trust, is not easy. So I have taken it upon me to keep the apartment spic&span ... for the time being. I'm considering the purchase of a cleaning robot. If you have any experience with this clever device, please let me know whether it is worth the investment.

Next, the situation at the office is very tense, with rumours of letting off over 1,000 people over the next 12 or 18 months. With my early retirement file still going through the required procedure, I hope they won't change their mind and put me on the redundancy list after all. 

Next, my mother's cousin - the last relative living nearby - is selling her house and will be moving before the end of summer ... another familiar face and figure from the past moving away.

Finally, I learnt today that my mother has skin cancer. Nothing life threatening in the immediate future, but I'm not sure that her frail health and advanced age (she'll be 88 in August) are up to the treatment (surgery and after-treatment, including ???). Her physician, whom I've never trusted, insists. I told him not to spring the news on my mother himself. I want to tell her and discuss the options with her, taking into account the risks and the consequences ... especially on her moral and general well-being. I want it to be her decision, not his, nor mine.

To end on a happy note: I've planned a short trip to the Belgian coast in a few weeks time. I hope that by then things will look brighter and that some, if not, all of these issues will be partly solved or have taken a turn for the better.


Carolyn said...

Hi Martine. So sorry to hear about these bumps in the road. Can you get your mother to see another doctor? A second or third opinion often clarifies what the next step should be. I'm glad you have your beach getaway to look forward to.

Susan said...

I agree with Carolyn. Get your mum to a dermatologist who specialises in skin cancer if you can. Does she just have a single spot which needs to be removed or is it more than that? I don't want to frighten you but it is a cancer which metastizes easily, so I think treatment is going to be recommended whoever you see, but you certainly need to see someone you feel can be trusted. If it is really early (pre-cancerous) they will just freeze off the spot. If just a single mole, that can usually be cut out easily enough. More than that will involve more treatment over a longer period.

Jean said...

Sorry to hear that you are having a tough time, Martine. Noisy neighbours are a real pain and the noise, or worrying about it, can sap your strength.
It sounds like you need all your strength just now to deal with your mum's problems. It may not be as disastrous as it seems at first. You need to get to talk to someone who can give you sensible advice, not just a frightening diagnosis and a baffling range of equally frightening treatments.
I hope your trip to the coast helps to recharge your batteries. Having elderly parents to worry about is hard work, however much you love them.

My Life in the Charente said...

Oh dear noisy neighbours sounds familiar. Our last house in the UK before we moved to France kept us awake day and night, I know the feeling all too well!
I hope that you get your Mum's problems sorted out easily, I have had one skin cancer cut out with little problem so hope that you find it as simple as I did.
Enjoy your trip to the coast. Keep well and enjoy life Diane

chm said...

Hi Martine,
When it rains, it pours!
I'm sorry to hear all what happened to you since your last post.
As far as your mother is concerned, I hope she'll find a good and efficient doctor. When I was her age, I had a spot on my face removed with the Mohs procedure when I was in California. It is absolutely painless and can be done as an outpatient in the physician's office. No big deal. I had other spots on my hand and my ear that were later treated with radiation when I was 90 years old. I had to go to the hospital for five weeks, five days a week. That wasn't too bad, if only a little more stressing. Everything's OK now.

Keep my fingers crossed.

The Beaver said...

Bonjour Martine,

Sorry to read about the challenges and worries you are experiencing currently. As has been suggested by earlier posters, seek another opinion or two as far as the treatment is concerned. You may have a hard time to convince your Mum to consult another doctor but hopefully she will agree.

Enjoy your trip to the coast and hope for some good news wrt your mum's treatment and your early retirement application.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Bon courage, Martine. Do try to get another doctor or two involved. I've been doing what I can to help my mother with similar issues. Take care of yourself too. Bises...

VirginiaC said...

Hello Martine, so nice to see you again, but sorry to hear that things are not the best for you.
Like the others here suggested, I think a second opinion on your Mum's condition is in order....hope you find someone you feel comfortable with and is trustworthy.
Noisy neighbours, I know all about them...hope your building manager can get involved to solve the problem.
Try to enjoy your mini holiday on the need it.
Take care.

Travel said...

I stop by from time to time, it is good to hear from you. Sorry to hear things have been complicated, find some time to relax, get away for a few days. I hope the retirement comes through soon.

ladybird said...

Thank you all for your kind comments and advice. Some of the problems I mentioned are more or less under control and we can get on with our daily lives (for the time being). Still haven't found a suiting cleaning lady yet. The robot is sounding and looking more and more like the ideal solution. To be continued, I'am sure after my short beach break ...