Time for a Miracle

Those words of wisdom by Regina Brent when she turned 90, currently on the Internet are  comforting as I mull over the worsening situation with husband Olivier’s cancer.

He is in hospital once again, this time with abdominal pain and we wait with trepidation for the results of more blood tests and xrays taken today to find a cause.

Her Number 1 adage, for instance, is that “life is not fair, but it’s still good’’.  Yes, it’s horrible that cancer should strike him down and with such aggression – but we have shared such a fabulous eight years together and I try hard to warm my fearful heart with his funny anecotes and touching moments.

There are many, and two stand out right now. On Saturday night at the 50th birthday of his son, Xavier, even though he was ill, we shuffled in the one spot on the dance floor at the Sheoak Deli to loud rock music. And he smiled and touched my cheek as if we were the only ones in a solitary world and we seemed like shameless teenage lovers. I reminded him of our wedding day when we managed to dance together for, oh, about 10 minutes and neither of us stepped on the other.  It was a miracle given my history of clumsiness and lack of dancing lessons. Of course, I was high on bliss and floating on a pink cloud of plenty of champagne. I never wanted that moment to end.

“You’re not treading on my toes tonight, darling,’’ he said on Saturday.

“That’s because we aren’t really moving our feet, just swaying our bodies in rhythm,’’ I replied.

It was so nice and I smiled and licked away the silent stream of tears trickling down into my mouth.

Regina also wrote “Everything can change in the blink of an eye’’.  Such straightforward words which we all know to be reality, but don’t truly understand  until life delivers a body blow. This happened 13 months ago when Olivier’s niggling back pain was diagnosed as extensive secondary cancer, the primary being advanced prostate cancer. The scourge of older manhood. Unlike most men, whose PC is so slow they die with the disease, rather than from it, Olivier’s cancer is an aggressive No. 8 on the Gleeson scale. It is deadly.

We have lived with the Big C ever since and now that lovely, illusionary notion of Happy Ever After which we assumed would be ours for a few decades on our wedding day four years ago has shrivelled.

Which brings me to Regina’s most powerful words right now “Believe in miracles’’. I would so love to be able to believe in a miracle, but his oncologist is a realist.

I must admit, much of the bravado which fired me to write that web article nine months ago “The Art of Living Fearlessly’’  has evaporated and now I simply pray for a miracle of healing, or at least more time to enjoy life together.  Time is suddenly so precious.

Whatever fate delivers us, Regina’s final poignant wisdom from her list of 45 is “However good or bad a situation, it will change.’’ C’est la vie.

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7 Comments to “Time for a Miracle”

  1. By Jane Randall, 14/03/2012 @ 6:46 am

    The way in which you are able to find the silver lining through special, shared moments during this vulnerable and frightening time is amazing. It is a testament to both you and Olivier and to life. It must be difficult for you to keep blogging as you become more and more immersed in Olivier’s care and the new reality that cancer has brought into your life. Your articles have a truth and honesty that I find very moving.

  2. By Dominique, 16/03/2012 @ 5:57 am

    I totally agree with Regina, words are essence of what is inside us and it’s not easy task to put them the right way to express our true feelings. Even in these difficult times, you manage to share these moments with us and I can’t wait seeing you both very soon.

    • By nadine williams, 16/03/2012 @ 10:51 pm

      Hi Dominique,WE will see you on Sunday night – and Oli is really looking forward to it. (me, too, of course, but especially him.)

  3. By Marie Jonsson-Harrison, 18/03/2012 @ 3:06 pm

    We so hope for a miracle too and If miracles are granted on the bases of hard work, determination, optimism, joie de vivre and being two thoroughly lovely people and friends then the miracle will surely come. I think you are showing us all how to live in a crisis and make the best out of every day, no matter what the situation brings. I so admire both yours and Olivier’s strength and passion for life and to find happiness around every corner, no matter how dark it seemed at first. You are teaching us all life lessons and we are grateful. I want to share with you my favorite quote of hope; “Everything will be alright in the end, so if it’s not alright, it is not yet the end.” Love Marie xxx

    • By nadine, 18/03/2012 @ 11:22 pm

      Hi Marie, At last your wonderful words are on my blog xxx Nadine

  4. By Felicity Rai, 21/03/2012 @ 1:45 am

    Dear Nadine,

    I was at the opening of the French Film Festival tonight and looked for you and Olivier in the hope that he might be in remission. It’s one year now since we caught up last and I just want to add a few words of support for you in these trying times.

    Thinking of you both, Felicity

    • By nadine, 21/03/2012 @ 5:57 pm

      Felicity, We were there, but we left during the film. The subject matter (brain tumour found in baby) and the parents’ emotional reaction obviously was far too close to our own shocking experience pf diagnosis and our journey since over the past 12 months. Thanks for these words of support. Nadine

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