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Feather's Miscellany: Cross Talk

...I had two options when I went on dialysis: I could regard being dialysed as some sort of life-sentence; or I could regard it as a life-saver. I chose the latter, and consider myself lucky to be still alive...

John Waddington-Feather brings an inspirational message.

When a doctor tells you youve got cancer, your heart sinks.

I retired from teaching in 1995 healthy and fit, but in 2001, while I was visiting my daughter in Australia, I fainted in the theatre in Adelaide. My daughter insisted I went to her hospital to be checked out for thrombosis, as Id flown in only two days before. When they X-rayed me they discovered first I had only one kidney and, worse, it was cancerous. A double whammy!

I flew back to England and had the kidney removed and since then have spent five hours a session, three days a week on dialysis.

I had two options when I went on dialysis: I could regard being dialysed as some sort of life-sentence; or I could regard it as a life-saver. I chose the latter, and consider myself lucky to be still alive.

Im looked after by beautiful nurses who are efficient and compassionate. My co-patients are cheerful and friendly. We have to be, for were all in the same boat. And I have a first-class consultant and registrar who monitor me all the time. At many thousands of pounds a year Im an expensive patient on the N.H.S. but Im very grateful for it. There cant be many health services in the world like ours.

When I became ill my faith was tested but, like Jobs, was not found wanting. It sustains me as much as the nurses, doctors and a very loving wife and family. I count my many blessings daily and thank God for them. Life is great and what you make it; and certainly my Christian faith, and all which that means, keeps me and many of my fellow patients going in the face of chronic ill-health and pain.

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