In 2021, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, I had cytoreductive surgery and HIPEC at the Basingstoke and North Hampshire hospital. Because of the pandemic, visiting was strictly limited to one visitor for an hour a day for the duration of your stay (and it had to be the same person each time).
After a long drive to Basingstoke, my youngest daughter staying in Basingstoke hospital car park whilst my dear wife, Linda, could spend an hour with me as my designated visitor during lockdown. This was the only visit I had in three weeks. I feel so lucky for family love and care during a long recovery. Those vows “…in sickness and in health…” seem very prescient.
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Following a major operation in September to remove my left ovary, a cyst, my appendix and litres of mucinous jelly from my abdomen, in November I received the horrible news that I definitely had cancer. We didn’t know which cancer, whether it was mucinous ovarian cancer or pseudomyxoma peritonei (or PMP). I was told we could wait several months for a final diagnosis.
On the 4th May 1974, we married in the beautiful Christchurch Priory which was then Hampshire and is now Dorset, to have and to hold from this day forward. I didn’t realise how important the words in our vows “in sickness and in health” were at the time.