I should have come to the end of my chemotherapy session and be now back in Valence awaiting the side-effects and hoping they’re as mild as possible.

Already though I’m trembling – my fear default – at all the other changes to come and feel sick at what’s to be faced.

For my place of safety cannot keep me here forever and I have almost run out of time.

Pierce wants me in London as close to him as possible. Covid quarantine, lockdowns and Brexit have made the difficult almost the impossible.

His biggest fear, and mine, is being cut off from him at the time of my greatest need.

To prevent that there is only one option. With the help of my specialists here and Montauban who have collated my scans and my treatment, translated most, he has guaranteed my continuation at the Royal Marsden, Chelsea.

But to enter back into the NHS and be accepted by a doctor I have to be physically in the country before anything can be set in motion.

That means nursing care, prescriptions, daily injections are all on hold unless I go private which is beyond my slender means. As it is, a tiny rented apartment in the catchment area will take me to the limit, with the bills at Las Molieres still on their monthly march until it can be sold.

God knows what the furniture store costs will be.

But what frightens me most is merely getting from here to there. My walking is limited and variable – at times I still start to topple over; I am in a constant state of exhaustion due to weak red blood cells and my leg muscles mimic those of a sparrow without take-off capabilities.

I cannot travel alone and the quickest return – flying – at this time of coronavirus and my COPD on top of everything else strikes even greater fear into my heart.

That leaves a 10-hour drive with an overnight stop, an injection against blood clots given by myself. I will be armed with a supply of pills and morphine from the hospital but obviously no professional help.

My heart is already beating faster just writing those words. My fragile back is already wincing in pain, however feather padded it will be.

Yet both hospitals believe it is best for me to go. To go to family help, ie, Pierce and to go when I am relatively well. It’s all relative.

Were I to stay here I would have plenty of state help and Miriam who has said she’ll come every morning to help me up, throughout the day, and in the evening.

But I could not and would not put such a burden on her; I am not her responsibility. She doesn’t see it that way but that is Miriam’s way and however tempting I cannot in all conscience allow it.

So that is the position I find myself in – one I never contemplated but then who does? Do any of us ever imagine ourselves in such a position of weakness and fragility when allowing ourselves a glimpse into possible futures? Of course, we don’t for it is not something we want to face unless we have to… and even then…

It is just as well we don’t, for we would find ourselves frozen, unwilling to stride forth to new worlds, to take the risks that make our hearts pound with excitement rather than terror. Find ourselves rooted to the familiar, unable to break free and seek new paths, new adventures.

We’d forever be fearing a future that may not happen and that is no way to live.

So, we live, as we must, in the belief that all will be well if we can just avoid the big diseases and we’ll do that, won’t we?

And anyway, what will be, will be – we say blithely to ourselves not really believing that this applies to us either. Only good will be.

It’s actually rather marvellous that we’ve been wired to pay so little attention to our ending. It’s said we’re the only beings with an awareness of our mortality but it’s an awareness gleaned only through a smoky mirror, glimpsed sideways on.

Instead, with our wonderful other gift of laughter, we joke about death and keep it at bay from ourselves with dark comedy and steer off into avenues of the absurd.

Marvellous and mystifying. One can see it now in reactions to the pandemic – hysterical reactions of partying and the wilful ignorance of conspiracy theories.

Even now, many of us cannot face the truth that ultimately no-one is exempt from this plague – that we can only pray to escape it.

But there comes a moment when the truth has to be faced… but hopefully not for a long, long time.

I’m facing mine now: frozen in its glare; unable to move forward as I wallow in the what ifs.

Some may never happen. Others will and I’ll just have to deal with them as they do.

Oh, bugger it – London it will be… somehow. Might as well keep on living.

Onwards and upwards.