LIFE plays sneaky little tricks on us sometimes or is unnecessarily cruel. Or perhaps that’s just the way it is.

Just when you think things are about to get better….bang.

Wheeled into the warmth to the smiling faces of the SSR nurses I felt my body relax – sigh that I was safe and looked after once more.

I was even in my old room where I’d spent most of last year and where I'd been given the devastating cancer diagnosis, but it was also the room where I was devotedly nursed and cared for.

Now, in dribs and drabs the staff came by to welcome me back, genuinely pleased to see me. On hearing about my lack of care, they patted my hand and said: 'You’re home now.’ And that’s truly how it felt.

Almost immediately I fell asleep and I remember little about the next day except the worried face of my doctor peering at me from the end of the bed.

I tried to thank her for taking me back but the words wouldn’t come out or my eyes stay open.

My next conscious memory was a knock on the door at 6am the next day. Bathed in light from the corridor was what looked like a huge naked bald man.

He was huge alright but fortunately only appeared naked because of the plastic protection from head to toe backlit by the night lights.

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Seeing my shock, he said quickly: It’s me M, the night nurse. I’ve been called in for you. You have Covid.’

AwM God, no. Give us a break here.

Irony of ironies. Desperate for human contact and conversation as much as care, here I was now in bloody isolation tended to by covered nurses limiting their time in my room where I too was masked.

Almost immediately the fear was back and growing but worse was the guilt. I apologised, through tears, to everyone of them for bringing Covid into the unit.

All told me not to be ridiculous – it was the virus was the problem, not me, and to stop thinking that way.

It’s still too early to say how severe it is but I’m hoping for the best and that the drugs and treatments I have are giving me some extra protection.

Pierrot and Miriam are weathering it well so far and if negative in the next test will soon be out of home isolation. At the beginning of all this we felt safe in our country retreats, able to avoid unnecessary contacts but the plain truth is, none of us is safe.

Did I give it to them or they to me? Did I pick it up in the hospitals I go to for treatment?

One could go round and round in circles, fretting, worrying, fearful.

One does while trying to push it away. Like a thwarted child, I want to fling myself on the ground and shout ‘it’s not fair.’ But with my luck I’d probably break my legs.

I no longer know what’s coming around the corner and haven’t for some time now but then do any of us?

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At least I’m not struggling to get myself to bed or make a sandwich. Trying to wash myself or staring out at desolate countryside wondering over and over how the hell I picked the place and then left it too long to leave it.

That too is a waste of time – what’s done is done; mapped out from birth perhaps with little choice in the end.

So, there’s no point saying it’s not fair. God knows there are many people whose lives have been lived in unrelenting misery or changed beyond recognition in one moment.

None of us get off Scot-free in this life – it’s just a matter of timing and degree, and how we deal with it.

And who we have by our side to come on the journey with us.

It’s taken a while, but now I know we can’t do it alone. We need all the love and help we can get…and give. We need the comfort of kindness and loving words to keep us upright both mentally and physically.

And, as I know, we don’t need to be attached to those holding our arms. I’m dependent on professionals, as are many, who are walking beside me as family, giving me a different kind of love but love all the same.

So, it may not feel fair but I’m lucky. Lucky I’m still here, and as always, lucky I have all you at my back. Thank you.