“HI KEVIN, HOW ARE YOU TODAY?’
We are all mostly decent people. When I take wee Nathan every morning to his nursery, Treetops Family Nurture Centre in Inverkeithing, we both tend to say “good morning” to people passing us. A high percentage will say good morning etc while others put the head down and totally blank you!.
Myself and Kirsty encourage Nathan to be polite, and say “Hello”, “Good morning”, “Good night”. When he is it his Hillfield Swift’s football training sessions we get him to do the same. After all, as the saying goes “good manners cost nothing”. We all want whats best for our children and we all have a feeling of pride when we see them being polite and helping others.
When I’m oot and aboot, and when I bump into someone I know, old friends, former workmates, neighbours, sales assistants in shops etc, after I’ve said hello, good morning, good afternoon etc, I am usually met with;
- “oh hello Kev (or sometimes Kevin), how are you today”
- “how are you?”
- “how are you keeping?”
- “how’s thing’s (or how’s tricks?)
- “what’s been happening Kev?”
It’s people being nice and polite. I really do appreciate that I am being asked these questions as it could often give me a wee ‘lift’
I tend to answer these type of questions with;
- “aye, I’m not bad, thanks for asking”
- I’m ok thanks”
- “ach I’m so so today; you know what its like, same shite different day”
- “same old same old”
- I’m actually feeling really good today and really upbeat ( rare these days)”
- “I’m fine, thanks for asking though”.
When I am being asked these type of questions I am usually dealing with chronic pain and a lot of people don’t know this as I tend to hide it really well. But I’m actually saying a little ‘white lie’ to people when I’m being asked these.
I often reply with;
“ I’m so so” or;
“ I have my good days and I have my bad. I’m feeling either good or bad today”
I really don’t mind being asked about my health, but I often tell a ‘little white lie’ when I’m answering this particular question though. Living with severe chronic pain 24/7, some day’s are better than others, then there’s the days that I have my ‘pain flare up’s’ or ‘take a turn’.
When I am having a ‘good day’, I look really good and look as if there is nothing wrong with me (only those that are close to me can see that I’m actually unwell). On these days I am usually about 6 out of 10 in the pain scale.
A couple of weeks ago, I bumped into a family friend here in Inverkeithing High Street. I had Nathan with me and this was a woman I have known for years. We had a good chat as we were talking about our family’s and what general daily life throws at us.
Then she asked me; “ so Kevin, how are you keeping these days?” I started off by answering with “I’m ok thanks”. Then suddenly I found myself saying to her; “I’m sorry, but who the fuck am I trying to kid Anne? (not her real name) That’s not true. I’m constantly in chronic pain due to my right hand side rib cage and a large part of my right shoulder-blade being taken out when I had surgery to remove the tumour from hell”.
I then said; “I’m sorry about that, but I find it’s easier to say I’m ok or feeling quite good as a lot of people don’t want to hear how I am actually feeling, for their own good reasons. Oh Anne, you know what it’s like? But I really appreciate people and you for going out their way to ask about me and my health and sorry for the rant.”
Anne then gave me hug and said, “it’s ok Kevin, I’ve known you for years and it’s just terrible that you go through that. But I like how you deal with it.”
That’s the first time in public that I have said this and it actually felt quite good to be able to come out and say how I really am feeling.
END OF AN ERA – MENTAL HEALTH
Last week, I had my very last home visit by my Community Practice Nurse (CPN), Wendy. Due to my depression and my general mental health and well-being, I started to see Wendy not long after I had my 30 radiotherapy treatments between mid January to mid February 2016.
Myself and Kirsty both got on well with Wendy and we both found her to be professional, approachable and a really nice person. I will miss my appointments with Wendy as I often felt at ease and I was able to get things of my chest about my health.
END OF AN ERA – SAMH THE SCOTTISH ASSOCIATION FOR MENTAL HEALTH – AND NEW BEGINNINGS
On Tuesday morning, I went to a meeting with Rachel the Peer Support Volunteer Co-ordinator for SAMH. I am now officially a volunteer with SAMH and we were going over the organisations key policies. Also what I need to know and do as representative of this charity.
This actually turned out to be the last time that I will meet with Rachel in her role with SAMH as this was her second last day working for the organisation. Rachel was telling me about her new job and the exciting new challenges that are in front of her.
I got on really well with Rachel as she has been very supportive of me and she is a really friendly person. We’ve had a good laugh at some of our meetings and as I found out when I was working, this helps that you can have a laugh with the person and people you work with. I will miss working with her and I wish her well her new position and I told her that at my meeting.
Appearing in the photo from left to right: Terri – Peer Support ALBA; Nina; Me with the silly smile and Rachel Peer Support – volunteers.
Rachel is also an extremely talented young artist. You can find Rachel’s work at:
Thank you to the people who have either recently ‘liked’ the One of Fifteen Facebook page or started to follow my @oneoffifteen15 Twitter account. Also to the people that are following oneoffifteen.com by signing up to have it sent to your email account.
Also I would like to thank everyone that continues to support me and the campaign. I really do appreciate this support. Thanks to you I have managed to get 3 people from different countries around the world that have to deal with the rare cancer Malignant Myopericytoma.
Finally,if you like your live music and going to gigs, then please keep an eye on this page as there will be an announcement about an event I am co-promoting on 6th April 2019. This will be a really good event and we are willing to raise much-needed funds to a cancer charity.
Thank you for reading this and have a good weekend.