A cappuccino without chocolate is no cappuccino at all I say
I agree the dark haired young assistant says as he shakes the bean shaped powder over my frothy white drink.
I sit at the only empty table next to two doctors dressed in blue scrub suits, A&E I think, not theatre I hope - too much of an infection risk. As I settle into the hard brown chair and pull out my book they lower their voices and lean towards each other. I stare at the words on the page and try not to listen.
Mr H rings my mobile in reply to my text I am here
I am too busy to join you now he says apologetically, hesitatingly.
Its OK I tell him, I knew you would be swimming in post holiday work on your first day back. I am as calm as the Caribbean sea, sipping cappuccino and reading. My head is still on the ship I smile.
I lift my suntanned face from the pages and watch pale people being pushed in aqua green and white wheelchairs, people walking with crutches, others holding tightly gripped hands. A cleaner mops a patch of floor and leaves her mark, a yellow plastic pyramid warning Caution! I don't belong here any more my mind whispers to no one in particular...
I scan my appointment letter and I am back at the airport - Go to Gate 19 and wait the screen tells me. My flight into the MRI scanner is due to take off at 15.00hrs.
As I walk towards Gate 18 to catch a lift to 19 a butterfly knot of anxiety starts to tangle tightly below my ribs. I breathe in and out slowly as I wait for my scan. My annual confirmation that I still have an almost tumour free brain.
Hope is like the sun, which,
as we journey toward it,
casts the shadow of our burden behind us.