Musings on a Journey

Musings on a journey

Over the past few years the word ‘journey’ has taken on a new association.  Not infrequently our words change as new influences and fashions cause them to absorb a new personality.


A journey was presumably ‘une journée’ a thousand years ago, when the Normans came and modified our language.  It was probably the distance one could travel in a single day. Through the ages the word has been used in connection with travel and movement, until now we have a ‘cancer journey’.  A surprising use of the word perhaps, but easily understood in this context and readily translated to convey the passage from inexplicable symptoms to severe symptoms, to involvement of the medics leading to diagnosis, on to surgery, followed by prognosis and treatment plan, moving on to recovery, then chemo-radiation, then recovery, followed by chemotherapy, then further recovery, on to review and result.  We could draw a map showing the route and the place we’ve reached now.


What a journey in one year! More to deal with than most of us ever have. A journey which has bonded a huge band of fellow travelers along the way.


This is the stage we’ve reached.  We’re off the roller coaster, we’ve ditched the unsteady horse and cart, we’re back in the fast lane, chauffeur-driven, of course.  Ring the bells, hoot the horns, ready to go, ready to get on with life, hoorah!


It’s curious to reflect now, on the original use of Vicky’s home:  it’s where there used to be stabling for horses at a coaching inn, a place where travelers would stay on their long journey north from the capital, and the coach horses would be rested.  Probably a staging post for the mail carriers too.  How fitting is that?  Lots of parallels there.


Meanwhile my long journey home gives my thoughts space to wander, massively relieved to have reached this point, a bigger person for having been a co-traveler.


Ann Galbraith

Sunday 4th December 2011



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