Wednesday 24th August
I must now make a small confession. Everything has not been so wonderful in Catherine’s world of late. I have been worried about my health and have at last decided to do something about it. I have always had a slightly irrational fear of cancer; I am not really sure why, because nobody in my family has, to my knowledge, ever been diagnosed with it. Even Grandma, when she had her illness a few months before Paris, before my fall from grace, never had cancer. I was quietly fearful that that was indeed the cause, but old Doctor Winterton assured me that there were no signs of it all. He put it down to nervous exhaustion, a frankly unscientific diagnosis, but he was sure she would recover. And, as you know, recover she did, though never with quite the same vigour, never the same sureness, as she had before.
And my mother, who during my childhood, seemed to suffer from so many ailments, is remarkably fit. I sometimes think she will go on forever, whereas I have been feeling really rather poorly of late. I don’t want to divulge the symptoms, but they did scare me somewhat. So I have been to my GP, and have had all number of tests, and am awaiting the results with more than a little trepidation. The rational part of me tells myself that I will just have to go through whatever fate has in store for me, and if I come out the other end, okay. If not; well I would rather not think about “if not”, thank-you very much. When one is young one hardly thinks about one’s mortality; old age, let alone a serious or debilitating illness are so far away on some distant horizon, that they hardly figure in one’s thoughts at all. But suddenly that horizon zooms in on you, and you are quite alone with your worst fears. I suppose that a lot of my agitation is to do with Edward, but he was a heavy smoker in his youth, whereas I have never smoked at all. Still, the fear is there, and I cannot quite shake it off. I will be getting the results through soon, and my doctor says I really have nothing to worry about at my age.
So, at what age should I have to worry about it?