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Wonderful weather (only one rainy morning during the whole week), great company, lovely food, good books and lots of interesting conversations, including those about being diagnosed with cancer and death and dying (three of the four of us have had or currently have cancer). It was a very memorable and relaxing holiday.

One of my friends willingly took on the task of changing the dressing on my wound every other day which made the holiday possible for me. I got a text on the Sunday just as we arrived at the beach reminding me of the follow-up appointment scheduled for Monday with the surgeon who removed the cyst. I phoned on Monday and explained I was on holiday and then got another appointment which I also had to postpone. These were supposed to be the months I was free of medical appointments and procedures, and medical appointments are just going to have to fit around my plans over the next few months.

Walks along the beach each morning were food for the soul. Soaking up the constantly changing views of the estuary from the other side of the holiday house owned by my friends never failed to impress. I happily settled into a routine of reading the newspaper and doing the Sudoku puzzles over a cup of tea before breakfast, walking along the beach collecting more shells in the morning, and reading books and napping in the afternoon followed by preparing for dinner.

On the Tuesday we all went out to dinner at the Trading Post restaurant near Te Puke to celebrate my 10th month survival anniversary. I am now in double figures and it was wonderful to be able to celebrate this milestone with friends.

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