Mesothelioma -My Diary -Whitstable Festival has started and so has the crowded roads.

Its been a quiet and relaxing day today. I had a morning in the garden slowly tidying up and cutting back some of the growth that happened in the rain we have had.

It is always nice and quiet out there and in the sun it was very pleasant. It gave me time to think by myself and to get over Friday. I still do not feel morbid even though I know the seriousness  of  the situation but I believe my lovely Doctor that I have a bit of time before things get very bad and that the trial will be good (if I ever get in it). No news from the chest hospital but Im ready to just go when they say.

The London Chest Hospital

A chest x-ray or chest CT scan may be used to find the exact spot for the biopsy. If the biopsy is done using a CT scan, you may be lying down during the exam.

A needle biopsy of the lung may also be performed during bronchoscopy or mediastinoscopy.

You sit with your arms resting forward on a table. You should try to keep still and not cough during the biopsy. The doctor will ask you to hold your breath. The skin is scrubbed and a local pain-killing medicine (anesthetic) is injected.

The physician will make a small (about 1/8-inch) cut in the skin, and will insert the biopsy needle into the abnormal tissue, tumor, or lung tissue. A small piece of tissue is removed with the needle and sent to a laboratory for examination.

When the biopsy is done, pressure is placed over the site. Once bleeding has stopped, a bandage is applied.

A chest x-ray is taken immediately after the biopsy.

The procedure usually takes 30 – 60 minutes. Laboratory analysis usually takes a few days.

So that looks OK doesn’t it.

We did walk the dog around Tankerton so I could get some pate and cordial for me as I have to drink so much fluids, but that was a lovely walk in the sun and so many people have come to Whitstable as it is the Oyster festival this week.

The town of Whitstable has been associated with oysters for hundreds of years, with Festival roots that go back much further than even locals might think.

In Norman times, with Whitstable already an established fishing port, fishers and dredgers customarily held an annual ceremony of thanksgiving for their survival and harvest. As practical, hard-working people, Whitstable fishermen naturally held their festival celebration during the slack period and closed season for oysters.

As a  ’Holy Day’ the Festival would include a formal church ceremony, after which the townspeople would spend the rest of the day in feasting, dancing, playing games and contests. With the feast day of St James of Compostella (patron saint of oysters) falling conveniently on July 25 this date eventually became the accepted time to hold the  festival, which is why the Festival is still held in summer even today.

The exact form the original ceremony would have taken is unknown, but would have probably have centred around a formal blessing of the town, the sea, the fishing fleet, and indeed, the fishermen and dredgers themselves. Today we symbolically recreate the  ‘Landing of the Oysters’ ,  with Whitstable Sea Scouts bringing oysters ashore for a formal
Blessing by clergy before being presented to the Lord Mayor.  They are then passed to inns and restaurants as part of the vibrant Oyster Parade as it travels through the town centre.

The Blessing of the Waters service is still held at Reeves Beach on one of the Festival evenings, today organised by the Association of Men of Kent and Kentish Men, and  the local tradition of Grotter building (creating hollow mounds of sand or mud with an outside decoration of oyster shells) is still practised on  the same day. Originally built by children who would beg “a penny for the grotter” much as other children did for Guy Fawkes, today’s grotters are built purely for the fun of it and lit by candles to produce an intriguing night-time spectacle.

Today’s oyster festival was reintroduced when the  local oyster industry, almost wiped out in the 1920s by a combination of disease and overfishing, was revived in the 1980s.  It is best described as a modern evolution of the older ‘Holy Day’ festivals, being a mixture of arts, family events,  and food and drink, with some contests thrown in, but it does not include  any water-based games or contests. By the end of the 18th century these had evolved separately into a series of events that became known as the Whitstable Regatta. Originally composed of of yawl, rowing and swimming races, the Regatta is still continued in the town today. Like  the Oyster Festival this too has evolved and no longer includes ’walking the greasy pole’ or ‘millers and sweeps’, (where the occupants of two small boats fought each other with soot and flour! before blowing up a ship provided by the Whitstable Salvage Company) but it is still a great day out and a good reason to visit Whitstable again.

I love living here !!

We got home and had lunch and answered a load of emails one from Richard who has bought my book and passed the link around to his colleges. I love the idea of that as it has got to the right people in a Laboratory who are trying to find a cure, Its nice to know they will read what a patient fo Mesothelioma thinks and how I live with this death sentence.

My Incense sticks arrived in the post and they are lovely. they really do smell wonderful and I have some Paljor Healing Incense as well, the house has a lovely aroma flowing through even when they have gone out.

Dinner done and we are relaxing so have a good evening too,

2 thoughts on “Mesothelioma -My Diary -Whitstable Festival has started and so has the crowded roads.

  1. Good evening Mavis – so pleased to see you are up and running again – good on you. Such an interesting read tonight about the oyster festival – can’t eat the things myself – yukk! We celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary this weekend down in Ashdown Forest – had a great couple of days and the sun shone. Hope you hear soon from th chest hospital. Now off to check out the incense sticks! Tess x

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