Dear Parkinson’s, take your hands off my cake. Now.

If you’d told me four years ago that we’d be having a new veranda erected in the garden today, I’d never have believed you. Or that we’d both still be working and I’d have put on 8 kilos despite having exercised more over the past 4 years than I ever did in the previous 46. Nope, I’d never have believed you back then. I mean, when the neurologist tells you that you have Parkinson’s disease – a difficult diagnosis to swallow, Mrs Robijn – you’re pretty much certain that your life is over. And yet, here I am tapping away on my keyboard as usual. Now that’s what I call a wonderful anti-climax. Okay… just for a minute or so.

I’m at the end of my cake

I’m not about to detail what it means to have Parkinson’s. That’s on a need to know basis. Suffice to say that my share of Life’s Cake is a little smaller than I envisaged. In fact, I have by now reached the tip of the slice….good grief…in my vivid imagination I am perched on a generous slice of cake that tapers sharply to a point. At the broad end there’s plenty of whipped cream, cherries and marzipan. But at the tip – where I am – there’s absolutely no topping left (for the record: this DOESN’T explain those 8kg’s – okay!). So, there I am, nibbling on a few measly crumbs… totally alone, waiting for the inevitable: sooner rather than later I’ll tumble off the tip of that cake, which will have by then degenerated into a dry base. No toppings, no cream, no nothing. No cake. Only the dark depths of parkinson’s aaaaaarghhhh…..echo….echooo


Today I decided that I’m going to reclaim my fair slice of cake from Parkinson’s. Hold on – not just the tip, not just the slice, no: the entire sweet cake, cherries and all. Indeed, I’d take the entire bakery if I could.

The thing is, when it comes to the outlook on life, the first few months of those first four years were a complete nightmare. Or so I thought. My Outlook thought differently though. My Outlook took matters into her own determined hands and rapped my poor distressed head, with an impatient: Helloooooo….anybody home?? And that was that. My Outlook, also called Life, simply took me by the hand and we continued on our journey. There was some initial heel digging on my part, but My Outlook wouldn’t budge. With a firm GetOffThatCakeBusiness she forced me to keep my pecker up.

This is only the beginning

I was recalling all of this the other day. Flicked through some blogs. Friends insist I should bundle my blogs into a book. One day I will, when I’ve reached the 4th cherry on the left, immediately before the marzipan. But that’s not the point. The point is that those first four years were only the beginning. A few years on and our 3 children will be 3 young adults a few years on, each standing confidently on their own two feet. A garden veranda today? Perhaps one year from now we’ll be enjoying an oversized cake decorated with marzipan roses on that same veranda. Because that book has become a reality. Or better still – because we still are. I know planning ahead is a myth. But my hopes and dreams are for real.