It's a glorious Saturday morning and as I wake to greet the day, the first thing that pops into my mind is what I'll be missing out on today.
Yesterday, Al and I should have been on a plane to Newcastle. We should have been on our way to the wedding of my best man-friend Tim. A bachelor since I first met him at the tender age of 18, Tim has finally met the girl of his dreams, Amanda. She's much younger but what is age? She's tall, slender, beautiful. She's highly intelligent and interesting. But none of that is important. What is important is that she loves Tim and Tim loves her.
And today, they are walking down the aisle at a function centre in Maitland, where Amanda's family have a farm.
In the arc of my development from young adult to old crone, Tim has been a constant in my life, the older brother I never had who has always been there to lean on.
As far as friends go, he is the 'Gold Star' variety, a boy who didn't suddenly peel away from me when I was 'with man', who has taken an interest in my life, no matter what.
And over the years, I've got to know his wider family, including an eclectic collection of hugely talented relatives whose combined personalities could power a small city, such is their energy.
You can imagine how I have felt over the years, knowing Tim is probably the nicest, kindest guy I know, and seeing him SINGLE! What is wrong with women, I've thought over the years. Why can't they see what I see?
I mean, come on! This man is a genius at Scrabble. Surely that speaks for itself! He's also tall, slim, looks half his age and he can sing, god damn it.
As he approached his 50th birthday, I have to admit I had all but given up. I imagined Tim as a cranky old bachelor with hair growing out of his ears, sitting on a rocking chair with only a blind, farting dog for company and maybe bellowing at the neighbours to turn down their blasted music.
Or I imagined he might meet his soul mate in a nursing home, where he would pull out a beaten up guitar and so impress Mavis, Ethel or Kitty with his vocals that one of them might want to shag him. Never give up, right?
Then almost out of the blue, my patience - and the patience of all of Tim's friends - was rewarded. Tim met Amanda. Cue some Lionel Richie song. No, actually, that's rude. Cue a really cool jazzy love tune, with lyrics possibly involving the prolific use of the word 'baby'.
You'll understand my excitement when Tim announced his engagement earlier this year and I was so eager, I couldn't wait for the invitation. Long before the majority knew the details, I had early intelligence of the date and venue and Al and I duly set about booking airfares and sorting out accommodation.
When the invitation finally did arrive, the dress was described as "Vintage Floral" and I got to choosing my dress straight away, researching countless internet sites until I found something appropriate.
In fact, it was the first dress I ever purchased on-line, bought from a store in the UK for a song.
When it arrived, sometime in July (I'm sad to say), I found it was a little tight across the bust.
This is what is funny in hindsight. I recall at the time thinking, "Oh, it's a bit tight but I'll starve myself for a couple of days so that Paris and Nicky aren't completely asphyxiated."
You see, I was convinced I could lose a few inches across the bust with some mindful dieting.
I am laughing now, thinking how The Universe must have been grinning with sly mockery. Foolish woman. Little do you realise. Lose a few inches? Ha Ha Haaah. Try 715 grams.
Because as things would have it, I am not, in fact, to wear the dress - now so tight I can't even do up the zip.
I am not to be in Newcastle, excitedly getting ready for what would have to be one of the most important weddings in my life.
I am not to catch up with the suite of Tim's family and friends who I've lost touch with over the years and I was so looking forward to seeing again.
I am in my very low immunity period and it is simply unsafe for me to be on an aeroplane as I am so susceptible to germs.
There's been a whooping cough outbreak in Melbourne. All it takes is one cough.
I've discussed it with Dr Choo. I've talked it over at length with my friends.
Instead, I have sent a telegram that I hope will be read out with some feeling by Mark, Tim's best man.
Instead, today Al and I will go down the Coast for an outing away from the Redlands - my first in over two months - for lunch on a balcony in Burleigh (safely away from the stinking, bacteria-carrying, germ infested crowds). Yes, even you, Miranda Kerr!
Instead, tonight, I shall content myself as I toast Tim and Amanda with my heartfelt wish that their love will withstand the test of time. (Shit! I wish I withstand the test of time!)
Because I realise that this is part of what illness is about.
It is about dealing with disappointment and missing out as cherished plans are overwritten.
It is about letting go of opportunities and consoling yourself with an alternative - "Oh well, I can always watch the video".
It is about waiting for hours in your party gear for the bus, full of happy, drunken passengers on their way to the Biggest Event of the Century, only to see it whoosh past, missing your stop and leaving you gagging in the fumes of its exhaust.
What can I do but sit down, compose myself, and wait.
Surely, another one must be along soon.