Horrible, horrible horrible.....
I walked into Terminal 1 Rio airport and looked for the Air France check-in desk for flight AF447. You couldn't miss it. It was sectioned off at the far end and surrounded by camera men, photographers and journalists. As I slowly made my way towards it they all turned towards me filming and shouting questions - in Portuguese or French. This was the first AF447 since the tragedy. It all seemed so ghoulish and made me feel very uncomfortable - and more than a little afraid.
The Air France staff were quiet and subdued - in fact everyone was. At the departure gate we all sat in near silence. It was pretty obvious what we were all thinking. A mere 48 hours ago another set of passengers had sat here waiting for the same flight - and never reached their destination.
I'm pretty sure I was the only English person there - I craved for someone to talk to - anyone. I craved to hear the comforting sound of my mother tongue spoken. But when I got on the plane I found I was sitting alone. The plane was less than half full. Apparently there had been a lot of cancellations on what is normally a very busy flight.
The crew were wonderful - how could they be so cheerful and smiling when they had just lost 12 colleagues? But they were. I couldn't eat the food, it tasted of plastic. I knocked back a couple of brandy's hoping this would help - but it didn't. I couldn't concentrate on any of the films on offer - my eyes kept creeping back to glimpse at my watch - waiting for the time that, 4 hours into the flight, when the other plane disappeared off the radar.
The slightest bit of turbulence made me jump and grip tight onto my seat - I was afraid to go to the loo so just sat there with my legs crossed.
In the end I thought this is silly, get a grip Jane. I'm sure being on my own made it doubly worse. So I took 2 sleeping tablets and fortunately passed out for a few hours. We landed in Paris bang on time, I caught my connection and was soon back in Birmingham. Martin was waiting for me and I just flew into his arms.
Since I have been home I've found myself brooding about it. Thinking about what a lucky escape I had - how I had, oh so nearly, taken that flight. I only changed my mind at the last moment when booking it and decided to come home a day later. I've also been sleeping a lot - even for me. I think I've been a bit traumatised by it all to be honest. Hopefully writing it down will exorcise it for me.
I saw Dr. P. today and had the results of my CT scan - my disease still stable. Sutent is still working. Which is wonderful news. Something I need to concentrate on and try to dispel thoughts of the tragic events of Monday.