A few days ago a strange thing happened. I sniffed.

It was a reflex I’ve not been able to use for months. One of the Bell’s palsy effects that have, independently of the cancer diagnosis, made life a tad awkward.

I still have the permanently open right eye. My right lip can’t smile. And I recently went deaf in my right ear, apparently due to nerve inflammation linked to the palsy.

My nose has been subject to tiny bleeds that I’ve been unaware of and, when eating, tiny clear seepage that I’ve been more than aware of and totally unable to sniff up.  Pass the tissue!  Combined with congestion and an inability to blow my nose it’s been a nuisance.  All in all a bit rubbish.

But last week was exciting. I sniffed. I didn’t even realise I’d done it for a minute. But then it struck me and I sniffed again, like I did last summer. I sniffed again, like I did last year.

A little test and I realised that I could also blow my nose, albeit not as effectively as I’d want to.

I rushed to the mirror to test out the eye. No change. The smile. Still floppy. The ear. Still deaf (for some reason I tested that while looking in the mirror).

Vague hope of a complete resolution of the Bell’s palsy diminished. But a little bit of hope has materialised. The nosebleeds and seepages are less frequent. Maybe the first neural plug towards restoring my normal angelic facial features has been connected. Fingers crossed the rest will be in place soon.

Quick Hit Montenegro