As I may have hinted in my last post, my family have very low boredom thresholds unsullied from a lifetime without a TV and the cerebral demands of X Factor. So any chance to join me in hospital is billed as the outing of the week and well worth bartering for. My mother won this week, after promising to do everyone’s Christmas shopping as payment for her reward.
You may also remember, I was the last one to leave the ward and turn the lights out on chemo round 1, so I naturally assumed I’d done my time and would be fast tracked through the system today. Not so. Dr Deputy Needles in his gratitude yesterday to find some blood from one of my damaged veins, was temporary blinded by his success and completely overlooked the demands from the chemo vampires for 2 test tubes prior to starting chemo. This oversight was also missed by the chemo ward until about half an hour after kick off when all hell broke loose. Carol, one of the lovely chemo nurses, who manages to combine gentle compassion with an organisation zeal unmatched by anyone I have seen todate, was luckily on the case.
More blood was demanded and after an hour or two’s wait for the test to check that my kidneys and liver were still doing whatever it is Liver and Kidneys do, she plugged me into my USB port for today’s *special* Oxaliplatin. This happy hour lasted 2 hours.
Whilst I waited for the side effects to hit, I was distracted by one of the other customers at our alternative cocktail bar who reminded me that however rubbish we feel, we don’t have far to look to find someone worse off. Alerted by her unique walking style, I discovered that this brave and cheerful lady had no less than 5 knee replacements and 3 shoulder replacements. Now, even in my drugged state I was able to ascertain that as she clearly wasn’t a giant insect this poor women had gone through knees and shoulders faster than I go through a pair of leggings. And now she was back in suffering from Lymphoma and starting her first chemo regime and due to break the news tonight to her 92 year old father. A sobering thought.
As I watched the chairs emptying and the nurses leaving, my mum offered to give the ward a once over with the duster and hoover before turning off the lights and going home. Sleep well everyone. Steroids willing.