“Rachel, Rachel, Rachel, what are you doing back here?” asked Doctor Needles this morning as if I were an alzheimer’s patient looking for somewhere nice to sit down.
When I sheepishly confessed I was hoping my blood had recovered enough from Friday to go ahead with my last Chemo as planned today, he tsk’d loudly and said I would have more luck stuffing an octopus with ADHD into my handbag or words to that effect.
Sadly his predictions have proved more accurate than the coalition government so far and I was packed off home to put away my balloons and celebration cakes for another week.
Which means I know have an empty calender to fill and am busily taking bookings!
Table 8 at The Falcon in High Wycombe is fast becoming my favourite lunch spot. Glamorous it ‘aint. The inmates seem to think it most natural to drink pints at 11am, the fruit salads have as much fruit in them as beef tomatoes have beef and the wine comes out of taps, but it’s a lot of laughs and I am in danger of returning again and again like a hand to a biscuit jar!
My new chemo friend introduced me to this gem and shares the same aversion as I do for support groups, but we have luckily stumbled upon our own version which is a whole lot less earnest as we spend most of the time laughing like hyenas.
This week we dissected the personalities of our surgeon and oncologist after discovering we shared the same double act. I was disappointed to discover that my memory of our shared surgeon massaging my feet at the foot of my bed was more likely to be a morphine moment confused by the post surgery stockings rhythmically inflating and deflating on my legs, then the tender moment I ‘remembered’.
Now as everyone is aware, the medical profession is vigorously trained to gasp silently to avoid alarming the patient, so naturally our oncologists inability to dignify a question with an answer (if you don’t count “I wouldn’t worry about that” or “let’s wait and see”), was viewed with narrow eyed suspicion. However, after playing oncologist snap, we agreed in the case of Dr W, this was less a case of deliberate suppression of bad news and more likely to be a reassuring positive personality quirk.
But the biggest epiphany was the link between paper readership and cancer staging. As both of us had been Guardian/Observer readers, we concluded that had we been lifelong subscribers to the Daily Mail, our cancer would not have reached T4! The Mail’s daily dose of cancer doom/cure stories would have seen us camping out in the waiting rooms of our doctor’s surgeries demanding attention long before we eventually turned up blissfully unaware that our colons were on their knees!
Meanwhile a visit to Dr Needles (aka the Bulgarian vampire) confirmed what I had always suspected. Not only that my white blood cells were once again on strike and my final chemo on Monday is now in jeopardy, but check out Dr Needle’s unorthodox method of extracting blood. You can’t tell me these are not teeth marks?
Back in Monday for another attempt. I have decided that my blood will hit a comfortable 1.7 and am visualising like mad. x