But don't sweat the small stuff is this week's mantra and I'm writing this from my bear cave where I've been holed up since Monday morning. Most of the time, I'm asleep or dozing - hence all the phones turned off if you've tried to ring me - not that you should because life goes on and I'm not in a chatty place just now.
So, quick update now: I think I am on day 5, round 3 and consequently hitting what is now the new bottom of the birdcage - a previously uncharted area of unpleasantness but, as opposed to day 5, round 2, I am not feeling as mad as a bag of spanners and none of my nearest and dearest is in imminent danger of being attacked by the would-be axe murderer I threatened to become last time. Progress of sorts though there's may be time for the axe murderer to re-emerge tomorrow - who knows?
Last week, I felt well - hurray! Not well in the sense that I used to feel well but at least a functioning human being. And I saw two old friends who were good for my soul which was a treat - or two. And on Wednesday, I whizzed off first thing to Boroughbridge - or BozzaB, as my children now call it, making it sound like a hick town on the Gold Coast of Australia - for my blood test prior to round 3 of the Chemathon which was due on Friday. On Thursday afternoon, I collected number 1 from Knaresborough station so she could once again be part of the Chemathon tag team. And then Murphy arrived...
There was an urgent message from the hospital on my return to call the Cancer unit immediately. Now I don't claim to understand much of this but seemingly to do the tri-weekly poisoning of anything growing in my body I have to have a white blood count of plus 1. And I wasn't even close.
However, nice nursey on the phone said I could come early on Friday and give the blood test another crack so off we trekked for another long day at York Hospital. I did however get very lucky with my nurse for the day, Chateau Shirley (so named by my beloved on an early visit because she said I could drink red wine throughout - actually, red wine tastes like sh** at present but it's the thought that counts). Blood test done and only interrupted by the alarms sounding and Chateau Shirley dashing from the room with the crash cart because someone had had an anaphylactic fit during chemo (another occupational hazard apparently).
So I passed at my second attempt and who would have thought I would be sitting in the Hospital cafe, happy to be having chemo? But any delay would have been bad news and another week hostaged to being ill. So on we went and aside from the current 'bottom of the birdcage' experience we are still going forward - somehow.
The other thing of note in my increasingly strange world is that I am to be a grandmother...on either Christmas Day or Boxing Day, depending on television schedules, and my forthcoming grandchild will be delivered by one of Chummy's gang! Number 1 is appearing in the Christmas episode of Call The Midwife and already my phone has many pictures of my heavily pregnant number 1, dressed in 1950s costume and practising her puffing. Lord, this grandchild will arrive before I was even born! Another surreal experience but surely not as bad as seeing number 1 killed and eaten by aliens in the science fiction drama, The Fades?
Whoever planned my life (certainly not me) has ensured that nothing is ever as I might have expected - for good or ill.
Well, it might be Chummy on delivery duty... who knows?
*One of my childhood teddy bears was named Aloysius after Sebastian Flyte's bear in Brideshead Revisited. I'm sure my children are delighted they managed to dodge that bullet name-wise!