Friday, 9 January 2015

On the R Road

It is a strange thing to admit but when I am actively involved in treatment I am in a better mood. December was a long, hard haul and trying to at least appear jolly when I felt anything but was a tough call. It also felt like the lull before the storm as I knew I had three weeks of going to St James' (Jimmy's, as it is known hereabouts) in Leeds daily for radiotherapy. An hour's journey each way coupled with other stuff - bone density scan, herceptin injections, seeing the oncologist - all packed into 21 days. But weirdly, it is easier to deal with (so far, I may change my mind...) because I feel I am actively addressing the problem.

The Festive Season felt anything but and I am an absolute fan of Christmas in normal years. I looked back at my blogs from last year, knowing already that we started Christmas 2013 with my beloved's stepfather passing away on Christmas Eve (at midnight for added drama) and aside from all the other stuff, my beloved's stepmother passed away in mid-December this year, meaning that we started Christmas week with a funeral and a wake in the nearest village. So there has been a certain symmetry to our year. Both these sort-of in-laws were kind and supportive of me and in a family which has more than its fair share of steps, halves and exes, they were definitely the good guys. Other folks important to our lives left us too last year. Didi, who was my Yorkshire mother and from whose home I was married 30 and a bit years ago left us earlier this year. She played a big part in my Yorkshire life that I will never forget and her constant love and care for her family made her an impressive role model for me. And Kieran, fellow Acorn member with whom I spatted regularly until just a few months before the end. I think of her daily, remembering her feisty ways and her marvellous (and shared) sense of humour. These are losses not just to be sad about but to be grateful that they came into our lives. Never forgotten.

So not the best Christmas and by the time we reached New Year I was exhausted and, by 11.30pm, a bit tearful. Despite my beloved being dressed as the new James Bond (blacked up and complete with potato gun!) aka Idris Elba, he kindly took me home, making our most discreet exit yet whilst the rest of the guests (mostly dressed as members of Abba or the cast of The Sound of Music) sang along to Waterloo. I could say this was an early celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo later this year, but actually it was just more Abba.

Yesterday, surprisingly, was a really good day. Especially surprising because it included radiotherapy in Leeds and a blood test - what could be more fun!? But in the rota which I have organised with the cooperation of family and lovely, lovely friends to take me to Leeds, yesterday's team comprised one of my two singing dancing doctors (definitely the better singer of the two!) and Mrs O'Polo. Chauffeur-driven, lots of girly chat, a quick in and out at Jimmy's and then lunch at an Italian - excellent fun! Half way through lunch, the singing doctor decided that going for a blood test would be a good thing to see if my white blood tests were up to snuff so I could start going out a bit more. So appointment booked whilst I ate my salad, we headed straight to the surgery, did the blood test and yippee! the news this morning is that my white cells are in great form. Once the radiotherapy is over, I'm coming out!

So as I write this, nice nursey is sitting on my sofa having stabbed me in the thigh with herceptin and is here for two hours in case I have a fit (one look in number 3's bedroom and I might). Number 2 child is heading over to do her first radiotherapy stint and then... and this for me is beyond excitement ...we might go and look for wallpaper for our bedroom. Only 26 years since we last decorated in there - we don't like to rush into things!

So feeling more positive than I have for weeks (and better, actually) it's onwards and upwards. Look out, world, here I come!

The amazing skies earlier this week when I was walking the dog in the early morning. Hard not to feel optimistic when there is so much beauty in the world. 

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