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Friday 2 August 2013
Chemo Ward 4
Sitting in reception waiting for the chemo to be mixed. Veins ok to get the blood and aspirated by the beautiful Vicky. A long good look at the inside of my shoulder which has dozens of pockets of blood and goo. We attacked the big ones but the little ones are too small and numerous to attempt. I did suggest vigorous hoeing might "pop" them all into one big accessible syringe-able area. Vicky has perfected that teacher look. I think I should perhaps not attempt hoeing.
I did the ultimate in politeness to the nurse who was a bit too vigorous in pressing down where the needle had been. "You don't need to be quite so dedicated in the pressing" I said. We laughed.
The day unit is full so I found a haven and an old friend in the Macmillan advice room. E and I chatted and gossiped for a while, which was nice and calming.
It has been wonderful having Tim to stay. He has sorted out so much of the "stuff that needs to be done" including teaching Em how to do hill starts, getting HWISO a start up golf kit (aren't golf shoes like something Dennis the Menace would wear?) and clearing up my laptop.
He has provided some much needed oversight into family dynamics and stopped me from detrimentally REacting to my children's demands. It has been joy and bliss to have him and provided much needed support and entertainment. I think he has enjoyed himself and the new found HWISO enthusiasm for golf has meant happy hours for them to bond. I am glad that they have had the opportunity to get to know each other outside family funerals and other fraught gatherings.
I am slightly ranting against the whole "curable" cancer thing today after sitting with the family of a lung cancer patient. They were ranting and upset about the cancer not being diagnosed for 16 weeks. I so wanted to say that 16 weeks is not a long time but they had lost faith in the doctors and lost faith in the system because, after all, cancer is curable, isn't it? Well, no, not always and lung cancer is, quite frankly, a bugger!!! On the other, E told me of a lady who was inconsolable on being diagnosed with breast cancer, had given up all hope and was adamant this was a death sentence. Nothing would convince her otherwise. She had made up her mind to die despite the fact she had a good chance of surviving another ten years
Which brings me to "To treat or not to treat". I think of Sophie often. By the time Sophie was diagnosed it had spread to her bones and treatment would have been palliative. At the time I understood her decision and at times I envy her keeping her dignity and her hair. However knowing that the chemo does help with the pain makes me stop and think, would I have chosen differently if I had known then what I know now? Sometimes, through the blur of silent tears in the bathroom mirror, I DO think that I want to die with eyelashes. Other times I think that I would rather have more time with my precious family, bald and ugly as I am. It is not a decision that I can make except on a day to day basis.
I have realised too that physically I am becoming repellent and scary to the girls. The lump on my shoulder is not a medical curiosity to them but a glaring beacon of my inner decay. For that I am sad. So I cover it up as much as I can and feel more self conscious and ugly. It is not a happy place in this hot weather so roll on winter and the comfort of all encompassing jumpers
I have also begun to consider other scary and repellent things like after death arrangements. I am not a religious person. Ergo I feel a church service not appropriate. I loathe crem services so would probably rather not have a service of any sort at all but realise that a celebration of someone's life is a comfort for those left behind. I definitely don't want an address talking about me. I am too many different things to different people and no one would recognise me. At Mum's service we had a few minutes to sit in silence and remember her and what she meant to us individually. That appeals to me.
A mournful morning of waiting admits claps of thunder and flash flooding. I am looking forward to going home and been effervesced by Tim. Roll on the Eribulin.