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A Rattly Week

10/12/2004

What a mess of a week it’s been! It’s midnight on a Thursday night, and strangely my energy seems to have returned, so I’m writing this in bed, drinking a tasty mug of Horlicks. Outside a lonely dog is barking somewhere in the Vale, but otherwise it’s dead quiet. Yes, everything has gone pear shaped this week (that’s a great expression I think, whoever made it up!). I was put on some new drugs with unpronouncable names last Friday, all with the best intentions, like to stop my face aching, but I kept on falling asleep and having delirious thoughts. One thing I thought was that you could send soup by email, as an attachment, and I believed this completely for quite a while! I was also on drugs to stop the side effects of the first drugs, and these had other side effects, like being dizzy and sick. Altogether I feel that my cancer, and probably any chronic illness is all about finding a balance, and that any change can set off all kinds of things. It’s like that game Spillikins…one wrong move and the whole edifice collapses! Yet I also know that the aim of most medical people is to help, and that everyone wants me to feel better. But I am a real Pavlov’s dog when it comes to taking pills. I have all sorts of mental prejudices, like I don’t like yellow pills as they remind me of chemotherapy and make me feel sick, and I can take against a drug for all kinds of reasons, like the name or the packet. There are also drugs that are very much my friend, like tamoxifen (O Hail The Goddess Tam!) which saves me, and pamidromate which strengthens my bones (apparently chronic bone disintegration has almost gone now thanks to pamidromate). I have mixed feelings about steroids, but I will take them, and I have high hopes for the new hormone drug fasledex (spelt wrong I am sure) that I may soon be taking. Lately I have been unable to take some Chinese herbs because they smelt of poo, but I am sure I am not alone in that!

Anyway, things really felt wrong this week, although of course it could be the illness flaring up as well as the drugs. On Wednesday I woke up unable to put any weight on my left foot, so I had to crawl about on my hands and knees. The cat liked me in this state very much. Doctors came round. There were many phone calls. It’s being suggested that I go to the hospice for assessment, which is probably a good idea, but it makes me feel a bit like the end is nigh. My sister who works in a hospice says that dying is only a small part of the work of a hospice, and that it’s very satisfying having people come in with all their muddled drugs and symptoms and sorting them out so they can cope with the world again. Also the food is supposed to be lovely and I can’t be that close to dying as I am very interested in food.

If I do go to the hospice I shall write about it in great detail, so that other people who are scared about it will see what it’s like too. Perhaps they should stop calling them hospices and call them something else instead like refurbishment centres.

Anyway, today Bev and I were sent up to casualty so that they could do an xray and see if my foot was fractured. I had to be carried up the steep steps of our house in a firemans lift, or a queen’s seat!

We waited for three and a half hours in an awful waiting room with extremely loud childrens tv on, though there was not a child in the room. I rarely sit up in hard chairs these days, even in nice restaurants with people I love, and I felt so stiff and uncomfortable. Finally we found out that my foot wasn’t broken. They gave me some paracetomol and some crutches.

Now I am home, and my foot is wierdly better. I am just feeling so annoyed with cancer and the way it steals the days. There is so much I want to do and write, and I suppose I am no good at being ill. I’m not very zen. When things go topsy turvy we all get unnerved and upset, though usually things pass and restabilise.

Good things this week have been ….. listening to poems and plays on the radio. making an extremely tasty chocolate cake (a nigella recipe) , spending time with my daughters…writing poems…dreaming.

The television really makes me feel sick though. I don’t care who wins the X Factor, and the jungle thing was very boring I thought. The only thing I quite like is Richard and Judy and playing You Say We Pay. I hate those Place In The Sun programmes. I am sure all those people who go and live in vineyards get too hot and homesick. I’m ranting. Tomorrow will be better.

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