I lost my nerve a bit today, my usual resigned frame of mind with regard to the forthcoming treatment buckling somewhat at the edges and my stomach churning.
My wife reminded me that exercise is good for cancer patients (why should healthy people have all the fun?) and pointed me in the direction of the lawn that needed mowing. The therapy worked at least for a bit and I took the shears to the grassy borders with gusto once the mowing was done.
The tension remained though until I had ventured into Twickenham to post a letter and buy a new toothbrush (soft bristles being recommended at this stage as harder bristles would risk damaging my gums and opening the way to infections). While I was in the queue at the post office my phone rang (actually it played a marimba tune). It was the transplant coordinator from UCLH to tell me that yesterday’s blood test was fine and that the way was therefore clear for me to turn up for treatment at 10 am tomorrow morning, the first port of call being “Ambulatory Care”, where nasty chemicals are administered and one is then free to explore the surrounding area, relax, visit The British Museum and so on until such time as side effects and/or neutropenia make such fun impossible.
The experienced nurse assured me that my anxiety was just natural anticipation and quite normal at this stage: a moment flagged up many months ago is now very close. While I was never in doubt that my blood results would be fine and that Plan A would swing into action, to have it confirmed gave me a real spring in my step. The sunshine was beautiful too and my mood lifted as I went about my errands, finishing with a visit to the barber to have my head shaved and pre-empt the hair loss that would inevitably follow the imminent chemo. I find this little measure of control very helpful.
Back home to pack, no doubt cramming more than I would need into my wheely bag, including DVDs and books, as well as the Kindle that my wife gave me just before we went to France and which I have loaded with a number of classic novels. I also loaded my phone with a variety of my favourite music, concentrating on lyrical and calming pieces.
Chicken curry for supper and now writing this, while there is disturbing news of rioting and looting in cities and suburbs.
Not long to go now.
|To infinity and beyond...|