Feeling like Stig of the dump

The subtleties of the English language  were brought home the other  morning when a friend asked “How are you feeling?” . It made me think – the addition of the word ‘feeling’ gave the question a different slant compared to the usual “How are you?”. It told me that the friend knew that I had been undergoing chemo (and he would be happy to hear an answer). On the other hand if he had just asked the shorter question there would have been no indication that he was aware of my recent activities. And of course the only answer allowed to “How are you?” is  “Fine, how are you?” – anything more such as “I’ve got a bit of a rash on my left leg.” is definitely frowned on. Continue reading “Feeling like Stig of the dump”

Countdown – three weeks to normality?

Last Thursday was my sixth (of six) chemo session. So the last three week cycle of  my neutrophils and white blood cells running for cover, bottoming out between seven and ten days later before starting to recover so that I am fit enough to be zapped again. This time though no more zapping. Actually zapping is the wrong word, more appropriate for radiotherapy than for chemotherapy, but I will stick with it for now. Continue reading “Countdown – three weeks to normality?”

The best laid plans . . . .

At this point in my last chemo cycle I was in Ward 5 at SMH having been admitted the night before with a temperature and rigor (the shakes – and definitely not of the milk kind). So this time I have made even greater efforts to keep clear of potential sources of infection but as I approach my immunosuppressed period Liz and I both go down with colds. Snuffles and sneezes all round. I have a word with CCHU who say keep a close eye on my temperature and that I can take Day Nurse (other remedies are available) or whatever if required. Continue reading “The best laid plans . . . .”

“You don’t feel your usual peachy self”

That is how my sister-in-law described being on chemotherapy – not ill but not your usual peachy self. She had a different regime to me with weekly doses then a gap and then the same cycle again (more a Matterhorn than my Ben Nevis to use my earlier analogy). At one time there was just a pretty standard dose for all cancers but now it is fine-tuned to the cancer, where it’s at and to the patient. The dose is calculated on the individual’s surface area (estimated from height and weight)! Continue reading ““You don’t feel your usual peachy self””

Beetroot is not my colour

I had thought I was doing so well until my temperature hurdled the threshold for contacting the hospital. I have a little red book which gives a list of things to look out for with strict instructions to contact the Cancer Care and Haematology Unit (or the Cancer Ward at the Churchill  if outside “office hours”) should my temperature go over 37.5 degrees (or below 36 degrees). Mine was 38.8 degrees and my face was impersonating a beetroot. Continue reading “Beetroot is not my colour”

Our neighbour shouted at me

Our next door neighbour came into our garden and shouted at me. I had just walked past with the dog and was standing at the front door and thought “That’s very considerate of him” – he has had a cold for a while (what young children will do for you) and wanted to tell me a few things. So we had a chat at distance – I am at my “immunity nadir” when I am most vulnerable to any infections but more about that later. Continue reading “Our neighbour shouted at me”

Am I being too cautious?

On Monday afternoon I should have been giving a talk to Abingdon U3A. I had revised my Furthest South talk to cover not only the Heroic Age of Antarctic exploration but also more recent expeditions and tourism using images from our 2006 trip. I was ready to go but hadn’t run through this latest version to ensure that it didn’t go on too long. So a little more preparation and refinement was needed, but nothing too serious. However I had contacted them as soon as I knew I was going in for chemo to postpone the talk. Continue reading “Am I being too cautious?”