Narnia is in my en-suite

I am so glad I am in the habit of keeping a diary of appointments etc. Whenever I sit down to write, the first thing I have to do is go back and look to see what I’ve been doing over the last few weeks. Otherwise it would just be a blog about what I have done in the last few hours and even that might be shaky. It’s a week with few appointments – just 4 by my count. It starts off with a visit to my local GP to ask about a second opinion from another oncologist. For some reason, I feel a little bad about this, even though it is obviously vital I have the right person looking after me. The more I think about Virgil, the more I know I wanted him to be the right person. My previous oncologist was already thinking ahead when she heard of clinical trials and keeping me in mind for things whereas I feel a little like something on a conveyor belt with him. See patient – tick! Arrange treatment – tick! See patient again in 3 months – tick! There is nothing in between. Not once does he check my lungs to hear how they are performing. It’s just not good enough. So my GP who seems genuinely nice agrees immediately to refer me and knows of the oncologist I am asking for. He thinks it’s perfectly reasonable, too, which helps. We then have to rush home in time for a visit from the community nurse, Wendy. She is also very nice and takes lots of notes and is very keen to help in any way she can. I say I don’t think I need her services at present but it’s good to know there are people just a phone call away who know about my situation and are happy to offer advice or come out to see me. And, surprisingly, it’s a 7 days a week service which I am very impressed by. She offers at one point to check my pressure points – areas where I may develop sores from lying or sitting in one position for too long. Obviously she just wants to see my bum. I deny her this treat but tease her with “maybe another time”. Honestly, the lengths people go to.

Tuesday is my birthday and we start with a verse of Happy Birthday sung by Mr Mason snr and, for once, he doesn’t do it in a silly way and for some reason I am very touched. I get a lovely cameo brooch/pendant from Mr and Mrs Safaie, a ring from Mr Mason and some incredibly luminous orchids from Mr Mason jnr. The card with it reads “Mother, Happy Birthday, Son”. As ever, he is economical with words. I also have a surprising present of money from my Dad. I can’t remember the last time I received a present of any kind from him so I am both startled and touched. I have an echo first thing and am miffed because the technician will not tell me my ejection fraction. Now, if I know the term ‘ejection fraction’, I probably have some understanding of what it means but she will not budge, even when I tell her it’s my birthday. Everywhere does something a little differently as I was told immediately what the result was at my previous hospital. I am trying very hard not to keep saying “When I was in London” or “at my previous GP/hospital” as I imagine it is very galling and I don’t want to come over as a snotty Southerner. After this, we head off to some Antique shops at Hemswell Cliff and browse around to our heart’s content. The day is stormy and cool, perfect for leaving the dogs in the boot together. They are starting to settle in a little more although Archie can be a bit of a bully and Lark is wary of him at times. She is sensible, though, and he is not a mean dog so they will be fine together. Mr Mason thinks she has settled in so well he decides not to wake her to put her in her crate overnight. On coming downstairs, we discover she has removed the bottom 12″ of our vertical blinds on one side of the sitting room window, presumably so she can see out better.IMG_20150521_102502095_HDR

On our way home, we see the Red Arrows have been alerted to my birthday and are doing an impressive display with 2 teams. I try to capture some of it on my phone through the car windscreen but the photos don’t come out well, as you can see. Still, it is the thought that counts. We drive home listening to the bumper CD of Novelty Songs given to us by Mr Neary. It’s a good day.

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And so, finally, to Narnia. For some reason, the psychotic cat has always had a thing about bathrooms. I remember years ago a friend telling me that one of her 15 cats, Florence, used to dash into the bathroom the moment the door was open to do a wee. I thought it was hilarious at the time but think it less amusing when the psychotic cat shows similar tendencies. Since moving, as you know, she has had something of a personality transplant and has eschewed the use of a tray but has gone freestyle, using the garden like a normal cat. But she still has not shaken her love of bathrooms. Our main bathroom is enormous with a double shower and huge rolltop bath and she quite likes it but not as much as the en-suite. If I get up in the night, she jumps off the bed to accompany me, desperate to get in there and then, once there, she looks a little disappointed and can’t wait to get out again. But she does this repeatedly. Whatever she expects to be on the other side of the door just isn’t and she is either an eternal optimist or forgetful. I think it’s something like Narnia and she just has to wait for the right time to come around when she will be swept off into a cat paradise, whatever that might mean to her. And her enthusiasm has started to rub off on me a little. Perhaps one day I’ll open it and Narnia really will be in my en-suite.

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2 thoughts on “Narnia is in my en-suite

  1. This is my 1st appointment with your blog , Iam not really into blogging or as a friend of mine calls it Bragging . However we have a lot in common , breast cancer although Iam now a very Happy 3 year survivor. I have two beautiful babies , in the form of my french Bulldogs Fleur nearly 2 , and Thierry 5 months. I also have a strange cat , who hates me again , as he’s not long got over us bringing Fleur to live with us …… He holds a grudge she’s nearly 2 , then 2 weeks ago we bring Thierry to live with us ! I also have a daughter with special education needs , challenging behaviour ,autism, who at the moment is in a wonderful centre in the New a Forest learning through horses ….my son , is just about to finish uni , also a man of few words , like your son . Once sent a birthday card …..Mother you have been good this year , keep it up as I shall be the one choosing your Nursing home …..a charming thought and no doubt it will the cheapest he can find …..
    I also have lived up north , I went back after 30 years away , I truly believed it to be very beautiful, a different beauty to the ashdown forest close to me now . I look forward to more of your adventures ……I recently stopped taking Anastrazole , tamoxifen turned me into a would be mass murder …. My family would of been gunned down if I knew how to obtain a machine gun …. Anastrazole is something else , the bone pain was horrendous ,along with the sleeplessness, nausea,fatigue and mood swings….but it was the joint and bone pain that did it . I stopped taking it and things are greatly improved ….but my BC Dr wants me to see the oncologist….. 18 th June , but unless a drug with no side effects can be found as Iam just beginning to lose some of the 3 stones put on by the fore mentioned drugs . ….so good luck with your oncology journey , as they say !

    • We really do have a lot in common and congratulations on the 3 year survival. I am now stage IV so at a different place but still feeling relatively well. The dogs are such good companions and make us laugh a lot – even the redecoration of our blinds. I am HER2+ so Anastrazole would do nothing for me but I know from other friends that the side effects can be horrendous. I am really hoping the new oncologist will be a good one as I don’t want to be travelling back to London every 3 weeks. We found the journey very tiring and with 2 dogs, it would be a real challenge. My only other alternative would be to go on the train or else start looking for an oncologist in another area. It’s never simple, is it? I’m glad you enjoyed my ‘bragging’. Good luck with your drug search, too.

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