I am totally out of touch with how pages appear under what heading on this blog. I used to get upset but now I just don’t really care. It’s a work of art and has to be followed in all its shapes.
The last 2 weeks are confusing, delightful and exhausting. Immediately after seeing the new good oncologist, I think “I’ll let him have a crack at it” and ask him what he thinks my prognosis is. He doesn’t take long to reply, making sure I really want to know. Too late to go back. It’s 12 to 18 months. That means by next Christmas I may not be here or I might not reach my next birthday. Grandchildren I am waiting patiently for may be tantalisingly out of reach. It’s wrong, it’s all so fucking wrong. I spend time talking with Mr Mason about it as we try to let the news sink in. He will not have it. It’s wrong, inaccurate and he’s not going to believe it. He looks at me and sees a healthy woman and he can’t match the two things together. I feel, well, odd. It seems an awfully short amount of time and I’m aware how fast time goes. The odd piece of work drifts in and suddenly seems quite insignificant. We spend time deciding whether to tell the offspring the lastest news and in the end decide it’s wrong to keep it from them, even though it’s just a few random numbers and may not mean anything anyway. During the conversations I offer them the opportunity to hear what he said but also the opportunity to not know. It’s a horrible choice but they both want to know. Mr Mason jnr tells me the clock has been ticking since my first diagnosis which is now over 3 years ago so he already thinks I’m doing well. There is something in me that finds it hard to accept I have cancer, that I’m ill at all apart from some niggling pains and fatigue which sends me to bed for several days each month. If my life carried on like this, I would be pretty content.
In the midst of all this, the senior pharmacist from Lincoln City Hospital telephones me to discuss my complaint which he finds eminently reasonable. He has already discussed some issues with the on-duty pharmacist and clearly feels there are some issues which need addressing. He apologises several times in a sincere way which soothes me. I feel the issue has been handled well and thoroughly.
We have a visit from our lovely Norwegian friends, the Lavolls. The 2 littlies don’t have much experience of being around dogs and, to be honest, I’m not sure how much experience our dogs have of being around small children. Given that Dog is the same height as Ask, the eldest, things could go badly wrong but by lunchtime he is throwing balls for Dog and they are all romping and playing together. They get taken to the Castle where they can cliimb to their heart’s content and really seem to enjoy themselves. Ask and Liv both have long conversations with me in Norwegian which is patchy, to say the least. I really should try a bit more. The weather is nice and we blow giant bubbles in the garden which amuses adults,children and dogs alike. I always say farewell with a heavy heart as Mrs Lavoll is one on my special girls.
A few days later we receive a visit from the Shaya family whose children are a bit older but equally delightful. They also speak English and love the dogs and spend time playing with them in the garden. Young Master Shaya enjoys antique shops, particularly if there is a possibility to add something to his arms collection and this time he is intent on a sword. The first disappointment is the Hungarian Officer’s dress sword coming in at just under £300. A firm no! We go to many of the Horncastle antique shops and he eventually finds a bayonet which does the job. Mrs Shaya goes back into her youth and finds a Sindy doll with outfits which she just has to have. We have already been assaulted by a number of grotesque and horrific dolls heads and limbs and as fans of horror films, it’s a trying morning for everyone but Sindy soothes our spirits and we go off to the Sebastapol Inn for lunch. The weather is good enough to sit outside and it is after my main course which includes beetroot, I discover I have black hairy tongue. It feels as though something is stuck to my tongue but apparently it’s my papillae who have decided to grow long and luxurious instead of shed themselves. Thanks, Chemo. Although Ms Shaya would rather poke her eyes out than trawl round antique shops, she behaves impeccably and no-one gets hurt. I would like to see her latest cartoon on the external area of the antique shop in the former premises of the Lincolnshsire Coop. It’s enough to give anyone a heart attack.
Several weeks ago I have the district nurse round to see me. Now, I feel I am a bit too early for the district nurse. She offersme many tempting gadgets such as a new mattress (we already have one, thanks) a commode (we have several toilets that I can reach) and a cushion to prevent sores. She looks so sad that I accept the cushion which is now the bane of my life. I have a visit from a diffferent district nurse who comes to inflate it for me (health and safety, dear), and instructs me to keep the box and all that comes with it in case we need to return it. During an earlier conversation with my Macmillan nurse who I like very much, she asks if the district nurse is going to look at my bottom. “No, no, no,” I say, “I will show her my tongue to distract her”. After she has inflated the cushion, she asks if she can see my bottom. Now, when it’s put to you straight, it’s quite difficult, I find, to say NO.”What about your groin?” she persists. Unfortunately it is a day when I am worn out and in bed, watching trashy tv and dozing so I look a bit like an invalid. Before I can say no, her hands have thrown the duvet back and her little hands are feeling all over my mattress. I babble on about its 1500 box springs and memory foam and then she just flips me over and looks at my bottom. And my heels and calves. The real shocker is when she tells me she must come and do this every day.Yes, you heard it right – every day. I can’t quite work out what is really going on but ask if it’s not something we could just monitor ourselves and get in touch if my bottom felt hot or sore. No, not good enough. Mr Mason could look at it and she could just come on a Friday. Oh, joy. That’s the best we can get at this point. I honestly feel she has me down as a woman who doesn’t move at all and I know pressure sores are awful and difficult to treat, not to mention painful, but I don’t think I’m a candidate at the moment. So Mr Mason has to check me every morning after my shower to make sure I’m not developing any sores and he is formally authorised to look at my bum every day. He is in heaven.