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I've been hearing how NHS cancer patients can't get the opiates they need, which is all very Bad and Wrong indeed. But I have to admit to having apparently won the postcode lottery here; my doctors love giving me drugs. I have Zoomorph, which sounds to me like a collection of animals all changing shape, and then I had something they thought was better than that - only I didn't have it on scrip, and the hospital stole it (apparently; I'm not entirely sure what happened there), so now I'm back on Zoomorph again, and I have Oramorph too. And left-over codeine. It's all good. Well, all but the necessity for all of this.
Also not good is the fact that all these drugs leave me inhabiting a twilight world all of my own most of the time. I've been in hospital for the best part of three days and had two lots of chemo since I last updated, but damned if I can remember a thing about any of it.
Judy - who was there - tells me that the Churchill was as slow, disorganised and generally hopeless as ever, and that even taking my brother along for moral support (he being a Tall Man) didn't help. But I did have a stomach drain - eventually; it didn't go according to schedule because they sent us to the wrong place. And I did have my first chemo on the ward - again, eventually, this time because I was too ill to be given it when I went down in the morning and had to have a couple of bags of fluids, an antibiotic, and the BIGGEST VOMIT IN THE WORLD, EVER before I was well enough.
Side note: I owe not only Judy and Tim an apology for making them spend all that long, boring time by my bedside, I also have to apologise to the poor Gentleman Caller, who was expecting a nice evening with Judy but only saw her for about five minutes when she drove home to let him in, and, further, got stuck in a freezing cold house because we'd turned the heating off the night before.
God knows what happened between Chemo #1 and Chemo #2. That's pretty much a blur. Chemo #2 was another masterclass in hospital efficiency - we were there for something like six hours just to get one dose of poxytaxel - but there is always someone worse off than oneself, and in this case it was the woman next to us, who was hearing-impaired - and every one of the nurses talked to her father in a "does she take sugar?" sort of way - had so many physical problems that I lost count, and I don't think ever did get her treatment.
My next chemo is this coming Tuesday, and that ought to be interesting. The appointment isn't until mid-afternoon. Given present form, I'm expecting that we'll get home sometime in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
I'm suffering from the heat at present, like everyone, but am lucky enough to have a beautiful garden where I can sit - with a garden bench (in the shade, it's okay) to languish on. Getting any sleep at night is more of a problem; I've had to sleep in the sitting room once this week already, which is all well and good but very disorienting when you wake up.
As for that bad BoyCat - remember I told you how, with immaculate timing, he'd come home with a big bite on his bum? Well, Judy managed to get him to the vet to have it looked at, but there was no way we could get near him for his follow-up appointment. He does seem okay, but I'm afraid he may end up with a permanent bald spot to mar his beauty.
All the cats have gone semi-feral in the heat, and are treating the house merely as a convenient snack bar. I suppose I don't blame them. If I thought that sleeping under the rhubarb would cool me off, I'd do it.
How do I feel? It's hard to say. Not as bad as I did before the drain; not as good as I would like to feel. Somewhere in that hinterland you will find me. Mostly what I am doing is trying very hard to eat properly. Or, you know. At all.
But I am still one of the luckiest cancer patients you will find - for values of 'lucky' and 'cancer'. See what my former colleagues/customers in the USA did for me:
Many spoons! I had to break off several times when I was reading the messages, I kept getting something in my eye.
At the moment, the only blot on the horizon is that it doesn't look as if we'll be able to change my Bruce ticket for a disabled one. I'm going to write a pleading and heartfelt email to the stadium, but I don't hold out much hope. I'll just have to hope that I feel well enough to go. It would be ironic if I couldn't, Bruce being one of the things I've been determinedly staying alive for, but we shall just have to see.
To my shame i didn't recognise your quotation so I googled it and guess what ? - your Diary of a Crabby Lady popped up 4th. in the list. So now you're famous. Among people who have to check poetic references that is.
Chemo at your hospital sounds par for the course, except it's not a nice game of golf but people's lives they're playing with. I wonder if anyone in authority is ever actually in possession of more than half the information they need to run a competent system in a chemo ward, anywhere. At mine, they had a whiteboard on which they were supposed to write your name when you arrived at the appointed time and presented yourself. But the system inevitably broke down when the receptionist forgot the writing your name bit. That happened to me twice, and I only realised something was wrong when later arrivals were called in before me from the "waiting-room" - a long corridor without enough chairs for the patients, and staff walking through all the time chattering or clattering with their stilettoes on the lino. Incidentally, do you recall that incident where Tony Blair was collared by an angry relative of a chemo patient, with all the press recording the incident, about the primitive conditions? You've guessed it, "my" hospital. Nothing changed.
My tortuous point being that hospitals aren't run to serve the patients, but for some other purpose that we will never be privy to. Most of the time - except for the surgical team and the staff on the high-dependency unit and post-surgery ward - I felt like an optional extra.
Anyway, you've received some super spoons which should sustain you for the next chemo session. What wonderul friends. I do hope you manage to exchange your Bruce ticket.
Love & hugs,
Zoomorph sounds funny... and made me laugh as oramorph has the ora as in oral and when I see zoo morph I I always think oooh where do you shove that? But then again, that's me and having a tumour in your arse tends to make you a bit base in the humour dept I find.
I am sorry you are in a drug induced daze aa lot of the time... I remember that one well, but at least mine wasn't as long as yours...
Do email and write and do anything you possibly can do to get to see the Boss. I will write if you tell me who and where too... I'd get onto the papers and everything if needed- play every cancer card in the pack, Hilary. As you say, this is too good to miss.
Sleeping under the rhubarb sounds kind of nice... sometimes I wish I were as small as my pseudonym. My boy cats are often getting bitten and their fur has always grown back, but as I am covered in war wounds and bald patches myself, I shall tell him he looks beautiful anyway...
I shall be thinking of you on Tuesday, I shall be spending the day being scanned every which way so sending some positive vibes will be a nice distraction from tubes and clanking and claustophobia and feeling like you peed yourself!
The spoons are lovely and its nice to know that people care....
I am enjoying having you around a little more and playing wwf of course. I think you might win, which galls me. Being ill does not allow such privilidges in my book!
Biggest hugs to you and a lot of love
Little My xxxxx
ps keep off the hemlock eh?
What a lovely gesture those spoons are; it must have taken a lot of organising and it must be nice to know so many people are thinking of you at this horrible time.
As for Judy and Tim, I'm sure no apology is needed and they wanted - sorry that's the wrong word -needed to be there where they could oversee your progress at first hand.
Can't comment on cats, but a large rhubarb umbrella sounds just right this weather - not that I'm complaining Mr weatherman.
I hope you do get to see Bruce and if you're not well enough then he should come to see you! If you need us to back up your claims let us know and the warped army will spring into action.
As for WWF, you and Lm seem to collar all the best letters and I get left with the rubbish!. Do you know a word containing three i's and a u?
Keep up your spirits and have some real welsh cwtches from me - gentle ones of course.
Good morning Hils!
From reading your many posts, and indeed this latest one, Zoomorph sounds sadly appropriate for the Churchill, they sound like a bunch of animals.
How fabulous to get those spoons with wonderful messages, a customer of mine sent me some big cookies with messages on and it really made me feel good.
The poor cats are suffering in this heat, mine spends most of her time under a thick hedge we have and then ventures out occasionally to cry at us, not for food it seems, just to complain that it is hot!
Lovely to read your words again Hils, hoping your going to have a better experience at the zoo, sorry Churchill, for your next chemo session.
Morning Hils, This is the second time I have tried ti write this post , the first disappeared somewhere??
It's so lovely to see your painted toes back on Mac and you have come out your haze and that bloody awful trip at the Zoo.
Wow all those lovely spoons, how nice to read all those messages no wonder you got something in your eye. I hear you have been enjoying the sun and lying out in it , recoup all that lost energy or are you trying to get a fantastic tan for Bruce ;)))) I truly hope you get to go and see him, he is one of my favourites too (fantastic bum)!!!!
Keep going Hils xxx
Hello Hilary ........ not much that I can add really as everyone has said it already. I am so glad that they are doing something for you at last ...... not that chemo is at all pleasant, but it's got to be giving that nasty barsteward Mr Crab a good kicking in it's nether regions !
Zoomorph - that makes the mind boggle, but if it does the job ........ ? Don't know why, but it reminds me of that Dillon off the Magic Roundabout who always appeared to be stoned ....... maybe not a bad thing under the circumstances ?
All those lovely spoons ! Definitely a trigger for a bit of eye incontinence, I feel. Sending hugs and all best wishes for Tuesday ........
Love and hugs, Joycee xxx
It's good to see your pretty pink feet here on blogland.
How lovely to recieve you spoon gifts full of special messages, friends being so thoughtful is just a happy tiggerific thing.
Good luck with your chemo's and you never know, The Churchill might get organised one day!!?
Ooooh and I really do hope you can get a special 'Just for Hils' experience at the Bruce concert. You must play an ace cancer card 'cos i'm sure he would want to please one of his ardent fans in her hour of need. Maybe we could all send an e.mail to his fan club, what do you reckon??
Take care and huge big hugs,
Annie - I know that Mac blogs show up in Google searches, and I'm not best pleased about it. I've emailed Mac to ask if they could be excluded from Web searches; I do think we should at least be given the choice. I haven't heard back from them, and it's entirely possible that they'll just tell me to be a bit more tactful! I don't think the Churchill would be any too happy if it saw some of the things I've said about it. Although that's its own fault. They're all true.
LM - apparently Zoomorph is not Zoomorph at all but Zomorph, which would be a Burmese tribe that could change shape. Oramorph, of course, just makes your mouth a funny shape. Like Ecstasy, or so I am told.
Odin - nowt I can do about the WWF letters. Some days you get all the vowels, some days you get none at all.
Everyone - yes, spoons lovely, I am still a bit weepy. Heat quite nice, but sometimes a little Too Much. All pets are mad. Nice, usually, but almost always mad. And there's really nowt I can do about Bruce. If the stadium doesn't have any spare disabled seating, then it doesn't, and that's it. I hope they get back to me on my enquiry as to medical facilities, though. I don't mind listening to Bruce from the first aid room, if that's what it takes! The Churchill will get its act together when Arthur, or possibly Sir Francis Drake, wakens, I suspect if then.
Anyone I've forgotten: sorry!
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