Well I must say I have struck it lucky in a way. I now have the window bed with nice views out over the suburb of Herston. I can sit in my bed and watch traffic meander its way through streets and along the freeways to and from the airport and northern exits. It’s rather calming I find, so I’m relaxing enjoying the blue skies out there. Tonight will be nice looking at the twinkling lights instead.
The former occupant of this area was my ward buddy for a couple of days. Joy has gone home with a clean bill of health after a fairly long and hard battle. It was good for me to have her to talk to and learn what I might or might not go through. A true blessing I reckon. Joy is a straight down the line, super strong, fast talking little woman and I can imagine she is a well known member of her beach side community on the Sunshine Coast.
Last night the nurses’ team had to prepare her for her exit from hospital, and the mountain of information was a tad overwhelming for her. She was close to tears at one stage but soon recovered. We talked about how she felt and I pointed out it was natural to feel vulnerable and a bit scared, going from such a safe and well monitored environment to the big outside world full of germs and hidden dangers.
Being told she cannot do her gardening or cut her own vegetables was just the last straw and not expected. Joy left this morning with her daughter in law from SA with a spring in her step, full of excitement at the chance of another good go at life. Joy is in her 70s.
This is a pic of my chemo pouch….so cute with the embroidered strawberry on the front. The treatment for Heffy has to have some punch they reckon, so I’ve got a mixture of 3 very powerful drugs which all mixed together they call it Epoch. (The doctors were surprised I knew how to spell it….do they think I’m dumb?). When they added a 4th drug which I have over 4 of the 6 day treatments, it’s even stronger. This 4th one is the toughie with the oomph apparently. I have named Epoch’s sturdy little mate in the bag Eric as it sounds a little nicer. So Eric and I are happily united with many cords and are happily getting to know each other. We have Heffy firmly in our sights and are determined he will not get the upper hand…or glob.
On a lighter note, one of the nurses on duty yesterday called Gabbie, noticed a photo of a cat on my laptop screen. She is a keen cat person and showed me photos of her 2 beauties, and then of her mother’s and sister’s cats as well. The next half hour was spent enjoying a happy conversation about her cats, our cats and cats in general. The delight shining on her face as she spoke of her little boys was just too precious to miss. She saw this photo of Clayton on my laptop and reckons it’s worthy of being on a calendar. Not sure about that, but I do love this one of our little boy when he was well, fat and very happy.
The nurses and doctors here are fantastic and I can’t stop saying that often enough. The knowledge they each and collectively hold is nothing short of amazing. Their friendliness, competent manners, and all round abilities to make one feel totally at ease and cared for is something that should be bottled and passed around to every medical professional. Most are young, and these days trained at universities….not always a good thing as they miss the life experience and hands on approach….but there are many I have found who have these gifts and skills within them and they stand out like beacons. I am more than convinced that thinking and feeling this is good ammo against that big fat slouch Heffy.
My emotions over the past few weeks since this thing blew up in my neck have been nothing less than a roller coaster ride that I would much rather never have to go on. Friends and family will tell you that when the chips are down I keep going to the very end and my tears, fears and whinges take a back seat until I am sure everyone else involved is fine, happy and tucked up safe and sound with no more tears to shed.
One of the male nurses I’ve met mentioned to me on about the third day I was in this hospital, that it was okay to cry. He said it was okay to scream and get angry. I replied that these were unnecessary emotions and wouldn’t accomplish much anyway so I held back and made my throat a bit sore from the strain.
I shed a few tears here and there with the handsome Daniel, and then with the lovely caring Jason (one of the doctors here in this ward), and a couple of the older nurses. One nurse, an older Malay lady and I had a good chat one night when everyone else was either snoring or listening to their rugby match at top volume. She told me she was the same in 2008 when diagnosed with breast cancer, until she felt one day she had to either scream out hateful things to her family and friends, or deal with how she felt inside…she let go had a good cry and cries to this day if and when she feels the need. The crying didn’t cure her, but it helped her deal with so much better. She is now clear of CA.
No doubt in my mind that the steroids I have been on had a lot to do with the emotional releases happening shortly after our talk. I had a cry to myself that night but it still felt a bit silly. Then I had to ring Tim the next day with an update from tests and I couldn’t stop bawling like a clown on the phone. It was actually a welcome relief when he was here on the weekend and we hugged tightly and cried like little kids. Very necessary.
I’ve cried many times since with Tim, nurses (especially the night nurses), a couple of the doctors and the Social Worker, Justine who is one of the most compassionate and helpful people I have ever met. Many say I will cry harder when my hair starts to fall out, but I think I’ll be celebrating that as a sign that if my hair is going, so is a bit of Heffy. I’ve been looking online for soft beanies that are a bit more classy than a footy beanie to wear for when this happens. My plan is to get the hair people on board asap and have it shaved off. No delaying the departure.
So for now I intend to sit back calmly and let Epoch and his sturdy little mate Eric do their thing to this unwanted, horrible big fat blob in my neck and other little corners. Eviction is to take place very soon.
Goodnight for now. I’ve had a long conversation with Tim tonight and it’s such a load off my mind knowing his parents are there with him keeping things on track. His meals are on time and regular, the dogs and cats are taken care of when Tim’s busy, the house and garden are not being neglected and this all adds up to the end result that I can rest easy and get on with the business at hand here in Brisbane.
Thank you all once again for hanging in here with me. Tomorrow is another day and I feel like I’m on a winner at the moment. I value your love and support more than you’ll ever truly know.