We’re getting into a routine now, I phone Dad to let him know the latest news, he phones me the following day to check again on what I’ve told him. This isn’t going to change. I must remember to check the answer phone, he’s the only one who uses the landline to get hold of me and I keep forgetting to check. Luckily I had already phoned him before I found the latest message. He’s given up on his mobile phone, he’s given it to Marian. That makes more sense of course because she’s the one out of the house whilst Dad is stuck at home. I tried to explain how to put more credit on it, but was wasting my time. I was explaining the voucher system, the phone number and entering the code. Both of which he said he’d got, until I realised he was reading information off the back of the box. Even if he understood it, I can’t see him being able to input the code with his gnarled fingers. In the end I suggested he take it to the local supermarket phone desk, and ask someone there to do it for them.
For the first time, I can honestly say I’ve felt ill -all weekend. Don’t quite know what it was, but I just didn’t feel right. A bit of nausea, belly ache, discomfort, and just a general feeling of being unwell. This could be a coincidence of course, but I can do without it. Lack of sleep isn’t helping either, I’ve not had a full nights sleep for a few days now. I went to bed early Saturday night because I wasn’t feeling well. I was awoken at 2.30am with belly ache. I tried to get back to sleep for an hour, before giving up completely and returning downstairs. Still feeling rough, I watched 3 rugby matches from the World Cup. At 8.30am I returned to bed for another couple of hours sleep, feeling cold, and waking up cold. Another hour at 3pm as I couldn‘t keep my eyes open. Sleep patterns like this don’t exactly encourage a decent nights sleep do they. The benefit of being awake half the night was that I got a lot of paperwork I needed completing out of the way. Filed all my letters, bills, documents away, and scanned lots of other stuff .
Monday morning I had a phone call from the GP’s surgery. “We’ve booked you in for a flu jab”, hmmm(3) news to me, I didn’t know I needed one. As if I don’t have enough bruises on my arm from needles as it is. Something I had not thought about, but it makes sense though. I won’t be wanting flu when my bodies defences are at their lowest. I’ve only had “proper” flu once in my entire life, and it knocked me for six for about 3 weeks, not able to get out of bed for 4-5 days. I really thought I was dying, but then again I am a bit of a hypochondriac.
I found myself playing the “cancer card” on Monday too. Not that I intended too, it just came out in conversation, and it worked a treat ! The dentist over the road from me has a big sign outside “Now accepting new NHS patients”. So I went in on the way back from the post office. Whilst I was waiting I overheard the receptionist telling someone over the phone, “no sorry we’re not, the sign is coming down tomorrow”.
“Can I help you”
“I think you’ve just answered my question, you’re not taking any new NHS patients”
“No I’m sorry, I can take your details and we’ll contact you when we next do, but it’s not likely to be for six months or so”
“No, it’s OK, I really need to be seen sooner, I’m about to start chemotherapy and I just wanted to get checked out before then”
“Ah well, in that case I can fit you in as long as you don’t tell anyone – Is Wednesday OK?”
To complete the trio, I’ve also made an appointment for an eye test. I think it’s 3 ½ years since I last had one, which is far too long. Particularly as my sister has glaucoma, and I‘m supposed to get checked every 12 months. I know I’m going to regret this, I always end up in an argument over the cost of my glasses. The two lenses are wildly different prescriptions, and it always seems to be the case that any offers don’t apply in such circumstances. I need an extra thin lens, but for one eye only. If I didn’t it would look like the end of a milk bottle and my specs would be lopsided due to the extra weight on one side. And I only need varifocal in one lens. Now you might think this would lead to lenses at half the normal cost, but it never seems to work out that way.
I took part in the second fringe debate on early diagnosis, only from a Tweeting side though. This time it was the Labour Party conference, and my MP Debbie Abrahams was part of the panel. It’s a shame I couldn’t see or hear the debate, would have been nice if it could have been streamed. But then again, it is a charity and resources have to be used carefully. Being diagnosed with cancer opens your eyes to just how many cancer charities there are, and more importantly just what great work they do. The information and support they provide is fantastic, as are the people who work for them. They have been a great help to me, both in learning more about my diagnosis and providing emotional and practical support. It’s sad that it has taken this for me to take note of the work they do. I’ve never put so much money into collection boxes, wherever I see them. In this area, not surprisingly, Christie collection boxes are the most prominent. I dumped another load of coins in the one in the post office this morning, in fact I emptied my pockets. You would never find me doing that in the past. I’ve done the same in the local pub, the chippy, the bank, the corner shop, the takeaway………….