This Was The Day

There was an eerie silence in the house Wednesday morning. Although I was not alone, there didn’t seem to be anyone here with me. This was the day I had been waiting for since that August morning when the word cancer was first uttered. This was the day I had been looking forward to, anxious to begin treatment to rid me of this thing. This was the day I had been hoping would arrive soon, an end to the seemingly endless waits for the postman to arrive with letters from the hospital. An end to the scans, tests, and worst of all the wait for results. And now the day had arrived. All of a sudden this was the day that I didn’t really want to arrive. The day that could change the course of my well being in the months ahead. I had subconsciously avoided going to bed the night before, finding things to watch on TV until the early hours. I made sure I had two slices of bread to toast to ensure I had something to eat, as instructed, 30 minutes prior to taking the tablets. It was sods law that I burnt the toast, too early for the shop to be open to allow me to buy some more. Burnt toast it was then. That 30 minutes seemed to go in a flash And then the time had passed. I carefully punched the tablets out of their foil wrappings, Capecitabine, a ‘cytotoxic antimetabolite’ (it’s amazing what you can learn from wiki) –3 x 500 mg 1 x 150 mg. These are the tablets that the enzymes in my body, will convert into 5-fluorouracil, the chemical that will attack the cancer cells in my body. Unfortunately it will also attack the healthy cells in my body. I paused for a final few seconds, not really thinking of anything just knowing I needed to pause. Then, with a pint glass of water in one hand, I gulped the tablets down one by one. This was a procedure I was going to have to get used to, repeated in 12 hours time, and every day, for the next 35 days. There, that was it, the chemical warfare has begun. End of part 1.

Part 2. The heavy armoury. This part was much easier, more regimented. I knew the procedure, I had been for all the measuring up, scanning machines were second nature to me now, the only thing that I hadn’t had was the bombardment of radiation into my body. Lights out, lasers on to line me up. 3 radiologists calling out co-ordinates like an artillery battalion on the battle field. When everything was in order they left the room, leaving me lying there on the solid see through table, beams pointing at my body. The technology whirls into action. A strange feeling that I am floating, rolling in space, as I twist and turn, spinning weightless – except it’s not me moving at all, it’s the x-ray machines around me, blasting my tumour form various angles. What a strange sensation. I was conscious of my left leg twitching as my sciatic nerve is trapped. My leg is not used to being straight for any period of more than a few seconds. This was the only pain I experienced, no sensation at all from the beams blasting inside me. Ten minutes or so on my own, and it was all action again. Routine over, machines being moved away, reassuring voices, “see you tomorrow”.


The photo, if you hadn’t already guessed, is the birthday cake. The hug I got was worth all the effort that went into making it. 18 candles was a bit ambitious though (see inset photo), it almost became a toasted tea cake. Alana assured me the cake tasted and looked great. Not being a great eater of home made cake I didn’t really have anything to compare it to. It tasted good to me, although I have spent most of the intervening time since eating both cake, and a child size portion of Sunday roast, suffering with extreme belly ache. My time with Alana passed far too quickly. No sooner was she here, than she was gone again, but it was time I cherished. We went shopping in Manchester on Tuesday. This time it was for a young lady, and all that entails. No longer was it just for buying clothes, now she has her own sense of fashion and taste. I smiled to myself on many occasions as we trawled from shop to shop, hunting through the rails, dresses, coats, jumpers…….and of course shoes !!!! I fell in love with a pair of boots in Schuh, and promised myself them when I got better. Devilishly expensive, Red or Dead, but oh so nice. I stroked them one last time before we left the shop to continue shopping. We shopped, we lunched, and then the cinema. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy. Brilliant choice, brilliant film. Can’t work out who going to get the Oscar, so many deserving performances. Film studies is the one “light” subject in Alana’s A Level studies, and she has embraced it with both arms. Along with English Literature and History. We talked Universities. The last time we spoke on the subject she was unsure. I’m glad now she’s made up her mind, UCAS forms completed and submitted. She’s hoping for either Exeter or Sussex, and I know she’ll get the grades for whichever one she wants. So proud of her.


If you have any concerns about bowel cancer, or just want more information or check cancer rates in your area you can find all the information advice and help you need here 


This entry was posted in Cancer, chemotherapy, Manchester, Oldham, radiotherapy, Saddleworth, Shoes, The Christie. Bookmark the permalink.

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