In September last year one of my blog entries was entitled ‘For Ellie’
Ellie was a vibrant, successful, happy and inspirational woman who had been struck down with cancer at the tender age of 28. Ellie has been planning her wedding, whilst at the same time undergoing an extremely aggressive chemotherapy regime in an attempt to halt the spread of her cancer. She had defied misdiagnosis, got up time and time again after being knocked back, and continued to fight with every last drop of energy she had. She never accepted defeat when written off, questioned every decision over her treatment, fought for every chance that she might beat this disease. Her blog has had me in tears many times, and inspired me to fight and remain positive about my own diagnosis. It may sound patronising, but every time I read her blog, http://writtenoff.net/ , I thought to myself how lucky I was. At the same time it was a reminder of how this stinking horrible disease somehow always seems to have the upper hand. Sadly Ellie became too weak to continue the fight, and passed away on Friday. My thoughts are with her fiancé Tom and all her family and friends. Like hundreds (maybe even thousands) of others, I’ll miss you Ellie, but you’ll continue to inspire me.
As if we need any more reminders, the passing of Robin Gibb shows just how relentless cancer is. It is only a few weeks since we were reading about how he had fought back from his latest setback, just as Ellie did time and time again. Cancer has no respect for age or status. There are hundreds of stories every day, families grieving over the loss of a loved one who had appeared to be winning he fight against their cancer, only to be defeated by a crippling blow that comes out of nowhere. A remission that ends on the blink of an eye lid. A spread that only a week or so ago was unseen on a scan. We cling on to the hope that our specialist doctors can counteract every blow, when the reality is they are fighting blindfolded, and with one hand tied behind their back. As I write this I want to scream and shout out loud about the injustice of this disease. My depressed thoughts turn to anger and fear. Who knows how far I am on the journey I was so unceremoniously dumped on last summer. At the moment the road seems long, at the same time not knowing what is in store for us around the next corner. You can only ignore the stark truth for so long, then it hits you smack in the face – reality check, people are dying.
All things considered, Monday was a pretty depressing day. The sun was shining, and I spent most of it waiting for the district nurse to call. So I waited….and waited….and waited. She didn’t arrive until 4.30pm, which pretty much wrote off the day. Expecting her to say “all healed”, you can imagine my disappointment on hearing her words, monty python style “ just a teeny weeny tiny pin prick sized hole left, we’ll give it one last dressing”. Sod it, another 3 days. I can’t wait to get rid of it. I haven’t been able to have a bath since the beginning of April. Yep, you read that right, 1st April to be precise, the day before I went into hospital. Yes of course I can keep myself clean, I’m a big boy now, but I long for a steaming hot bath I can soak in. To free my joints, allow my back muscles to relax. Oh well, another couple of days won’t make much difference. DN screamed loudly as she followed me back down the stairs, half way down my leg gave way as I pirouetted on one leg grabbing hold to the stair rail. Pretty normal for me, I’m used to it, but I think it was a bit of a shock to her. She filled in my report, see you Thursday!
The only good thing to come out of Monday was I slept through the night, not having been able to have my afternoon nap. I was somewhat surprised when I woke at 6am. No morphine for three days now either, just relying on opiate background relief, twice a day. That’s a first since having my op too. Maybe things are not as bad as they seem. I’m up and awake, the sun is shining, and today I’m only waiting in for Macmillan nurse. She’s always here by 10.30, so hopefully the rest of the day is mine. I wanted to take advantage of the sunshine on and get some washing on. If I started it now it would be ready for Mrs C to hang out when she arrives. I sat down for a coffee, staring at the laundry basket in front of me, still full ! I’d started the washing machine without anything in it. Attempt two was not much better, 20 minutes after putting clothes in, I realised the soap powder was still on the side in the kitchen. Oh well, at least it might be ready by the time Mrs. C goes. So, plans for today? I might just buy a few more plants for the garden, Asda Living to buy lots of little things I don’t need. I’m going for a new quilt, but who knows what I’ll come home with. I’m determined to have quilt and quilt covers of the same size one day, something I’ve never been able to achieve since I’ve been single. That’s the result of just grabbing quilt covers from the reduced section without looking at the size first. Not always a bargain. New pillows as well, a real (late) spring clean. Now, I must go and measure the bed……and write the measurements down…..and remember to take the note with me.