Friday was a rest day, I’m into another routine now, I can expend energy one day knowing I can (need to) rest the following day. By comparison to previous outings this week, Thursday was tame. Lunch out, District nurses to have sutures removed and a quick skip around Asda. I can’t really do anything quickly, but quick and skip rhyme and it sounded better. Student nurse Danielle (under supervision) removed the sutures from the exit point of the central line. The skin has now knitted around the tube coming out of my chest and no longer needs holding in place. It was the first time she had actually seen a central line, and I was more than pleased to answer her questions. She was very interested and inquisitive about my cancer, chemo and central line. I know she’s a nurse and that’s her job, but showing a bit of interest does make a big difference.
I’ve not really mentioned my sleep patterns recently, if I did keep you up to date it would be every day and that wouldn’t make interesting reading would it. It used to be predictable every night, I wouldn’t get much sleep, but recently I can’t tell from night to night just what’s ahead of me. The line in my neck/chest doesn’t make it easy. The external bit doesn’t get in the way as I thought it would, but even the slightest stretch of the neck makes you aware that the inside bit is there. Even the smallest movement during sleep is enough to tug and pull sufficient to wake me up. Do one of those cheesy big grins, the one where the veins stick out in your neck as you clench your jaw, that’s how it feels- all the time. On days after chemo I can sleep 20 hours in a day, and then three nights later I’m lucky to grab a couple. That’s frustrating and doesn’t make planning very easy. It can’t help the overall fatigue either. If there’s anything that has taken me by surprise during this illness it’s the fatigue and tiredness. I never imagined your body could just shut down in the way it has at times. To be unable to move your limbs through tiredness is a bit scary. To have no energy, no reserves. The mind might want to but the body has no response, and it’s very tempting just to give up altogether and just stay in bed. Add to that cancer brain, confusion and loss of memory and you’ll get some understanding as to why everything takes three times longer than it should. Friday was supposed to be one of those catch up days. I was still awake at 4am, must have drifted off sometime after that, and awake again before 7am, so a lazy day napping was definitely called for. No Mrs. C, no district nurse, doctors or hospital appointments, the stage was set.
I can, and do, take all morning to get ready, even if I’m not doing anything it can take a couple of hours to shower and get dressed. The plan was to have a nap early so as not to fall asleep during the Andy Murray semi final match (No reflection on your tennis Andy). I could feel my eye lids going, and just as I was about to drift off I heard the first clunk of the gate, followed by hammering on the door. Meter reader “ I left a card yesterday” ~ so he did, damn it. There was sufficient time for me to get back into bed and start to drift again before the clunk struck again. Chemist delivery man ~ thank you. No sooner had I got back upstairs and my mobile rings. Chemist delivery man – again ! “Did you get the stuff I left in your out-house the other day?”. Yes thank you. To be fair, I had given him my number just in case he called when I was in bed. I had fully drifted by the time of the next caller, Stoma supplies. “Awful weather isn’t it”. Yes it is, thank you.
“Sorry to trouble you….” ‘
‘Are you really’ was my thought as I answered the door for the fourth time.
“I’m looking for Mr……”
“So why are you looking here?” came my terse reply. “What address are you looking for?
“I don’t know, I just know it’s on this street somewhere”. How thoughtful of you to start at my address, couldn’t you have started at the other end of the street.
By now Federer was cruising through his match, would not be long before Murray would be on court. So that’s the sleep option gone. It would make sense to have eaten before the tennis got to the serious business of the latter sets, but the thought of food sent me into a an uncontrollable spiral of nausea that had me reeling and swaying within minutes. I’d had nausea before but this came out of no-where and had me reaching for the metoclopramide almost immediately. I don’t normally take these, nausea comes and goes without chemical intervention, but today, suddenly, I could barely open my eyes without the feeling of nausea and vertigo. The metoclopramide is designed to empty the stomach so reducing the feeling of sickness, but emptying the stomach has other consequences, and as a large piece of my colon is now missing, requires some rather immediate attention, and eventually loperamide. Just for good measure, what’s left of my bodies defences reacted against something, leaving my skin covered in bright blotches. Add chlorphenamine to the cocktail to stop me clawing away at my skin. I did fall asleep eventually, a couple of hours in the arm chair after the Murray match. Not what I wanted at all. A chain of events that started with me being unable to sleep, ends with me waking at ten o’clock at night, and as a consequence, results in another night of being unable to sleep.
Saturday was a rest day, I’m into another routine now, I can expend energy one day knowing I can (need to) rest the following day……………