Days 408 – 413


I travel up to London with a bag full of books and pyjamas and soft bristle toothbrushes, my mandolin and my laptop loaded with audio books and films.  And filled up with love and luck and the good wishes of friends and family.

Here nephews Finn and Marin practice the art of double crossing…

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I land on Denise again at Kew Bridge and its great to catch up with Lucca and Nell and I wait for the call from the hospital to say they’re ready for me.  But four days later I’m heading back to Pz again – this should be Day 2 of the high dose chemotherapy but due to the non-availability of beds I just had my Hickman line put in and am free again until next Wednesday.  Too long to stay in London and just long enough to make it worthwhile going home.

It’s a mixed blessing.  Slightly dismayed at the delay because I was psyched up for it and then nothing happens, but I’m also relieved to have these extra days – the build up to leaving for the month in hospital has been inevitably tiring but now everything is organised I’ve actually got a few days to relax.  I have a nagging worry about more delays in starting the next round of treatment – I have that same dull and sometimes sharper chest pain that I only really notice in the stillness of night when one’s mind can run with it, and I feel it’s the cancer waking up again after the last round of chemo.  Feel it, think it?  I don’t know, I guess another week of waiting for a bed won’t make any difference given the massive chemo dose I’m about to receive but it’s a worry non the less.  I just want to get on with it.

Anyway, no hospital bed means I could meet up with Karen W and attend Serge’s 50th birthday bash in London and catch up with Elisabeth of the Broths, and Nicos and Grace who I haven’t seen for some years.  Fun in a garden centre cafe in Little Venice…surreal with half my mind thinking that I should be in a ward with neon and bleeps and coursing chemicals but instead here I am with a glass in my hand, a little dancing and smiling people all around…

And what to do in Penzance for 4 days?

In a way its a short dry-run for when I come out of hospital. I’ve had a sort of revelation about how to organise my time in June.  I’ve been doing my best this last 6 months; changing the way I eat and what I eat etc, and trying to find time for exercise too, but I’ve struggled to relax into it and be happy with the hours of shopping, preparing, cleaning etc.   I’ve felt the necessity to get on with other things and I’ve been busy right up to the last moment.  But coming out will need to be different and it can be.  How about if I change the ratio around, and my expectations with it, so that I’m happy spending most of each day enjoying the preparation of good food, finding time for focused careful exercise and rest?  And if I manage three hours a day of other things be content about that.  Maybe in a few months the ratio can change again, but at least start off that way.

It’s a change of priority.  Put simply, the project is me.  So maybe I’ll just try that out for the next four days while I wait for the bed to come up.