Bloody cancer has made Christmas planning a whole lot more challenging this year.
I should caveat that by saying that it’s made Louise’s planning a whole lot more challenging. I’m adding my usual contribution – not a flipping lot!
I had thought about using my diagnosis as a handy excuse: “Sorry you’ve got no presents but I am ill you know…”. But that would be cheating and just a tad cheeky.
So, returned to pretty much full heath and vitality this week, I’ve done a bit of Christmas shopping and a bit of present wrapping – which for me, by December 19 – is almost unheard of.
No time, though, for that last minute rush this year.
I’m heading back in to the Western bright and early on Monday morning for phase two of my chemo.
Two new drugs this time over 48 hours – a single but strong dose of something called Rituximab which can give you some instant side effects and allergic reactions – and four two-hour drips of Cytarabine taken 12 hours apart.
Do the math. That’s me in until at least Wednesday but probably Thursday, assuming all goes well.
Any delays or reactions and it could mean discharged on Christmas Day or even later. Safe to say that fingers and toes are very much crossed!
Having ‘escaped’ the Western last Sunday full of antibiotics, I’ve had a pretty good week and tried to get back to a degree of normality. Food shopping. School drop offs and pick ups.
I also popped into the office on Tuesday for a catch up and a good gossip, and was back in on Thursday for the office Christmas lunch which was great.
I was very tired on Wednesday, though – I was virtually falling asleep standing up – so I put on hold any plans for Christmas partying…
Louise did manage a party of sorts though, out with some school mums on Thursday night which I think did her the world of good – well deserved.
I also got an early Christmas present from my wonderful wife and in laws – a 15GB portable wifi that I can take into the hospital and get full use of my iPad and not have to worry about my pitifully low 4G data allowance. I’m almost looking forward to going back…
Finally, a word and appeal for the amazing Maggie’s support centres. I had a fantastic session with the Edinburgh Centre’s manager Andy on Thursday morning and the support that they offer to patients and importantly their families is incredible.
I felt so relaxed and at ease and will make great use of the facilities over the weeks and months ahead. We’ve booked the kids in for a session later this week.
Maggie’s is a charity. If you are looking for a good cause to support in 2016 then please consider Maggie’s – the work they do is truly wonderful.
PS – that’s the hair starting to fall out… more details in the next blog!