For those who aren’t keen followers of the Scots language, or more specifically au fait with the traditions of the Borders Common Ridings, the ‘nicht afore the morn’ is the phrase used in some towns to mark the day/evening before the Festival’s main celebration day.
My ‘nicht afore the morn’ doesn’t so much reflect a pre-celebration day, but more a day of reflection and relaxation before I go into hospital for, well, who knows quite how long.
Tonight I put the kids to bed for the last time this month.
Tomorrow I’ll head into Ward 8 at the Western for my Stem Cell Transplant.
It’s been brilliant that the weather’s been so nice for the past few days. However, in spite of your many good wishes, I really kind of hope the rain, wind and even sleet returns for the rest of May whilst I’m stuck in isolation! Sorry…
I’ve not packed yet – not that there’s much I need to take in.
My main task in the morning, once I’ve done nursery and school runs and said my final goodbyes to the kids, is to go to the supermarket and stock up on drinks (soft…), nibbles, treats and even Pot Noodles.
For my SG work colleagues, I intend to replicate the SGoRR provisions cupboard. Ever Resilient!
I’m not as worried as I thought I’d be about going in for a long-ish period. I think that my concerns of the last few days were clearly targeted at the surgical side of things (yesterday’s Hickman Line insertion) and less around the drugs and Stem Cell replantation.
I can just about understand that line of thought if I consider that I don’t particularly like knives, stitches, needles etc, and have become used to taking chemo drugs.
What’s less understandable is the fact that the Hickman Line procedure isn’t particularly high risk, whilst the impact of industrial strength chemo followed by Stem Cell return carries a number of risks and possible side effects – and even a two per-cent chance of death.
But them’s the facts of life (and death) when it comes to taking on the Big C. Nobody said it would be an easy ride. But you’ve just got to jump on and give it everything you’ve got.
I visited the wonderful Maggie’s Support Centre again today (did I mention they were wonderful?).
I was really keen on talking to their brilliant staff about how to handle the mental side of being in isolation for a month or so, and then – assuming I’m one of the 98 per-cent(!) – how to deal with the weeks, more likely months, of recovery and beyond.
And as I’ve come to expect (and rely upon) the Edinburgh Centre’s manager Andy provided first-class advice, a number of top tips, and gave the kind of experienced reassurance that always sees me leaving my visits to Maggie’s with a confident skip in my step.
If that was the calming part of the day, the morning visit of the health visitor was less so.
The pain was excruciating. Off the scale. I screamed and I yelped. There may even have been tears. I’m struggling to even write about this now, 10 hours on.
Yes, removing – very slowly – extremely sticky dressings from a large area of newly grown chest hair is more pain than any man should ever have to go through.
No wonder I turned to beer (or two) tonight.
Bye for now – next instalment comes to you live from Ward 8. See you then.