Saturday 27th August 2011

Super Saturday

  After everything that has gone on in the last 2 weeks, there is only one possible title for today's blog - "Super Saturday".  

I had a great night's sleep.

The business for today is to check whether my body has tolerated yesterday's chemo and in particular to monitor my kidney function.

Meanwhile, I now feel able to talk about an important aspect of the original diagnosis. When I got that original diagnosis, I knew that the combination was terminal, the only variable was time, and I was thinking in terms of months, not years. Sue also realised that. Yet, we behaved as if that was not the case.

The oncologists were 99+% sure that they had the right diagnosis. So why was this a no go area in talking? Maybe we didn't want to face up to reality? I like to think that we had Faith that God could do anything.

Certainly, I didn't want to talk to others about the end, especially the family.

If things don't go well in the treatment of the lympoma, I hope that I will remember the first few days and there will be no areas at all that Sue and I will not talk about.

That is now in the future, hopefully the long term future. We can focus on fighting the lymphoma and at this moment, I feel good and confident that I am going to win.

Late last night I had an E-mail conversation with an old friend from The Open Group days, Dennis Busch. It is great to be getting in touch with people like this for the first time in a decade.

It is a beautiful day. This is where the blog starts to get boring and repetitive. I left the ward and walked down to the elephant and IBM gardens. It was lovely to sit in the sun and get a breath of fresh air. By the time I got back to the ward, my right shin was aching (need to make sure this is normal) and my hip was uncomfortable.

I do need to drink some more to avoid being tethered to a rehydrating drip again.

The consultant came round late morning. Everything seems to be going well, so she released me for "home leave" for the afternoon, complete with lots of dire warnings about things that could go wrong and when I absolutely **must** contact the hospital.

In the event, the trip home was useful. At home, our loo is upstairs. Reaction to the chemo generated needs to visit the loo at regular intervals, which proved to be too much for the pain relief I had been given for my hip. When I leave hospital (hopefully tomorrow) I will make sure that additional pain relief is prescribed.

Life seems to be peppered with numerous incidents. One of the gating items to be able to go home is to have "opened my bowels" (what a horrible term). Sue was just mixing up the laxative I had been given, when I had to rush away. A few minutes later, I called down from the loo "Don't bother", as one of yesterday's drugs did the work for me.

Half-hourly visits to urinate prove that my kidneys are currently doing their job and getting rid of the casualties from the cell wars going on inside me.

Eventually, we returned to the hospital room, where I only have to walk a few yards to the en-suite loo. I could sit upstairs at home near the loo, but that would be a rather pointless activity.

We have been talking about getting a downstairs loo installed for quite a while. Now is the time to do something about it.

We have plans for tomorrow. As long as blood tests are OK in the morning, they will let me go home. Sue and Chris are coming in late morning.

More goodies today. Sue has bought some nice thick pillows to raise chairs to a point where I can have my legs at the right angle to minimise the pressure on my hip.

The consultant warned me that I have a have a high tolerance to pain and that I needed to be very sensitive to any new pain, especially in my abdomen. I have never thought that, but then Sue reminded me that I have been walking round with a "significant" fracture of my hip for months. So, I need to be watchful.

I have lost my private room! Someone with more need of isolation is being admitted, so I have to be moved into a small ward with one other person. I should look on this as something positive. At this stage of my treatment, there are people in much more need than me.

Bad news, the "cow" (see Thursday) is in the plumbing of this room. So much to think about and so much going on. Mid evening on Saturday. I have been promised some strong pain medication to help me sleep. Meanwhile, I am going to relax and do not a lot for the rest of the evening.