I was going to just get Fred to post a few basic details about where I am, but since I have his computer I can save him the trouble. I’m staying at St George’s Hospital, Tooting, which they renamed specially when I came in.
Ruth Myles Unit
St James’s Wing
St George’s Hospital
That’s also obviously where to visit me if the urge takes you, and there are no specific visiting hours (though they’re discouraged after about 10/10:30pm, for the nurses’ sake). However, do let me know if you’re planning to come, for your sake as much as mine, in case lots of people turn up at the same time and I can’t give my usual degree of love and attention to each of you that would be too sad. IMPORTANT RULE: no bugs. I’m neutropenic, which basically means I have no (or almost no) immune system, so any little coughs or colds that you might deal with quite easily I won’t be able to swat away. Unfortunately, then, if you’re at all under the weather it’s just not worth coming to see me. But thass ok (as Papa Lazarou might say). When you’re healthy you’re welcome (hey, when I’m healthy you’re welcome anyway!!)! I have had lots of gorgeous visitors so far, including some in short skirts: I haven’t been worn out too much yet but it’s possible I might put you off if I’m ever a bit knackered or just want some peace and quiet If I do then apologies, but I’m sure you’ll understand.
Bringing me stuff
You really definitely don’t need to bring gifts, as I have everything I could possibly want or need here (my library is rivalling the Bodley; I could probably watch DVDs constantly between now and Christmas without running out; etc) And anyway, it’s not like it’s Christmas. Thank you so much to all who have given me anything, and to those who have lent things as well. I am uber-grateful. But I don’t need or deserve any more (I haven’t actually achieved anything, after all). Food gifts have especial reason to not be brought/sent now, what with me being neutropenic an’ all. I have long lists of foods that can’t be brought in, because they might have bugs. You’d be amazed at what that includes, so safest not to bother. If I do have a craving for anything I’ll let someone know at the moment I have an excellent stock of satsumas (ok because they’re peelable), crisps (ok because they have a long shelf life and come in individual packets) and chocolate (though with no dried fruits or nuts in) to get me through peckish moments. I was losing quite a lot of weight but these extras have helped that to level out. Oh wait, definitely NO flowers. Ward rules..
It is requested that mobile phones are turned off in hospitals, so I’m not using mine. That’s also partly a selfish thing, because if I used it regularly I’d want to constantly be getting in touch with you all, which would be great but tiring. I haven’t explained that very well, but anyway I do have it here so if I NEED to get in touch with someone I can (those of you who worry that if I want someone to talk to I can’t do anything about it need worry no more), but please don’t generally send me messages that way I might occasionally receive them but don’t want that to be a constant communication source. I do occasionally sneak it on to check my emails, as well, but only on WAP very slowly, so don’t use that either as if I have any it’ll take forever to read them. I get emailed the comments from this blog and hopefully that’ll be quite enough! I do have a direct phone line into my room: if you need the number Fred or someone can give it to you, though do remember it’s direct to my room so don’t ring tooooo much. I’ll try to be blunt and tell you if I’m tired/busy. Letters are good :-).
I’ll explain more about treatment in another post, but here are some basic details of dates and things I’m on Phase 1 of treatment, which is four weeks and started almost two weeks ago (as I type this on Saturday 19 November it is Day 13 of 29). Then I’ll be allowed out of the hospital, potentially as early as 5th/6th December, though it depends on what state I’m in. Then I’ll probably be home for about a week or so (or as long as it takes my blood cells to recover to a certain level) and then back in for another four weeks (?) for Phase 2. Those two phases are certain; Phase 3 will exist but we don’t yet know what it’ll be (contrary to rumours, we don’t know about bone marrow matches yet). I’ll keep you updated, but that’s approximately what the plan is at the moment.
I just realised a lot of what I’ve said sounds as though I might be trying to put people off ringing and visiting, which isn’t the intention at all, as visitors are the best thing that happen to me every day (to be honest, it’s often the ONLY thing that really happens) and I LOVE people coming to see me (there’s that attention-seeking tendency again); similarly it’s always brilliant to hear from people on the phone. But I was a bit worried I might post this and suddenly dozens of people would pour in the door and the phone wouldn’t stop ringing: hence the caveats. So do visit (though let me know first if possible), do ring and do definitely send letters if you remember how to use a pen and paper. Hurrah! I might not even complain forever if you absolutely insist on bringing me anything hehe
Think that’s it for now, but will try to write more while I’ve got Fred here with his computer this weekend certainly about medical matters, as it would be good to get that info out. Hope it’s not all as dry as these practical matters, though.
George in St George’s