I’ll not be going out (except perhaps for a walk on Streatham Common, during which I’ll be making people wonder what they’ve done wrong when I change my course to avoid them, or cover my mouth and nose when they approach) for at least the next few days. Instead we’ll be enjoying our first Christmas at home in a quieter atmosphere than those to which we’re used…
It’s fabulous to be here – despite the chores – and to be able to spend very special time at home with Mariacristina. I’m only sorry I’ve not been able to help more in terms of going out shopping for Christmas jumpers or collecting undelivered parcels from the Royal Mail delivery office (of which Mariacristina has an inexplicable fear), for example. That’s one of the most frustrating consequences of still being neutropaenic (0.1 again yesterday), along with the restricted diet and the need to wear a mask when in public places such as the hospital.
That’s nothing compared to the joys of life, the kindness of friends and family and the chance to be together, however. We’ve had some gorgeous Christmas cards, for which we’re very grateful, and apologise for not having managed to sort out sending any ourselves this year. Rest assured you’re all very much in our thoughts over Christmas and New Year, and we cannot express how much your ongoing support means to us.
Another blessing, of course, is that I’ve got as far as Christmas Eve and I’m still an outpatient, despite having started the next phase attempting to get me into remission just yesterday – it took a bit longer than we’d hoped, mainly because my haemoglobin was a bit low so they needed to give me blood. The good news is that the energy boost I get from the transfusion should help me to be on good form over these few days! I’ve also started steroids, which apart from making me hungry (probably another benefit over Christmas) should also help to keep me awake – so I’ll keep an eye out for Father Christmas tonight.
The light dose of chemotherapy I received was rapid in comparison, and only took about 10 minutes to infuse. I had similarly long days at the Royal Free on Thursday and Friday, though, for diagnostic tests prior to this new phase, which included a remarkably painless bone marrow biopsy, an ECG and the necessity for a platelet infusion prior to a lumbar puncture, which pushed everything over to Friday. It’s a pretty long way to Hampstead, but between the wonderful Joanna and my father, we’ve been okay with transport so far – and we get to see a bit more of London every time, bringing back great memories of all the special time we’ve spent here together. Tomorrow will be another special moment.