Row of cards on George's windowsill

It’s probably my fault for being just too British and hesitant to kick up a fuss, but I often end up being wheeled down to scans etc in a chair, despite my continuing ability and desire to walk using my own two legs. The problem is, once a porter has made the effort to locate first a chair, then the Ruth Myles Unit, and finally my room, I never want him to feel his trip has been wasted, so I hop on and get wheeled down to the ground floor.

Following the scan, it usually takes ages for another (unnecessary) porter to come and wheel me back to my room, so I have in the past suggested to the receptionist that I walk up by myself… Unfortunately, they worry that they will be responsible for anything that may happen to me between their department and my ward – however much I protest that I will be fine. I could, of course, just abandon the chair and walk up anyway, but I wouldn’t want them to be unnecessarily concerned, or the poor porter to turn up to find me gone. Too much fuss.

This happened today when I went down for a chest x-ray – I’ve been coughing a little bit so the doctors were keen to check what might be to blame. Fortunately hospital business seemed quite quiet, so I was seen quickly, the porters were rapid and I didn’t get itchy feet, instead being rolled triumphantly back onto the ward not long after I’d been rolled out.

To my delight, there was a parcel sitting on my bed; to my surprise, I discovered one of the nurses was serious about needing to know what was inside, her concerns partly fuelled by how heavy it was. It made me wonder: what contraband did she consider I might have been trying to smuggle in? I’m on enough drugs already not to be interested in chemically messing with my body any further, and the same goes for alcohol… Perhaps there was a fear I might set up a black market on the ward – tricky when neutropaenic.

I’m still not quite neutropaenic, as it happens, though my numbers are falling again. Tomorrow I’ll be back on the G-CSF, which may keep my blood counts up briefly, but before long they should be down to zero. Naturally, Mariacristina and I made the most of the chance to get out of my room and enjoyed an enormous hot chocolate each at the M&S café.

George opening a box of Firefly Tonics
Not illegal in hospital

The parcel turned out to be a fabulous collection of Firefly Tonics from my cousin Emma-Rose, which will provide a delicious alternative to my current staple of water and M&S juices. It’s always exciting to receive cards, letters and the occasional package while I’m confined to barracks, and my room is becoming more and more colourful: thank you everybody!

Meanwhile I’m feeling a bit more sleepy, although I still don’t know quite how much is due to a restless night and how much to the treatment. The weekend tends to be more relaxed on the ward, so hopefully I’ll get a lie-in or two – of sorts.

Onwards and, well downwards first for the neutrophils, but upwards in spirit!


One thought on “Day +2: Chauffeur-driven service

  1. George, I just stumbled across your blog and couldn’t help noticing that we got our stem cell transplants on the same day! Congratulations from Boston, and hope you’re enjoying Day +3!!

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