Well, the main news is probably that finally, after several false starts, Consolidation 2 has now kicked off! It’s a relief to have started, and now I can look forward to it finishing (hopefully in four days’ time, though as ever anything might happen between now and then…). I was given the chemo (cytarabine and etoposide) this evening, after I’d been topped up with a couple of bags of blood.
Which reminds me: I may have gone on a fair bit about how people should get on the bone marrow register, but also of massive import is donating blood… I’ve needed it plenty of times, and it can SAVE LIVES HURRAH! So do give blood, I urge you.
But enough preaching – back to the news of my past few days, in reverse it seems… This afternoon the BBC singers were touring the hospital to bring music and joy to patients’ lives, and did a very good job of it. Crammed into my room, four of them sang Mozart’s Ave Verum and a piece by Bob Chilcott (sp?), and they were excellent. I managed to hold myself back from joining in, but only just.
This morning I went to the Marsden in a minibus/ambulance, which struck me as slightly OTT, but never mind. I had my simulation appointment, which involved lying down and having the mask put on and attached to the ‘bed’ (its role is to keep my head still and in place, so the radiation hits the right places), so that the radiotherapy staff could draw marks on it showing where to zap. It was a bit odd, as I had to have my eyes closed and thus didn’t know much about what was going on, but it was surprisingly comfortable, so it was all easy for me! A St George’s doctor later told me that they ARE trying to get the actual radiotherapy postponed, but at least now I’ve had all the necessary planning and preparation.
It was lucky I’d remembered it was happening this morning and set my alarm – we’ve had the joy of the buzzers being broken, so the ward is much quieter, and nobody actually came to wake me up until the transport arrived. ‘So there!’ I say to all those who doubt my aptitude for getting up early.
As for the weekend – it was a wonderful opportunity to get out of hospital, wander London and meet up with friends, so that’s exactly what I did. Sunday was mostly about the social side, and it was great to be able to see and talk to people somewhere a little more pleasant than a hospital room. Saturday involved lots of wandering, including through Soho, which brought back lovely memories of the summer.
It was also just a joy to be amongst people, and probably for that reason I kept picking up fragments of conversations, and seeing the way people were interacting, and really noticing them for a change. Often we’re so wrapped up in our own thoughts, worries and hopes that we ignore the vast mass of humanity surrounding us. But having absolutely nothing I had to do, and having spent most of the last eight months separated from the general public, I was both able and intrigued to people-watch for much of the day. And, trite as it may sound, it does seem to me amazing to consider all those millions of people as individuals, with their own stories to tell, their own dreams to follow, their own problems to get through.