Well I am delighted to say that after Thursday I am now officially halfway through my chemo treatment. Four down and four to go so that I must say feels great. Thursday was a very strange day I thought full of new friends, old friends, sad patients, happy patients and hilarious patients. Will try to keep this as light as possible as hey its Christmas and who really wants to read about chemo and the bastard disease cancer over Christmas. However if I don’t write this its a bit missing from me and due to this chemo brain of mine I will forget it.
Aimed on getting in a little early this time in the hope of getting out a bit early ehhhh that certainly didn’t work. Arrived into the Chemo depressing waiting room. Same old faces looking sick, bored, worried and no-one talking and all looking around aimlessly, I knew straight away was gonna be a long day. Had thought about bringing in a load of santy hats for the laugh and handing them out of course I forgot along with the couple of bottles of wine I was going to get for the nurses. Would have been so much fun just to hop out of my chair and at the top of my voice started singing Santa Claus is coming to town just to see their reactions – Jesus the things you think about when you’re sitting there.
Finally got called an hour later to get the horrific bloods done and find a good vein to pump the poison through. Had a new nurse she was lovely she got it on second time which was great. My arm has a massive bruise from the first attempt amazing how a needle can damage you and make such a big bruise. Anyhow was happy as pig in shit that it was now in place and I could leg it for a cuppa downstairs way from the grey and misery of the chemo area.
Had coffee after an hour back to the fun room where I waited for two hours. However while sitting there some lady asked me “are you Deirdre Featherstone” I couldn’t deny it as I had my hospital badge on “yes indeed I am” it was a girl I had worked with on my very first job in a factory in Sallynoggin nearly 30 years ago where she was the head secretary. We had a great ole chat I was even at her wedding I remember now, she has had cancer for three years and has had a very very tough time of things but she is a trooper as all cancer people are and she is looking on the bright side of things which was hard for her as one thing gets fixed and another thing seems to pop up. Cancer reminds me sometimes of those baby toys you know where you hammer one part of it and another part of it pops up – its like a weed kill it one place and the bastard comes up the other place.
Anyhow got called as usual got my dentist chair the place was absolutely jammers this time and so busy. I got seen to quick enough which was great and I sat back and soaked in “the atmosphere”. There were a few new faces this time, two new men, three new women and a very bright and colourful character a Rasta guy (still with hair) and those great huge colourful rasta hats. He was great craic and was chatting away to everyone I think he was Italian or something but then all of a sudden he was speaking Gaelic to the nurses “Conas a ta tu” etc.etc. his level of Irish was better than mine. Everyone in the place was cracking up great when you get characters like this.
Met a lady I have met a few times (I don’t mention names anymore but you know who you are if you are reading this) we had a great ole giggle. Talking about everything another lady came over for a chat too and we were all due back in three weeks from Thursday. I swear to God between the three of us we could not get our act together and count 21 days forward. One was coming back on the 31st January, I was saying it was the 14th and the other lady the 12th. The old iPhone saved the day and next kick-off is 10th January we were laughing at the state of us not being even able to count.
The highlight of my day was I had met a lovely girl called Darina through this web or the cancer forum can’t remember now. Darina had really been battling hard with cancer and they were afraid it had moved to her bones. I had been on Facebook and got a message saying she was also in vinnies she was just waiting on the doctor to give her the results (which had taken ages) and she was shitting herself. Told her to pop over after which she did around ten minutes later I had never met her in person but knew her straight away of course (the power of Facebook) – we had a hug and she had a huge smile on her face it wasnt in her bones YIPIDEDODAAAAA what fabulous news.
Day continued poison getting pumped into me my FABULOUS mother came in with my coffee and stayed a while, she is so great to me and again Mam sorry for being narky later on had been a long day, but as you said I am allowed (every now and again)……. Got chatting to more great women who’se cancers were way worse than me but they were so whats the word, amazing, inspiring just plain wonderful the way they were coping. I suppose when things get thrown your way you just have to grab hold of it and fight your way through it. I said at the start of this it was a very strange day with tears and laughter there was a lady in the other dentist chair and obviously she had just received some bad news and was sitting there quietly crying in here chair (the way I am in bed now writing this quietly crying). Her husband had been with her earlier but he had left I think to get clothes as she had to stay in. I went over to her and held her hands and gave them a big squeeze and asked if she wanted me to sit beside her she said she would be okay but thanks. Was awful…….
Room was emptying out at this stage around four guys left and around eight women. The Rasta guy was in full swing saying Jesus they must be putting tequila or something in my chemo I feel high as a kite. He said I havent drank for 15 years but Jesus man this is a buzz then he was saying right there are 4 men and 8 women the men could have two women each and we could all get up and do the Riverdance for the laugh and cheer ourselves up. We got a great laugh at that and you know what if he had got up to do it would have got up myself. It was great at this stage as it was late around 4pm that people in their desperation were really enjoying this even if they weren’t vocal you could see their smiles. Meanwhile while all this was happening the poor lady was still crying back at the dentist chair.
Got the last bag of poisin around 4.30 Mam was back in with me at this stage however had not seen the doctor so needed to get a prescription. Had to wait til around 5.30 for the doc to get the prescription. At this stage there was only two people lady a very harassed lady non native who was giving the nurses plenty to deal with and also the lovely upset lady who was still in the dentist chair. I went over and gave her a hug and said I hoped everything thing was gonna be okay for her she was still misty eyed – I felt so sorry for her my heart went out to her.
Myself and my Mam ended up getting a taxi (long story) up to the chemists to get the drugs. This is where I got the narky head on me with my Mam was so tired, so brain dead and so not in the mood to try figure out things. Got the drugs brother Sean picked us up from the chemist back to 31 for a cuppa. Always great to see my eldest brother and must say looking very dapper! Had a huge dinner of chicken steak and fried egg accompanied by brown sliced bread My folks are great they lit the gas fire (only gets lit on very special occasions) they told me to go in and relax and watch tv which I did was asleep in 5 mins. My brother Colly and his son Eoin called later and we had a good laugh they hadn’t seen me without hair and with my wig. So had to don the wig and show it off – they were very impressed Colly wanted to take it with him but I said no this time I was in a fairly antsy mood so there was plenty of discussions and opinions spouting out of me (whats new) so Colly everything we discussed has been taken onboard and sorted – advice taken and attended to:-)
Headed to bed my PJs laid out on the bed, the heat on, I even heard my Mam saying to me Dad “did you go up and fluff up the duvet?” he said “Yes Ann I did for the second time” he has the patience of a saint my Dad with a wife like my mam and a daughter like me he hasn’t a hope!!
Headed down to Stillorgan Shopping Centre for a pre-arranged brekkie with my great friend Emer and was delighted that Grainne was there as well. We had a lovely brekkie my Chemo brain was in full force I would be in the middle of a sentence and have to ask them what I was talking about. Lovely buzz in the Shopping Centre I love that shopping centre so many memories of it as a kid, love they flowers they have and the outdoor seats. It’s a pleasure to shop there even if it could still do with a few more shops like kids clothes etc. to stop people having to go to Dundrum. Stick a Penneys in Stillorgan the place would be rocking.
Good things that happened
- I am halfway through Chemo
- We are getting a new Chemo Room in January which will be much brighter
- Its Christmas and I have all gifts bought
- Darina doesn’t have cancer in her bones
- Dont have to set the alarm clock for two weeks
- Still have two boobs
- Bought some things just for me
- Maggie has just come up with breakfast in bed for me – look at that healthy breakfast – usually not that healthy just no bread left
- Only three more sleeps for Christmas really looking forward to it!
Folks hope you all have an absolutely fabulous Christmas. Thanks once again for all your support you really have made this cancer a lot more fun for me. Sorry if this post was a little sad but hopefully it will in some way make you happy that you are in better shape than others
Below is one of my favourite videos and its seasonal - my four-year old took this all by herself I found it a couple of weeks later on my iPhone, its hilarious from Baby in a Manger, to lipstick to getting caught out by the door!