Chemo#5

Horse meat. That’s what has been getting me through. Well, horse meat and my knitting friend.

Okay, I’m not talking about the accidental eating of horse. I’ve already done that.

A few years ago I was tricked into having horse meat. I was on a story about a ski resort in Western Ukraine. At the end of filming we had a meal with the people who ran the place.

On the table there was a traditional spread. Vodka, pickles and slices of pure pork fat. Along with the more usual things including salads, bread and a selection of cold meat.

I was tempted by what I’d been told was a local delicacy. I popped a piece of red meat into my mouth. Ham, I thought or maybe cured beef. No, it was raw horse meat. It didn’t taste of much and was incredibly chewy. Then I was told what it was. Eugh! Everyone else found it hilarious.

So how exactly does the horse meat help?

This week has been tough emotionally. Not so much sobbing, but lots of stray tears. They seem to surface so often but I’ve learnt that I can kinda stop them by thinking about something totally different.

I’m finding that focusing on horse meat is working for me. I imagine it red, raw and ready to be disguised as beef. It’s my way of interrupting my cancery concerns. I don’t always want to deny the tears but there are times when I just don’t want to cry.

Like during a trip to see a musical a few days ago. It was a big family outing with mum, my aunts Judy, Rose and Juliet and my cousin Marie. It was a happy occasion. But let’s just say that when there was a sad song, I thought a lot about horse burgers.

As for my knitting friend, that was Sally. She came to keep me company for chemo#5. Not going on your own to hospital makes it so much less stressful. Sally is my oldest friend; we’ve known each other since we were about five. She’s a nurse but that doesn’t mean that hospital visits are any easier for her. We just hoped it wouldn’t be a traumatic day like one of her previous trips.

She saw me soon after my big cancer operation last year. I’d come close to death and was recovering in intensive care. As if that wasn’t bad enough, just before she arrived I had some kind of a scare. The doctors thought I might have had a stroke. I’d come round not knowing where I was and unable to use my left arm. Sally was only able to see me for a few minutes as I had to go off for a brain scan. I was seriously ill; it must have been shocking to see me like that.

This time thankfully it was all very different. I felt strong and alive as we walked into hospital together. We went along the corridor painted with dolphins which leads to the chemo cocktail bar.

The drugs sent me straight  to sleep in the pink reclining chair. It’s lovely to have someone by your side who doesn’t mind just sitting there for hours. I was totally out of it but I knew that I had a friend there if something went wrong.

Thanks to the PICC line, it was all so easy. I barely noticed as the toxic liquid slipped into my veins. The only big scary needles belonged to Sally. I was in such a deep slumber that once the treatment was over I had to sleep for another hour afterwards.

Chemo#5 was wonderfully uneventful. There was no drama and by the time I came round Sally had finished her knitting.

4 thoughts on “Chemo#5

  1. I agree that it is incredibly comforting to have someone at your side. My late partner used to do just that when I was having chemo. He would take me to hospital at the crack of dawn, sit with me till he was thrown out (eat my meals, as I couldn’t face them) and return early next day, wait till my infusion was finished and take me home – with a bowl on my lap!

    Your Sally is just great and it’s wonderful to have someone like that.

    All the best

    Willo

  2. So glad that your Chemo was “wonderfully uneventful” and that you were able to sleep soundly in the knowledge that your friend Sally was by your side (loving her knitted heart). Even though I have never met you I found myself thinking about you this afternoon as I baked Valentine Cupcakes with the children I mind. Just want to send all the positive vibes in the world your way. Remain steadfast!

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