It was a room without a view but I wasn’t complaining. Once again I’d been upgraded. I had my own private room. It came with a bed and an isolated sense of calm. Stark and clinical, it was such a contrast to the country pub where I pulled a pint from my List for Living, a few days ago.

I knew I was in for a long afternoon. My magnesium levels have got so low that I needed to go on a drip of the stuff for two and half hours before I could even start the anti-cancer drugs.

Luckily I had company. My friend Keith came for chemo coffee although it turned into chemo coffee, lunch and tea. He was well prepared. With sushi and sandwiches and cream cakes, he laid on a hospital bedside banquet.

When I’d walked onto the ward earlier, I hadn’t really looked at the other patients. In my little room, Keith kept me entertained with a laptop stuffed with movies. It felt like a lovely lazy afternoon albeit in slightly strange surroundings. I could almost pretend that I wasn’t being pumped full of poison. Normally just being there, surrounded by sick people and all the medical equipment means that you focus on the cancer. It’s hard to avoid it.

Yesterday I also had a visitor – a fellow patient from my previous lot of treatment last year. We had got to know each other quite quickly as most of the other people at hospital are about twice as old as us. My chemo sister is totally fab-u-lous. She is positive but pragmatic and ensures that she looks amazing at all times. Something that takes an admirable effort.

My chemo sister came to see me with something sweet. A sparkling chocolate cake that she’d baked herself. Me and my steroids were very happy to be taking home that beauty.

By the time I was unhooked from the drip, the ward was almost deserted. My session at the chemo cocktail bar had left me a bit dizzy and almost like I was drunk. Probably thanks to the pre-meds.

I also felt surprisingly well. I reckon that was mostly because of my afternoon with friends and the chemo-cake-therapy. Despite the hours of treatment, it had been easy to forget about the cancer. Sometimes a little dose of denial isn’t a bad thing.

7 thoughts on “Chemo#9

  1. Helen, your diary is always a bitter-sweet read. Bitter because of what you’re going through but sweet because I just love the way you write. I’ve got the trapeze covered by the way, can’t say I’ll be joining you as it makes my stomach churn but I’ll happily take the photos xxx

  2. Well done! Denial is great if u can convince urself fr a while and yes that’s the lesson I wl take with me to my next treatment. I hope u will be able to try something else from your list later in the week. Every trial has a learning curve and good friends are something really special. You are lucky to have some and I am too.


  3. There is something about receiving a homemade gift that someone has put the effort into that makes it all the more special. Well done to your chemo sister for baking such a lovely cake. I have been inspired by reading your blog and on Friday a friend and I decided we were going to do the 5k race for life. It takes place on Sunday 2nd June in Belfast and we are hoping that some more friends will be joining us. Don’t think our fitness level will allow us to run the 5k, so we will walk it. Thank you for giving me the inspiration to get up and do something worthwhile. Best wishes for a great week. x

  4. Wow. Another great read. Love your style of quirky writing that highlights reality yet allows you that little bit of escapism by your adventures, tasks and humour. I first heard your story on radio 2 last week. It touched a nerve with me your positivity and passion for life. I myself have had Liposarcoma twice in the past 5 years and I am currently NED. However, left with lymphodema in legs and disabling pain it doesn’t stop me enjoying life and striving to fulfil it with drive, ambition and fun. I love your list for living.
    I am currently following and supporting a few fellow patient friends via facebook the main one being Scott. I wonder if you could have a look at his facebook support page Chemo can’t keep Scott down. He is am 11 year old boy who sadly was brought up by his single parent mum. He had a pain in his shoulder for months but didn’t want to worry his mum. Long story short he had cancer and Mets to lungs, he has been having chemo and today he has just come through surgery to remove the tumour in his shoulder and amputation of his left arm. Still smiling Scott is in recovery but managing on minimal pain relief. This little fighter is inspirational and makes me proud to know just like yourself. Yes we haven’t met but I feel a sense of warmth reading about your progress and eventful lives. I would be grateful if you could highlight Scotts journey on your friends list and this page as he gets very excited and empowered by the more followers he has.
    I look forward to your next post with anticipation. What’s next on your list? Kind regards Kate

  5. Have just returned home after a night out with friends and just had to add a comment re number 13 on your list for living. Friend number 1 has just returned from Iceland and the Northern Lights were a no show. Friend number two’s daughter is working in Finland and went to Lapland last week. Her photographs of the Northern Lights are breath taking!!! To be honest, I could’nt see the attraction. Now however it is something that should be on everyones list for living!! By the way 4 more girls were recruited tonight to do the race for life on the 2nd June in Belfast!! Hope you have a great week. xo Janice

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