Monday, October 11, 2010
Think, just think
If I worked on the average time to stay in isolation then I'd be coming out of hospital tomorrow. This is the fact I have to remember, I've had 8 extra days of freedom and I have to keep that in mind when I'm feeling fed up.
I was fed up on Friday as my blood counts had dropped to levels which started to cause concern. We had been warned that this may happen and I'd also started on another medication which can have the side effect of dropping my blood counts. None of these known facts prepared me for the disappointment that was printed on the piece of paper in front of me. There were columns of numbers and some had stars by them, these were the problem areas, a bit like getting a poor mark at school. I felt like I'd failed, I'd let people down, I'd let myself down. There was nothing I could do about it other than stop the medication, take it easy and rest my body and wait to see if there was an improvement by Monday.
Today is Monday and my bloods have recovered, they're better, they're up to a level that they would expect and that is safe for me to live a bit more of a normal life. Well, normal as in staying awake all day and maybe walking up stairs without the room spinning or being completely out of breath. I also mentioned that my resting heart rate was a great deal higher than I'd expect it to be. When we started on the road that is cancer my resting heart rate was 60 beats per minute. Granted I was riding to work and running and being generally very active and now I'm amazingly inactive. Plus I've had bucket loads of chemicals pumped into my body and that's going have an effect.
But and it's a big but, I forget that I've been inactive for so long, I forget that I've had six months of treatment. Weeks and weeks of time in hospital months of sitting on the sofa and an incredible amount of drugs, thank goodness for National Insurance!
I also have to remember and I was reminded vividly today, that there's always someone worse off than you. Because of my fragile immune system we go straight to the teenage unit so that I'm not exposed to too many coughs and colds of the general waiting area. The teenage unit is a humbling place, young people who've had short lives living through a massive challenge. One young lady was talking with a visitor, without being rude it was difficult not to overhear. The radio therapy she was receiving had damaged her throat and she was struggling to eat. She'd been rushed in because of the damage and it would mean a stay in over the weekend, the weekend of her birthday. A night down town had been planned and her mates were looking forward to all the festivities. All this information was shared with the visitor, a visitor of another patient. But the amazing thing was how mature she was offering advice on how to cope with the weird situation of patient-visitor relationships, thoughts on life and relationships outside of the hospital and life in general. It was a very selfless conversation on her part, perhaps it was a relief to talk about something other than her illness. I don't know but I hope she gets better before the weekend.
Like I've said before Weston park is one of those weird places where you see all walks of life going through an incredible experience. Incredibly hard physically and emotionally. I'm tired and fed up of it now I want my life back. But I have to think how much I've gone through, how much my family and friends have gone through and how far I have come. Think about taking it one hour at a time and getting better at a speed that suits my body. It's going to take time and patience but I have to think of the future.