Monday, 21 September 2009

A testing time

Normally Ray is accompanying me to hospital or wherever for some treatment but today it was my turn to go with him to a neuro-psychologist. We arrived at 10.00 a.m. and left at 5.45 p.m. so he could have tests to determine how much damage he sustained in the accident in 2006. He has to jump through all these hoops even though the driver was successfully prosecuted. Always there is another hurdle so that the company can avoid paying out. It would appear now we are looking at the end of 2010 so if we are not careful both of us are looking towards some mythical time in the future when all, hopefully, will be well.

Somehow, however difficult it can be, we have to concentrate on the present and our immediate goals. This means looking at what has been good in our lives and being as positive as we can.

It has been good to be strong enough to drive around and be independent during the last few days. One advantage this time around with my chemo has been keeping my hair. CHOP-R was soul destroying in that respect. Not only were the steroids worse but losing one’s hair is demoralising. In the end I had very wispy eyebrows and just a few very straight eyelashes. Being fair my eyebrows and lashes were never a strong feature so I suppose I was lucky.

This time around again my hairdresser trimmed my wig but fortunately I lost very little hair with the first round of five courses of chemo. After a break before the next lot of chemo with a different drug, the hair had grown back so I feel something of a fraud going around with a full head of hair.

Going to the hairdresser’s on Friday was a real tonic. This sounds very trivial but it is so good to be normal and to go into an environment where you can chat and have a laugh. I go to a hairdresser’s in Wickham, a lovely Hampshire village with a good traditional butcher, and speciality shops. I was also able to treat myself to a good lunch in the Baytree Arcade so I went home thoroughly spoiled. I hadn’t realised just how easy it is to get caught up in this round of treatments, nor how important normality really is.

Autumn is a good time to take stock and look back at the good things of summer before the days draw in and we are thinking about winter. I must try to be as healthy as possible if I am to withstand what is to come so I must prepare for Christmas however unseasonal that seems to be, so that I am not caught short if I begin to weaken physically towards December. In the old days people used the autumn to prepare for the cold days when food was less plentiful and so I must prepare for the time when I can’t get out and about. But I have so much enjoyed the freedom and independence of the last few days. I only wish I could bottle it up and preserve it.

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