My mother asked me some very direct questions about my health when she came to see us. I told her that I had enlarged glands in my throat and base of my tongue and that I had received radiotherapy. I didn’t say anything about the transplant not having worked in stopping the return of the lymphoma but no doubt she will make that connection. It is unlikely that she will raise the point as she knows I won’t lie to her; I have just not wanted to worry her. Fortunately, as it is some time now since we learnt the significance of the return of the disease, I am less emotional and would be more able to handle the discussion.
I say discussion, but of course we can’t talk as she is so deaf. I have to write almost everything down so that it is difficult to have a continuous conversation or explain things in detail. I do regret this as I have always had a good relationship with her and was able to talk to her about so many subjects and could appreciate her wisdom, experience and good humour.
She was thrilled with her presents from Jonathan and Anna. She has a great bond with them both. I think this really stems from the time she spent with them when they were younger. She would come with us for walks in the woods, New Forest or along the shore. If I was working she would look after them, telling them stories and acting out games in which she was always the ‘baddie’.
She was fascinated by my Kindle. She is a great reader herself and knows I love having plenty of books around me. She was intrigued to know that I could download books onto a machine small enough to put into my handbag. Things have changed so much in her lifetime and she remembers her own mother taking her to see an aircraft very early on – just in case they didn’t last! Later on two of her brothers were involved in the aircraft industry and her younger sister helped to build the Spitfire at the Supermarine Works in Southampton during World War II.
In the evening we went to a nearby restaurant where we had a really good meal. The staff seem to stay there for a long time and one of the waiters always enquires after Jonathan and Anna. There weren’t so many people as there would have been on New Year’s Eve so it was very relaxing and good to do something normal.
I do so wish the throat swelling would go down. Dr P warned me on Monday that it could grow back very quickly so it may be that I haven’t had enough radiotherapy. I know radiotherapy is very effective against mantle cell lymphoma so perhaps I shall have to have more treatment. In other respects I am feeling quite well – it’s all relative as other cancer/lymphoma patients will appreciate.