I’ve come to the conclusion that a human body is an amazing piece of machinery, and that good health is never to be taken for granted. Even after one day off from radiotherapy I can tell that my body is trying to repair itself, as I feel much better than yesterday. One day post 23 treatments I could hardly eat a thing even though I am on the maximum amount of anti-emetics allowed. Today I could eat a small breakfast and lunch, and I even published my newsletter and cut the grass this afternoon! Unfortunately there’s still another 7 assaults to go, but I’m enjoying the fact that I have yet another day off for the bank holiday tomorrow and that I might even be able to stay awake long enough to entertain my son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons who will be paying a brief visit.
I cannot praise the Addenbrooke’s staff highly enough who work in the Department of Radiotherapy. The CT machines are jam packed from 8am to 8pm and the radiographers and reception workers are constantly surrounded with sickness and disease, and complaining, miserable patients who are at the end of their tether and do not want to wait past their appointment time. All the staff are unfailingly cheerful and accommodating, and go out of their way to try and make your time there just that little bit better. Whether they’ve been on a special training programme I don’t know, but they’re a far cry from the harassed and unhappy staff all working under pressure that we see on TV news bulletins.
Thursday mornings we all have a review with doctors, dietitians and speech & language therapists before our treatments. The hospital is heaving with patients then, and rather different to the evenings when I usually go in. I like to take time out before the review to sit in the outpatient foyer café and watch life go by. Each person has their own story to tell; there are pregnant mums, elderly people in wheelchairs, fracture cases in arm casts or hobbling about on crutches, and pale people dragging drip stands to mention just a few. All human life passes before my eyes as I sip my green tea.
The poor old throat is suffering temporarily. I’m swallowing mushy food and have found a strange liking for pureed fruit drinks sold in supermarkets that can be given to babies just being weaned. Hopefully I’m not reverting back to an infant in my dotage, although fortunately I can still sail past the shelves of nappies without a second glance…
Roll on the evening of May 10th when my ordeal will be over.