Thursday, 15 November 2012


OD started chemo this week. It was a long day.
0635: Train to B'rum
0800: Bus to hospital
0845: Arrival on ward and wait for nurse.
1100: 2nd attempt at cannula.
1140: Chemo starts.
1350: Chemo finishes. Nice oncologist comes in for a chat.
1500: "We cocked up, and haven't got your oral chemotherapy ready yet. We have ABSOLUTELY no idea when it's going to be here. Why don't you go home and pick it up later..?" " Emm...because we live RATHER far away."
1600: Arrive in  B'rum City to try and get some edible food.
1605: Phonecall from ward:  Your oral chemo is ready.
1610: Bus back to hospital.
1700: Back to city for food and train.
2100: Arrive back home.
You can get the man into a "sick-bed", but you can't get him out of his suit.

It was only the first time, so perhaps things will be a little more streamlined in the future. I was knackered, so I can't imagine how he must feel. Luckily, the intravenous chemo is only once every three weeks, but the side effects started almost immediately. We'd both read the helpful Macmillan sheets, and some of the side effects just sounded weird. ...Pins and needles, funny taste in your mouth...

They didn't sound horrendous. But actually, painful pins and needles in all your extremities, made worse by the cold ( it's November...!), everything tasting slightly metallic, fatigue.... Perhaps, if you just had one symptom, it would be bearable, but the combination of all the little insults add up.

I feel bad for him. The whole situation is crap. And yet, I'm finding it difficult to be the all understanding, all forgiving girlfriend. I'm trying to not react when he's snappy or irritable or morbid, but it's not easy.

I also had an unpleasant suprise last night. In a fit of domesticity, I went up to the loft to tidy away some books. One of the kids must have been going through the boxes because there was a huge pile of photos on the floor. I made the mistake of glancing through them as the top few were of OD and his siblings in their youth. And then I found the cheesy photos from his wedding day to THAT woman.

It's not as if I didn't know he'd been married before. After all, the four kids are a constant reminder. But I still had a completely visceral reaction to those pictures. I tried to do the right thing and not let the reaction affect my interaction with him. That didn't really work. There's only one thing to say.

It's all a big, god-awful, soap-opera-worthy,  freaking, mess.

 I could ask "Why me?"

“To the dumb question "Why me?" the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply: why not?”
Christopher Hitchens, Mortality


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