I am very proud of myself today. I have been out and about on the streets of Great Britain and given my egghead its cameo.
On the good doctor’s advice that I should not stop having fun entirely because of the cancer, I decided I would make a curtailed trip to London and go to the Paralympics after all. So I bought my first-class, germ-avoidance train tickets, threw my thermometer into a bag with my emergency phone numbers and hand cleaner and set off for a 10-hour round trip to Londontown.
Having learnt over the weekend that wigs give me headaches after half an hour, I knew I couldn’t face wearing one for an entire day, so I popped Valerie in the bag and braved it up on the train with my bald head, keeping in mind all your reassurances that I look alright even without hair. I have to say, the air conditioning on my head was a bit chilly and it left me wondering how you permanently bald people cope in such situations, but I fashioned my £3.99 British flag into both a scarf and a headscarf and we were good to go. (Hey, who said I couldn’t be a fashion blogger, what with this killer sense of style?!)
On arrival in London, I donned Valerie for the day and actually found she didn’t give me a headache this time, so maybe she just needed a bit of wearing in.
I am still missing my Paralympics athletics tomorrow night, but at least I made it to the swimming today and finally got a glimpse of the iconic Olympic Park. (My earlier Olympic events were at smaller venues away from the main park). And it was fabulous – the Aquatic Centre is even better in the flesh than on the telly.
Tragically, I forgot my One Team One Dream pants, but it didn’t seem to affect Team GB’s performance as they smashed their way through several world records. The highlight of the evening was certainly seeing Ellie Simmonds, our amazing British Paralympic swimming champion, win another gold medal in the 200 metre race as she sped past second place in an emotional and nail-biting finish. The blind swimmers were also absolutely incredible.
Lower down in the evening’s highlights was seeing London Mayor Boris Johnson and Prime Minister David Cameron (who actually got booed by the crowd) present a few medals to the winners after sitting across the pool from us with Team GB. Here’s Ellie on the podium with Natalie Jones (bronze).
The train home was no less entertaining. I took my seat in the first-class carriage and was immediately disappointed to feel the same arctic temperatures I had endured on my journey down this morning. I couldn’t possibly brave the cold again, so I asked if the air conditioning could be turned down a bit. I was informed that I could, in fact, move to the next first class carriage, where the air con was broken and the carriage overheating, so this I did.
In my new carriage, I promptly availed of the opportunity for some free food and ordered a nice hot quiche and salad from the train lady. Unfortunately, after a few minutes I was so hot and nauseous in the overheated carriage that I had to whip Valerie off to cool down. (An amazing perk of the wig-wearer, the ability to take it off when hot or put it on when cold). Amazingly enough, the train lady didn’t bat an eyelid when she came back with my food to find me wigless and happily airing my bald head!
After my little Olympic foray, it’s back to reality now and I’m off to the hospital in the morning to have my chemo and I understand that I will have it on Tuesday regardless of my blood situation. If my blood count isn’t fully recovered, I will be given a lower dose.
Funnily enough, not being allowed to have chemo last Tuesday turned out to be a blessing. I was able to go to my mum’s birthday party on Saturday, the family barbecue on Sunday and finally the Olympics today. I know I would’ve missed out on all of this had I just had chemo. But perhaps one of the best outcomes is that I do actually feel less scared about having the treatment tomorrow. Of course it will still be horrible, but the thought of the needle doesn’t fill me with quite so much dread any more. And I’m kind of glad the baldness happened when I was well enough to cope with it too. Happy days.
Well, sadly, that’s the end of my Olympic adventure but I’m just hatching a plan to see how I can compete in Rio 2016. Maybe there’s some sort of race for bald, half-boobed people? Or, failing that, maybe I could at least dance around for a bit in the opening ceremony… Watch this space, people, watch this space!