End of the Great British Summer

Well, I’ve just watched the Olympic victory parade on TV and it feels like the official end of the British summer.

I was never planning on being in England for more than two weeks this summer but, despite the terrible circumstances, I’ve ended up spending the whole time here and it has been quite spectacular. There has been an entire month of Olympics coverage on the telly to keep me occupied throughout my recovery, the weather outside (if you discount the two months of torrential rain prior to August) has been magnificent, and the feeling of national pride and patriotism has been unprecedented. I was always going to be either in Buenos Aires or Dublin this summer, but the stars aligned to bring me back to Blighty and, I have to say, I’m happy it happened this way.

The end of the summer coincides with the end of my first week of chemo, and today has been the first day I’ve managed to stay awake for a full day (so far). A daily pattern has emerged of sleeping until late, sitting in bed until lunchtime, going for a very short walk, having my daily injection to stimulate my bone marrow and then napping until dinner time. Today I had my sixth shot out of ten, so we’re more than half way there (unless you look at the big picture, in which case I have at least 44 to go…). I await the district nurse’s daily visit between 3pm and 5pm with trepidation. I’ve so far resisted the offers to be taught to do the injections myself, though I am vaguely tempted after today’s nurse said “Ok, we’ll do it in your right side” and then proceeded to aim the needle at the left side of my stomach…

I have definitely felt better than I did with the first round of chemo, though just as tired. Partly I think this is because I knew what to expect. My appetite continues to be insatiable, though I’ve partially gone off tea and coffee again. I also have all manner of weird nausea triggers – for example I can’t look at the stripy dress I wore for the last chemo (or even the photo of it) because it makes me feel sick. This feeling is much like when you get horrendously drunk on tequila/vodka/wine and have the worst hangover in your life, then spend the next 10 years avoiding that tipple as it turns your stomach. I am going to have to wear my least favourite clothes for the next chemo sesh and banish them to the charity bag immediately, otherwise I’ll end up having to get a whole new wardrobe.

Since I haven’t yet ventured further than walking around the village, I haven’t bothered to don any wigs and have mostly been seen bald-headed or sporting my new cancer-head-friendly beanie, which I received from the very thoughtful Danie and Gaby last week. I may try out some of my wigs tomorrow.

I’m not really sure how I’m going to feel tomorrow when my post-Olympic depression sets in, but at least I’ll have more time to read my book and crack on with all the DVDs and box sets. Goodbye, summer – until next time.


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