Thursday, 23 June 2011

The Things We Do

A is three months ahead of me in this chemo business - and what an inspiration. First of all, her tumour has completely disappeared, and she's also managed to stay pretty upbeat throughout the process. When I wrote about my fatigue and dizzy spells, I heard from her immediately - she explained that she had suffered from the same because her red blood cell count was low. She recommended green leafy vegetables (no problem), chicken livers (gross) and Guinness (huh). It certainly made a lot of sense to me so after breakfast I took three horse pills which promised to provide 126% of my iron RDA, then I called chemo nurse AM to discuss the fatigue issue. She asked me to go to hospital for a blood test, to find out whether or not my haemogloblin was too low, thus causing the fatigue.

So weird uncle M and I set off and nurse R proceeded to siphon the blood off me. Now the purpose of this very odd protrusion in my upper right arm is to make blood taking and chemotherapy much easier. Huh. That certainly was not the case today. Nurse R could not get any blood off me, so she proceeded to massacre my poor arm. Whilst giving me a blow-by-blow account of what she was doing. I certainly believe in this case that ignorance is bliss; I did not want to know that perhaps a fibre or something was stuck making the blood not want to come out. Poor weird uncle M was subjected to my writhing and strange noises whilst she tortured me. Picture the Dentist Scene in The Marathon Man and you get a rough idea. Eventually we left the scene of the carnage and had lunch at a lovely pub bistro close by. Now I normally order the Crispy Duck Salad whenever I come to this restaurant, but because I was determined to increase my iron levels, ordered the Chicken Liver Salad instead. I was obviously hit by some form of madness at this point as I absolutely detest liver (unless in a pate). Suffice it to say, I managed to eat a few globules of the awful offal (ha!) but eventually had to give up this altogether valiant effort as I had started to retch.

As it turns out, this heroic effort was all in vain - nurse R called an hour or so later to say that my iron levels were fine. So unfair.

PS. I have obviously given up on my pescaterian diet - although I'm still keeping beef and pork consumption very low, I've started to eat chicken again. Much to the disappointment of our chickens Charlie and Jo...

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