Monday, December 12
Coffee morning at the chemo ward organised by the lovely nurses R and A-M. A whole myriad of women, which really just goes to show that cancer does not choose its victims. Some of the women were done and dusted with the entire process, and it was lovely to speak and learn from them; and also to feel inspired by how well they were all doing. Some women were just starting, and it was nice to be able to help them by telling them that it's not all that bad.
Discovered a new talent: I am now able to tell a wig from ten paces. And sadly, there were a lot of bad wigs there. I had to fight the urge to shout (as I do when watching delusional people on X-Factor or American Idol) 'Do they not have real friends who tell them the truth???' King Arthur certainly had it right when he said in Camelot: The uglier the truth, the truer the friend.
Tuesday, December 13
Flat tyre on the way back home from picking up the children from school. Bummer.
Wednesday, December 14
Had tyres done and rushed to the shops to get the rest of Christmas shopping done, as children break up on Friday. That evening, picked up my prescription for Tamoxifen, which I will need to start taking daily for the next five years. Dropped the children off at Scouts, then left to pick up the medication at a supermarket pharmacy. Came home with my first batch of 52 tablets, and was about to take one when I realised that the box said Tenoxicam. Hmm... Thought it may be a brand or generic name of my drug, but being pretty anal about these things, I decided to look it up on the Internet. And thank goodness I did: Tenoxicam is a prescription only anti-inflammatory drug, used to relieve the pain from ailments such as rheumatoid arthritis. What the heck. I immediately called the pharmacy and started screaming at them - they were extremely apologetic and admitted they had been at fault. I rushed back to the pharmacy (crying, as I was feeling terribly sorry for myself) and picked up the right medicine, whilst telling them how horrid they were, etc. Needless to say, I am writing to their head office - it's ridiculous that this should happen and they really should have more stringent controls in place. I was very lucky I decided to look it up; I can imagine how other people could've been more trusting and would've just taken the wrong medication - for 52 days. I, on the other hand,would not have been able to take it for more than one day as I am highly allergic to anti-inflammatory drugs - ibuprofen alone would send me into anaphylactic shock.
Thursday, December 15
Whilst wrapping presents I suddenly felt a very sharp stabbing pain in my chest area - where I had had my lumpectomy. It was made much worse with every intake of breath. I called Nurse M, chemo nurses R and A-M, oncologist Dr M and Mr Tit-Man's secretaries. I was advised to immediately see my GP, which I did. He told me it was nothing to worry about - it was just bruising caused by my surgery. Phew. So I went straight back home, feeling a lot calmer. A call from Nurse R though and I was suddenly in a panic again. I told her what the doctor had said but she wasn't convinced - she thought it would be best if I go into A & E and request a chest x-ray. She was nervous that it could be a pulmonary embolism - having had chemotherapy and surgery, I was more susceptible to it.
So all calm was gone and I started sobbing my head off again (sigh). I rushed off to hospital, and LH, who was on his way to the Kasabian concert (where I was meant to join him) left to go to hospital instead. (My hero!) Stayed in the emergency ward for a good three hours whilst I was poked and bled like some medieval heroine. Being a wuss, I cried of course with every needle put in me. And it didn't help either that I had no confidence in the doctor attending to me - I knew he was speaking some form of English, but I just couldn't figure it out. As a consequence, he not only felt sorry for me for having gone through cancer, but for being deaf as well. I'm just convinced he had some sort of speech impediment...
Whilst in the emergency ward, LH and I were entertained by the man in the cubicle next to me: he was making the most incredible noises, from heavy breathing, wheezing, farting and moaning. It seemed I was next to Darth Vader having a bad bout of constipation. Next to Darth Vader was an elderly lady I should've felt sorry for, but sadly I could barely suppress a giggle. She was moaning in quite an impressive manner; it sounded almost sexual.
Finally left the emergency ward and was admitted into hospital at nearly midnight (I had arrived at 7pm) and had to wait for another doctor to talk to me about the results of my blood tests and x-rays. In the meantime, we settled into the cubicle next to a lady who was making a very good impression of Gollum. My precious...
Eventually the doctor came and apparently all the tests for blood clots were negative: the x-rays and blood tests were all clear which meant that I was finally allowed to go home. As it turns out, it was really just the bruising after all. And although we did not arrive back home till 1am, I am still glad I had it checked. Peace of mind after all, is a very important thing.