Trepidation, Flagellation, Revelation
And so it begins.
Monday the 21st heralded the next phase of operation “return to normality” with my first day on ward 27 of the Christie.
Jenn and I dragged two reluctant kids out of their beds at 0600 so they could be dropped with friends who form part of our insanely supportive network.
The fields of Ridley were bathed in sunshine, the sky was clear of clouds and as deep a blue in colour as one could expect to see off any tropical vista; for all intents and purposes, despite knowing what the day was likely to hold, I felt alright.
I think that when you know something challenging is on the horizon well in advance, you go beyond nerves and just want to get it over and done with. It ceases to be a worry and morphs into an inconvenience.
And because of this reaction, I have thoroughly enjoyed and made the most of the last week.
Thanks to you all for the positive comments and messages which have kept any negative thoughts at bay.
I’m not concerned about the transplant process as its now just a case of getting on with it.
I just want it to work.
So, back to the day.
First visit was to get my heart checked out which was a doddle. Basically, the same kit used for pregnant lady scans. Only in my case, my heart.
All in order.
30 minutes later, I check into the unit where I was have a new Hickman line fitted.
Now the first time I had this, it was not pleasant but was tolerable. Took 35 minutes and apart from minor stinging pain from the local anaesthetic, was ok.
Not so today.
(WARNING: PG RATING. NEXT PARAGRAPH CONTAINS MINOR GRAPHICAL REFERENCES TO MEDICAL PROCEDURE)
I found out that scarring left from the previous line made it more difficult to insert the new cabling. A second doctor had to be called 50 minutes into the 40 minute procedure to give the pipe a good push, to break through the stubborn vein and muscle. I tensed up and was unable to differentiate between the sweat dripping from my neck and the blood that was flowing from the insertion point!
Thankfully the doctor was a rock star and she kept me focussed by talking about whisky, commuting from Liverpool and life in Russia!
I’ll stop there but if you want any further details, I’ll happily provide you with the 50 Shades version offline!
Anyway, about an hour 20 later, it was in and I was knackered!
So next stop was the X-ray department, lunch with Jenn and back ooop to the ward to settle in.
Which is where am now, listening to the dulcet clicks and clacks of Baxter and from where I contemplate the shock and surprise at my own lack of self awareness.
I’m also mulling over whether to be appreciative at the consideration and sensitive nature of the Bunbury crew, or pissed off and suspicious at the whole village for their collective ability to hold a poker face in my company but no doubt, be sniggering at my inadvertent nod to 1950’s footballers when I headed home.
I won’t gloss over this; I’m sporting a comb over.
I looked in the mirror of my new en-suite room and was horrified at what stared back at me.
How did I not see this before? Why did no one tell me?
I had a blast of chemo about 4 weeks ago in the build up to the stem cell harvest and slowly but surely, my hair has been thinning with every gust of wind over 5 knots.
Maybe Charlton didn’t spot it either.
Regardless, I’m now having to reconsider my previously judgemental approach on the decisions people make regarding hair design.
Anyway, enough for now. I’m on the chemo so its just a waiting game until it kicks in.
I’ll keep a note of goings on each day and let you know how things are on the other side of this.
Can’t wait until I’m told I have been evicted!