March 2012 update – plodding along

It’s 3.47 am and can’t sleep which is unusual on a Thursday – normally it’s just Tuesdays and sometimes Weds. Have awful acid reflux. Have just changed from Ranitidine – I discovered my Adcal (Calcium Carbonateand D3) reduces its effectiveness. Also a lot of aching and stomach like a balloon!! I know cancer patients are supposed to be uncomplaining and stoical, but sometimes I’m just plain grumpy. Having read a whole book of short stories I gave up trying to sleep and came downstairs. I often do some ironing if I’m up in the night but can’t be bothered.

Well just nearing the end of my 20th monthly round and although I think the side effects haven’t got worse (except maybe my digestion has deteriorated – constant reflux and a couple of bouts of bad diarrhoea and constipation plus piles), it does seem a bit hard going psychologically. Must be terrible for people who live with worse conditions for many years. It is true you adapt and get on with it, but every now and then I find I get resentful.Also, I am so stupid atm that, for example, I am correcting every few words I write and quite often I can’t write or say a coherent sentence.

However. Good news is my peripheral neuropathy hasn’t got worse. Also we have a new haematology suite at the hospital. It’s not much bigger but the treatment area is much better. But it is all being funded through charity – and they are only half way through raising £1.5 million for it through Macmillans. Shocking really that we have to rely on donations. I am sure it has affected the income of other charities across the town for ages.

We are still campaigning against cuts generally and the NHS Reform Bill. Anyone reading this – please do something to oppose this extremely dangerous Bill. Frankly it terrifies me, not least because I could find treatments and drugs no longer available to me in future. And that could apply to any of you one day. All in the name of profit, whatever they say. And my local hospital is now talking about patients having to travel to other centres to get treatment – I will be going along to a meeting next week about that. Write to your MP and paper. There’s lots of good oppositional material online.

Next week I give up being Sec of Trades Council. I will assist whoever takes over, but I hope to shed a lot of the workload and just assist with a few defined jobs. It’s too tiring, I don’t get to meetings and I want some me/family time. Thinking of trying to take up something creative – I have a whole set of pencils waiting for me to start drawing. Union and political work is still important to me, but there has been a lot of it the last two years and now I will be able to support without having to organise so much.

We are planning some short hols this year, as we only had one last year. I find a few midweek days at a time more manageable and I don’t feel brilliant Fridays to Sundays. Tonight we booked a few nights in Bruges with my son and his wife! We’ll also go to Floriade later in the summer, a huge flower/plant show in the Netherlands which comes round every 10 years. Then maybe one or two other short breaks back here. No big house or garden projects! So fingers crossed my health remains OK so we can enjoy ourselves.

Well, maybe I’ll stop drivelling on and go and go out in the garden now! The foxes were mating loudly yesterday. The frogs have returned to the pond. And my bulbs are eventually coming up. The garden is a mess, and I’m looking forward to pottering around as it gets warmer.

Take care everyone and I’ll try to update a bit sooner (don’t hold me to it!).