I am not one who always embraces change. I like to feel safe and familiar, though I also like progression, and that is why I am never pleased. Today, I am faced with something that is both familiar and new, and I cannot distinguish whether the distribution is correct.
Some people may think this is strange, but whenever I am confronted with a room that is decorated in red and off whites, full of people in uniforms who know who I am, sitting on a big red chair, waiting for thirty minutes and counting, I feel safe. I feel safe even though only unpleasant things happen here. The sight of my electronics resting on a red footstool is rather comforting, even if I am annoyed with myself for forgetting to bring my phone charger with me. In fact, one would be forgiven, as I sit here sipping on my Costa tea, which has a hint of cardboard about it, that absolutely nothing has changed since I was last in the big red chair, that everybody knows is my favourite. Have I mentioned this before?
Life has of course changed, since I was last in the hot seat. This has changed. I will not allow myself to think that this is exactly the same as the 40 times I have been here before. It is different. I am making it different. I cannot feel like I have not moved on since I first came here for Velcade on 1 September 2012.
This is a new chapter.
I am not having Velcade to reach a certain point or a target, there is no transplant at the end of this round of treatment, particularly because this is not part of a cycle, and it is not a set of treatment, this is something that I am going to have indefinitely, every fortnight, to hold something off for as long as possible and keep me in the myeloma definition of a word of which we do not speak. That is what makes the here and now different.
I may still be sitting in the red chair, chatting utter gibberish to the Medically Trained People because I am suffering from the fatigue today, occasionally looking at the borderline attractive doctors, whilst writing a blog on my iPad, but this is different. They’ve changed the wifi user name for goodness sake!
I know what you are thinking, there is a part of this story that is missing. Why have I been sitting on the second floor of the Macmillan Cancer Centre for 80 minutes now, waiting for an injection of Cilit Bang? Why have I just had to fill out two questionnaires about numbness and my poo?
The answer is simple, because I have to. It’s the pay off the likes of me have to make when the disease they have is not currently active. I think.
So, it may walk like a duck and quack like a duck, but in this particularly case, it is definitely not a duck. I’m a mother effing swan.