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{ Monthly Archives } January 2010

On taking a shower

What could be so hard about taking a shower, you ask. Normally I’d agree with you but right now I have a permanent drip feeding into my arm. It is driven by an ambulatory pump, which sits in a small waist pack attached to a belt. The pump feeds into a PICC, which is a […]

Fireplace reflection

Lying on the sofa this morning, I noticed that I could see a reflection of the snowy landscape in the glass of the framed tapestry that stands in our fireplace. I liked the way the window frame made abstract patterns, and the snowy scene outside seemed to be rendered extremely clearly. If you look closely […]

Learned optimism

I was recently asked what I thought of Barbara Ehrenreich’s writing on a positive attitude to cancer. I hadn’t read much of what she has written, but I found a piece on the Guardian that I believe sums up her opinion quite well. In brief, she finds that positive thinking is touted as an unthinking […]

Crisis in the next bed

The day that I started my chemotherapy, it was clear that the person in the next bed, who I’ll call PNB for anonymity, had been having a rough day. He had needed a lot of care, and was clearly in some distress. But towards the evening, things seemed a little more comfortable and by the […]

First chemo

After trials, tribulations, and postponements I finally got my date, and went into hospital on Monday this week, as planned. There was still plenty of snow around, so we decided that it would be safer to get a professional driver to take me. Stuart, the taxi driver, was great. He drove sensibly in the conditions […]


It started with a very pretty little sparkling firework display while I was trying to get to sleep on Wednesday night after returning from the hospital. This replaced the ever-retreating bands of colour I normally see while I’m falling asleep with something a little more active. The display responded to things I heard, so it […]

Happy Birthday?

By Gillian Today is Christopher’s 46th birthday, and he is spending it in Cheltenham General Hospital’s Oncology ward. Not how we had envisaged spending it! The nurses are making a big fuss of him. They brought him a chocolate biscuit with candle on it and sang “Happy Birthday” to him. I’ve got his presents and […]

Hospital bed finally available

By Gillian on behalf of Chris We were hoping that Chris would be admitted to Cheltenham hospital on Sunday morning to start the chemotherapy. The consultant oncologist had written on his notes “MUST (underlined three times) be admitted on Sunday”. But when we phoned the hospital on Sunday morning, there were no beds available. We […]


Just a short note to say that my starting chemo was trumped by emergency cases, so I won’t be going in until tomorrow. Not so bad, really, as they still have to insert the PICC line, and that can’t happen before tomorrow anyway, but not a little frustrating. More news as and when…


A little help from my friends

I’ve written enough about myself for a while, that I must write about some of the people who are being so supportive and helpful. Richard and David have fetched shopping and prescriptions, driving through nasty conditions to do so, when Gillian felt that she couldn’t safely leave me on my own. A lifeline, to say […]