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Back from holiday

Yesterday we got home from our coach holiday in Wales. It was something that we had planned would take place soon after my chemotherapy finished, back when I was coping quite well with it. At that time we were confident that it would be no problem at all, but the later cycles of chemotherapy were more difficult than we — or at least than I — had expected, and towards the end we weren’t sure whether I would be in a fit state to go. Gillian says that she considered several times cancelling the holiday, and Gillian’s sister and her boyfriend both considered themselves on stand-by to come and rescue us if a problem should have occurred. Fortunately, as we’ll see, none of the dreadful outcomes happened, and we really enjoyed the holiday.

We started by taking a train down to Cardiff, where we met the tour manager and the rest of the party. The holiday’s theme was the archaeology of Wales and the West, which meant that we would be seeing archaeological sites from the Stone Age up to Mediaeval times. The National Museum in Cardiff was the perfect place to get an overview, which was the first visit of the trip.

In the following days we went to Roman towns and fortresses, Stone Age monuments and landscapes, Mediaeval castles, and even a Roman gold mine. It’s too much to write about all in one post, and as I haven’t yet processed the photos that I took I plan to write about individual sites over the next few days. I do want to comment about how I managed the trip as a whole, however.

I had been getting weaker and weaker during the chemotherapy, and one feature of most of the sites is that they’re isolated and usually on the tops of hills. That meant that one of my main concerns was whether or not I’d have the strength and stamina to visit them all, as a long and arduous walk was often required. As it turns out, I didn’t have enough stamina to do them all, but I’m pleased to say that I dropped out of only three planned visits during the whole trip. That might seem like a lot, but I wasn’t the least active member of the group by any means: there were some much older and frailer members who were able to tackle even less than I. It comes to something when I am proud that I have more stamina than an eighty-year-old, doesn’t it!?

The other concern that we had before departing was my nausea and back pain, but these also turned out not to be a problem at all. I took my pain medication rigorously and it worked beautifully. Nor was there any sign of nausea. Overall, a great success for the modern pharmacopoeia!

As is always the case, it’s great to get away on holiday, but it’s good to come back home again, even if I do have to catch up with the laundry and other household chores. Now it’s time to start thinking about where we go next, as this holiday went so much better than we feared, and almost as well as we hoped.

{ 8 } Comments

  1. Mantina Ahlijah | 17 June 2010 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Glad you had a great time on holiday. Welcome back

  2. icyjumbo | 18 June 2010 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Mantina. It’s good to be back, even if I do have to do all the laundry and ironing…

  3. Veronica | 18 June 2010 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    I’m really pleased to hear that your holiday went so well. Look forward to seeing the photos when you post them, and to hearing more about the locations. I used to thoroughly enjoy spending time at the Museum in Cardiff when I was a student there.

  4. icyjumbo | 19 June 2010 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    Yes, Veronica, we too found the museum fascinating, even the string on the waxwork archer’s bow was upside down…

  5. Richard P | 18 June 2010 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    Delighted that you both had a good time in Wales.
    Stamina is a strange quantity – I remember when I first dabbled in Scottish Country Dancing people probably twice my age seemed to have vastly more energy than I could muster. Wouldn’t catch me on top of too many hills now (bah, humbug…), so I’m impressed by any non-zero number of ascents.
    Hope to see you both + photos sometime soon.
    All the best,
    R & F.

  6. icyjumbo | 19 June 2010 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Richard. My stamina has been decreasing for years now. I thought at first that stamina + age = constant, but there seems to be a third factor that I refer to as C 🙂 Chemotherapy has reduced the value of C, I think, and helped to increase the stamina.

  7. Veronica | 20 June 2010 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Oops – might have made for interesting tiller!

  8. icyjumbo | 20 June 2010 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    No, there was no nocking point on the string, it was just that the long part of the serving was above the fingers, not below it.