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Status report — from hospital

I didn’t expect to be writing this from my hospital bed[1. Last time I was here, the man in the next bed had a 3G dongle that he was using to get online. I was astonished at how cheap it was to get mobile Internet, but it’s well within my budget, so here I am.] as I had hoped to be here tomorrow, but an urgent phone call from the ward sister led to my early arrival in the ward. A funny end to a funny week.

Things were going rather well at the beginning of the week. The sickness of the previous week seemed banished and I had plenty of energy. I had found an even better arm protector for the shower and I was looking forward to the third cycle of chemotherapy.

But in the second half of the week, I found that I had hurt my back, probably from over-exuberant snow shovelling, which made daily living quite hard and sleep almost impossible. Losing sleep is one of the best ways to lower my mood, so I haven’t felt great during the last few days. Even so, we did manage a nice day out driving around the countryside and visiting an English Heritage site on Friday. Better yet, we went to the John Williams concert last night, which was wonderful. His style is so economical, and he is so normal, that it is a wonder that such great music comes from him. He played Albeniz’s Asturias, Brouwer’s Volos Concerto, and Myers’s Cavatina. I don’t know why he is so keen on Cavatina, which always seems overly sentimental to me, but he is, and it brought the house down. I preferred the Albeniz, which I have played myself (very badly and slowly), and I found the Brouwer quite a challenge.

I slept very well last night, and was looking forward to a fun day when the nurse phoned to say that there was a bed free, and that I should come in this afternoon, so here I am. I shall be in for two nights, which means, unfortunately, that I shall have to cancel two dates with friends. Such a shame, as my time to see people is limited not only by their availability, but also by my medical necessities.

I have finally cut my morphine intake right down to zero, and am delighted about that. I didn’t want to be dependent on pain killers, especially ones that had such a … errr … clogging effect on my insides.[2. As a long-term patient one gets to be very conscious of all one’s bodily functions, in which the doctors are also inordinately interested. Sometimes I forget quite how unusual it is to speak about my  bowels in polite company. Please forgive me if I do it too often.]

My weight continues to rise, and was 11st 10lb (164 lb for our American readers — hello Ryan) this morning. That means that I have put on at least 7 lb in the last two weeks, which I find amazing. I have been told that there is no reason why I should not continue to put on more weight if I can do so. I asked about exercise, and was gently dissuaded from taking too much, not while I am on this aggressive a treatment regime. But walking is OK. How about that! Eat more and don’t bother exercising. Treating cancer truly is a weird way of life!

{ 12 } Comments

  1. Frosty7000 | 28 February 2010 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    So pleased that you’ve managed to come off the Morphine and that your weight has increased!

  2. icyjumbo | 28 February 2010 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    Thank you.

    Sorry I missed you on Friday lunch time. I’m sure it was fun, even without me there 🙂 Enjoy your new job. Send us a postcard, if you can.

  3. Ruth Cook | 28 February 2010 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    Hi Chris & Gillian

    Just to say that I have been following your blog. Thank you for sharing this difficult time with us.
    The blog writing is most fascinating and I hope it is also helping you with coping with the good and bad days.
    I do hope and pray that this further course of treatment will be successful and the side effects will be kept under control.
    Just call us if there is anything that you need help with (we are semi retired!) Best Wishes Ruth

  4. icyjumbo | 1 March 2010 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Ruth, how nice to hear from you! The treatment seems to be going extremely well so far, so something is working well.

    And isn’t it nice being semi-retired? I’ve been having a lot of fun not going to work any more, although I can’t gloat too much while Gillian still makes the daily trip…

  5. Richard P | 1 March 2010 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Dear Chris,
    Delighted to hear that you’re continuing to do well, and that the 3rd cycle is now under way. Hope to see you later in the week if the DTD/PDP lunch goes ahead.
    All the best,

  6. icyjumbo | 1 March 2010 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Definitely looking forward to that lunch. See you there.

  7. Ryan DeRamos | 1 March 2010 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Chris, for the weight conversion. LOL

    Yeah, pain killers tend to prevent…that sort of relief. That, or you might want to drink more prune juice or something. I’m pretty sure your loyal readers are interested in the details you are willing to share, bowel-related or otherwise. 🙂

  8. icyjumbo | 1 March 2010 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    We have a really good grocer who can get nearly fresh dates in 5kg quantities. We’ve taken to eating 3 or 4 after each meal. That tends to help too. 🙂

    Nevertheless, I think I’ll be sparing with the details.

  9. Veronica | 2 March 2010 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    The concert sounds wonderful – a real treat. It’s good to hear that you don’t need to take the morphine at the moment, and even better to hear about the weight gain.

  10. icyjumbo | 2 March 2010 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    It was a wonderful concert.

    I have to admit to mixed feelings about the weight gain. On the one hand, all the medical professionals are extremely pleased, so I guess there is a strong medical benefit. On the other hand, I’ve been trying to get down to 11st 5lb for years and years. On the gripping hand, of course, there is the stock of clothes that no longer fit me. It’s complicated…

  11. David Allsopp | 3 March 2010 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Those of us with small children, at least, are fairly inured to discussions of bodily functions, so I wouldn’t worry unduly! 😉

  12. icyjumbo | 3 March 2010 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    No, I need to practise being in polite company again. I’m sure there’s plenty of other rather more pleasant topics for Friday.

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  1. A mammoth undertaking : A Handbag?? | 3 June 2011 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    […] space, the Forum. I don’t go there very often – in fact I think the last time was to a John Williams concert with Chris.  Perhaps fortunately, I didn’t recall that fact until after I’d got […]