Time for some cheer

I know the weekend’s post was a bit hard going. I lived it and reading it back was tough enough for me. So time for some cheer.

That’s the thing about cancer treatment; one minute you are crawling on your bathroom floor, the next you are whizzing around London having a fine time. Then you’re shattered again. ‘This too will pass’ has become regular self talk for me and many other cancer thrivers.

Today I made the trip for 10 vials of blood to be taken and tested to make sure all my organs are behaving themselves and have managed to process the 10 of the 14 days drugs I poisoned myself and hopefully the cancer with earlier this month.

Good news is, my liver and kidney function and my red, white and platelet cell factories seem in fighting spirit. And so too am I.

I’m still adjusting to the peaks and troughs of this new medication, but hopefully with a reduced dose and three lots of anti sickness drugs by my side I will navigate cycle 2 (and half term (!)) with a bit more grace.

I was lucky enough to get the prime viewing seat for my bloods today. The rain stayed away too.

Today involved, being weighed (1 min incl. lace up shoes) taking some bloods (10 mins), seeing an oncologist (which was less than 5 mins as I’ve been in and out with bad reactions so they are up to speed with my side effects), making an appointment for 3 weeks time (1 min), filing a prescription (2 mins) collecting two lots of drugs from two different places (5 mins) total to collect and walk between two places. So 24 active patient minutes. I left my house at 8.30 and got back to my town in time for a work meeting at 5pm. Granted the travel time is a big chunk of that, but I still spent over 5.5hrs waiting at various places or travelling between parts of the same building.

There has got to be some efficiencies to make there surely. I even transported my own bloods and handed them to a nurse to hand deliver to the lab, because the porter system can add another hour at least. No wonder we have a productivity problem in this country – all those people not working, but waiting, or waiting with someone who’s waiting.

They even have a poster to help manage your expectation

I’m an impatient patient. You may have picked that up! I hate inefficiency. If I can see a quicker, better, different path I like to take it or find it.

That said, Knowing that today would be a waiting day, I planned some jobs and some cheer. In between sorting my annual accounts, finishing a poem, drafting this and picking up some presents I managed a bit of cheer. I stumbled upon a cafe behind the hospital and decamped for some non-vending lunch. I then met Jimmy of ‘London Hearts’ fame for a coffee and to pick up my commission of our very own ‘Cosmic Heart’.

As I had expected he was a lovely bloke and very humble about his talents. I started to shake his hand, but that felt odd, so I gave him a big hug, which felt right. We chatted a while about his work, my blog, legacy, reaching out and connecting to your loved ones and inspiring communities of people to do the same. I am so glad I stumbled upon those hearts, pressed send on what seemed like a slightly unusual email and met the heart behind some of the world’s street art.

Despite the waiting, today was a good day. I feel good.

Sometimes that’s enough.

Running (Poem 4)


I tried to outrun you. And failed.
I ran to get to the other side,
To be cured and have you in my past,
It’s not that easy; my time I must now bide.

Now I run to keep up with you.
I run to stop the feelings flooding in,
Keep moving, doing and updating my kin,
I run to simply show I’m able to.

I don’t want to miss a chance to get ahead,
Out in front, not wasting time,
Not waiting for you to get me; (to my bed),
‘Do today’, keeping busy’, is always the life I’ve led.

‘Rest up’, ‘relax’ they say,
But I want to make the best of each day.
‘Focus on chemo’, they like to write,
A priority no one wants to cite.

I used to actually run to clear my head,
Now I’m manic to fill the day instead,
To stop my head clearing to face the grief, 
Leaving everything organised and controlled gives me some relief.

I’ve been running for almost a year, 
Keeping going, keeping others going, increasing pace
It’s exhausting and relentless, but I refuse to just wait for you to appear
Passivity, self pity and reflection will not win this race.

I want to find a way to take control,
Not complacent, but proactively keeping you at bay;
Without rushing endlessly through each day.
Accommodating you, without feeling you’ve eaten into my very soul.

9th May 2019