Today I went without the slap, without a head covering and without much care. It was Just Too Hot. My appointment was for 9 o’clock so I had rush hour traffic to contend with. Rush hour traffic, 26 degree heat and a car with quirky air conditioning – it does not work in stationary traffic. This is where always being early stands me in good stead. Under normal conditions I would have been early. In these circumstances I was on time. You cannot know how much this pleases me.
That I am rapidly learning the clinic never runs on time is something I am untroubled by. The Doc is a man of grace and sensitivity. He gives time to his patients. I have been, and will no doubt be so again, the recipient of this kindness. Once aware of this, it is easy to plan for. I went armed with a large book. Last visit my book ran out. This was a crisis of epic proportions as I was forced to watch the video. Played on a loop is a compilation DVD of 1980s Top of the Pops. Initially this is quite entertaining. After a short while it is excruciating.
Today’s visit involved more blood letting. No compliments were forthcoming but this was fair enough. I had not made the effort. However, my veins played ball. Which was a huge relief. This cycle they have been getting more and more sore. This is not unexpected. Chemo burns veins. Nice. I have been doing all I can to keep them working. I have been rubbing them several times a day with a potion concocted for me by the aromatherapists of Complementary Therapy. I am using a stress ball to exercise with hand squeezes. I say stress ball, I actually mean a ball of socks. It seems to work. I continue to drink the equivalent of a small lake each day and increase this to a medium sized lake the day before chemo. And I am wrapping a hot water bottle and damp tea towels around my forearm each day which in this heat is, indeed, dedication to the cause. The Doc is prescribing me some stuff to rub on too. I am pretty sure Stuff was its actual name.
Seeing him was, as always, a joy. Not the reason for being there, I just always feel better having seen him. He was very pleased with the effect from my new drugs. Possibly not nearly as pleased as I was. We spent most of my appointment discussing my family history as some new information has come to light. As a result, I am being referred to the Genetic Screening Department to see whether this would be a good plan for me. This could take some time. But that is not a problem. There is no rush.