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Rock Maze
  • Writer's pictureNeil

In my Defence they left me Unsupervised

Sometimes this cancer business is hard. At this particular time its very, very hard. My third trip for my chemotherapy as you may know was challenging in itself. But it didn't end when I arrived home. I had left without being given 3 vital things. Antibiotics, a community prescription and some heparin.

We managed to get the antibiotics but in my confusion I started taking the antibiotics in the place of my 3 day course of steroids. Following a phone call for advice it transpired that I'd missed the boat. I couldn't start the course of steroids late.

Now, as you may know by now, chemotherapy is brutal. This course of steroids goes a long way in the reduction of the horrendous impact the chemo has. I haven't taken mine so I've experienced the full, unadulterated, nasty impact of my chemotherapy and its BAD! It OK I've berated myself constantly already.

Then, as if I didn't have enough to contend with, at midday on Sunday when the community nurses arrived we realised I didn't have my community prescription or Heparin. Both are needed to enable them to remove my pump. Bloody brilliant! Yet another trip to Truro for a 5 minute procedure that should have been done at home.

Why am I telling you this? Why am I confessing my idiocy. Well this abject failure is a timely reminder that I really am very, very ill.

Generally I try to stay positive, upbeat and cheerful but that's not easily achieved and for the last few days near impossible (add to that some pretty vivid and unpleasant dreams) and you have the perfect health shit-storm. But I'm pushing on with the kitchen (big delivery yesterday) very slowly, have 4 days away in the motorhome booked and my money raising walk is happening Thursday week. All this before my next chemo day.

Being extra poorly is salient reminder to the fact that sometime, in the not too distant future, there'll be an event. As of today only a few of you will be able to go. 30 in fact! Now I like a big event and 30 just doesn't cut the mustard. My place at this event is assured, unfortunately not as one of the 30 but I'll be there nevertheless.

As tickets for this event may be at a premium, I thought I would devise a selection process, perhaps something like an application form or get someone to devise an algorithm. What about nominations or a draw? Would a tombola solve the problem? Perhaps, for charity, the tickets could be raffled or even auctioned. What I do know is I'm still young enough to draw a good crowd.

Now before I get ahead of myself and talk about some of the nicer stuff I need to put some cards on the table. There are some things I've said, some things I've done and some ways I've behaved that I'm not too enamoured with. I've made good decisions that have turned out bad and bad decisions that have turned out worse. But, by and large, I think on the scales of good v bad, the good outweighs the bad.

But I've been thinking. What'll be here when I'm not? I'm not really thinking of stuff, we all leave stuff and I've accumulated a load. When I finish the kitchen I definitely need to start project eBay. What I'm really thinking is "what impact have I had?"

Back in the late 80s I worked with unemployed people as I did for most of my career. One person in particular comes to mind. Lets call him P... because that's what his first name begins with. P... had been going through a bad time, separated from his family, no work and with no apparent way forward. He was, unfortunately, typical of some of the people I worked. But P... had something about him. He smiled through his adversity. He had a genuine friendliness about him. With a bit of bobbing and weaving I secured him a position of temporary, unpaid, assistant maintenance man with my employer. Because P... was good it turned into a job. Soon after I left for pastures new, I completely forgot about P.... Fast forward 35 years. I'm up the dump. I recognise P... " Hi it's P... isn't it". I was genuinely moved by the conversation that ensued. He got back on his feet, re-married, and had a good job. "If it wasn't for you I don't know what would have happened to me. Thank you". Now after 35 years, that's not any old impact that's M&S impact.

There are other people. A few I remember, most I've forgotten, but what an opportunity, to have worked in a career that really has changed lives.

Then my friend asked if she could mention me in her blog, I of course said yes. She sent me the copy of what she wanted to say. I read it and I was genuinely touched. I thought I knew. What I should say is " how little did I know".

I read this and I rest easy.

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