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Rock Maze
  • Writer's pictureNeil

Nothing to Cry about here! It’s Christmas.

It’s a fine line between pacing myself and doing too much. A feature of chemo is fatigue. To me fatigue isn’t just tired, fatigue is something else. – (Fatigue [fəˈtiːɡ] noun - extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness).

When we eat a biggish meal we often feel tired afterwards. On a bad day I feel tired after breakfast. After a biggish meal I feel so knackered I often need to go to bed. An ancillary issue is I have an appetite. I won’t say I’m always hungry but I definitely haven't lost my appetite for food. So my problem is compounded.

It’s not only food that makes me tired. It’s being with people. If you’re a regular reader or know me a bit you’ll know by now I like a good conversation. Sometimes, depending on my mood I enjoy a good philosophical, even esoteric conversation but they’re really exhausting now. Being with people is great but listening to a long convoluted story is actually tiring. So I’m reduced to a chat. That’s OK I like a good chat as well. Sometimes it's great just being with people, not talking at all. Even phone calls are sometimes exhausting.

Then there’s the issue of doing stuff. A long overdue job in the house is to replace all the door handles, a job I started well over a year ago. Not a difficult job, not an intellectually challenging task but yesterday I decided to change the door catch as well. I had no door catches so I ordered some for collection at Screwfix. I put down my tools, drove 2 miles to Screwfix collected my bits, drove home, but was too tired to finish the job.

It’s not always like this. It all depends, at the moment anyway, where I am in my treatment cycle. At the very beginning, the first 2 days, I'm surprisingly able, then the fatigue sets in as does the very poorly feeling. For the next week I'm useless. I begin to recover for the last 4 or 5 days then I’m back for more chemo. A pretty unpleasant cycle but one where I have to manage the fine line between pacing myself and doing too much.

So the challenge is the next few days.

Today I have a 9am appointment at my GP surgery for a blood test and a lunchtime phone call scheduled with my consultant. I also have a lunchtime ticket for an event at Pinetum Gardens. Tomorrow, at 11am, the grandchildren with their mum and dad, arrive for a full on, food fuelled, Christmas day. On Boxing Day at 10am there's the Coffee and Cake 4 mile walk starting at Wheal Martyn Museum. On the 27th we have an afternoon zoom quiz. Then on the 28th I’m back at the Headland for my chemo Christmas party.

Fortunately everything’s happening around me. My responsibility over the next few days is to keep out of the way. Lauren’s going in my place to the event at Pinetum Gardens and together with Tricia, they're organising all the meals. My sole responsibility is to pack some Christmas cake and make a flask of coffee for our Boxing Day walk.

Unfortunately, unless I have any visitors today, we’re about to enter Tier 2 restrictions so no more indoor face to face chin wags. It’s back to coffee in the cul-de-sac.

I’m really looking forward to the next couple of days. I’m trying hard not to get all maudlin about my circumstances. This is a time for celebration.

Will I post anything tomorrow? I don’t know yet.

If I don’t, I’ll take the opportunity now to wish you all a HAPPY CHRISTMAS

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Juliet French
Juliet French
Dec 24, 2020


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