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Rock Maze
  • Writer's pictureNeil

Pull away the Christmas Carpet

Tomorrow the Christmas carpet will be well and truly pulled from under my feet. It’s back to the Headland Unit for some more chemotherapy. But the timing could have been much worse. I’ve had a few days, right across Christmas when the chemo effects have been at their most minimal.

Christmas has been an exercise in pacing myself to enable me to max out on the festivities, such as they are. Although at home you may hear me say “I’m not an invalid". I recognise the benefits of being banished from the kitchen on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. My purpose seems to have been reduced to drink a little, eat a lot.

I think I’ve begun to perfect the balance between doing and resting. I also recognise when to rest in a chair and when I need to go to bed. If I manage my energy levels well it means I max out on my quality of life.

Towards the end of each chemo cycle I have a telephone call from one of the Drs on my consultant’s team. This happened on Christmas Eve. We discussed my wellbeing as you can imagine. It’s a time where complete honesty and openness can be critical. It’s a time when, by carefully describing the impact of my treatment, adjustments can be made to my medication. My medication will be adjusted in 3 ways, more steroids to taper off withdrawal, more pills to help with my sleep and more pills to help suppress the recurrence of shingles. It’s all to do with maintaining the best quality of life as possible. I also have 4 pills that I need to have available should I need them, I take pills for blood pressure and I can still use paracetamol and ibuprofen if I need to. You should see the medicine cabinet.

This expected phone call signalled, to me, the end of medical intervention for a few days and the start of the Christmas festivities.

Christmas Day was, on balance, pretty good. The original plan like the rest of the country got tweaked a bit but we managed to spend the best part of the day with our grandchildren, which by any measure was an excellent result. In the end fatigue got the better of me so I slid into bed with a bit of 007 at 8pm.

Yesterday, Boxing Day, was another of our much lauded walks. This time very close to home. We set off from Wheal Martyn China Clay Museum to the Sky Spur and back. Not the longest walk in the world, just 3.6 miles but a walk I shall hopefully repeat when visibility is a bit better. It was our first walk in the rain. 35 of us set off at the start 29 reached the summit. 2 joined us for the first ½ mile or so, 2 were unable to complete the walk and 2 got lost! 25 of us hung around a bit at the top for our coffee and cake.

As a result of taking cake to the summit I’ve been challenged to a “Cake Off". I’ve accepted the challenge, all that needs to be done is work out how we can arrange a covid secure competition.......thinking cap on.

After the walk and after lunch I again resigned myself into the arms of Morpheus. A full on Christmas day followed by a Boxing Day walk took it’s toll.

So what’s on the agenda?

Well the first thing is to plan the next walk. I’m thinking, if the weather is kind, doing a walk in an area that I’m less familiar with. I’m toying with a couple of walks at Bude. 1 is about 6 miles and one's about 4. I can choose which one closer to the day. The shorter one is called “Bude Canal and Coast” and the other longer one is called “Widemouth to Bude” I’m planning on walking, wherever it’s going to be, on the 9th January.

The second thing I need to do is work out the “Cake Off". Much cogitation required here.

The third, surreptitious, thing is to monitor the activities of this rather secretive Ladies Rugby Team. There’s more activity later today with some kind of rugby kit being looked at again. Apparently, when it comes to colours they’re thinking white. Madness if you want my opinion.

And last but not least I need to plan the shirt and sock combo for my Christmas chemo party tomorrow.

It’s all go here!

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Dec 28, 2020

All the best for the trip to the Headland unit and good luck in the cake off!


Juliet French
Juliet French
Dec 27, 2020


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