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Rock Maze
  • Writer's pictureNeil


Dr Caroline Parnell and I had little a tête-à-tête. Remember, she's my consultant.

The build up to yesterday’s port implant, was as you know, dear reader, a shambles. A series of emergencies, haemorrhages and staff shortages that conspired to affect patient's appointments. Unfortunately the patients all happened to be me. Yesterday was my 5th appointment.

Back to our little tête-à-tête. Having a reduced faith in the administration at the hospital I had previously checked the time and whereabouts of our meeting. Was it 11 am Thursday 10th September at the Headland Unit? Yes and No. Right time wrong place, I was informed. You will need to go to the Sunrise Centre just down the corridor. Glad I checked. So now I have an an appointment at 11am followed by my port implant scheduled for 2pm. Not ideal but I’m putting up with it because I need to get things done. If the implant goes in only my chemo needs rescheduling.

I’m in the waiting area at 11am, my phone rings, an unknown mobile number, I answer. “Hi, is that Neil?” WTF, it's Dr Parnell ringing for a phone consultation. Aaaaagh! Not that it’s much consolation but I think she thought “WTF” as well. Thankfully she was in the hospital and came to find me. I had something to say. At some length we discussed my shambolic treatment. She had read my notes. I actually think she had some anger brewing. Our reason for meeting was to discuss the impact of my chemo not the administrative SNAFU I had experienced. Don’t worry my chemo regime was discussed. My drugs will be adjusted to try to ameliorate (there’s that word again) the side effects.

My meeting was done. I met with Tricia in the car park. Trish had found a wonderful place for lunch, Penrose Kitchen at Shortlanesend. The food was great the company was better and the whole experience conspired to sooth my furrowed brow.

The port implant went without a hitch (I wonder why). It’s now Friday morning. My Garmin Vivoactive3 smart watch tells me I slept for 8hr 10min. (Seems unlikely but it’s surprisingly accurate). I’m in an OK amount out of pain. My implant smarts a bit. The local anaesthetic has worn off. I’ll dose up with paracetamol. My care regime is ...keep the area dry for 48 hours and no strenuous exercise. I can do that.

We're off later today for a few days in North Devon. We're taking the motorhome to Woolacombe. We're experiencing new things. Our money is spent and we find ourselves in the biggest campsite ever. Fortunately we have ourselves a quiet corner. It's a far cry from a village car park in rural France. No strolling up to the boulangerie for our morning baguette. Hell no! This is a town! With a supermarket, entertainment, swimming pools, golf, etc. etc. It's OK though the reason we're here is because somewhere in the vicinity are the grandkids et al. We'll have a fine old time. On the way here the I found seatbelt rests directly on my port implant. (Note to self. Get some seat belt clips to ease the tension.) Done already!

However today hasn't been without it's downs. I'm really not very able to sustain any level of activity for very long. Preparing the van made me tetchy. I dug away at Tricia for no good reason until we were miserable with each other. At about 10 am I needed more sleep. We left at about 11:45 at about 13:00 we stopped for lunch I slept for a little while. We drove for about 30 minutes when I needed to sleep again, this time for an hour.

We made it though. Dinner is ready to cook. The G&T is being consumed (not by me unfortunately, I can only cope with warm water).

Soon I'll be eating one of my favourites.

Until tomorrow... Happy camping.

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