Sunday, 31 May 2009

More plans

How glorious has this last few days of sunshine been? I can very reliably tell you that it has been three years since June began like this as, the last time I basked in such pure blue skies, I had just given birth to Kitty. Paul and I and Cass rolled around the garden for almost two weeks of unbroken heat and it hasn’t happened since because I rue it every year. But it looks like it may happen again.

I spent almost a whole day with Paul today which really doesn’t happen very often. We didn’t do much just read papers, drank coffee, yawned and chatted sporadically when we had something interesting to say, Paul dozed on and off and nurses and doctors came and went. With the exeption of the medical interruptions and of course the setting, it was almost like an ordinary Sunday……..

He’s had a temperature for about four days now and he’s feeling very feverish and lethargic. He’s being given antibiotics and they are keeping a very close eye on him. They think he has some kind of infection which is apparently quite normal because of his challenged immunity. It’s just a mystery as to what kind of infection. We are just really hopeful that it doesn’t get any worse as it will scupper the plan. The plan, the plan, the plan – it’s daft to have one in a way when the illness you have is so unpredictable but at every stage in Paul’s fight from ITU to Haematology to ITU to back upstairs again the doctors always talk about ‘The Plan’. In ITU the plan can change by the hour because his condition has been critical, in haematology it changes by day and by week and is dictated by his response to the chemo and the outcome of various scans etc. Up to a few days ago the plan was to get through this round of chemo then if the next scan shows, at the very least a partial remission, then he could come home while they find a donor for a bone marrow transplant. That would mean maybe a month or so at home while he gets fit and strong enough to have a transplant. He also needs to put on weight and he has to pass a lung function test for this to happen. So we are just hoping that, whatever this infection is, it doesn’t interfere with the plan.

Plans, plans, plans. There’s the get better and come home plan and there’s Paul’s plans for the garden. I have to go to the garden centre tomorrow because he wants me to extend the herbs and is dismayed I have not done anything about tomatoes this year. The there is my ‘Around the world in eighty bites’ plan or as Paul has put it ‘Around the farmyard in eighty bites’! I felt there was a bit of an anticlimax after the lamb episode in that the experiment was over almost as soon as it had begun. So while I was making some bacon for Cassidy last week to have with his pancakes and maple syrup I realised there are so many things that I have never tried as I turned Veggie so young. There are so many things that Paul has put on his plate that have made me wonder what they taste like. I guess it seems to me right now that life should be about tasting and living and experiencing. If I were told that I were dying tomorrow I would not regret the things I have done but the things I haven’t so I have decided to try at least, all those things I have wondered about. And yes I did try the bacon and maple syrup and it was pretty damn good.

I’m making a list – it’s inventively called ‘The meat list’ it has all the things I have never tasted – I will post it and maybe you can come up with things I should add – as long as there’s no offal – I’m definitely not ready for that

Anyway have to go get ready for school tomorrow. Feel a bit sad about Cass having to go back as he has had such fun over the last half term, with late nights most nights, running feral in Victoria Park till way past his bedtime with Kits and Scarlett and mud under his nails, coming home with the smell of coal and fire in his hair after dancing to Drum and Bass at a BBQ, birthday parties, too many sweets and defiantly not enough fruit, mini beast hunting, visiting Daddy with no time constraints– no wonder kids hate school……

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Rain and coffee

SO I am SO over this bastard cancer thing now. That is it – I have had enough, it’s been hanging around like a hormonal groupie at a ‘Boyzone’ gig for long enough! FUUUUUCK OOOOFFFFF now . I know we have been all chanting but can we all just give it the massivest middle finger possible on the count of three:1.2.3. Fingeerrrrrrrr!!!!

Grrrrrr sorry I felt like the world had begun anew when the sun shone last Sunday in a blaze of tropical glory. Then the stupid rain starts and it reminds me that I have had enough! Yesterday was just one of those days, you know the ones that make you reach for the bottle earlier than you might do ordinarily……

I went to a cashpoint on Oxford Street to draw out some money and as I walked into the Disney store to buy some hideous plastic crap for Kitty I realised I had walked off without taking the money from the machine. Gutted, yet still laden with plastic crap, I jumped on a bus from Oxford street to see Paul and only realised when I was at the British Museum that I had got on the wrong bus, then only realised when I had jumped off the bus in a panic, that I was actually on the right bus but had jumped off too early. So I did a couple of left and rights and then realised I was lost. I got lost in London – I’m Londoner for Christ sakes, I’m lost in London and I had to ask a German how to get back to Tottenham Court Road. The shame of it. In fact my shame must have caused the Gods go cry because the heavens opened and I was rained upon mercilessly. So I shuffled through streets I haven’t been down for years, ballet pumps filled with rain water, plastic crap burning a ring of pain on my wrists and I still had to pick up some stuff for Paul. So I got the coffees (One for me and Paul) and stopped at another cash point to replenish the lost stock when a gust of wind caught the bag of plastic crap like a yacht sail and knocked the coffees over………

Cross and slipping on coffee I made it up to see Paul and had the audacity to break down in tears over my shit day. Yes you got Cancer but here I am wet and covered in coffee and really pissed off so hear me cry…….

There were three things that redressed the balance after I spilt my coffee. The first was a women emptied her shopping bag and gave it to me so I could carry the (almost empty) cups to Paul. The second was a man ran after me with the bag of plastic crap after I had left it at the cash point in a hideous tizzy. And the third was that Paul shared his coffee with me. He poured one from the other until they measured the same and laughed at my tears and rubbed my shoulders and by the time I left my shoes were dry.

The fact that Paul is making the world alright for me and I can have a breakdown over everything and nothing is a big indicator that things are back on track to a degree. There are no ways I can describe how that man has patched me up and put plasters in the right places and fixed the ills and the spills, zipped the rips and mended the tears. It’s probably been the biggest test for me personally to be the smiley stepford wife so to be looked after again is priceless.

He is neutropenic again and about half way through this round of chemo . He has been feeling ok but today he took a bit of a chill and had been feeling a bit feverish. They are so amazing because the moment he feels under par there is a flurry of activity with x-rays and blood tests and constant observation but I’m sure he’s fine. I think it’s to be expected that he gets the odd infection when his immune system is compromised in this way. I will add more tomorrow on the physical stuff and stop droning on about coffee and rain and such…

Too to write any more night night x

Monday, 18 May 2009

Oh and by the way............

You get nothing for two weeks and then I bombard you with entries. I’m like the blogging equivalent of a number 19 bus. This is just a quickie to say I forgot to mention something last night – probably due to the fact that I was on planet love and my mind was fuzzy – oh alright it was also party due to having more than my fair share of red wine too.

Anyway, yesterday I officially became a ‘Lambetarian’. Paul roasted, I feasted and it was goooood. I only had a little as I thought my body might go into shock but it didn’t. I didn’t wake up this morning with chronic stomach ache, nor did I wake with a healthy glow as though the iron had surged to long forgotten territory. I didn’t mourn the past 22 years of abstinence and neither does this feel like a new lifestyle choice. I may or may not eat more – I think I’ll leave that to a random flesh eating urge. But I also think life is way to short to say never, never, never………..

And Paul was pleased x

Sunday, 17 May 2009

love and stuff

What a wretched hole is left when a dreamboat sails away…….I have had a house full of Scotsman and laughter and suddenly things are quiet again. Annoyingly, the very act of him coming home for the weekend has just highlighted all the things I miss so fucking terribly. ……

The deep reverberation of his voice that you can hear from any part of the house, the way he blows his nose like a foghorn, the pants and socks and sundries strewn across the floor, the magic cup of tea that appears on the bedside table, the wine glass that mysteriously fills itself, the pure happiness in my children’s faces.

There are some things that are unquantifiable in a relationship, you know, the stuff about why you love one person and not the next. Why does your heart and body and mind feast on one and not the other? How come you can feel air, the atmosphere change when that person walks in a room? How do you explain the gravitational pull of two people in love? The (sometimes irrational) need to be with that person and that person only? I don’t know, I don’t know. But what I do know is that by taking this away from me I am more desperately in love than ever. I have always been besotted with Paul but now I am bordering psychotic!

I guess the cancer bastard has its uses in that it makes you appreciate what is front of your face. Anyway……Paul is off back to UCH for another round of chemo that will start tomorrow or Tues. It’s a 21 day cycle again so if all goes well he might be able to come home for a week or so again…..

Will keep you posted xxxxx

Saturday, 16 May 2009


Forgive me blogfather for I have sinned – it has been over a week since my last blogession. This is due to two overriding factors. The first is that during a DIY I decided to unplug the computer which was dead easy – it’s the putting back that was bloody impossible. I’m so cross with myself for being such a pathetic girl and getting into such a state with all the wires and plugs with all their different little faces and pins and pluggy bits and tiny screws. So my ineptness has meant no internet access for a while – therefore no blog entries.

The second reason for my delayed entry and why I am able to post this for you now, is that I have had a VIP staying with me for the last few days that has been occupying my time somewhat. My Scottish dreamboat came home on Thursday afternoon and is still here!! Yes you read right, be you drunk or tired or just habitually confused the last sentence was a truth – and a beautiful one at that.

Basically there was a moment between the last round of chemo and the next one that will start next week where it was decided he was able to come home for a few days. And so here he is and as I don’t want to waste any of those minutes I will sign off and get back to him. He’s currently lounging on the sofa and I am about to curl up with him. I will fill you in properly but I just wanted to justify my absence and also let you know the amazing news.

Big love – a very contented – H and P xxxxxxxxxx

Monday, 4 May 2009

Even keels

I hope everyone enjoyed the first bank holiday of the year, got a moment to relax and perhaps snooze for a bit in the sunshine, drink some wine, catch up and wind down….I know I did. God it feels good to bunk off school doesn’t it? That feeling never leaves – the one that sent Cassidy into a frenzy when he realised he didn’t have to go to school today, the one that releases Sunday from a day of dread and Monday from drudgery……..

So things are ticking along on a relatively even keel with Paul. He still hasn’t suffered the terrible nausea he did the first time and he has been given the second part of the Codox (the M bit). It’s given him a sore mouth and water retention so he’s not sleeping brilliantly but nothing he can’t cope with. Though, I am beginning to think that there is little that Mr Stevenson can’t deal with. He’s neutropenic again so I haven’t been in to see him for a few days and probably won’t for at least a week, but we are getting used to the prolonged absences. We’ve set up skype and have got a web cam so hopefully that will provide some sort of replacement to actual physical contact. Being a pen and paper girl it makes me feel all a bit Sci-Fi We are the future!

The plan with Paul’s medication is still the same. If he responds in the way they hope and the way he seems to be to this round then he will get one more blast of chemo then possibly a bone marrow (or stem cell) transplant. Both sisters were tested and neither were a match but it was a one in four chance anyway so pretty slim. If he is in a total remission by around this time next month then can actually grow and plant his own cells back in (this is where it all gets really, really Sci- Fi) because they would be considered healthy enough! If he is in partial remission then they will look for a best match donor. I tell you what I will def be registering myself on one of those list in the near future – it’s sad that it takes something so serious to make you get off your arse and do something so simple but……..

Now you might be all pleased, revolted and also, I hope, a little proud to hear that I have thus far slaughtered 6 mice! Some by sticky pads, some by traps and one with strangulation by my bare hands, well fingers (their necks are so small!) ok so that last bit was in my imagination. How could a vegetarian be so cruel? Easily when mice start shitting in her child’s buggy! Anyway my efforts have seriously depleted the mousley activity but I am still on high alert and will be trying white chocolate tonight. Paul is very; very proud of my efforts so even if I did feel bad (which I don’t) knowing that I am keeping the house vermin free is very rewarding.

This might sound pre-emptive or overly optimistic (is there such a thing?) but over the last couple of weeks or so Paul has seemed so much better than I have seen him since…well I think since before he was in Whipps X in November. It’s ironic that visually he looks sicker than he has ever done, in that classic cancer patient way, no hair, pale pallor etc etc. But he just seems better. It’s almost imperceptible and of course could be all in my head and I do have to remember not to ride the rollercoaster but I love having a snippet of things to come.

Hand P xxxxxx