Saturday, 16 July 2011

It has been a week of nausea fill days and sleepless nights. The six monthly check seems to come around so soon and it brings with it the angst of waiting for exam results multiplied a thousand times. Life starts to slow as I put things on hold not wanting to look ahead too optimistically, waiting to see if the outcome will curtail any immediate plans.

The sun beat down for the lunchtime walk up to the hospital. The routine is now well rehearsed. I have a slot booked with a consultant but must have blood taken first. You don't need to book for the blood letting you just turn up and at some point they'll take what they need and then sometime later will send it to the lab. The lab, in turn, also don't have you booked in so process it when they can fit it in around other more pressing demands.

The problem then is that if you turn up at your allotted time and only then get your blood taken, you miss your slot with the consultant. Resulting in a wait to fit into a slot between other appointments that can only happen once the lab have turned up with your results.

The natural way round this is of course to go really early to get bloods taken and take a leisurely walk to the consultant's office. This I have tried and even made time for a long lunch between the needle and the chat. This backfired with the lab assuming, given how early I was, that my bloods weren't for the Thursday clinic and put them aside whilst they got on with the stuff that came in later.

On that occasion I ended up being at the hospital for four hours. With Emma accompanying us this time so that was a wait we did not want to face and practice saw us time the blood taking and the arrival in the waiting room to perfection whilst fitting a sandwich in between.

Delighted by the box of well worn toys in the corner of the bright, airy waiting room Emma kept others amused with babbled talk of "car" and "book", as well as repeatedly feigning no interest in the stairs before then running at them to climb.

The waiting room was not as busy as usual, recent cancer treatments are either going very well or very badly, and I was seen bang on time.

Nervously we all made our way to the consultants office and pulled up some seats. The announcement was quick and delivered with a cheery smile. My bloods were good. Very good. As good as anyone without a history of Leukaemia could hope for.

The relief was astonishing and, pleasantries exchanged, we soon found ourselves back out in the sun phoning relatives and texting the news.

later the 'no drink on a school night' rule was abandoned just this once.

It is such an odd ritual to go through; the wait and the fear. Whilst Cladribine can offer some very long remissions there are those that relapse quite soon. In my mind I'm aiming for five years but it is an idle hope and something that I have no control over as far as I can tell.

The signs for now though are good. Perfect bloods and no symptoms. I'll keep eating well and pounding the treadmill if not to keep it at bay then at least to ensure when it does return I'm ready for the fight. in the meantime there is lots of stuff to plan.

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