BEP Cycle 3 Day 16

Wednesday 31 July 2019

I was feeling quite good on waking, but still felt that I needed to take an anti-sickness tablet, so I had a dose of Metoclopramide. This afternoon was to be my final day of chemotherapy treatment, one last dose of Bleomycin. My PICC line was also due to be taken out following the chemo, which I was very pleased about. Although it had been a convenience during treatment, it was a bit of an obstacle at times, had given me a blood clot for which I had to take uncomfortable injections twice a day, and I would be glad to be rid of it.

I spent most of the morning writing in my diary and doing a few other bits and pieces. I also spoke to my sister for a while on the phone. At some point during the morning, I was sitting in the front room and Pia came rushing downstairs as she’d heard a frantic clucking in the back garden. She ran to the back door and I went to the front. When I opened it, I saw a guilty looking ginger cat on the driveway, next to the path at the side of the house. The cat quickly cleared off once it saw me and I went out onto the street to see if Lucy had been chased there. I walked up and down but couldn’t see her. When I came back to the house, I went to the back garden and Lucy was there. She’d been chased from the end of the garden, over a fence and all the way up to the house where she had taken refuge on the kitchen window ledge. She was looking quite shaken, but she let me pick her up and carry her back down the garden, which is very trusting of her as she doesn’t usually like being handled. We closed all three chickens in the run for a while. As soon as we did, we could see that the ginger cat had re-emerged from one of the back corners of the garden, so we scared it off.

My chemo appointment was for 15:00, and we headed off about 13:30. The drive was pretty easy and we were there 20 minutes early, so we dropped into the M&S at the hospital’s main entrance to get something to eat (we’d had a late breakfast, but no lunch).

Happy to be getting my final chemo treatment over and done with

The treatment all went smoothly and I was all smiles, glad the be on my final day of treatment. Unfortunately, I was not able to have my PICC line removed as I was on blood thinners. There needs to be a minimum gap of twelve hours between taking anti-coagulant medication and having a PICC line removed, and I’d had my last shot of Clexane just seven hours earlier. If I had known, I’d have skipped my morning injection, but nobody had told me about this requirement. The nurse who I’d had for my first day chemo treatment, in the TYA (Teenage and Young Adult) day chemo unit, happened to be in the room and she said that she could take the line out for me the next day if I could come back around 3 pm, so we agreed to do that. Before we left, my chemo nurse also sent a prescription down to the pharmacy for me to collect another 30 days worth of Clexane injections. We decided to collect them when we returned the next day.

We stopped at the supermarket on the way home to get a couple of things. I then whipped up a fresh zhoug sauce to have with the left over falafels from the night before.

It was great to have the chemo over with, very elating. I now just couldn’t wait to have my line removed – that would make it feel more complete!

BEP Cycle 3 Day 14

Monday 29 July 2019

I felt quite reasonable on waking, similar to the day before. After I got up, I walked down the garden to open the chicken run and the greenhouse. I wanted to take it quite easy again, after yesterday’s unusual chest pain. Pia spent most of the morning working, but she did take a break and we ate some porridge together.

I spent a couple of hours sitting outside during the morning writing in my diary. This was an important exercise as it is a precursor for writing the blog, and I’ve published most of my blog posts 3-4 weeks after the events had taken place. Without a diary to refer to, it would be extremely hard to jog my memory enough to get have detail to write about.

While I was writing my diary, I heard some clucking from the other end of the garden, so I went to investigate. The ginger cat that had been harassing Lucy was back in the garden. When I arrived, the cat was standing about a metre from the Cochins, checking them out. The Cochins looked back, unfazed. Lucy was quite agitated though. I chased the cat out of the garden and Lucy calmed down after a couple of minutes. We were going to need to be quite careful with having the chickens out in the garden unoccupied, as we didn’t want to lose Lucy again.

After lunch, Pia and I went out in the car to get a few things for the chickens and to continue looking for a big plant pot. I started feeling very worn out quite soon after we left. I was headachy as well. We were out for about two hours in total and I was coping less and less well during that time, finding it hard to stay on my feet. I felt absolutely drained. When we finally got home, I lay down and snoozed for a good three hours or so.

Later on, Pia made some stuffed peppers and courgettes using the leftovers from our jackfruit curry and rice & beans as fillings. They were nice and there were even some leftovers to save for the next day’s lunch.

The afternoon had been quite hard. I’d been so tired with a bit of a sick feeling and a headache, and I’d been very slow and unstable on my feet. It felt like a bit of a setback after having just had three comparatively good days, from Friday to Sunday. Still, it wasn’t nearly as bad as it had been a week earlier.

Also, the damage to the nails on my left hand had developed a bit and they were looking worse than they had a few days earlier. It was becoming more difficult to use the tips of those fingers as putting pressure on them would cause pain. I was finding that I couldn’t use those fingers to open size squeeze clips or pull the lids off plastic containers, things like that. I still had my other hand though!

BEP Cycle 3 Day 13

Sunday 28 July 2019

I felt ok waking up in the morning. However, when I got out of bed and leaned forward to pick something up from the floor, I had a sudden and unusual pain in the centre-left area my chest, radiating up towards my left shoulder. I’d not felt anything quite like that before and was initially distressing. It eased up after a bit, but for a short while I found that I could recreate the pain, to a degree, by making a similar movement. I was breathing fine and didn’t feel notably bad in any other way. I decided to take it pretty easy all day and to call my oncology team’s emergency number if the issue persisted. Fortunately it didn’t.

It was a lovely sunny day outside, warm but not too hot. We let all three chickens out into the garden. The Cochins stuck together and mooched around pecking at things. At one point we noticed one of them peck a bumble bee straight from a plant. Later, one of them had found a large worm. I sat on the ground for a while watching them. They came close to me a few times but were not quite brave enough to eat from my hand. Lucy chased them every now and then, showing that she’s in charge.

The new Cochins, looking around the garden

Our greenhouse gets a bit shady during the second half of the afternoon, so we took some of the potted plants out into the open to soak up some sun for a few hours. We also needed to attend to a few of them, notably tomatoes and cucumbers, that were not holding to their stakes very well. Pia also planted a few trays of seeds to get started, including beetroot and beans. Once they’ve germinated and reached a reasonable size, we’ll transfer them to the garden.

For dinner we wanted to make Gallo Pinto, or rice and beans, Costa Rican style. When we visited Costa Rica in 2006, this was served as part of almost every meal and it is delicious. The secret ingredient is a sauce called Salsa Lizano. This is not really available outside of Costa Rica and even if it was, some of the ingredients on the label can be a bit off-putting (MSG, etc.). We found a recipe online that attempts to make something equivalent to Salsa Lizano, but with fresh ingredients, so we tried that. We boiled some black beans, that had been soaked overnight, and cooked some rice. We then combined them with celery, red pepper, garlic, onion and our sauce. It came out nice! It wasn’t exactly like we remembered, but it was pretty good. I think we’ll need to return to Costa Rica to experience the authentic flavour again, but at least we have a good home made alternative.

I didn’t get any more of the morning’s chest pain during the day. I still had a heavy feeling in the chest and a cough, which had persisted for weeks, which I presumed to be due to Bleomycin, but that was different. My breathing was all fine and I’d taken it easy enough during the day that I’d not worn myself out too much, so all in all I felt that I was doing ok.

BEP Cycle 3 Day 12

Saturday 27 July 2019

I was feeling quite good on Saturday morning, as I had been on Friday. After we got up and ready, we headed out and started driving to the chicken breeder’s place. They live in a village called Baltonsborough, near Glastonbury, which was beautiful to drive through.

The breeders were very knowledgeable when it came to keeping chickens and they were able to give us a lot of advice. They had birds of a number of different breeds available for purchase, each with their own characteristics. After much deliberation we decided to take two white Cochin hens.

Cochins are big and fluffy with feathers over their feet. They are quite calm and friendly and are supposed to get on well with other breeds. They can’t fly, which is good for us as they shouldn’t end up escaping over the fence if chased, as Lucy has been a few times. They will lay 3-4 eggs at most per week, which is less than Lucy, but still nice. There were other hens available who would more regularly lay 6-7 eggs per week, but we decided that the calmer personality of the Cochins would suit us best.

It had turned out to be another nice warm day. I was a little worn out when we left the breeder’s, but still feeling fairly decent. We drove home with the Cochins in a cardboard box in the back of the car.

When we got home, we repositioned the chicken coup and run, letting Lucy out to roam around the garden. We made sure that there were water and food available both inside and outside of the run. Then we introduced the Cochins to the run and closed them in, so that they could spend the rest of the day familiarising themselves with their new environment. Lucy, on the outside of the run, was quite interested in he new arrivals and strutted around looking in and making noises. It would be interesting to see how they interacted later on.

The new arrivals, two white Cochins familiarising themselves with the run

After lunch I was quite exhausted. I lay down for a while and slept for an hour or so. Although I was feeling comparatively better to how I’d been a couple of days earlier, I was still nowhere near normal. I’d had a pretty active morning. This was something that I needed to be careful about, as life was still very tiring and I didn’t want to do more than I could manage.

For dinner we decided to make a jackfruit tikka masala curry. For this, we first needed to make a marinade, so we did that and left the jackfruit to soak it up for a couple of hours.

Before we started cooking, we let Lucy into the chicken run. She immediately started asserting her dominance over the newcomers. She’d occasionally charge at them and might pluck out one of their feathers. The Cochins are quite docile and didn’t fight back. It was quite clear that Lucy would be head of the new pecking order, which was interesting given both that she is the smallest of the three and that she was always at the bottom of the pack when our previous two chickens lived with her.

We finished preparing the curry, adding some courgette and butternut squash to the recipe to make it nice and thick with lots of goodness. Once finished, we sat on the sofa to eat it. It was delicious.

Jackfruit tikka masala curry, almost ready

I was still quite tired in the evening but refreshed from having napped during the afternoon. I’d have to make sure that I didn’t over-do it in the days to come.

BEP Cycle 3 Day 11

Friday 26 July 2019

I woke up in the morning feeling quite good. I was much improved compared to the previous few days, which was both surprising and elating. It was a total contrast from the day before. I didn’t feel anywhere near completely normal, but the improvement was a huge boost and mentally I felt over the moon!

I still took it fairly easy for the day, but spent more time outside and pottering around in the garden. It had cooled down quite a bit so being outside was much easier. The previous few days had been in the 30s, but Friday peaked at about 23 C which was nice and comfortable.

Pia baked a loaf full of buckwheat, seeds and butternut squash. We had some for lunch and it was delicious. It was a recipe that we used to make a few years earlier, but it had been a long time since we had last done it.

We spent quite a while after lunch sitting outside and talking. We decided that the next day we would go and get a couple of new hens to join Lucy, as she was starting to look quite lonely on her own. The question was, what sort of hens? And where would we find them? I contacted one breeder by email, but they didn’t currently have any breeds that we thought would be suitable for us. We then discovered another breeder near Glastonbury who had a good variety of hens available, so we decided that we would visit there the next day.

Later in the afternoon, we drove to Homebase to see what kinds of large plant pots they had, as I wanted to repot one of my feijoa plants that was getting too big for its existing pot. We didn’t see anything that took our fancy, but we did buy another pot in which I could put an olive plant that I had received for my birthday.

My olive plant in its new pot

When we got home, we spent a couple of hours out in the garden. I clipped back a number of brambles and roses that needed tidying up, and I pulled out some ivy and dried up stems from one messy looking corner of the garden. I think I wore myself out a bit with this as I was quite exhausted afterwards and could no longer stay on my feet for more than a few minutes at a stretch.

Pia cooked some home grown potatoes and courgette for dinner. She had dug up a row of potatoes the day before and had been pleasantly surprised to find 3-4 kilograms of nice looking specimens, including some big ones. We’d had a home grown courgette almost every evening during the last week, they were coming thick and fast.

All in all, I’d had a great day and was feeling so much better than I had at any point during the previous week. I was very grateful for that. It was truly amazing what difference there could be from one day to the next.

BEP Cycle 2 Day 21

Monday 15 July 2019

Today was the last day of cycle 2 and I was feeling pretty good! I squeezed a grapefruit and some oranges to make a juice and had that with some other fruit for breakfast.

I put out the rubbish and recycling which was due to be collected. We’d accumulated a fair amount of cartons and plastics, which are not collected by the council, so I decided it was time to drop them to the local recycling centre. I drove down there, then dropped into a couple of shops, got a few things from the supermarket and filled the car with petrol.

I was feeling considerably less tired than any day recently. For me, this was almost a repeat of the last day of cycle 1, on which I was feeling great and had a very active day.

I felt that I still had a good amount of energy when I got home, so I ran the lawnmower over the back lawn and around the vegetable garden, which was already nice and short since Stuart had come to help a couple of weeks earlier. After I’d finished that though, I was pretty worn out and needed a good rest. So it wasn’t quite a repeat of three weeks earlier, but I’d done pretty well. I spent the afternoon a bit more leisurely, still managing to fold a big pile of laundry and to pack some things for my next hospital stay the following day.

Pia’s mum had flown over from Finland and was coming to stay for the week to look after the girls while I was in hospital, freeing Pia up to come and spend some time with me in Bristol every day. She arrived on the train during the afternoon and Pia collected her from the station.

In the evening, Pia got a message from one of our neighbours that they had seen a sign on a lamp post asking if anyone had lost a chicken. Pia called the number from the sign and the description of the chicken that had been found matched Lucy. She had been caught in a garden about 500 metres away from our house, and the person who had caught her had left her with a neighbour who had a flock of chickens.

We went around to see them and sure enough, there was our Lucy! She had been put in a little coup on her own and they were going to let her out to associate with the other chickens (including a rooster that had been eyeing her up) after a few days if nobody had claimed her. We had a good chat to the couple who lived there. They knew a lot about keeping chickens and had several nice breeds in their flock. We were really glad that they had been able to look after Lucy for a day or two, and even more glad that we were now able to bring her home. She’d had quite the adventure, travelling half a kilometre across roads and through several gardens over two weeks. It’s a wonder she survived, but we’re very grateful that she did! We brought her home and put her into our chicken run. We thought we’d keep her in there for a few days so that she could re-familiarise herself. Then we’d need to be careful about when we let her out, should that cat come and chase her again.

So cycle 2 was complete. Here are some of the highlights:
– I’d experienced a lot more tiredness than in cycle 1 and needed to sleep or rest much more often
– I’d still had a lot of occasions on which I couldn’t stay on my feet for too long
– I’d had some mild headaches, but nothing too bad
– I’d had feelings of sickness that I’d not had in cycle 1, particularly on the couple of days after my inpatient stay, and the couple of days after Glastonbury
– Tinnitus had been more apparent than in cycle 1, but it wasn’t bothersome
– I’d had mild temperature spikes on days 9 and 16 of the cycle (day chemo days), but my temperature didn’t exceed 38C
– Like in cycle 1, I’d started to lose my voice a little on days 4-5
– The heavy feeling in my chest had gotten worse, but I was still able to breathe normally
– I’d developed a shallow dry cough which was more annoying than anything else
– I’d developed a nerve-like pain in the back of my right forearm and wrist
– I’d developed a blood clot along my PICC line, for which I was prescribed two injections per day of anti-coagulant medication
– The stinging in my urethra had remained and been quite bad on some days
– My head was looking even more bald than when I’d just cut all of my hair off – clearly more of the remaining short hairs had rubbed off or fallen out
– My facial hair had stopped growing and I wasn’t getting any stubble, but I did have a few thin whispy white hairs protruding from my chinny chin chin, which had required a shave
– I still had a good appetite
– I hadn’t had any proper nausea, but I was taking Metoclopramide whenever I had a feeling of sickness

Towards the end of cycle 1, my oncologist had suggested that I might find cycle 2 easier to manage. That had definitely not been the case, but on the whole I felt that I’d been coping pretty well. It would be interesting to see how cycle 3 would go.

BEP Cycle 2 Day 13

Sunday 7 July 2019

On Sunday morning, Pia had received a message that a chicken matching the description of Lucy had been sighted nearby. When we lost her, she must have gone over the back fence, through the rear neighbour’s garden and across the road, as she’d spent the previous couple of days in at least two gardens over there.

We grabbed a cardboard box and some chicken food and headed over to one of the houses, which was owned by someone Pia knew from yoga classes. We had a good look around the garden and over the fence to the next door neighbour’s garden, but she was nowhere to be seen. Apparently she had been there for most of the day on Saturday, so we hoped that she would be back again later. The couple living there said that they would let us know as soon as they saw her again.

After that, we got ourselves ready and headed into town. The monthly Independent Market was on and we were going to be meeting our friends who had been around the previous evening. The market is quite a big event and always a great day out when the weather is good, which it was. It was hot and sunny and there were loads of people about. We walked about, looking at all of the stalls and shops, then everyone found some lunch from amongst the numerous food options (I’d brought something from home for myself). I bought the girls some fresh lemonade after they’d eaten. We ran into a few people we knew, including one artist that was exhibiting in a small shop/gallery and was spinning yarn from wool on a big wheel when we saw her.

We stayed out for a few hours, after which we said goodbye to our friends and walked home. I’d done pretty well, but was thoroughly exhausted by this point. When we got home I had to lie down and sleep for a bit.

Maybe the highlight of my day was catching up with an old friend on the phone. I’d not been in touch with him for probably close to 15 years. We talked for over and hour which was really nice.

I got out in the garden and gave it a good watering before the end of the day. There had been no further signs of Lucy unfortunately. I hoped she would turn up soon, now that we knew she’d been seen so recently.

BEP Cycle 2 Days 7-8

Monday 1 – Tuesday 2 July 2019

I hadn’t slept well after the day out at Glastonbury. I woke feeling tired and sick. Not as bad as Friday or Saturday had been, but still quite rough. It felt like I was paying for having had a nice day out on Sunday. Had I overdone it at the festival? I didn’t think so, but I was feeling pretty bad, none the less.

The girls were back at school and I hoped that they wouldn’t be too tired after a busy weekend with late nights. I spent most of the day in bed.

A new symptom started bugging me quite strongly during the day. The back of my right upper arm, around the triceps, was very sore. It felt soft and tender, as if it had been punched repeatedly. I’d had a similar feeling about three weeks earlier, so I wondered if it might be something that was cycle related. But I also wondered if it had to do with my PICC line.

At some point during the morning, we heard some intense clucking from the back end of the garden. When Pia went along to have a look, our last remaining chicken, Lucy, was nowhere to be seen. It seemed like she must have been chased over one of the fences at the back of the garden. We couldn’t see or hear her anywhere. Pia had a walk around the neighbourhood to see if she could see any traces, but there were none to be found. She posted a message on a local Facebook group to see if anyone had any information but she didn’t get any immediate responses. We hoped that Lucy might find her way home.

I felt generally a little bit better the next day, but my arm felt worse. My forearm also started to hurt a bit. It felt a little heavy. I looked at my forearms side by side to see if the right was swollen, but I couldn’t tell. I was a bit worried though.

I spent most of the day in bed again, but also sat outside for a while. I mostly wanted to be fairly still as I was uncomfortable and had a slight feeling of sickness.

It was a nice day, so I spent some time lying outside

Pia and I had planned to go to a cacao ceremony and sound bath in the evening, and I still wanted to go even though I was feeling a bit rough. It was walking distance from home, but I didn’t feel well enough to walk that far, so we drove and parked as close as we could. My arm particularly was bothering me the whole way through, but Pia and I both had a nice time.

Before bed I checked my arms again, but couldn’t be sure whether or not there was any swelling. It was really bugging me though.

BEP Cycle 1 Days 19-20

Saturday 22 – Sunday 23 June 2019

Maybe not surprisingly, after having had a long day and a late night on Friday, I was feeling very tired and a bit under the weather on Saturday morning. I opted to rest as much as I could and spent most of the day in bed, combining a bit of napping with catching up a little on the blog writing (still way behind though).

The girls’ school summer fair was on and I had hoped to go along but I just wasn’t feeling up to it. So Pia and the girls went on their own and had a nice time. Pia brought be back a couple of second hand records she found for a pound or two each: The Beatles Red Album and a compilation of 50’s and early 60’s rock’n’roll, containing a lot of good tracks.

In the afternoon, Pia’s sister, her partner and their little boy came down from London to stay for the night, which was great. I was still resting, so Pia took everyone else out for a couple of hours. I got up when they got back and we set about making dinner. After dinner we played some games before winding up for the night.

My youngest daughter, who almost inevitably ends up in our room at some point during the night, had been sniffly and sneezing before bed, so to spare me from getting any unintentional exposure, we put her to bed with Pia and I slept in her room instead. Since the trip to accident and emergency on day 7 of my cycle, I have been keeping quite vigilant about avoiding any possible exposure to infection.

I woke in the morning to hear a lot of clucking coming from our one remaining chicken. The ginger cat that had chased her out of the garden the week before does not want to leave her alone. I don’t think it intends to do her any harm, otherwise I’m sure it would have done so by now. I think it just wants to chase her. None-the-less she remains one terrified little chicken.

I was still feeling pretty lethargic. The roof of my mouth was starting to feel tender too and I was getting slightly irritated eyes and nose, all signs that hayfever was finally kicking in. I often start experiencing those symptoms a few weeks earlier, but June was only just starting to warm up having been rather mild for the first half of the month.

A children’s festival was being hosted along the banks of the river in town, so we wandered down there after lunch. There were all sorts of activities, most aimed at younger children. There were a couple of more daring fun things to try too, such as a zip line across the river, which our seven-year-old did a couple of times. We ended up at a playground at one end of the festival where there were a number of food stalls and everyone ordered pizzas and burgers and things to eat. I just had a green tea.

I was getting quite worn out and it was time for our guests to get moving, so we walked home. Pia drove her sister and family to the railway station to get their train, while I napped for a bit. It had been quite a tiring weekend, all in all.

BEP Cycle 1 Days 7-8

Monday 10 – Tuesday 11 June 2019

Monday the tenth of June was my birthday. I was woken to an amazing fruit salad and a delicious loaf made of oats, apple, carrot, sultanas and maple syrup.

Amazing birthday breakfast

I was feeling tired, but fairly good in the morning. I had an appointment at 9:00 so I headed out to that, after which I spoke to my mum on the phone, and a few other people. Then I settled down to write to my integrative physician, as I had a few questions about my supplemental protocol.

As I got into the afternoon I was starting to feel a bit under the weather, slightly dizzy and light headed. We had to pop out briefly after collecting the girls from school, as we needed to get some medicine for a sick chicken. We kept two chickens in the back end of the garden, but one of them had started gasping and hadn’t been looking well for a couple of days. It looked like it could have been down to a type of worm, so we drove to a farmers’ supplies store to get some worming medication. Whilst at the store I found that I was feeling more and more unstable, so I was glad to get home and chill out for a bit.

Pia mixed the worming medicine with some chicken food and tried to feed it to our sick bird. Unfortunately she promptly died.

When it came time for dinner, I tried to sit at the table but started feeling unwell after a minute or two and had to lie down on the sofa. I was eventually able to eat whilst slouching. I even had some incredible frozen dessert which was made from blended cashew nuts and homemade berry sorbet.

Beautiful birthday dessert

After eating some of this, I started to feel shivery, which I thought may have just been from having eaten something cold. However my temperature had risen to over 37 C. Whilst I would not normally blink an eyelid at this, I knew that an elevated temperature in a chemo patient is a cause for concern as there’s a risk that it could be caused by an infection. Chemo patients often have low white blood cell counts, in which cases infections can be particularly dangerous if not treated immediately.

I monitored my temperature and it went up to 38 C, then down a little, then back up over 38 C again. At this point I called my oncology team’s emergency number. They advised me to get in to see them straight away. Unfortunately it would have taken me an hour or more to reach them in Bristol, so we agreed that I would go to accident and emergency in Bath as it would be less than half the journey time.

It was after 23:00 at this point. One of our friends came over shortly after to stay with the girls and Pia drove me through dark wet roads to Bath. We arrived after midnight.

When I got to reception, I found that the nurse I had spoken to in Bristol had called ahead to Bath to let them know to expect me. They were all ready and I was walked straight through to a bay in their high care section. My temperature had already started to come down at this point, but they wasted no time in treating me on precaution for neutropenic sepsis, a condition in which a patient’s neutrophils (the white blood cells which act as the body’s first line of defence) are depleted and there is suspected infection. This meant an intravenous dose of high-strength antibiotics and some other IV fluids. Despite having a PICC line, the nurse dealing with me insisted on sticking a cannula in my wrist. It was nicely done but perhaps unnecessary.

Being treated for neutropenic sepsis in A&E at RUH Bath

After several hours in A&E, I was sent for a chest x-ray and then moved to the hospital’s chemo ward where they had found a bed for me for the night. The good news was that my neutrophils had a phenomenal reading of 7.5 (anything above 1 is considered adequate) and signs of infection were normal. This was by far the highest my neutrophils had been since I’d started having full blood counts taken a few weeks earlier. I’m sure it was down to the Filgrastim injections that I had been taking since day four of the cycle.

Pia drove home after I’d settled down, around 5:00. After getting home, she didn’t get much rest before having to get up and get the girls ready for school. I slept a little, but not much, and was pretty exhausted in the morning.

Looking pretty weary after a long night

Around mid morning, one of Bath’s consultant oncologists came to see me. He was happy that I could go home and said that I’d done the right thing to come in and get checked out, given my symptoms. He suggested that the fever may have been a side effect of Bleomycin.

After a nurse had removed my cannula, Pia came to collect me, a bit after midday. We got home and had something to eat. I was fortunate enough to be able to have a sleep on the sofa after that, but Pia had to head straight out to collect the girls and go to town for an appointment.

After I woke, a whole comedy of errors ensued after our last remaining chicken was chased out of our garden by a predatory neighbourhood cat, and ended up running along the road trying to find a safe haven. I was feeling quite delirious but was home alone and had to try to deal with the situation myself. It took some time, and involved me losing my glasses in the overgrowth of a vacant lot, but I eventually managed to get our chicken back to safety (and then recover my glasses). I won’t go into any more detail, but it was one of those ridiculous scenarios in which whatever could go wrong, did go wrong. A happy result at least.

When Pia got home she was utterly exhausted. We were all in bed by 21:00, badly in need of some rest.