Tuesday, 18 September 2012

action stations and a lovely surprise!

The upside of almost three years without treatment is that we've been off enjoying ourselves, making the most of life! The downside of so much galavanting, is that the garden has run wild and the climbing plants have grown up and over the roof - far too high for us to cut back safely on our little ladder.  In addition, little house maintenance problems have been ignored.  As for painting and decorating.....Well, don't ask!  

Steve's decision last week to whack Leo with another course of chemo has at long last galvanized us into action on the home front.  We have finally contacted roofers and garden maintenance people to give us estimates to prune back the climbing plants, replace slipped and missing slates, sort out the damp problems along the gutters and associated works to make the house watertight again.  

Yesterday, the front door bell was ringing on and off all the day with builders, roofers and garden people coming round to have a look and give us estimates. So many, that I was beginning to loose track of which person represented which business....but at least we are moving forward!  

The doorbell went again this morning when I wasn't expecting it.  Oh no, I thought, it's another builder come to give us a quote that I must have forgotten all about....But it wasn't a builder. Or a garden maintenance person.  It was the postman, with a big smile on his face.  "Linda and Steve Wride?" he asked and when I nodded he hand over a large box.

Intrigued, we brought it inside and opened it to find a BEAUTIFUL bouquet of flowers - and two lots of delicious chocolates!  The message on the card inside read:  
"Dear Linda and Steve, sending this with lots of love and strength from all the warriors around the world, xxxxx"
I don't mind admitting, there was a lump in my throat and tears streamed down my face when I read that. The eyes are watering again now, as I write.  You wonderful, caring, thoughtful people.  You know who you are!  Thank you all so much.  You certainly know how to cheer people up :-)  We are very, very touched.  And a special thank you to the Meso Warrior(s) who organised it.  You were too modest to add a name to the card, but I am thinking about the usual suspects and sending you big hugs :-)

The gift could not have come at a better time.  We needed a bit of cheering up.  Steve has been feeling vulnerable - suddenly it's all real again, like we've been living in a wonderful dream for the last couple of years, which we now have to wake up from. 

I have been looking back through the blog to remind myself how Steve managed six cycles of chemo back in 2009.  I wouldn't say I had forgotten those times, but they came back vividly as I read the blog, and the thought of going through that again is not one to fill you with joy...The memory clearly plays tricks with the passage of time, highlighting the good memories of days out and get togethers with friends, and drawing a veil over the more difficult times, when the side effects of chemotherapy at their strongest.  However, it was also reassuring to remember that he did get through it, and enjoyed good times in between the fatigue and nausea.  

I've also been re-reading other Meso Warriors blogs, including Debbie in Plymouth who will be having her last cycle of Alimta and carboplatin (the same combination as Steve) next week.  Although she has had bad days, she bounces back - an inspiration to us all!  Not forgetting other bloggers Mavis (and Ray), Jan and her hubby, Amanda and Ray, Tess and Alan, all of whom are fighting this disease through good times and bad, and sharing their experiences to inspire and help others. 

The international Meso community on Facebook are a huge source of help, support and advice.  Even though few of us have met face-to-face, the warmth that comes through personal messages (thinking of you in Oz, Ria!) as well as in group postings is second to none.  

So - here we are again....Well, nearly. 

Steve had his Vitamin B12 injection at the GP surgery yesterday, but the practice had yet to receive the fax from the hospital giving details of Steve's treatment which should have been sent after the assessment meeting last Thursday.  
As a result, the practice nurse didn't know when Steve's treatment is due to start and consequently couldn't sort out a course of injections at this stage. Without having a treatment start date, Steve doesn't know when to begin taking the steroid and folic acid tablets, which he collected later that day from the local chemist. Two phone calls to the hospital today and leaving messages with the consultant's secretary has yet to yield any answers.  I begin to wonder whether Steve is actually "in the system"!  We'll try again tomorrow....

In the meantime, there are enjoyable things to look forward to, before it's keep calm and take the chemo time!


  1. Hi Linda,
    there are lots of things the NHS does really, really well but co-ordination of services definitely isn't one of them. Good luck for when the treatment actually starts, and remember you did get through it last time - you will again.

  2. I agreed with Amanda, we are all here for you both.