Monday 5 October 2009

Like the lady said... ....Cycle 4, Day 14

In an interview in today's paper, actor Dame Maggie Smith talked about her experience of having (breast) cancer.  "It was hideous...not so good" she said.  The chemotherapy "was very peculiar, something that makes you feel much worse than the cancer itself, a very nasty thing".  You hit the nail on the head there, Dame Maggie.  

However, she went on to say "I used to go to treatment on my own, and nearly everyone else there was with someone....Why would you want to make anyone sit in those places?"  

The answer, Dame Maggie, is simple.  It's far better to sit with someone you love whilst they are being treated, pass the time with them, do an bit of fetching and carrying, share a joke, hold their hand when they are waiting for the results of tests, scans and assessments, than to wait anxiously at home for news, not knowing what's going on, wondering whether the long silence means there's a problem...

No one is making me spend time in hospital: I'm there by choice. Sharing the experience helps me understand better what Steve is going through as part of his treatment, and is a comfort and support to him. 

I can (and do, when unavoidable) leave Steve on his own when work takes me away from home, as it did today.  He was in bed, half-asleep, and still feeling rough when I arrived home late afternoon. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make it all better. But life isn't like we batten down the hatches, grit our teeth (and all those other corny sayings about carrying on in the face of adversity) and remind ourselves that the side effects of chemo won't go on forever:

If you're going through hell, keep going
Winston Churchill

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