Tuesday, 27 April 2010

walking and talking

There's been much walking and talking in recent days....

The walking took us to Hampshire, where I walked the Hangers Way with Sarah whilst Steve revisited Winchester. We trekked some 21 miles over two days, traveling to Alton on Friday morning in the car with Steve, then home on the train on Saturday afternoon.  

Saturday evening was spent talking (and eating and drinking) with friends Roli and Eva, at their house warming not far from where we live. 

Sunday evening was spent talking to Jon and Sally, out for a meal to celebrate Sally's birthday.  More eating and drinking, and a chance to catch up on news! 

Monday morning we were in London, talking to the consultant who is signing Steve's medical report for the damages claim, after yet another set of X-rays. It wasn't a long session. A brief run through Steve's medical and employment history, a listen to Steve's chest, and some words of advice about treatment options.  I assume he will look at the X-rays at some point!

He didn't recommend surgery, even though it's now part of the national guidelines for mesothelioma treatment in the USA, as the benefits do not outweigh the risks in his opinion.  He did think that the standard chemo treatment was worth having when needed, but combining Alimta with carboplatin rather than cisplatin, as the former has fewer side effects - important given Steve's problems with peripheral neuropathy (numbness and tingles) and is just as effective.  He also gave us the name of a new chemo drug, which seems to be getting good results as a second line treatment. 

It was all over by 11 a.m so we took ourselves off to Regents Park for a coffee and cake, then on to London Zoo to see the major changes that have taken place since we were last there - Steve as a teenager, me as a school kid! Lubetkin's penguin pool is still there, although the penguins have moved on.  

The Mappin terraces where I remember seeing a polar bear pacing up and down are now "Down under" with emus and wallabies.  Casson's pavilion which used to be the elephant house is now home to an assortment of pigmy hippos and camels and other creatures.  There are new Lion terraces, a world of difference to the old cages that I remember, plus lots of walk through enclosures.  We walked our feet off, took loads of photos, forgot about Leo and just had fun!  

There was a lovely surprise waiting for us when we arrived home, exhausted but happy - a card from the West Oxford Community Association to say thank you to Steve for his time as editor of the WOCA newsletter, with some money to treat himself to a meal out!  

Other good news - our friend and neighbour Felix was well enough to come home from hospital for one night, before going back into hospital for physio tomorrow. On the wall of the room where he had been staying was one of Steve's images which had been selected for the West Wing art programme.  That made Steve glow with pleasure! It was my turn to glow this morning, after a phone call asking for permission to show a DVD of my allotment project photos in August at the Wantage County Museum to complement the Oxford Textile Workshop's exhibition "Allotments in stitch."  

It's another week until I go back to work for a few days, and the sun is still shining.  Happy days :-))

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