Tuesday 22 September 2015

Family and friends

Since my last post, much of our time has been spent with, talking to, and hearing from, family and friends.

First of all, thank you for all the lovely messages, via e-mails and Facebook, in response to my last post.  I haven't replied individually as time has been taken up with funeral arrangements and other things, but want you to know that we really do appreciate the support of our wonderful friends! Thank you x

The family gathered together in Bristol last Friday for the funeral of Jean, Steve's mum.  It was a very personal service, with music and readings, poetry and tribute given by sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren.  The great grandchildren participated too, their drawings adorning the Order of Service which Steve had designed.  As you would expect, there were tears all round, but smiles and laughter too as we remembered Jean and said our last farewells.

On Saturday, I met up with our friend Sarah and we went walkabout Open City sites south of the Thames, including a visit to Greenwich - one of my favourite places in London. Steve isn't up to walking any distance these days, but he did drive to join us on Saturday evening, tempted no doubt by Sarah's cooking and the prospect of one of those long lazy Sunday mornings when breakfast morphs into lunch, the wheels oiled by good company and lovely surroundings.

Last night, we were invited to a celebration to mark two friends leaving the City Council where I used to work. Steve decided he wasn't up to it, so I went alone.  It was lovely to see so many familiar faces and catch up with news over a glass of wine or two, but such a pity Steve wasn't there.  Today, we had tickets to visit the University's new China Centre at St Hughes College but ducked out due to a combination of rain and tiredness, and had afternoon naps instead.  Sometimes, you've just got to rest.... 

However, we can't ignore the fact that the mesothelioma is making its presence felt.  Steve is reluctant to go anywhere or do anything that might involve walking any distance or standing around for any length of time.  It tires him out.  I know he is feeling it because after years of resistance, at last he agreed to let me apply for Attendance Allowance on his behalf.  Another sign that he is not feeling confident.  He's not ready yet to take to a wheelchair, investigate mobility scooters or look into installing a stair lift.  However, we have talked about these things in passing, in an only half joking manner...

The good news is that Steve's appetite has improved a little since the funeral. I think the bereavement and stress associated with funeral arrangements and the service got to him more than he realised.  Not forgetting the thought of the impending hospital appointment on Thursday, when he will get the results of the most recent scan and find out if more radiotherapy will be offered on the lump on his chest which has started growing again after being knocked back by zaps last December.  

I'm not sure if Thursday's appointment with the medical oncologist will be an opportunity to discuss whether Steve is still fit enough for more chemotherapy or to take part in clinical trials (which is straying into clinical oncology territory - a completely different clinic and set of doctors).  We shall just have to wait and see....

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