On Tuesday, I had to drag my sorry bum to London Town for an appointment at the hospital. I was not looking forward to it for the simple reason that I did not know whether I would physically be able to manage the journey there and back again. I had been dreading it since the day of my discharge. It was going to be one long afternoon. Fortunately, I had an escort.
It would appear, that for the time being, I once again need an escort for all activities in public. If I am honest, I like to know that somebody, whilst leaving me alone, is in shouting distance when I am in private, so for outside world… The outside world is once again, a scary, terrifying place. Avoid it for a month, without a medical procedure and see how hot you feel. I’ll let you into a little secret, I got scared feeding the ducks the other day, not because I think mallards are evil, they are not, it’s because I was convinced everybody was looking at me and oblivious to me at the same time, meaning, the general public, that mass being, exists to take me out, to take me down. Danger. On Tuesday, in Kings Cross Station, I found myself wanting Middleborough’s human protection force, which is activated in crowds. It eases the internal panic. The bubble. Fortunately, I had my stick and my Mum. The train itself was fine. That my friends, is called First Class.
Getting dressed, when you have not put clothes on for a while, is interesting. My clothes are still not baggy. I may have felt marginally better than crap when I woke up on Tuesday, but I would be damned if I did not make an effort. Whilst I was making an effort, I discovered that I may now require false eyelashes. I knew I would require a wig. The double hat thing is not for me. I was also reminded of the fact that lipstick gives me power. Getting dressed is a funny thing, it is still my armour; the power of it can be considerable. I arrived at the clinic and I saw somebody who had a transplant the same day as me, and I realised that I, with a wig on my head, do not look ill. I do not look like I have cancer. Still. A lot of people in the centre on Tuesday did, but I do not. It doesn’t make me better or worse than anybody else, it’s just an observation that I do not understand. I am ill, so why do I not look like them? That said, I did enjoy the compliments and I am vain enough to continue wearing a wig in the heat because I want them to continue. Especially because I am still obese. Maybe I have the obesity to thank for my current skin deep, make up assisted, look of health. I still remember last year, when I was diagnosed, I had a very nice doctor in hospital, who failed to recognise me as an outpatient, because I ‘looked so different’. It’s called style babes. Anyway, he recognised me when he saw me a few weeks ago in hospital, in my coton pyjamas once again, after I had just shat out some green goo and was sporting a greyish hue.
The appointment itself was good. That is the point of my story. In fact, my appointment was positive. It was so positive, I could feel my mood instantly shift and hope, somehow magically returned to my being. Hearing the phrases ‘you’re doing incredibly well’, ‘your bloods are almost normal’ and ‘you do not need to come back for a month’, from a Medically Trained Person, made me smile. I do not feel like I have had much to celebrate of late, but hearing that, made me feel better. Hearing that I could go abroad in two months, go to the cinema NOW and that I can ease my strict diet, made me feel invincible. Mamma Jones was amazed with science that my bloods, bar my neutrophils, which are hovering just below 2, are back within normal range. Even my white blood count, which is low, is in a ‘normal range’. Let us hope the paraprotein has not picked itself up quite so quickly. Really.
My invincibility was great. I was dishing out the banter to anybody who crossed my path, I ate a large hot pork roll and crackling without any concern for my welfare, and more crucially, I gulped water. I even had three whole sips of fizzy water. I did it all, because I was invincible. There would be no consequences. So burps, no sick, nothing.
Not nothing baby. Do you know what happened next? I got tired. All so very tired. My bloods might be getting back to normal, but my fatigue is still around. It’s here and it can take me down very, very quickly. I was told during my appointment that this will remain for a while yet, and I still have to give in to it. I just temporarily forgot. I also forgot that drinking still makes me nauseous, but there is medication for that. I believe, halfway back to Peterborough, I crashed. The crash is not me being a wee bit sleepy, a crash involves my head becoming heavy, my body aching, blurred vision and adopting the walk of an OAP thirty four years after the point they officially become a senior citizen. In Toys’R’Us I could barely stand and by Tesco? Well, I wanted to vomit all over the public. On my return home, I got into bed fully clothed and fell asleep, and I spent most of yesterday in bed too, with a brain full of mush. I expected as much. My nurse was correct, I am going to get frustrated by my fatigue, but for the moment, there is a balance to be made and I still need to accept that.
I mentioned the other day subtle changes. Stay in your seats, but on Tuesday morning before I went on my adventure to Euston Road, which I never want to see again, I managed to walk up my parent’s staircase (my room is downstairs, so it is not something I do everyday, I’m just setting the scene, like I said, stay in your seats) and I did not get tired until I reached the top. That would not have been true a week ago. Two steps made my legs feel like jelly and made me feel like I was in danger.
Subtle changes. I am still tired and I am still in bed, though I am contemplating putting a bra on and moving into the lounge.
I can do anything I want to baby. I am invincible. Within reason. I still cannot drink a lot, nor eat a lot, I guess I cannot stand up for long and my brain is still fried, but, you know, invincible.
Cancer turned me into a super hero.