Friday, 11 June 2010

Time to kill

Not having the chemo as expected is a bit like being let out of school early. I am free to enjoy myself as normal; a private view tonight, Bedford Park Festival, and a summer Fair over the weekend.
Life has switched back to its normal shape - but I am hungry to be getting on with something creative and worthwhile. I also long to be with someone really close. Those yearnings were pushed out when the illness came along.
I am asking that old question again - where is my cell of good living and intimacy in a turbulent world? I've hardly started on that yet.

Yesterday evening, Dr Finlay's Casebook on BBC 7, out of new DVDs, Wolf Hall had stalled and nothing on TV after Come Dine With Me, had a look at the internet cancer sites again. I have not done this since March, when I looked up ovarian cancer, diagnosed myself with deadly certainty and nearly scared myself into an early grave.
This time had a look at the sites dealing with the affects of chemo, how to avoid infection and side-effects such as mouth ulcers. I told myself this was sensible reading, but felt it was gruesome, not what I really wanted to see.
Some of the pages were spookily American, they obviously have a much more hysterical attitude to hygiene than we do and recommend not going out or touching pets.
There are also some chilling notes about the "cost of chemotherapy," and "Will your insurance cover it?" For many Americans the answer to that will be "no."
The good old food fads were there too; people claiming that tumours live on sugar, so avoid all white sugar, and the frequent fear of red meat. On the other hand, something called the "National Cancer Institute," put up recipes worthy of an Edwardian dinner party, containing meat, whole milk and cream.
I have always believed that you should eat whatever you like when you are ill.

Braving that information had a good effect because this morning when Maisie woke me up at 6.30am I started cleaning my flat. It took two hours of hoovering, wiping and scrubbing. So there is my immunity from infection taken care of for the next eighteen weeks.

I also looked at how to avoid the mouth ulcers that come with chemo, and put a soft toothbrush and mouthwash down on my shopping list.
I have also put down foods which build up strenth, and prevent anaemia. It's like preparing to go on an arduous activity holiday - a four and a half month walk into the unknown.


  1. Hi Jane,

    You might find this site interesting:


  2. Thanks, I'll look that up, hope it won't terrify me! I am in a vulnerable state of mind.