And so it begins

Hubby’s foot is now infection free. In his words, he’s been left with a “scabby toe”, but I’ll spare you the pictures. Fortunately the GP didn’t need to remove the big toe nail, and after our first appointment with the oncologist yesterday, we’re good to go with the chemo in two weeks. Which is a relief, because the most recent MRI scan has shown that the large tumours are growing, the big one in his brain – which they’re now talking about as being a vestibular schwannoma, by 4mm in the last 5 months. He also has large tumours in his neck and abdomen, but at the moment, and as far as the chemo is concerned, we’re focusing on the brain. Seems most important right now. Especially when the oncologist says things like “we have to do this now!” Quite.

I’m not sure what the work experience student made of our appointment. He looked a little bored to be honest, or maybe he was just knackered. Cancer outpatients can’t be an easy place for a 16 year old to have their first introduction to the world of work, and as hubby doesn’t have cancer – he has NF2, a rare genetic condition that causes tumours to grow on nerve endings, then his case might have appeared an unusual one. Kind of being thrown in at the deep end I suspect.

The department felt very different to what I’d expected. I thought that I’d have found it quite a sad place. Instead, I think you’ll find more negativity in a train station waiting room. The building is literally full of light and bright spaces; art – especially of landscapes, adorns the walls; and the staff are jovial and compassionate. There’s nothing like living or working with an illness that could considerably shorten your life, or that of someone very close to you, to help you put things into perspective. No sweating the small stuff here. Instead, I listened in on a conversation between two female patients, discussing how pleased they were that they’ve finally been able to lose a little weight thanks to the chemo, and that next time they’d bring their sandwiches and have a picnic whilst waiting for their clinic appointments. We thought the same. There’s a little park outside which cries out for a blanket and hamper. That’s for when we’re not arguing over which DVD to put on in the Day Treatment Unit of course. Fortunately, Inbetweeners 2 won’t be out for a little while. I’m not quite sure the other patients would have hubby’s same boyish sense of humour. For instance I still get called “Julie”, thanks to his obsession with Ali G…

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