I realise I have been a bit quiet over the last couple of weeks which may, of course, be a relief to many of you.
There are a number of reasons (including the Great Distraction which I will tell you about another time) but mostly revolving around a busy period family wise.
Anyway, to bring you up to date if you don’t know, Janine was back in hospital for the first of the additional cycles on the 11th April, just days after the scans. It’s funny isn’t it but all those times you want to get on with the treatment and there are no beds. The time you want to delay a couple of weeks and the medics want to press on and a bed is available almost immediately.
Generally, the cycle went well. Having gone in on the Monday evening, Janine was able to come home on the Friday afternoon. There were some frustrations around the length of time it took to get all the drugs together so she could leave but, with nausea under control, the main side effect has been tiredness and a self confessed irritability. As you will appreciate, it is that much easier to live with when it is self confessed. I shall say no more.
With Ellie at Spring Harvest when Janine went in, it was just me, Ben and Sam at home – the one and two half men of the title. Those that know them will know that ‘two half men’ is not quite accurate. The reference breaks down still further in that there was no drug or alcohol fuelled inappropriate behaviour (at least as far as I am aware). I think we handled and looked after ourselves very well and I’m going to take this opportunity to praise the two of them for being two fantastic sons of whom I am very proud. I love their company, their different personalities, their gifts and strengths, their strong opinions, their tolerance of what I understand is my increasingly wayward humour and much much more. I could not want for better.
As Ellie returned from Spring Harvest, Ben set off for a few days in unserer ehemalige Heimstadt Düsseldorf. That left one man, two women and one half man, which doesn’t flow as well as a title. This weekend we are all at home enjoying the uncharacteristic weather as much as we can. Janine is probably neutropenic and can’t really go too far from home and Ben is recovering from an asthma attack in Germany. I need to thank this entry’s heroes, Joesph, Damaris, Joel and Benny, not only for rescuing him and getting him treated but for giving him such a fantastic few days.
Janine’s next cycle of treatment should start sometime around the 2nd/3rd May. She has had a long conversation with the nurses this week about the need for the extra cycles and the possibility of having them at The Royal Berks in Reading rather than in London.
On the additional treatment, it's self evident really but the team are concerned about Janine’s history and they simply want to give her the best chance of the cancer not returning. Janine and the nurse even had a conversation about the number of cancerous cells that can be present yet not picked up by a scan and the need to get rid of any of those that might still be lurking somewhere in her body. Though Janine is desperate to get to the end of all this, understanding just that bit more of the ‘why’ helps in facing it.
Watching the London Marathon last week, I was reminded of running it for the one and only time back in 1998. Around the 17 mile mark I began to suffer badly and actually stopped and moved to the side of the road not sure if I could continue. Someone from Reading AC recognised my running vest, moved over, grabbed the back of it and got me running again with a simple ‘Come on Bracknell, back in the race …’. These last two cycles feel like the latter stages of a marathon. You are running on empty, the adrenalin no longer exists or works, everything hurts, you are not sure of the need to finish or the benefit of doing so yet somehow, somehow you clock off those final miles and cross the line.