Friday, 17 October 2014

63. More hot chocolate

There I was yesterday, on the phone to the on-call cancer doctor at the hospital, trying to convince her that it wasn't too bad really. I've kept a careful temperature chart and it's been up and down, but I've just had two readings of 38 degrees and I'm doing as I'm told, which is to report in as soon as that happens. 

(I was tempted not to. Wait and see. Don't want to be summoned back in. But then I decided that it was not worth risking my life.)

The doctor was having none of it. Solid temperature? No excuses. Got to come back in, and yes, you'll have to stay overnight. How soon can you be there? Hurry, hurry!

This time, my children barely looked up from their homework. Mum going off to hospital again? OK, bye bye, see you. Although my younger daughter gave me a big hug and handed me a quickly scribbled piece of paper on my way out. I don't care if your sick or not I will always love you. Aahhh.

It was evening time, a full house in A&E, people queueing in the corridor. My husband marvelled at the queue jumping power of a cancer patient on chemotherapy. We were whisked through again, more fluids and IV antibiotics, waiting for a bed. But this time, I didn't feel half as ill or frightened..

So I'm back on the cancer ward. Same room.

Same hot chocolate making facilities (although I'm pleased to see Jenny has made it home).

I'm a bit puzzled and frustrated because unlike last time, I am now sitting here feeling fine (well, everything is relative). Last night's temperature has settled. My white blood cells have taken heed and multiplied so spectacularly (probably thanks to the daily boosting injections) that any bug with invasion plans would be foolish to even consider me a target.

And yet I've just been told I will have to stay in at least another two nights. They want me to have IV antibiotics for a couple of days. They don't want to risk another temperature spike at home.

So it's back to making patients' beds and finding our what their stories are. 

And finishing my book, and looking at cats on Facebook. And keeping my fingers crossed that I don't have to pull out of our short family break to Paris in three days' time.


  1. Hello Irene, you told me about your blog just before you left the ward (I loved your owls). Since then i have spent every recent train journey and evening divulging it from its start. I admire you greatly for sharing your journey and wish you every bit of luck and good health. All you have written is incredibly eye opening. You've given me a lot to think about, especially from a work perspective, so for that I want to thank you. I I really hope you can escape our hot chocolate for your own at home very soon/in Paris! X

    1. How lovely to read your comment as I am sitting on that very same ward surrounded by your very kind colleagues. Listening to my fellow patients it strikes me again how different all our stories are, and how much our character and life story affects the way we deal with our cancer journey. I always felt it was a privilege being a nurse, being with people at their darkest hour and getting closer to some of those stories than many of the patient's own friends. I can tell you are a nurse for all the right reasons - most importantly, liking your patients! Thank you and your colleagues for all your care x