Friday, December 03, 2010

That went well.

On Monday we went to see the chemo consultant and after a short question and answer session he pronounced himself pleased with MTL’s progress so far. Apparently he has 8 x 3 week cycles (1 cycle is 2 weeks chemo, one week off) so five and a half months in all approx, but if there are any unpleasant side effects they stop and adjust. We see him again in January and around Easter he’ll have tests to see how effective the treatment has been.

We then – having established that MTL’s daughter was on the Taunton train – separated and I boarded a train for Warminster with a change at Westbury. MTL met his daughter who had travelled from Norfolk, and they went home to Minehead. So far all the trains and connections were on time.

J, my DIL was waiting at Warminster with her grand daughter. It was bitterly cold so we took a taxi to her home. Much colder than Minehead and some snow was still lying. Over tea and cake my DIL’s DIL arrived with the newest granddaughter. Her mother said she was shy with strangers so I got on the ground with my legs splayed out on either side. I have always done this with little ones then they can make up their own mind if they want to get closer. Eventually she held her arms out to me and her mother planted her in my arms.

It seems this is a position I can no longer hold for any length of time and I had to be relieved of the baby, helped up and deposited on the sofa where I could comfortably hold her. Eventually the young left and my son and grandson got in from work. J had cooked a delicious stew with dumplings – great for warming the cockles. I was intrigued to hear she had done it in a slow cooker which turned out to be one I had had 40 years ago. At that time I preferred a pressure cooker for stews. I love it when things are used for years. I’ve never been comfortable with the throw away society.

They have four cats – two sets of brothers – one pair about 15 and the other 4 years of age. Remembering their names and matching then to the right cat took some concentration and it was interesting to hear about their different personalities. George, the eldest usually slept on my bed but graciously agreed to sleep on J and A’s bed instead. To cut down on luggage J had lent me a warm dressing gown. It was a fleecy faux leopard skin job and I was a dead ringer for Bet Lynch in Coronation Street.

Next day – my son had taken the day off – we drove to Salisbury. J had a routine appointment at the hospital so we had three hours or so to fill. I was thankful we were not walking as Salisbury Plain looked bleak and hostile and I pitied any poor Squaddies out doing exercises. Frustrating in M& S I daren’t buy anything. My push – pull suitcase was full to bursting and it took all my strength lifting it on the train and trying not to fall down the gap. I made an exception when I saw a make- up base I had been told was no longer available.

My son is a bad influence: he told me to meet him outside in 10 minutes time. I never eat between meals, I never eat in the street and I never eat chips, yet 10 minutes later I was doing all three with gusto. Than we found one of those coffee shops with sofas and arm chairs and after our coffee arrived my son handed me a contraband Jaffa cake bar which he said had my name on it. We stared out of the steamy windows at crowds braving the icy sleet doing Christmas shopping – enjoying music from a street player - a banjoist playing Blue Grass and Celtic – quite delightful. A was familiarising himself with a new camera which was shaped like a tube. He planned to interview me about family stuff when we returned home – rather like I did with my mother.

Later as we were walking through the hospital and climbing stairs to the next level A drew my attention to a middle aged lady – a voluntary worker selling sweets.

‘Doesn’t she look like Cousin Julia? I’m going for a closer look.’

It all seemed highly unlikely to me so I continued up the stairs whilst A ran down for a closer look. When he returned and said yes it was Julia neither J nor I believed him as he is a great kidder. On leaving the hospital A said he would just go and say goodbye to Julia and then J said,

‘He’s kissing her – it must be Julia!’ It was and then we were all kissing and hugging. She was from my first husband’s side of the family and the last time I remember seeing her she was a very precocious little girl who used to keep us in stitches. Not surprising I didn’t instantly recognise her.

When we got back home the time flew. A did the interview – interrupted by a phone call from MTL to make certain I would be home the next day and then we went to A’s favourite Indian restaurant. I woke up at 2.30 am with the light on and my book unopened – must have been that extra glass of wine. Enough droning on – I’ll finish this later.

29 comments:

kenju said...

It seems that you had a good visit with family! Welcome back! I'm very busy these days, so visiting is sparse.

Pat said...

Judy; thank you. I hope to catch up with everybody soon and will be playing shortly:)

Granny Annie said...

I love it. Knowing it is not easy to travel it is especially heartwarming to know the joy you must have been feeling.

Pat said...

Granny Annie: joy and great relief that it all worked as it should:)

R. Sherman said...

Sounds like a great time all around.

Cheers.

Queenie said...

So glad the chemo is going well. And eating chips between meals, in the street, on a freezing cold day, is one of the great pleasures in life. I do it about once a year and it's always such a joy.

Pat said...

Randall: yes I think we all agreed it was well worth the effort and considering the prevailing conditions the fates were kind.

Queenie: not you too! I just feel I'm on a slippery slope;)

angryparsnip said...

Great news about the chemo and the doctors visit !

no snacking,no street food and no chips ! no wonder you always look so Fabulous.

Love the Cousin Julia story isn't life a hoot sometimes !
Fun was had by all....

cheers, parsnip

Pat said...

Parsnip: when the doctor was asking him if he had felt anything different he said he sometimes had a little stiffness in his jaw and the doctor said this happened sometimes and sometimes got really clenched. I kept quiet as long as I could and then had to say he had never mentioned it to ME. The doctor grinned and said he was just the same with his wife!

savannah said...

what a great post, sugar! really glad things are going well for you two. your trip sounded delightful and i'm glad you did it! ;~) xoxoxoxo

Pat said...

Savannah: thank you. I'm glad I did it but it's great to be home again.xoxoxox

The Unbearable Banishment said...

All hail good news so near the holiday, eh? Stew with dumplings? Good Lord I wish I had a big bowl of your stew with dumplings in front of me right now. You're killing me.

Pat said...

UB: that's brave of you. I don't think my stew and dumplings would be as good as my DIL's.

Kim Ayres said...

Glad to hear the chemo is under control.

Now, where's the photo of you in the leopard skin dressing gown?

lom said...

What is the world coming too, Pat eatting chips and Jaffa cakes and wearing leopard skin print!

Glad to hear you had such a wonderful time Pat.

Pat said...

Kim: just think Corrie circa 1970.

LOM: it's down to you now to keep the flag flying;)

sablonneuse said...

So pleased you had a great time and that the treatment is going well for YTL. It's nice to go away but it's lovely to be back home isn't it?

Pat said...

Sandy: it sure is. I felt panicky when more bad weather was forecast but we were lucky.

Kevin Musgrove said...

This all sounds splendid.

And it's good to see that your ethnic roots are showing ("I don't eat chips in the street" indeed!)

Guyana-Gyal said...

So much interesting things going on here, I don't know where to start!

Chemo going well; jaffa cakes [which I've never tasted, I googled, and it sounds delicious]; stew and family and...oh, I googled the Coronation St. lady and there she was in the faux skin coat, haha. Is A. the kidder your first born son?

What a lovely time it's been, I feel full :-)

Maggie said...

What a delightful sounding visit. The best melding of four families. Two for him and two for you. :)

Pat said...

Kevin: of course as a grammar school girl we ate them every night on our way home from school. In our uniform and everything.

GG: jaffa cakes are fine but a jaffa cake bar is OTT for me.
Well done on the googling. I'm constantly amazed at its efficacy.

Maggie: yes it was well worth all the effort ad now I feel energised.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Oh Pat, it sounds like such a GOOD warm time with your dear family. The icy cold outside doesn't sound so great, but it sure sounds like you had a wondereful time with your son and DIL.
I thought when you said you lat down on the floor--WOW! She can still do that! So, when you said you had to be helped up I chucckled a bit in recognition! There is No Way I could even attempt to get down on the floor now---So, you are in so much better shape than I am---And Good For You!

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

Eating chips in the street! Eee, you can take the girl out of Rochdale but ....

Pat said...

Naomi: Yes it is some time since I sat in that position and it will be some time before I attempt it again. I have to get down on the ground occasionally to inspect the TV and computer when something goes wrong and the man on the telephone asks for information about the set.

Daphne: Rochdale is a foreign country to Rossendale where I was born and bred. Different valley altogether.

Madame DeFarge said...

Like Daphne, I am shocked by the eating of chips out of doors. There was me thinking you were all well brought up and everything.

Pat said...

Madame D: shhhhhhhhh! My Gran will be rolling in her grave.

Pat said...

GG: PS This A is my second born. To complicate matters both my sons and MTL share the same initials and have Scottish names and all are kidders to a certain degree.

Kath said...

I'm sorry I haven't been around as much - but glad to see while catching up that you've had some good news! I always wish the best for you and your family! :-)