Ring the bells

Ring the bells, wake the town,
Everyone is sleeping.
Shout at the crowd, wake them up
This anger’s deeper than sleep.

Got to keep awake to what is happening.
I can’t see a thing through my ambitions,
I no longer feel like God is watching over me

Got to tell the world we’ve all been dreaming
This is not the end, a new beginning
I no longer feel my God is watching over me.

Tomorrow’s the big day.

Ring the bells to tell the town that Alice starts day 1 of chemo tomorrow.

So – my feelings over the last few hours were ranging from calm to grumpy and a bit scared. @Horse_ebooks has it right – “you are not in control of the things” – and that’s just spouting randomness.

I don’t like not knowing how I will react to my body being attacked by extracts of Yew tree and other such poisons, and I worry that I’ve left having things like a haircut too late and my hair will fall out in clumps with a horrible ripping  noise. And of course it won’t happen like that but I have such a wonderful imagination that can also be a slight disadvantage at times like this.

And I have a friend’s funeral to attend on Wednesday and I’m worried I won’t feel well enough to go. I hope I’m wrong and I just feel a bit tired. She was a lovely lady who grabbed life by the bollocks and shook every last ounce of fun out of it, and I want to pay her the tribute of doing exactly the same, despite being presented with a few challenges such as day one of chemo the day before her funeral.

I want to do this over the next 7 days:

Get some work done, get shopping delivery, have chemo chemicals delivered, have brunch with my sister who will be here for the day, have chemo, have some nice chats with my sister and a friend, have some tea (if I can) and then some kip.

Get out to a coffee or lunch with friends, go to a funeral, go to funeral wake #1 in the local pub near where I work.

Back to work – hope I can concentrate properly!!

Morning – Work (concentrate!)
– Work has been very supportive already allowing for the various appointments and op recovery time I’ve needed. I’ll be aiming to continue working as much as possible.

Afternoon – An ultrasound scan at the hospital for unrelated thing #1 – endometriotic cysts.
– Fun fun fun! – but at least I’ve had them before and so know the symptoms. (This time though, they can’t hoover them out, and so they won’t operate unless they have to, which means the symptoms stay.) The silver lining of chemo, apart from it meaning I’m less likely to die of cancer, is that the drugs also interfere with your hormone levels. Whilst I will most likely have unpleasant hot flushes, I may not have the very painful stomach cramps and other horrible muscle spasms each month for the duration of treatment.

Evening – Funeral wake #2
– I’ve been invited to a dining pub out in the countryside; I am hopeful I will feel up to driving about as I’ll be off the booze. It could be a strange experience if I turn up with no appetite, as normally I over-order to excess allowing myself the opportunity to eat my own bodyweight in delicious food. Plus, even if I have an appetite, I’m not supposed to eat most of the stuff they serve, various gamey meats, potatoes dripping in butter and cheese or a little nibbles bowl with chorizo chipolatas ready to ooze their saturated fats all over my greedy fingers.

Saturday & Sunday

Meet my parents and Uncle / Aunt in some bonkers National Trust house and chuckle about some old tat that the bonkers owner collected and displayed there, and then (hopefully) go and look at some nice gardens in the sunshine, have cake and a cuppa, and chat to my family. Then a meal and a hotel stay that night. The weekend plan involves some travel time to the West country so I will have to see whether I am ok to get up early and get there for lunch, or just merely do a leisurely saunter over there in time for dinner.

MRI scan at the hospital for an unrelated thing #2 – strange lump in my buttock.

It’s probably nothing to worry about – but they had a look and then didn’t laugh and tell me to feck off. (So that means I’m not just a whinging hypochondriac, honest!)


I’ve done such a great job of maintaining a calm demeanour and trying to make sure everyone else is as unaffected by my crap as possible and I’m now starting to feel a bit cross with myself. I wonder if I’ve done such a good job that nobody will pay attention when it actually matters. Or indeed if I will feel tired but not ask for help…

In some ways I am more worried about Lymphodema than the chemo, because hair grows back, but once you have lymphodema it’s hard to get rid of it. MUST stop using my left arm to lift things! I will talk more about Lymphodema another day, because I’m tired now.

Lyrics by James (Booth/Glennie/Gott)