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Updated: Aug 2, 2023

Extracts from the daily diary

Wednesday 12th July

Back for the 5th round of chemo and more of the self administered Filgrastim. Looking forward to lots of lovely bone pain in the shoulder blades and between my pelvis and lower back. Recommendation was to take it late at night so one can sleep through the pain. At teatime had a slight twinge but not enough to go back to the dreaded paracetomols. 5th day now without taking them, progress of sorts. Had the news that my blood count was in the high 90s, whatever that means and no blood transfusion this week.

Thursday 13th July 14, 2023

Second chemo day , queried why it takes so long on the first occasion and then much faster for the second and subsequent treatments. They only mix up on the first day when they know you are still alive and kicking, presumably and that you are going to turn up. Also discovered that the blood transfusions are only given when necessary because a build up of iron in the blood stream is hard to dissipate. You learn something new every day. Felt very tired in the evening and an early night. Quite a bit of bone pain and had to crack and take paracetamol

Friday 14th July

Two visitors this morning. Alex collected his bricks and then Bob Simpson for a social coffee. Chris 1 took me to the chemo. Incredibly fast, my drugs were awaiting me and I was out in about 20 minutes. Took Chris 1 for a coffee at Linda’s café in Poundbury . Don’t think she will be persuaded back to the golf club! Poured with rain all day

Saturday 15th July 16, 2023

Burton Bradstock Village Show Day. For year Jean had stewarded for the flower judge and I had been the limerick judge, for which we used to receive a Groves Nurseries voucher. Sadly not this year. I am semi -isolating and the organisers believe Jean to have too much on her plate at the present time. It meant that Jean spent the day on Friday in full WI mode making jams, jellies and lemon curd. She also did flower arrangements. I got a second for one of my limericks about Teresa May and Jean won 2 cups as well as a load of 1sts and seconds for garden produce. A worthwhile day. After lunch I felt sick and took a tablet and had a lie down for a couple of hours. Took my penultimate dose of Filgrastim and escaped without painkillers

Sunday 16th July 16, 2023

We are going back to a great pub discovery, the Golden Fox, near the Drax wall in Sturminster Newton. Meeting Hazel and Geoff, an evening meal there in the autumn last year was excellent. A great lunch had by all and then back for the second and subsequent sets in a thrilling men’s final at Wimbledon. Not much else done, but a reasonably pain free day and did the last of the Filgrastim jabs in my tum.

Monday 17th July

Ian Ferguson came round and did some more tackling of the overgrown front garden. Made him a coffee mid morning and started to feel sick. 2 hours before I was due at the hospital for the chemo, to left off the tablets. Bob Simpson gave me a lift and I mentioned it to Sarah and the nurse who said that the home tablets would not affect the hospital jollop that they give me each time. Gradually getting the hang of these nasties. Got back and finished cutting the back lawn, which would have been beyond me a few months ago. I am finding the odd trip upstairs is not so difficult. I might give a walk to West Bay a go next week, when I know I shall have a lift back. Bennet’s Hill is now the target. If I could gradually walk up that, the rest is downhill.

Tuesday 18th July

Anne and Les are coming to visit us and Les is taking me to chemo today. She was a top oncology specialist sister until last year and will be well worth picking her brains. Dracula this morning for my usual Tuesday blood test. Returned and Les took me to hospital. We sat up late after a Sundorbon curry (excellent as usual)

Wednesday 19th July

We met Ann and Les in their lorry! Campervan and sat in the layby at the Traveller’s Rest for hours, just chatting and drinking tea. I returned home to find messages that I didn’t need blood again this week. My blood count is apparently 98, compared with the low eighties, when they give me two shots. Several people have said how well I look and I am nearly believing them. No Chemo today after dinner crashed out and went to bed at 2130.

Thursday 20th July

No blood so went shopping . Middle of Lidl today but nothing of interest. Generally pottered about and Jean took me for chemo in the afternoon. Early night again despite no blood transfusion . Annoyingly couldn’t sleep and got up 5 times thanks to the dreaded Bisoprolol. Sheep jobs in the morning and Jean took me to chemo

Friday 21st July

Few jobs around the house and Geoff Hall was today’s chemo flunkey. Felt shattered in the evening and another early night. Finished a Dan Brown book last thing. An act of extreme masochism. Worst book I can recall.beginning to annoy me

Saturday 22ND July

Went shopping and came back for the usual crossword brunch, felt so tired that was asleep by 1230 and it was torrential rain, so lit the wood burner. I have felt cold all day despite being wrapped up like Nanook of the North (in July!!!) Never really warmed up and another early night.

Sunday 23rd July

Woke up feeling drained and beginning to struggle on the stairs again. Did some bramble clearing late morning and felt a bit queasy. Took one of the anti-sickness pills and rested up for a little while. Carried on later doing yet more brambling. Tried to adjust the snapper drive belt. Years since it was touched and I found it to be seized up. Alex might have a brute force job on his hands tomorrow. He thinks he is coming to borrow the trailer, but I have a fiendish plan for him instead. David Bass came round at teatime followed by Adam Sorrell. We are hosting his shearing with our shearer Richard, because he has no facilities of his own. After dinner, felt totally drained and another early night.

Monday 24th July 24, 2023

Ready to pounce on Alex when and if he arrives. I rather stupidly left the mower out and it is hissing down with rain this morning. It will be a very wet tug of war to get this drive belt moving on the mower. Hope he turns up in this gorgeous July weather If it persists, I might have a real go again at this blog thing which is beginning to annoy me. Either I am missing something or I’ll have to admit that I am an IT fossil

Alex is a star. We managed to pull the Snapper apart so that I could adjust the drive belt. Found that it needs a new clutch and a brilliant Snapper spares company is sending a new one. Managed about 22 bags of garden rubbish to the tip. Alex did most of the heavy bags. I did a diddy run earlier and was put straight, because the Yellow Peril and a trailer are verboten. Curiously the Landrover and trailer are ok. Work that one out if you can!

Knackered after my exertions and wonder what the blood situation will be on Thursday

Tuesday 25th July

We have decided to upgrade my car, a perfectly good, but scruffy Hona CRV. Great car but I have to agree it is now a slight embarrassment for naice passengers . Blood samples taken at Portesham and then some shopping. Greig and Allen have no spare CRV’s knocking around. Managed to sit up in the evening without exhaustion for a change

Wednesday 26 th July

Went to Beaminster , to the solicitors, to sign our wills. Coffee afterwards, whilst Ian Ferguson did another morning for us, tidying up the front of the garage, recovering the creepers overwhelming the area, north of the garage. Returned to find messages re one unit of blood for Thursday morning .

Thursday 27th July

One unit of blood today and very tired in the evening. Moved some hurdles and chairs etc, ready for the shearing day on Sunday

Friday 28th July

We are preparing the barn for the arrival of Adam and his sheep

He has a small trailer, but luckily not far to come. He delivered the sheep in 4 trailer loads up until about 1800 hours. Ours were kept well away and at one point we had a jail break and a quick fence repair was necessary. Tired me out and I wonder what the blood situation will be next week.

Saturday 29th July

Coffee with the Simpsons ,whilst egg delivering. Then placed my order for going electric with the garden machinery. Lastly shopping for the shearing platoon on Sunday. Cooked the penultimate ham ready for tomorrow.

Sunday 30th July

Big day today and a trial run for our own shearing next year.

Richard and Carol arrived with Adam Angela and his boy Carloon? 7 for my lunch when they have finished. A dozen mixed rolls, various nibbles and lashings of tea and coffee. I was just finishing the sausages, when the call came that we are ready. Instant lunch on Alex’s wonder bench . We ended up acquiring an orphan lamb despite my good humoured protests. After tidying up the kitchen debris, I ate my tea and went to bed early, completely knackered

Monday 31st July

All change this week with our surgery at Portesham combining with another at Poundbury. It meant that my blood test was on Monday instead of the usual Tuesday. Had a nice chat about Filgrastim side effects, with the nurse who has also had the pleasure of the bone pain. I can’t believe that the last paracetomol was weeks ago and apart from repeated mouth ulcers, I seem to have escaped the ravages of the chemo. My hair is now very fine it has almost disappeared. Took the tractor into the barn, to repair a spool lever for the hydraulics. A 10 minute job, much hampered by the tin plate cover which is a nightmare to remove and replace. I managed to drop a small bolt into the bowels of the tractor and could see it ,but not get to it. Why is every tool you need in the garage, when you are in the barn and vice-versa? Still it is another milestone, because I spent a good 2 hours with spanner work, yet 3 months ago I could barely stand up. I shall return tomorrow with the long flexible grabber for that wretched bolt. Meanwhile Jean was playing with the sheep, getting the new lamb to mix with the established flock

Tuesday 1st August

Ian Ferguson came round for some more graft. This time to the north of the garage. Another 5 big bags of stuff for the bonfire or tip. Whilst waiting for him I pressure washed part of the drive. We appear to have a water leak under the drive. Will need an investigation and I dread the upheaval and the bill. I finished the tractor repair, all ready to roll. If the rain would stop. Got the message that the blood sample need to be repeated and I was to have another blood unit on Wednesday.

Wednesday 2nd August

Blood sample at the Robert White and then a single unit of blood at the Medical day unit. Seems I have won the Waitrose crossword competition £100 voucher on its way to me, Yippee

My Invalid's Diary...

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