Drills, saws and holes

Nov 14, 2013

It's nice pottering at home again with Julia and getting work done. It's reassuring to be together and helps keep our minds off things.


Later in the morning we head off to see the clinical oncologist in Welwyn. We arrive early and no sooner had I got the iPad out the doctor is there to see us. The doctor is really nice and reassuring about chemotherapy, it might not be all that bad, it depends and there’s lots they can do to help. The aim of the treatment is to cure Julia - that’s the destination and he’s keen to start.

There’s practical reasons to do chemotherapy first, it will kill the cancer quickly and make the operation later easier as the tumor will have shrunk. He explains that he wants to get moving as soon as possible. We had wanted to get the chemo done locally but he explains some differences about NHS versus private and it’s a no brainer. To get moving quickly and give Julia the best care it means staying in private sector.

In the early evening, I decide it’s a good time to fit the cat flap. I don’t know why it was suddenly important but it was. I got all the kit (and some more) out of the garage, measured twice, cut once and it still wouldn’t fit as expected. I had to cut some bolts and the nuts wouldn’t then go back on. I picked up the kids, went to Wickes asked for help and they only had electricians screws. Turns out the nuts wouldn’t fit them either. Shit. I make tea, find some nuts that do kind of fit and then cut the bolts too short. Shit, Shit, Shit. I give up and have to walk away. My pride is wounded and it matters - of course it does, in the grand scheme of things it’s inconsequential but that night it really mattered. I retreat to the sofa in a huff as the cats skip merrily through the new hole in the door. A facebook SOS and Greg volunteers himself to help.


We have nothing on today, no doctors, hospitals or waiting rooms Woot! I head to the gym after dropping off the kids. The knee feels better than last week and it’s good to de-stress. I do notice I’m not as switched on as normal. I used a couple of machines on the wrong settings and wondered why they felt odd, only to notice I hadn’t moved the leg rest etc… I blame the lack of coffee but it really is because I have become scatter brained. I have more and more things taking up that limited resource up at the moment.

Julia annoys me when I get home because she is working but hasn’t had any breakfast or coffee. I tell her if she’s well enough to work, she’s well enough to make herself breaky and it’s so crucial she eats, stays strong and looks after herself. There’s been a few occassions recently where I’ve raised my eyebrows because I’m carrying the can for her where she could so easily. I feel like that sounds heartless and I’m whinging but I am stepping up and I’m happy to do so. I won’t deny it’s tiring but also there are small things she can and has to do for herself. I remind her we are a team - TeamRJ.

The new mattress arrives, the old one dragged into the garage waiting for the day I have the time to get it to the tip. Greg, Rachel and Joni arrive and Greg tells me how to file down cut bolts that don’t take a nut - 2 seconds of rubbing the bolt on a brick and bingo. Top tip that one! The next one is that electricians pliers have threaded holes for cutting bolts (found that nugget out on youtube yesterday). Greg sorts the cat flap out in no time and I now owe him a beer.

In between all this and work, there’s been lots of phone calls sorting out Julia. Tomorrow we are off to London for the portacath operation. Then monday its ECG, Tuesday I’m off to have my jaw looked at. Then wednesday and thursday Julia is having chemotherapy and herceptin. It’s going to be a busy week.

Theres some panic / concern when the insurance folks call about refusing a certain drug - as its on a trial. We hadn’t discussed this with the doctor but it seems it was a punt on his behalf and he wasn’t hopeful so didn’t discuss it. I’m chasing this one up to make sure and to double check it’s all tickety boo for next week.