I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.
– Douglas Adams
I was back in some sort of a ‘normal’ routine by the end of October 2007. I was being managed as an outpatient by the haematology team and they were allowing me four weeks between each hospital check up. It was wonderful to feel a lengthening of that hospital leash which had been very short for a long time.
On my monthly visits to the day ward I had full blood checks, a review, my intravenous bone strengthener and the immunoglobulin to boost my immune system. The whole process took from 9am until after 5pm. My butt cheeks would be fairly numb by the end of those days.
I would also feel very tired for a few days afterwards but I was happy to be feeling better.
Halloween came and went. We had a little party for the kids and enjoyed welcoming all the trick and treaters to the door. Emma dressed as the scream guy and Cathal was a pirate. I missed an opportunity to be Voldemort from Harry Potter with my bald head …. Instead I dressed as a witch with a wig. It felt good to have hair again.
Quietly and without fanfare we started to plan again as a family and to talk about family dreams and celebrations. It was nice to be able to do that after almost a whole year of everything being on hold.
I was adjusting to the nagging voice inside my head all the time reminding me how short life can be. I was making lists in my head all the time – lists of things I wanted to do with the kids, milestones I felt I needed to tick off …..
But I was still feeling frustrated by my lack of physical strength and I grew impatient at the slow pace of my recovery. Then I would remember just how sick I had been in July and I would ease off on myself.
I had to remind myself of what I had achieved and of how significant the effects of cancer and chemo are.
This wasn’t a Hollywood movie where the heroine goes from being dramatically sick to fully recovered in one single montage or scene change – it was real life.
It was all very real.