We are a bit late with this post as both Cycle 2 and our week began a 05:30am last Sunday morning as we got out of bed to go and pick up Amelia, Natasha's sister and her friend Vanessa from the airport. They were with us until Thursday and being the hosts that we are, we didn't get time to prepare a treatment update.
Last week was Tash's week off from Chemo (I mean two weeks ago if you are one of the people who think that when I say "next Saturday" I mean the one coming, and not the next one after the immediate one in front of me - it is an English thing), no big disasters to report other than I have continued to display all the side effects that Tash was expecting, with the exception that I now have a sore throat as well as the itchy scalp and sore fingers.
We have been spending a lot of quality time together just lately, well I suppose you would want to, when one of you is in Chemotherapy. Simple things like sitting in the park together throwing chips at the man-eating pigeons whilst keeping an eye on the crack commando squad of squirrels and magpies slowly circling our position, have seemed like magical moments in our relationship (I won't bother to tell you what we spent our time discussing as I think that previous embellished sentence gives you all the information you need).
We were both sitting at the dinner table midway through the 'week off', having an after dinner discussion (the word 'discussion' is used here to give this post food symposium extra gravitas, 'work bitch session', 'argument' or 'stone cold silence' are equally interchangeable phrases used to describe our evening meal exchanges) and while Tash was scratching at her head, she told me how sensitive her scalp had become, one of the minor side effects of the treatment along with the tell tale tingling numbness that had fully arrived in her fingers, as she tapped them against each other. She eventually noticed that I have been involuntarily mirroring her all the way through this list of ill's and we agreed that she could have the fingers as a Chemo side effect but that equally likely, we both could have nits.
Cycle 2 started so discretely that I had to ask when the pills began again.
Having racked up nearly 20 long haul flights between us, T' & I have developed several ways to get through the post flying hell that is jetlag, the most favoured one for people arriving in England is to take them to the pub for the day. Apart from the fact that the English reputation for the daily abuse of alcohol almost means that it has become a "must do" for any tourist trip (Things to Do: No.6 see Buckingham Palace, No.7 Get so drunk in a London pub that you are sick on yourself, No.8 go to Harrods), the sugar in the beer helps to keep you going and the general banter takes their minds off how tired they are.
And so after their first 24 hour trans-global flight, the girls were given the taste of a great British welcome. They survived it well, eventually crashing out at 10pm, which bearing in mind their previous 24, was an exceptionally good show on their part. Tash and I were both on earlies the next day, so we were up, head in hands, on the Monday morning before the sun had even come up and carried painful day long reminders that we were not in our 20's anymore (I am working at the moment by the way, just for a couple of months).
Fortunately Monday night was a quiet one, though during their day long London exploration, Amelia and Vanessa had managed to get on the right bus, but going in the wrong direction and had ended up in Elephant and Castle thinking that it was Notting Hill (International Translation: Elephant and Castle: London depressed suburb, populated by ne'er do well's and can be quite dangerous, unless you really want to buy that cheap car radio, no questions asked. Notting Hill: Well if Madonna and Kate Moss live there you can understand the area.)
For Tuesday and Wednesday evening we laid on a small whistlestop tour of "Foods of the world within 15 minutes of our front door". Mexican on Tuesday and then Bangladeshi on Wednesday in the form of a traditional City pub and curry evening: People we know turn up, some we don't, we all buy rounds of drinks, some go home, those of us left then go to have a curry. By this time of the evening the conversation is as ripe and nonsensical as many parts of us are destined to be the next day. The girls handled it well, though none of us were handling things well by the next morning, except Tash strangely, it was as if she was protected by an invisible shield of worse chemicals than we were processing, oh hold on she was.....
We are gearing up for a busy end to August with 3 consecutive wedding weekends, Italy, Sweden & Italy. It is as if we didn't learn our lesson last time, which we didn't of course. 17 daily tablets, no matter which end we think they might go in, should not be allowed to dominate one's life.
Lastly a bit of a shout out to the ladies in Tash's knitting group. She "came out" to them the other week and the following Friday I got to meet them too, at my first drag show, funnily I felt quite at home, but that is probably best not further discussed here. Anyway they are a lovely bunch of "knitting needle wheedling, techno ninja, wool manipulating genii " - Knitting you see is the internet's new darling, so we are all cyber connected with internet blogs and so forth. They drink too, which is always a bonus in any social circle and if it keeps Tash away from the whining-drug-addled-westway-troll, I am happy.
See you next week with some pictures.