“Mu-um! That’s another glass you’ve broken!”
“Well, at least it wasn’t a good one.” Spoken whilst rootling in the cupboard for the dustpan and brush. Again.
In fact, when I stop and think about it (although as a rule it’s probably better not thinking too much), I’ve broken more plates and glasses in the last six weeks than in the previous ten years. I think it must be due to this peripheral neuropathy. Numb fingers and toes to you. Although of course I don’t empty the dishwasher with my toes. It’s a side effect of the chemotherapy; apparently the platinum attackes the myelin sheath around the nerves and they go all tingly. My feet now feel like I’m walking on sponges while my fingers have got permanent pins and needles, and it’s driving me mad! I hope, I do hope, that it will start wearing off soon, but what I haven’t been able to establish is how much permanent damage it’s likely to do. It’s a bit of a double whammy because my broken ankle left the top of that foot numb and now the chemo has gone for the bottom of the feet. I suppose I could always break the other ankle to even things out. Take up skiing, perhaps.
Given all that, it maybe wasn’t entirely sensible for me suddenly to decide to sharpen all the kitchen knives the other day. I’m sure you can guess what happened. Perhaps I should have got the plasters ready before I started. But looking on the bright side, it was only a small cut and the tip of my thumb is still where it should be. And still numb.
The good news is that I’ve had my final dose of toxic chemicals. There need be no more sneaking into the kitchen at 4am to swallow a bottleful of tablets. No more sitting for hours and ten minutes on a drip at the Western, just ten minutes long enough for the parking charge to click over from £3.00 to £7.00. Where did the Today programme get the idea that parking at Scottish hospitals was free, I wondered, as I listened to a discussion about a Welsh initiative the other day.
I’m hugely relieved that I don’t have to psych myself up for another round of treatment next week but oddly I can’t profess to bouncing with joy. I’ve been wondering why I feel so flat about it all and I think it’s because I know that I now move onto the next stage which is a waiting game; I did the excited bit just before Christmas when the consultant told me I was in remission. Now it will be check ups at various intervals for the next five years, on the assumption that the cancer has gone but always with a niggling knowledge that there is a risk it will come back. I think it’s the knowledge of that risk that is stopping me whooping with joy. It might also be the fact that I’m really quite tired these days. Oh, and I have numb fingers and toes.
Meanwhile, I think we’ll leave the best china (assuming there’s some left) undisturbed in the cupboard for the time being. Now, how many sleeps is it until we go on holiday?