It's not Monday – The Bangles got it wrong

Feelin’ Good

It’s a new dawn of a new day and I’m feeling good.

I have been home a week and very glad I am to be here. It is calm and peaceful. Sunlight streams through our bedroom window and I can look on my lovely birches in the garden below. So far so good.

I have not had a fever since I came home, even if my temperature regulator is a bit out. I have been having night sweats. Most commonly associated with tuberculosis, they occur in other illnesses too including mine. I just have changes of night wear ready to change into. I wake drenched and getting cold, so I quickly change and soon get warm. The instances are getting fewer so hopefully I am normalising now. Yesterday I went to the hospital for a mini review. I am neutropenic again but all my other parameters were ok, so I have been given some injections to give myself to stimulate neutrophil production so they should pick up soon. I have a hospital clinic appointment next on Thursday. They are keeping a close eye on me and I feel well cared for. My hair is just about all gone now. I get teased by my family. GI Jane, Gangsta Granny, Sinead O’Connor. I don’t really mind. I wear a bobble hat to go out because it’s cold without, but indoors I don’t mind. It is curiously liberating to have no hair. It will grow back I hope, it will just take some time.

Yesterday I watched some daytime television and saw a very strange programme called The Jeremy Kyle Show. I had never seen it before but most of the guests had very bad teeth which was a shock. It seemed wrong to select people for a TV show based on their oral health. Also a lot of the show took place in the corridors behind the stage. I don’t think I will watch it again. Homes under the Hammer seemed marginally more interesting. Welcome to the world of daytime TV.

I have been walking. We go round Bournville Park, staggering from bench to bench, but it is good to be in the fresh air. There are snowdrops and anemones and crocuses all showing in little clumps. Such a wonderful little hint that Spring is coming. Even the sunshine is warm. Now I am longing for warmer weather and short sleeves.

I am managing to eat well. Emma even cooks me a lunch and Martin generally does supper. The basic theme is toddler teas but it’s really all I can manage. We had roast chicken on Sunday and stuffed peppers were another tasty choice. Today we have fried cod and steamed mixed fresh vegetables. We have the fish delivered fresh from Grimsby and Martin cooks the cod French style á la Meunière, with a wedge of lemon. Just perfect.

I am seeing friends, but being low in neutrophils I have to take care. People can visit but I can’t go to other houses or cafés. I usually say a maximum of two or three at the outside. No hugging or kissing. No children which is hard as I haven’t seen my Bristol grandchildren in weeks as they have had colds. If anyone is unwell they have to please stay away. Nevertheless when friends come I am so glad to see them. People laughing and smiling. How therapeutic it is. I hear tales, stories, details of journeys and holidays. Travel by proxy is certainly better than none. Slowly I know I am getting stronger. Small victories. I want to go up the Clent Hills, then The Malverns. One day maybe I can climb up onto Long Mynd, then Pen-Y-Fan and finally maybe Cadr Idris, far more beautiful and interesting than Snowdon. All for the future. I realise that my treatment will have cost and continue to cost the NHS many thousands of £’s. I owe it to everyone not least my family to maximise on that investment. I am 72 now and plan on living into my 80’s and I will do my best to keep fit and stay active. I am feeling very positive today. There is so much left in life to do.

I realise that many people will have had a thoroughly dreadful time with cancer, with no redeeming positives. I don’t want readers to feel that I am not aware that other people are having a worst cancer experience than I am. I am taking a moment here to think of that. I don’t want to diminish their experience. All I can say is that this is my journey and my experience and that I believe my account to be valid. I want to thank my grandchildren, Anna and Georgie, for so generously lending me their mummy for a whole month. Also thank you to my son-in-law Yanni for lending me my daughter for such a long time. She has managed to look after me and work from here to keep her side of their publishing business running as well as overseeing events at home. I am so grateful to her that she has been here for me as I have needed her so much. How important are daughters to mothers? What is more generous than giving time? Thank you my dear Emma for all you have done and continue to do. I am blessed to have my daughters. Another reason to work to remain well. Roll on my being fit enough to stay with the grandchildren in Greece while the parents have a holiday and me and the kids can do some nice outings ourselves.

Roll on Spring, roll on Summer, roll on health.

Wearing my new scarf, knitted for me by my sister-out-law, Bettina

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  1. Barbara Johnson February 20, 2019

    You are quite an inspiration Biddy, I’m so pleased you are feeling a bit more like your old self.
    I can feel the spring in the air and it does lift your heart doesn’t it.
    Love to you and yours xxx Bobbie/Barbara

  2. Sarah February 20, 2019

    Excellent song choice Bridget and you are so right about the mother and daughter relationship …

    “It’s a new dawn
    It’s a new day
    It’s a new life
    For me
    And I’m feeling good.”

    Sarah xx

  3. Zilan El-Mufti February 20, 2019

    Awwh Bridget such a beautiful blog to read! it was so lovely seeing You, Martin & meeting your lovely daughter Emma yesterday. it really made our day! You are a inspirational to all of us.. 🙂
    Lots of Love Zilan xxx

  4. Elleanor Morgan February 20, 2019

    Bridget, it was lovely to find you so cheerful today and your account of the Jeremy Kyle show was hilarious in particular relating to the selection of participants based on oral health. It’s terrific to see you supported by so many family and friends and reflects on how you are regarded with so much affection. You may be getting your money’s worth out of the NHS but take a little time also to reflect on your own contribution and how it benefitted so many patients over your many years of service.
    I don’t know how you were ever able to climb the Long Mynd in the first place but for you “Ain’t no Mountain High Enough”.

  5. Andrew February 26, 2019

    I had the pleasure of seeing Bridget’s contribution to the NHS and nursing care first hand – always an inspiration .

    Afternoon TV – what a treat – Tipping point – Tenable – doctors – not that i am expert ………

    Was good to see you at the week end and spend time with Martin –

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