Chemo Cycle 1 – Day 4

I’m feeling more tired today despite the steroids. Or maybe because of them because I woke at 2am with a racing mind and couldn’t get back to sleep. After mentally re-organising the garden, sorting out the storage in the garage and re-arranging all the furniture downstairs I did go back to sleep for a couple of hours but was awake again by 6.30am.

I changed tack and instead of going on a mental marathon, decided to read. I’ve never been enthusiastic about Charles Dickens. A childhood reading of Oliver Twist and enforced study of Hard Times for A Level Eng. Lit. hadn’t endeared me to the writer one bit. Over the years I’ve made an occasional attempt to read his work but never got anywhere. But a few days ago, while trawling my Kindle for anything I’d downloaded and not got round to reading, I came across the Complete Works of Dickens downloaded ages ago as a freebie or very cheaply. As nothing else in the unread section had any appeal either, I thought I might as well have another go at the Dickens. The collection starts with Pickwick Papers and although it took a few chapters to get into it, now I’M HOOKED. I love it. It’s so funny, droll, acutely observed, tender, sympathetic and amazingly contemporary. The scene in the Marshalsea Debtors Prison brought tears to my eyes. Is it sentimental? No, just extremely well written and empathetic. And, apparently, drawn from Dickens’ own lived experience too.

It’s now mid afternoon and fatigue is kicking in again. But I’ve enjoyed writing this blogpost. When I was first diagnosed with cancer in 2017, I read on the Macmillan Cancer website that some patients found writing about their condition could be helpful. As someone who loves to write anyway, I embraced that idea and as well as blogs I’ve got diaries and notes going right back to the start of my treatment.

So I’ll say goodbye for today. Thanks for reading and look after yourself. We’re living in such difficult times and even if the physical aspects of Covid feel managed better, it’s early days and the effects on mental health and well being are going to be with us for a long time to come.