Earlier this week I got my sixth cycle of chemotherapy at the Cancer Unit of my local district hospital.
Once again I’ve had the very best of treatment administered by a team of wonderful specialist nurses.
Now, I’m having 48 hours of chemotherapy at home and a community nurse will come and take the pump down later this afternoon.
The community nursing team covers an extensive rural area and the logistics involved in getting the nurses to the right patients at the right time must be a challenge for the admin. team.
Sometimes the community nurses are known as District Nurses and one of the team caring for me has a name badge which identifies her as a District Nurse while her colleagues are Community Nurses. I still haven’t managed to work out the reason but whatever their designation all the nurses in the team are fantastic.
The photos accompanying this blogpost are District Nurses in training in 1944. The uniforms and equipment have changed but the nurses role in caring for sick people remains the same. Chatting to my chemo nurse about her job she told me how much she loved her work. “I’ve always wanted to give something back,” she said, “and in this work I know I can.”
We don’t value the nurses in our NHS enough.
They haven’t had a pay rise for years. When they went into the job they knew they wouldn’t get rich. But they should get a wage that recognises their skill set, the pressures they’re working under and the contribution they make to the well being of our whole nation.
From a very young age I’ve understood that oranges and other citrus fruits such as grapefruit, lemons, clementines, tangerines and satsumas are bursting with Vitamin C. And, indeed, oranges provide a very healthy 53.2mg of Vitamin C per 100g.
Unfortunately, one of the side-effects of my chemotherapy treatment is mucositis which, in my case, is exacerbated by citrus fruits.
Once I’d worked out that it was my daily orange that was making the mucositis worse, I removed all citrus fruits from my diet immediately.
But I still wanted to get some Vitamin C from my five-a-day so looked for alternatives to the oranges.
And here are my top non-citrus fruits with Vitamin C:
Mango 36.4mg per 100g
Cantaloupe Melon 36.7mg per 100g
Orange 53.2mg per 100g
Papaya 60.9mg per 100g
Kiwifruit 92.7mg per 100g
Red Pepper 127.7mg per 100g
No problem getting Vitamin C into my five-a-day but I do miss the oranges.
In autumn last year it took me ages to wrap the plant in its winter fleece. Not helped by trying to cocoon it on a rather breezy day! I used a whole bag of washing line pegs to keep the fleece in place plus half a ball of garden string. And some very expensive fleece from the local garden centre.
All to no avail!
Needless to say, it won’t be happening this year. The plant can take its chances with the rest of our shrubs, bushes and pot plants. Since I’ve been having chemotherapy, I’ve had to pass all gardening jobs over to my husband, Michael. He says the best part of gardening is when you’ve finished! He’s handy with the strimmer and doesn’t really differentiate between the plants that are supposed to be in the garden and those that are unwelcome. Several of last year’s perennials have gone the same way as the entwining bindweed, burgeoning buttercups and stinging nettles which took over much of the garden when neither of us had any interest in it. I’m happy to have wild flowers in the garden but not when the most robust dominate and take over. We had a fine crop of four foot high thistles this summer which were starkly dramatic but challenging to remove.
I doubt that we’ll see any flowers on the camellia next year. The buds seem to be so susceptible to frost damage but who knows? I hope I’ll be able to let you know!
Thanks for reading my blog today and hope you’re having a great day.
I’d been diagnosed with cancer and didn’t think there was any way I could sustain a daily blog.
My cancer treatment is palliative and I didn’t think I would be around for too much longer to be writing blog posts or anything else for that matter.
I decided to try and keep my Cabbage and Semolina Blog going for as long as I was able and I’ve been writing a long blogpost each month since my diagnosis.
However, I’m now in a chemotherapy regime which requires me to rest regularly and I find myself with an active mind, a weary body and time on my hands. So, I’ve come back to 3sixtyfiveblog and am going to continue with the challenge I set myself on March 20th 2017 and try to write a daily blog for a year.
I’m learning to live with cancer and I suspect many of my future posts will be about these changes in my life. But I haven’t lost interest in all the other aspects of life in my third age bubble so there’ll be more of that too. So, I do hope you’ll keep coming back to see if I can keep up with my daily blog challenge.
Thanks for reading today and hope you have a great weekend.