Friday 15 August 2008

Back in 'therapy.

By 'eck, this cancer lark's expensive. While waiting for my chemo drugs to be made up earlier today, P & I walked round the corner to Accessorize and begrudgingly exchanged over £100 for a selection of headscarves and headbands that I wouldn't ordinarily look twice at. It was emergency headwear shopping – this morning, another chunk of my barnet ended up down the loo, resulting in a nice, obvious bald patch right in the middle of my parting, dammit. Bobby Charlton comb-over, here we come. (Not to mention a costly call to Dial-a-Rod, if I continue to clog up the drains with my hair-flushing.)

Then next week, I've got to spend a couple of months worth of mortgage payments on wigs. I resent this expenditure. I've spent 28 years wasting money on stuff that'll barely see me through a season, but that's my choice. Splashing cash out of necessity is just plain unfair. I hate buying tampons on similar grounds. (Speaking of which, just when I thought the chemo would at least do me one favour and call a halt to my periods for a while, guess what showed up this morning? The Oestrogen Villainess strikes back. Bitch.) I have issues with Clearblue for precisely the same reason. Hundreds of pounds worth of pregnancy tests, ovulation sticks and digital thermometers, and still no baby? I should have just saved myself the hassle and bought one on eBay.

Forgive me today's whingeing, but chemo day is hardly going to be my happiest of the month. I've been in Sarcastic Sod mode for most of the day, not helped by the fact that I got sat next to Holy Mary while having my cannula put in. There's a lot of hanging around and staring at other people in chemo and, now I've been twice, I've had the chance to size everyone up. Along with Holy Mary, there's Wonky Wig, Glamazon (pink slingbacks and blingy jewellery), French Stick (skinny Parisienne), Head Honcho (fabulous headscarves) and Speaking Clock, who I adore, despite the fact that she barely comes up for breath. (I suspect I'm known as Get A Room, on account of the glued-to-my-face husband.) But back to Holy Mary. It's very stiff-upper-lip British in the chemo room; everyone quietly waits their turn and smiles politely, with no dramatics or serious conversation. Until Holy Mary rolls up. This morning, she was having a go at her nurse for not having baptised her children. 'If they die, they'll end up in purgatory!' she shrieked. Sensing the poor nurse's inability to find a suitable answer, I butted in. 'Well there's a happy conversation for the chemo room to hear,' I chirped, as my broad Irish nurse fiddled with my cannula and – with perfect comedy timing – shouted, 'I can't get this little fucker in!' Even Speaking Clock was lost for words, and gave me a cheeky wink as we watched a stunned Holy Mary turn more Holy Ghost as her horrified face drained of colour.

The extra attention I got from the nurses today would suggest that I've gained a few popularity points as a result of that episode. Holy Mary could learn a thing or two from me and the others, and here's lesson one: always be nice to the nurse with the needle.  

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