I’m back again. I didn’t post yesterday because like buses, at least the buses I used to travel on, sometimes things come along all at once.
My son had an exam yesterday afternoon so needed to return to Bristol. Over the holidays we discussed his living arrangements and the impact they’ve had on his mood. He currently shares a house that’s in need of significant renovation. His room is just large enough for a single bed, a desk and one three drawer chest unit. The bathroom and kitchen are shared but there’s never room in the fridge to store his fresh food so he no longer buys any (something I’m not too happy about for health reasons). The sink is always piled high with other residents dirty dishes and there’s a lot of rubbish lying around. The rent isn’t cheap, the place is cheerless and personally I think being imprisoned in Azkaban with the Dementors holds more appeal.
We concluded that finding an alternative residence with more space, more light, room for visitors and a kitchen that’s hygienic enough to cook in would be a positive, mood-enhancing move. Hence between work, cancer treatments, walking, reading and blogging I’ve been searching for safe, affordable accommodation for a 19.5 year old student. In spite of the poor economy, rental properties in Bristol are moving fast. Of the six I’d arranged to view, four were snapped up before we got to see them.
Over the last 48 hours I’ve developed mobile phone phobia; each time it rang another estate agent told me the property we were due to see had just gone… I did wonder if we’d get to view any of the places on our short-list however I remained optimistic because somehow things have a way of sorting themselves out for the best (even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time). House-hunting whether buying or renting is a real faff these days; it seems you have to move at light-speed to stand a chance of securing somewhere half-decent. Subject to landlord approval we hope to have secured a new student abode today – fingers crossed.
My other challenge is work. As mad as it may seem I like working very hard but my time in chemo camp isn’t through yet so I have to pace myself. I’m working part-time and can already see how this will sneakily creep up to full-time without some military discipline or strict control. Working full-time again will be joyous but I’ve learned a great deal from the last 8 months; I now realise pushing myself beyond the boundaries of ‘humanly possible’ on a daily basis was not one of my brightest ideas. Attempting anything of that order while still recovering from the aftermath of chemo is likely to be a recipe for disaster.
Chemo number six – the slog to the summit – is another challenge. I can recall how worried I was about FEC 1. I worried that the treatment or associated complications might kill me before the disease did. Irrational? Possibly, but it wasn’t impossible. I have all too clear memories of various side-effects and the physical signs that accompany them are still very much in evidence in and on too many parts of my body. I’ll be glad to see the back of TH3 but what then? Herceptin carries on for a while however chemo will be over and the obvious question is ‘has it worked?’ Like that other question I’ll never ask, this one seems rather futile too. It’s tempting but no-one can say for sure and the best answer I can hope to achieve is ‘there’s no evidence of disease.’ That would be good enough.
It’s funny how things come along all at once. Trying to find accommodation to help my son out, re-engaging with work and sticking to part-time hours, preparing for the monumental event that is TH3 and balancing my health with everything else in future… five big buses all in a row.
I now appreciate bus five – balancing health with everything else – is the one that’ll enable me to travel furthest. It may well have been better to learn this at twenty-something instead of forty-something but the lesson has been heeded and fortunately there’s still time to put it into practice.