Monday, 5 August 2013

Algy's Demise - Emotions are Not Logical Captain.

I'm off to London tomorrow to start 30 days worth of radiotherapy to be administered over a six week period - 'fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy' for those who speak medical.  My brother and his family are flying in Newquay for a few days holiday, will come down to Penzance for a quick visit which has cheered me up somewhat, and has offered to take Dave and myself to the station when it's time. I can't promise I won't be blubbing when I get on the train though.

These past few days have been quite emotional.  I think this has been building up for a while and as someone has said, the wait has been long and now, it seems all of a sudden you’re off to get the very thing you have waited for, for so long.  

But it’s not the thought of having radiotherapy I find is leaving me a little tearful but the fact I will be separated from my husband Dave for the best part of six weeks. This from a woman who has no qualms in taking off to the wilds of Ontario or navigating lower Manhattan on foot for ten days or so at a time!  But that was for a break, a holiday.  This is different I guess, I have no choice but to do this, it’s a time when you would want to be close to those nearest to you for comfort.

London I have no qualms about getting around, now I’ve sorted out the bus routes to the Royal Marsden in Chelsea and have learned that one must check the actual destination of said bus else one can go MILES in the wrong direction!  It’s a city I have grown in confidence in getting about and is reasonably disabled friendly. 

Dave and I do not live in each other's pockets either. We spend a lot of time living in two different rooms, me here in the front room tapping away on my PC and Dave in the back room lying on his front on the floor watching the soaps, the History, Discovery and God channels.  

It’s an amicable arrangement born from a long and loving relationship, and we can both do what we enjoy without getting on each other's nerves, occasionally sticking our heads round the door when needed. As we live in a *tiny* two bed roomed terraced cottage, it’s as easy as pie to do. We have been together now for twenty seven years, almost the last twenty two of those married.  This will be the longest we have been apart, except when we got engaged and I took off to work near Cambridge at Papworth Hospital for three months back in 1987.

So maybe that’s it.  It’s the fact he won’t be in the next room or pottering about in the back designing and building yet another model beam engine, or fixing his motorcycle or be out in the back shed on his lathe, or at a nearby pub when I’m in London, he’ll be miles away.

Dave with Danny. Our other cat Sizzle was out.

Now considering some of you have spent months away from family in another country, I wonder what it is I have cause to whine about since Penzance is only three hundred and fifty odd miles away from Ladbroke Grove, and you can get there in under five hours (if you can afford the £160 return fare for that particular train that is) but it’s the physical distance between us in terms of emotional comfort and reassurance. Yes, we can phone, email and text, but it’s not the same as fighting over the duvet at three o clock in the morning, or yelling out of the back door dinner is ready or both of us waiting for the other to answer the phone or front door.

Dave has been very stoic and supportive, especially when he came to pick me up from church yesterday and found me in tears.  The church I attend is small and the congregation very close, everyone there wanted to say goodbye and wish me well, but what really caused the flood gates to be opened was when two young boys from the Sunday School class I teach, came up and gave their nutty SciFi mad teacher a hug and said they would miss me.  When that happened, it was definitely a ‘run into the ladies loos for a cry on the shoulder of a friend’ moment.

Six weeks is no time at all, the treatment I am undergoing isn’t painful and will only take about 30 minutes out of my day.  There will be no needles, no surgery,  just a bit of waiting time, a not so sexy hospital gown, lying on the table under a machine that looks like it’s been hijacked from a science fiction movie with my head encased in a rigid plastic mask secured to the treatment table (I get to keep the mask afterwards!).  No, the scariest part of all of this will be getting there by bus and remembering *not* to take the wrong turn into the Outpatient’s department.

It is the separation and the hard fact I just can’t get up and go home when I want, and Dave just can’t take off from his job nor abandon our cats to come up to London when he wants either.  It’s expensive and the train we can afford to catch takes a good six hours to get to Paddington.  I have good friends who will be able to pop into town as they live close to London, and I am sure if I feel up to it, I will find plenty to do (such as keeping on top of this blog!) that won’t cost the earth or break the bank in the city. But it won’t be quite the same.

I will miss Penzance, the sea, Dave snoring, our cats baying for food, Causeway Head, the harbour, all comforting and familiar.  There will be the traffic in London to face, the walking, the fear I will become ill on the bus, the negotiating around an unfamiliar area and it will happen that I will become tired, have increased seizures and maybe feel low as a result. All this is there in the background and he won’t be physically there to reassure me.

Maybe I am not quite as independent as I like to think I am and perhaps more scared than I care to admit after all.

Hair cut ready for Algy's frying.


  1. Loads of love to you and the Grand Wazoo. You're in my thoughts xxx

  2. Best Wishes!! Hope writing about your experience will help you in some way!! will look out for up dates!! Hope you don't mind me asking but how did the name "Algy" come about? You take care. XXX
    It's pearl here, I may have to post this as Anonymous as I'm not logged in

    1. Hi Pearl, thank you for your comments :) I p[lucked the name Algernon, or Algy for short, as I wanted what sounds to me the most ridiculous sounding name ever...LOL!! XX

  3. I'm only in Devon, but if I was away from my wife (same age as you, married 20 of the 27 we've been together) I'd be distraught. You're enormously brave, lass. I hope the therapy works and that Algy is soon sent to the place where badly misbehaving cells go. Do take care of yourself.
    With all very best wishes - Michael Jecks


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