Hello out there, all you lovely people. How are you? I hope you are well and if not that you have all the support you need.
The industrious Linda has given us another Stream of Consciousness Saturday challenge and invited us to share our experiences in the last 12 months with this prompt:
(you can find all the information on how to take part at the end of the post)
Next Saturday a year ago I was in hospital to have 5 lymph nodes and two tumours removed. About three months earlier I had been diagnosed with primary breast cancer stage 3. That means it had spread.
While there was no lockdown yet in the UK my husband and I did start our own lockdown as we were under no illusion that the pandemic was very serious and we did not want to catch nor infect anyone else with COVID. Neither of us is friends of the Tories and we rather believed the information of the WHO than Boris. The WHO had said that “test, test, test” would help countries to prevent the worst but our politicians and government were still occupied with pondering if they should take the threat seriously or if they could wing it let alone create a working test & trace system. After all, we are Great Britain, surely a virus would keep away from the ex- and maybe future empire! We still have no working test & trace system but according to Boris, we are world-beating in basically everything.
Well, winging they did as they won the war so a mere virus would not bring this country and its people down. Little did we know but the best husband and I feared the worst. So I decided to stay away from work a week before my operation (probably unpaid because head office in our company has no idea how to pay wages) because I figured if I’d get COVID chances were high I would not get my operation nor cancer treatment. |One year onwards we know that women have died because they could not get their treatment. My heart goes out to them and their families. It is absolutely awful!!!! We also decided to go into the house through our utility room strip down, wash our clothes, go directly to the bathroom and have a shower whenever we were out. We have not and will not change this anytime soon.
The hospital had asked for me to come in alone as they wanted to prevent the spread of COVID so the best husband dropped me off and went home while I went into the waiting room pondering the difference between my husbands operation in November 2019 when it was full off stressed people. For me it was quiet. It was a day procedure and I could go home in the evening which I very much preferred. The hospital had arranged for the district nurses to take care of my needs which they did wonderfully. Thankfully, I was in a state of denial how serious my situation was. If I’d knew then that cancer treatment would take me up to October I would have been a lot more impatient. Thinking about it now, I wonder how I managed to be in this denial: I have seen at least 4 close family members go through cancer treatment and that did not only last for a month or so as I made myself believe.
Well, on the other hand, it was good that I was in denial. Made me deal with two rounds of awful sickness after chemotherapy, serious constipation for several weeks and sore feet from losing my skin underneath rather heroically. If you are interested in more details check out my “Come Away Posts” from May to September 2020 where I documented my experiences. Apparently, there was a heatwave at some point in the UK. I can’t remember. What I can remember is being deeply exhausted. What I can remember is pain. What I can remember is being driven to Norwich for treatment basically half of the year. What I can remember is huge signs at the doors of wards of the hospital warning that there either is or could be COVID. What I can remember is to walk on the right side of the corridors in the hospital to avoid spreading the virus and having my temperature taken multiple times. And going through the whole experience on my own because my husband wasn’t allowed in. He has become even more of my hero because he waiting for hours and hours outside with the dog to get me home. I remember disinfecting my hands so many times that my skin became raw. I remember being so tired I hardly managed to get up and not feeling like eating at all.
Luckily we both were furloughed for a while. Lucky for me because I got more money than sick-pay would have been. And lucky for Andy so he could care for me longer than it usually would have been possible. Well, I am still or more again furloughed and I have no idea when the government decides I can go back. The hospital said it would be ok for me but I figured if I go back to work while the government advises against it and I get COVID I won’t get sick pay so I’d rather stay away and write Stream of Consciousness Posts 😉
I also remember missing my husband’s children. Son from another mother now lives in Brighton where he studies music and sensibly he and his girlfriend stay in their apartment to not spread the virus. Daughter from another mother is with her mum for the same reasons. We haven’t seen them since last June and I fear we won’t be able to recognise each other once we can meet again. But I also remember getting back into contact with school friends whom I have not heard from for years. I also remember discovering audiobooks and podcasts. Our library uses Libby an app that lets you borrow e- and audiobooks from your library, so I managed to read and listen to around 50 books. What I also remember is once a week going on a virtual journey with “Come Away with Me”. I’ve discovered so many brilliant musicians and countries. It makes it all easier. And I remember fear. Fear of dying. Fear of not seeing my step-mom or my mother-in-law again because both are in their 80s. And I have become very emotional. I cannot see a program about anyone who suffers be it a black family who lost another father, son or uncle or cancer survivors without crying.
And then there is anger. Huge anger about our government. To date, the governments handling of the CORONA virus pandemic has cost 125,343 lives. And no one seems to cry out about this number. In comparison, the whole of WWII “only” cost 67,100 civilians their lives. If terrorists would kill over 100 000 people the whole country would erupt. And please do not tell me that no one has experienced a pandemic before so they couldn’t know how to do things better. Does that mean that New Zealand (26 deaths), Germany (73,790 deaths) and Japan (8,451 deaths) had experienced pandemics recently? And Germany has a bigger population than in the UK. And they are in the EU and supposedly aren’t allowed to close their border. Oh, they did close their border despite being in the EU…. let’s not go down the Brexit route, shall we…
So, I need to leave you here because otherwise I say something I am going to regret and we won’t get anything to eat tonight.
Please stay safe, stay kind and remember you rock!