It took me by surprise this week to find out it's been six months since the treatment I had in hospital. Treatment that I was so wonderfully supported through by you fabulous Cloudie folk who helped so much with your uplifting comments and humour about brown snakes and yellow foods.
(Blogged about here for anyone who missed it and is interested: http://writing-community.writersworkshop.co.uk/magazine/read/tales-from-the-ward_9310.html)
Yesterday I went for the six month how-are-we-going chat and a discussion of what needs to be done to get ready for the second half of the treatment in October. It's been a bumpy ride at times, especially the first couple of months without a full-capacity immune system, but the human mind has an amazing ability to forget what we have to deal with once it's over.
This treatment is designed as a pause button. It basically stops you getting any worse, so the session was to look at the symptoms I had at the time of treatment and to hopefully see them stabilising. Any improvements are to be celebrated as bonuses.
There were twelve issues I was dealing with. There is now one remaining.
Apart from being totally gob-smacked, I've been in this stunned state of realising that I feel quite well. It has snuck up on me. I think my focus has been on the interesting issues that come with improving. Because I'm walking better I'm having aches and cramps from using my muscles how they were designed to be used. Because my hair is growing back in I have pieces that are joyfully springing forth and curling in any direction that they damn well please. I know how Medusa would have felt, although in fairness, I can probably achieve more with leave-in conditioner that she could.
As well as the physical assessment there was also the science. At this stage the white blood cell count should have rebuilt itself from 0% up to around 45%. I have been able to carry around a smug, over-achiever type air as my count is at 58%.
Then yesterday was topped off by the meeting of a lovely service dog, who sat next to me in the waiting room. A poodle crossed with a golden retriever - a groodle, her coat was like a pale cream sheep's fleece. This sort of thing:
I mentioned to her human how lovely the dog was.
Human: 'She's in disgrace.'
I looked at the dog who seemed to be wearing a doggie grin. She wasn't concerned about her status. And there was a bit of pride in her human's voice as her exploit was recounted.
The dog had gone into the kitchen during the night and opened the fridge where she had dragged out a large Tupperware container. She had then taken off the lid and eaten the roast chicken inside, bones and all. This had ended in a trip to the vet. Then her human gave the concession that if a dog is smart enough to call an ambulance then liberating a mid-night snack was nothing.
The dogs eyes met mine. She had an expression that said 'it was just one sodding chicken but that's it - branded for life'. But her grin still said she was amused by it.