As I age, I find some things harder to remember.  I used to be able to list all the girls and boys in my primary school class without a second thought - not so easy nowadays, though.

What brings a memory rushing back?  Well, sometimes it's a glimpse along a road, the sound of a train, the smell of shortbread baking in the oven.  As Sandy and I are working our way through the bits and pieces stored in the house, trying to declutter, it's amazing how much we've both forgotten.  However, some things make the senses tingle all over again.  We had a moment like that today. 

As many of you know, in 2011 I was diagnosed with womb cancer.  I had a hysterectomy and then chemo and brachytherapy.  I recovered really well from the operation and then went to the Beatson Centre to start my chemotherapy.  I don't often think about this phase of the treatment - but today, just after breakfast, Sandy came to me and showed me a few notes he had clipped together with a paper clip.  Wham - that took us both back to the first chemo session. 

Up until then, I think I had decided to ignore the possibility that the cancer might finish me off.  I was in complete denial, certain that I would overcome the disease, mostly because I had been diagnosed at a very early stage and the pathology showed that the cancer was contained.  The protocol for getting chemo is probably the same now.  I was given Piriton as well as a steroid before the infusion of the Taxol and Carboplatin - with saline in between the different drugs.  So the whole procedure took between 5-6 hours.  Because we were both anxious, Sandy came with me to the first chemo session.

The nurses were really kind - and at each stage of the treatment, they explained what was about to happen.  When it finally came to getting the main drugs, the nurse advised me that I had to tell her if and when I had a reaction to the drugs.  So, I agreed that I would do so.  She obviously thought I hadn't listened properly because she then repeated the direction "You must tell us if you feel you are having a reaction because if you don't, you could die!"  Wow - that woke me up to the possibility of not surviving the first session.  I meekly agreed again and away she went.  Sandy was shocked; I could see it in his face.  However, the thought which surfaced loud and clear to me was that if something untoward happened to me, then he had to run our coffee and gift shop and that he didn't have any of the recipes for the baking.

So, I asked one of the nurses if she had a notepad and pen - and then proceeded to dictate my recipes to Sandy.  We found the notes yesterday when we were packing books - they dropped out of a recipe book.  Believe me, that took me straight back to my first chemo.

Seven years later, thankfully I am still doing well.




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