The normal schedule is week 1 starts with a blood check followed by chemo infusion. This lasts all day and is utterly mindblowingly boring. Then week 3 begins with a checkup, and the next week the whole cycle starts again.
Only something went wrong with the appointments system and they lost the checkup for this cycle. Fortunately I spotted it. So I rang Appointments, who basically said they don’t know nuffing. But the consultant’s secretary and the MacMillan nurse did, and between them they sorted it out.
So I had my checkup, and passed. I also got invited onto a research project. I said yes. It means I get regular checkups, and it helps other people in the future. It’s a win-win situation.
And lastly I persuaded them to do the blood checks the day before the infusion (no, Doctor, I really don’t mind coming in on two successive days). It means I cut down the long boring day by a couple of hours, which has to be a good thing, and if there’s any problem then I don’t end up taking anti-nausea stuff to no purpose, as happened last time. And of course the anti-nausea tablet is a constipative as well, which is exactly what I need like a hole in the head. (On second thoughts if that’s the problem, maybe it should be at the other end.)
So it’s Tuesday for the blood test and Wednesday for the chemo.
There was one other horror about the infusion, which I forgot to mention. They have taped muzak on all day. You know, the stuff they put on to keep happy by promoting a warm friendly atmosphere, where nobody has to cope with dreadful things like a little piece and quiet. It’s carefully calculated to be just quiet enough so that people who like that type of music will ( I suspect ) be irritated that they can’t hear it properly and enjoy it, and just loud enough to annoy bolshie philistines like me who can’t stand muzak.
So I wrote this little poem to express my loathing of taped muzak. The original version started off “The wards are alive” , because that’s where I was when I received my inspiration from the Muse, but on reflection the major culprits are supermarkets and shopping malls, so I changed it.
And here it is, as promised. Now all I have to do is find a tune for it.
The tills are alive with the sound of muzak,
With queues that will last for a thousand years.
My blood how it chills at the sound of muzak,
That sound, how it fills my poor heart with tears
It’s the same in the lift when they’re closing the doors,
You’re trapped in that cage with the noise.
And you hope in your heart that the lift won’t break down
And leave you trapped between floors
The tune may be old, or may be it’s new, but they all sound the same.
My day turns to night and the world that I see becomes grey.
I go to the Malls, when I do my shopping,
I know I will hear what I’ve heard before.
My heart will be cursed with the sound of muzak,
And I’ll cringe once more.