Every good story has its plot twists, going off at unexpected tangents. It’s the way of things. Life does the same. It’s that unexpected promotion, the accidental pregnancy, the gift that makes a difference to your days and so on. The twists can go either way, but, in the end, they end happily (or have a really good moral).
Ok, waffling over. I’ve been asked what this is about me moving yet again after swearing that I’d be in my little flat for a good few years. I loved that flat. It just wasn’t to be in the end. I’ll start the plot twist chapter with a recap for some (sorry to bore you) for the benefit of those who are truly perplexed.
Yep. That’s my zimmer frame. Because of the pain walking caused and the weakness in my right leg, I resigned from my job at Age UK. It was the kind of job that needed mobility… something I was losing more and more of as time passed. The morning after my last day at work, I turned from taking down my laundry and tripped. I found myself lying on the floor unable to get up at all and in terrible pain. I called Tat who came over with Ste and lifted me into a chair. She called an ambulance and my latest hospital saga started. At first, they wanted to give me anti-inflammatories for a torn muscle and send me home, as they couldn’t find a problem in my hip and knee x-rays. One doctor came around and asked why my femur hadn’t been x-rayed and a good thing too. It turned out that 9cm of my thigh bone was a spongy mess. It was a miracle that I hadn’t had a serious fracture yet. The decision was made there and then to operate. They put a titanium pin down my femur secured with screws in the hip and knee. That sorted the fracture possibility out.
The follow-up MRI showed no further cancer in any of my organs. A bone scan was done, but I’ll only have the results for that tomorrow. So far, it only appears to be in my femur. What does this mean for me? Firstly, the orthopaedic surgeon said that bone won’t regrow and I’ll never be able to put weight on it. I am determined to prove him wrong. Of course bone regrows! Thus the need of a zimmer/walking frame. I’ve graduated to crutches now, which give me a lot more freedom of movement and I have a rented wheelchair for outings.
I loved my flat, but not being able to do stairs, living on the second floor was somewhat impractical. To go to my hospital visits, I needed a 4-man specialised ambulance team to get me downstairs and back up again. I sadly made the decision to move. Poor Tat was being run ragged between her flat, my flat, and work, spending her spare time caring for me. It’s so frustrating not to be able to do anything without help. It is also a time of firsts, much like a baby. My whoop of joy when I finally managed to put my own socks on was something to behold… if I curl my toes up just ‘so’, I can just reach the enough to slip the opening of the sock over them. It’s the little things. Still, those four flights of stairs were prohibitive, so we made the decision for me to move back in with Tat and Ste, which will make it so much easier on my poor carer – at the very least, it cuts down on the amount of back and forth travel she had to do. They’ve gone out of their way to make me feel at home, though much of my stuff is stored in their loft. I have my name down for a ground floor flat or a single-level house, but that could take a while to come through, as they’re in demand.
Tomorrow, I have my first post-surgery oncologist appointment. I can’t say much about it, as I’m in the dark as well. I know they’re planning radiation, but that’s all I know so far. A lot depends on the bone scan, though my gut tells me the rest of my bones are clear.
It has been a scary, frustrating month. I don’t know how I would have gotten through it without the help of friends and family, especially Tatiana, who’s put her own life on hold to care for me. Thanks to Ste for his support and playing taxi, to his parents and brother for help with the move and their support as well and to Anne who rushed to my side to help and be my shoulder to cry on and bring much-needed laughter to our world when we needed it most. There are so many more thank you’s. Everyone has been wonderful from the hospital staff (from cleaners to surgeons), the ambulance guys (who each need a medal) who kept me laughing through awkward and often painful trips to the hospital, all the support staff who’ve kept the neighbours wondering, the lovely neighbours themselves who kept everyone smiling and would send up treats and flowers. I could go on, but you get the picture. My support system is still strong and help has come from all sides, often unexpected too.
On to the next chapter…. :)