That difficult third post…


(ok, so I know the phrase is supposed to be ‘that difficult second album’ – but I’ve already written my second post, so it’s too late for that. And under the circumstances, I think I will allow myself the small pleasure of misappropriating the odd phrase for my own purposes)

So it’s been just over a week since my treatment. In terms of side effects, a few more came on over the weekend. Started to feel a little grotty Friday evening, and felt dead tired Saturday (and a little ‘not with it’ – not dissimilar to being hungover).

I was worried for a while I was developing a chest infection / fever – which would have been bad. I have a little yellow ‘this patient is on chemotherapy’ card from the hospital, which lists the circumstances under which I immediately have to go to A&E, including high temperature, flu like symptoms, etc, etc. I didn’t really want to go to A&E, not on my first cycle at least! But fortunately with some early nights and resting, it didn’t materialise into anything significant.

My back has been giving me grief over the last few days – as mentioned in my first post the lesion on my spine is giving me sciatic pains down both legs. Not sure what’s made it worse the past few days – I think I slept awkwardly Friday night due to not feeling well; or maybe it just seems worse as a result of being a bit more sensitive to pain in general the last few days (a chemo side effect I assume).

Sally has been amazing (as ever), doing the vast majority of the Saskia work (entertaining, changing, bathing, feeding of porridge, removing of porridge from nose, ears, eyes, hair, etc) while I rest to help my back recover. Hopefully it will improve soon and we can share the load a little more evenly.

All that makes it sound like the last few days have been terrible – which I should stress isn’t the case. On Friday the three of us had a lovely sunny alfresco lunch at ASK (courtesy of our Tesco Clubcard vouchers – guilt free lunch tastes even better). And I’ve even begun venturing back into social situations – met with some NCT (ante-natal) friends Friday afternoon, and spent some very enjoyable time with friends Saturday and Sunday.

The last few days have also brought more acts of kindness and generosity. We’ve had a hamper full of goodies, offers of financial support, been treated to lunch, and plenty more messages of support and goodwill. I also received a collection of Daniel Kitson (stand up comedian) material to watch – which is good and very timely, as over the last month I have exhausted Stewart Lee’s (another stand up comedian) entire back catalogue. My recent routine has been something like this…

Go to hospital, get told you have cancer… go home, watch a Stewart Lee DVD to take your mind off it…

Go to hospital again, get told your cancer is worse… go home, watch another Stewart Lee DVD to take your mind off it…

And so on…

I wonder what will happen if (or thinking positively, ‘when‘) I go to hospital and get good news? Perhaps I’ll feel the need to come home and watch a documentary about cancer, just to keep myself on an even keel psychologically.

Right, I think I will leave it there for now – thanks to all those who have viewed the blog so far, and sent feedback and messages of support as a result – it’s been very encouraging.

I think I will try to make the next post about Saskia, for a bit of a change / light relief. Going swimming with her this morning – should be fun.

P.S. If any of you want to receive blog updates automatically, there is a button near the top right called ‘follow’. Click here, enter your e-mail address, and it should e-mail you whenever I make a new post, to save you checking back and finding nothing new.


Filed under Battle with Melanoma

6 responses to “That difficult third post…

  1. Jacqui Miller

    Hi Ben
    Thank you for allowing us all to share in your life.
    Keep the positive going, we are all in this fight with you and are only thinking positive thoughts.
    Sheriff came into the office on Friday and said that he was inspired by what ‘the family’ were doing and thats what you all are – FAMILY.
    Tell little Sas that Auntie Jacqui has been on ebay – Sal will know what I mean. Will drop it all off next week, hope to see you then
    Love and prayers
    Jacqui xxxxx

  2. Dan Morse

    Hi Ben,
    Glad to hear the first round of treatment hasn’t knocked you for six. And amazing to hear about the responses you’ve had from such generous friends. Keep up the good work with the blog, we’re all rooting for the good news to come soon.
    Speak soon.

  3. Caroline Dormedy

    Ben you have such a good way with words, I even chuckled at the last post. It is wonderful to “hear” from you and get a sense of what is going on. We think of you and the ladies in your life (Delia too!) everyday. You are very brave and so glad you are positive about it all. Fighting and believing in recovery is wonderful. Hope we can all meet up together soon. (NCT lot!) big hugs.
    Oh and that last picture Sally send was just beautifulxx

  4. Janine Pommer

    Another fantastic post! Just to say it’s absolutely brilliant to have you back on the social scene, we have missed you very much. It’s great to see you looking so well too. Millionaires shortbread has remarkable medicinal properties don’t you know 😉 (albeit the belly ache side affect for those who also indulged in hot choc!) Love as always, the Pommer family xx

  5. Claire and Phil Leslie

    Here we are again logging in to see what our lovely, funny, inspirational nephew has to say – I say forget about accountancy, you have a real future in writing! Your attitude and your wonderful family are half the battle Ben.
    Loads of love to all of you and big hugs to Saskia xxxx

  6. june and colin

    hello ben,
    I was thinking about you this week! since i have started facebook my whole life has changed for the better..I finally got in touch with you and all the family in England. Its not easy when living so far away…and everyone so busy with there family and work etc… I hope to come and visit sometime this year…:)
    I have enjoyed reading your blog and will continue…I also wanted to say i like your attitude, reminds me of someone else i know!! Ok buddy, take care and i will be in touch again…
    colin and june xxxx

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