Posted by: glenswatman | January 11, 2012

201201 SPAIN ENGLAND

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201201

SUNDAY 1 JANUARY 2012 – We’ve arrived in another year and hope this one is better than our last one which had a few more downs than ups but first we have to get Steve back on his feet.  This morning he has the first signs of hair loss with a number of loose strands on the pillow, the nurses will shave it off soon so that it doesn’t keep dropping in his food.  I head back to the campsite after lunch and catch up on all the New Year E-mails.  In the evening Couchsurfing friend Marian calls round with her new boyfriend Thierry and we have a lovely time chatting.  Thierry comes from Lyon and has brought a huge bag of chocolates from there and they are delicious eaten after we have had some cheese and wine.  Marian has secured the job in London and flies over on 15th January which is great news.

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MONDAY 2 JANUARY – I get full 7-hours sleep and feel great. .  Steve calls and says they are going to send the “bottom inspector” to check out the option of forcibly removing Farmer Giles with a knife attack.  They also say his white blood cell count is coming up which is good news. I begin preparing for my trip to England.  Having sold the motorhome I am taking the opportunity to ferry some things back.  Although it is nice and sunny there are strong winds today making it unpleasant sitting out.

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TUESDAY 3 JANUARY – I return to the hospital for a day visit.  Around lunchtime we get a text from Sandra & Keith to say they are parked up nearby in their motorhome (we met when Steve was ill and we were free camped next to each other).    I walk over and sit with them for coffee and cake and hear about their Christmas on a campsite in Benidorm.  Keith pays a visit to Steve and they have an interesting chat.  Steve’s feeling so much better that he stays out of bed all day and we play Scrabble and cards.  Late afternoon I head home and have a quick nap before heading out for the evening.  Marian arrives with her friend Elisa who speaks good English and used to work in London.  Tonight Marian’s boyfriend Thierry has invited us all to his home for a French meal.  Elisa’s boyfriend Carlos join us and they all make me feel really welcome and either talk in English or immediately translate.  The quiche that Thierry has cooked is delicious.  Elisa makes me laugh when she says she lost her first job in England through not understanding about British punctuality and arriving 5 minutes late on her first day at work to get the sack.  It’s wonderful to have such kind new friends and I also get chance to learn more about life in Spain.

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WEDNESDAY 4 JANUARY – I clear right through the garage and pack some of the things we can use in the future.  I’m flying back with Jet 2 and they give you free 22kg baggage allowance so I might as well make use of it.  It’s a hot day so lugging it all to the hospital is hard work as I have to wear my thick jumper and fleece as the bag is full.  Steve is really perky and moving around easily.  Someone comes into the room talking about the blood bank and we finally click that she is asking for donors but I explain my blood is no good.  Wonder if they do this on a regular basis as it seems like a great idea to catch people spontaneously.  At 8pm they come in to take blood which is very unusual but it seems it is in preparation for treatment tomorrow.

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THURSDAY 5 JANUARY – I’m heading off later for 9 nights so make sure we have a nice long cuddle before the nurses disturb us.  It’s all go this morning as the Doctor comes round and asks how Steve is feeling.  When he replies that he is really well the Doctors says he won’t be for long as he is going to have another lumbar puncture this morning then chemo.  First the chemo bags arrive along with an extra one to combat the expected nausea.  The lumbar puncture goes really well, is less painful and much quicker than before.  After this procedure you have to lie still on your back otherwise you get a headache and a lot of pain later.  We watch some of the old “Fools and Horses” until it is time for me to leave around 3pm.  I tell the nurse I am going to be away but our daughter is arriving on Saturday and she says they will look after Steve. I have to change buses then notice a sign in the bus stand saying because it is 3 Kings Day the buses will stop running at 3.30pm, it’s 3.25pm now.  By sheer luck the one I want is due in 4 minutes and this takes me to the bus station.  En route the opposite side of the main road is cordoned off and rows of chairs lined up ready for the parade.  When the procession comes through sweets are thrown out at the children.  Today they also eat a special ring shaped cake that has gifts hidden inside. I connect with the Costa Azul but towards Cartagena, €5.05 (£4.25) to Punta Prima just south of Torrevieja.  It takes about 1 ½ hours to get there.  En route Steve’s Doctor Matt Curtis from England phones to see how Steve is doing and says we must let him know if we are heading back to England and he will get everything prepared ready.  John & Shirley pick me up and we return to “Casita Winton”, the name they have given their bungalow.  I’d mentioned I wanted to take them out for a meal but they have already cooked a beef curry and it is delicious.

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FRIDAY 6 JANUARY – It’s a gorgeous morning so we christen the new patio furniture and sit out to have breakfast.  Pam & Dave pop round with their new puppy dog “Baby”, some sort of terrier and she is brilliant, really good and lots of fun.  John & Shirley drop me at Murcia airport and I head to check in, only to find they want £30 for my bag.  At the time of booking I was offered free 22kg baggage allowance but because I refused it then I must now pay.  I leave the desk and try to phone John & Shirley to ask them to come back to take the books etc from me but their phone is not on.  My only alternative is to try and wear as much as possible, stuff heavy things in the pockets and hope that having condensed the rest of the stuff into 1 bag it is not overweight. A family see my distress and assure me Jet2 never weigh bags so long as they look the correct size, phew.  It is backbreaking work trying to carry it looking like it is a light bag but it works and I make it on board.  The seats are plastic with thin foam covering but comfy enough and plenty of leg room.  The flights lands on time in ENGLAND at Leeds/Bradford airport.  Mick can pick me up in about ½ hour but asks me to walk down to the main road.  I check with him that it is not far as I have heavy baggage.  Stood at the roundabout in the icy cold wind and rain is not pleasant especially when Mick doesn’t show up.  Eventually I get a phone call, I’ve walked further than he expected as he meant the main airport road and he drove past and ignored me as I only had a small bag and he took heavy baggage to be big bags.  No matter he takes me home where Lisa and I say a tearful Hello then settle down to chat.  Claire arrives and it’s tissue time again.  On the way home we do a big shop at ASDA.  Claire suggests I have a go at driving after that, I find vision is difficult (I know I have clouding on one eye which I want to get checked) it is raining and controls on the wrong sides so often get hooted for turning without indicating but make it back with the clutch just about intact.  The kids are at Daz’s so Claire goes through their weekly routine with me then I brief her for her visit to Alicante.

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SATURDAY 7 JANUARY – We pick the kids up from Daz’s; they both seem to have shot up again.  Driving in the day is much less of a problem and any mistakes I can make on being a “Granny”.  Steve calls to say we need to get some planning done.  This morning the Doctor told him the blood tests showed cancer free and he should be leaving hospital on Monday.  We speak about 10 minutes later and the nurse has brought in 3 more bags of chemo and told him it is the “ultimo” last.  Natasha does a great job baking a giant cupcake to use as a birthday cake for Netty and Daniel makes 2 enormous baked pasta dishes. Mom arrives, Dad is in respite this week, and is delighted with Steve’s news.  Shortly after Mum, Netty and Ian drive up in Mums car.  Mum is looking very well although obviously in pain with her sciatica, Netty looks very slim and fit with all her running and Ian has also lost some weight.  By the time the dinner is ready Richard and Azura have arrived so it is a real houseful.  Netty is delighted with her cake and it tastes really good.  Claire heads off after lunch with Richard taking her to the airport. I take Mum down to look at Moms place then everyone else leaves and an hour later Natasha is picked up by her friends Mum.  They are going to the rugby club for a presentation and I had hoped to take Natasha but am wary of driving at night until I get my eyes checked.  Daniel and I stay in watching TV and Internetting.

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SUNDAY 8 JANUARY – I get up early to text Claire with important things for the hospital, stuff like get medical notes for UK.  She tells me they have just had breakfast but Dad still has a bad headache which the paracetamol drips are not curing.  When Natasha gets dropped off at 11.30am she is proud to show me here swimming trophy and shield and then tells me Daniel should have been woken up.  They enjoy sausage and real roast potatoes for lunch and are no trouble at all.  I tackle the ironing mountain knowing there will be more once the stuff on the radiators is dried.  Mid afternoon I take Natasha to Richards so she can go swimming with Azura.  When I get back I lie on the bed for a nap and next thing I know Richard is dropping Natasha.  Speak to Steve and Claire and although he still has a headache he sounds brighter and at least has been to the loo shedding one problem.  Claire has spent over 4-hours exploring Alicante in the warm sunshine.

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MONDAY 9 JANUARY – ­Whilst I have set my alarm for 6.45am I can see why Daniel gets up at 6.30am as he spends 15 minutes in the shower.  We breakfast on porridge and orange juice then set out on the school run at 7.15am.  Shock horror, someone has forgotten to turn the lights on and it is still really dark outside.  I start my day with a visit to the Doctors to get some blood tests done; there I bump into Debi Enright and her Mum Maureen who used to come into the shop.  I’ve been in touch with Debi on Facebook but it is still a surprise to have someone call out to me.  I feel my eyes are not up to night driving and want a test but can’t get an appointment until 3.30pm which is the exact time I should be picking the kids up.  Specsavers and Boots both charge £20 for testing and you can take your prescription to any shop to buy the glasses.  By luck Specsavers get a cancellation early afternoon.  The testing is very thorough and use computer gadgetry then manual testing.  All this reveals my left eye is -1.5 and has floater but my right eye is perfect.  Glasses with anti-glare lenses should make driving much better.  The basic glasses with lenses are £25 plus £30 for anti-glare coating so all up £75 to enable me to drive at night!  By the time I have driven off and picked up the kids the glasses are ready so great service.  The kid’s favourite meal is gammon with proper chips so I give them a treat.  Natasha does evening training over at Bradford and sitting there for the best part of 2-hours is so boring.  Get news in the evening that Steve has felt well enough to watch a movie and they may send him home tomorrow or Wednesday.

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TUESDAY 10 JANUARY – Having settled down to sleep before 10pm I am delighted not to wake until 6am.  I promised the kids I would make chocolate pancakes and ice cream but we have been so full after the dinners that it hasn’t happened so I do them for breakfast.  Speak to Steve who says good news is his headache is starting to recede; bad news is the Doctor says he will have mild chemo on Thursday, Friday and possibly Saturday this week so guess he isn’t going home.  I meet Mom & Dad at Fairish House for the luncheon club which is held each Tuesday.  For £4 they are served a dinner, dessert and coffee.  Today it is Yorkshire pudding, sausage, mash and veg followed by a really delicious pear and ginger trifle.  I then help out by defrosting Moms freezer and getting her some free books on her Kobo.  At Airedale hospital I front up for my gynae appointment expecting to have a hysteroscopy done.  There has been a communication problem and they have me down for a consolation in order to then book my operation under general anaesthetic.  I explain my circumstances and they manage to get the Doctor to agree to inserting a Mirena coil and doing a biopsy if I can tolerate the pain without any type of anaesthetic.  Given the options I grin and bear it.  The coil should help keep the endometriosis at bay and intermittent bleeding and I will return in 6 months for a further consultation to discuss options.  The test results will be back in 2 weeks and I can phone for details.  I then drive straight to Sandra and Keith’s.  Sandra gets me settled on the sofa stretched out with a hot water bottle and I soon begin to feel better.  Having managed to miss them on our last 2 visits we have lots to catch up on.  Poor Sandra has been diagnosed with diabetes and is still working with the Doctor at getting it under control.  They have a wonderful cruise booked next month going around Asia and Australia and lots of other trips planned for the year so it is great to see them packing so much in.  Sandra has cooked a tasty pasta meal and we continue talking until 10.30pm, how can 5 hours fly by so quickly.

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Responses

  1. Glen and Steve,
    Lovely and marveleous, Steve, you’r beeing discharged from the hospital and going home.
    Love from Klara en me, Henk


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