Posted by: glenswatman | August 12, 2012

20120801-10 Getting in training for a cruise

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WEDNESDAY 1 AUGUST – I have a nasty feeling in the night that the meds the hospital suggested will clash so at 6.30am am on the phone to Claire who says Dad only took one lot anyway and will confirm it all with his Doctor. I get to know the ladies on my ward and find out Nicola used to live in the house at the back of ours. I manage a good breakfast of juice, coffee porridge and toast and throughout the morning the relieve me of my attachments. Mr Porter calls back in and asks me to confirm what he told me yesterday after the op and asks for questions. I explain about Steve possibly having a transplant end August or end of September and he says that I would be well enough to cope with either of those dates and he doesn’t want to see me for about 6 weeks. A physio talks me through exercises and do’s and don’ts and for once I will toe the line as I need to get well for Steve. The catheter is the last thing to be removed after which I must do 3 “wee’s” before I can go home, think I push my luck as the first one at 10ml doesn’t count! By the time Steve arrives at 2pm I am able to walk up and down the corridor alone and feel pretty good, the hardest thing being manoeuvring in and out of chairs or the bed. Steve sees the sister to ask about my discharge procedure and comes back and says it won’t be until tomorrow. All the ladies on my ward confirm that I have been told more than once I am well enough to go home today and luckily when I track sister down there is another nurse with her who has heard the same. She says it is unusual as I didn’t get back on the ward until later afternoon but accepts the decision. A couple of hours later they have me signed out and armed with a prescription for Steve to collect. It’s good to be home and I have an hour’s rest in bed before Claire arrives. She cooks us all chilli pasta and tidies everything before leaving us for the night. Steve seems much better; think a combination of the change in drugs kicking in and me being home and well. He says he has made the decision and will go for the transplant.

THURSDAY 2 AUGUST – We are both late getting up, it’s quite an effort but I make it before Steve. I’ve only taken a couple of paracetamol in the night and that was for my throat which is really raw, probably from the tubes. I feel well enough to shower myself (how can a general anaesthetic make your hair feel so terrible) and dress and as yesterday only really have problems getting myself settled down. I do have fears of being constipated and having dosed myself up with laxatives feel relieved to get over that hurdle. Really can’t believe how well I am, reckon Mr Porter must have taken extra care with me. I must say I am not overly impressed with his description of the bikini line scar, now I know I’m a Grandma but he must be expecting me to wear seriously large Granny style bikini bottoms. I take the odd nap during the day and Steve watches Olympics. I cook and Steve does the washing up so we are making a pretty good team.

FRIDAY 3 AUGUST – Another shocking night for me with headaches and hot sweats, well at least it take my mind of my operation. Late morning we manage a slow walk around the Tarn before visiting Keith & Sandra who have just come back from 6 weeks in Cyprus. After a soup lunch Keith takes Steve over to Bradford for his lung tests at St Luke’s then line flush at BRI. I stop and chat to Sandra whilst we are entertained by her 2 grandchildren Zara 4 and Ryan 11 months. Luckily I have a good excuse to go upstairs for an hour’s nap. Steve & Keith time their return just before Adrian arrives to pick up the kids. Sandra cooks us a tasty evening meal and after watching a bit of the Olympics we head home.

SATURDAY 4 AUGUST – Wish I could get my headaches sorted out, they are at their worst at night when I am lying down and last night I sat up for half an hour with the Tens machine on which helped a lot. Poor Steve is getting deprived of sleep as I shuffle around and break out in hot sweats. Steve is feeling sluggish again and I have just got him out of bed to get the bedding in the wash when Claire texts to say she won’t be round to put the washing out until early afternoon! I get a surprise delivery, a whopping bunch of Next flowers from Pete & Carol. Claire does a great job doing cleaning and anything else I can’t manage and just as she leaves Mom & Dad call in for an hour.

SUNDAY 5 AUGUST – We get up late and have a quiet morning with Steve watching lots of Olympics. Stan & Judy arrive in the afternoon. They have come from Birmingham in their motorhome and have stopped to see us en route to their daughter in Leeds. They are an amazing couple and for their 50th wedding anniversary in October have booked a trekking trip in Nepal. Sadly their travels are curtailed as Judy’s 97 year old Mum needs help, even sadder is the fact that her Mum has no quality of life and doesn’t want to be around but her body keeps going. As usual we head up to the Tarn where we easily do 2 laps at a reasonable pace. I feel I could walk at normal pace but am still happy to hang back with Steve. After Stan and Judy leave we do a bit more reminiscing about all the different times and places we have been with them, including Africa when they travelled with us for 5 weeks.

MONDAY 6 AUGUST – In the afternoon Steve visits the physio at The Oaks. Its good news as Richard is sure it is not a frozen shoulder but a small tear in the rotator cuff which should respond well to exercise. He gives it a quick start with some ultra sound massage. Keith & Sandra pick us up for a drive out to Coniston Hotel near Skipton. There’s a wedding going on, not surprising as it is a stunning location and quite a posh place. We sit in the Huntsman’s Bar with panoramic windows and a 4 sided open fire that would be terrific in the winter. Whilst the others share a plate of biscuits with their drinks I splash out on a trio of lemon desserts and they are delicious. We check out the menus and will probably come back another day for a lunch, not cheap but it looks very nice. Steve is feeling so well that when we get back and Sandra invites us up for tea we do just that. It almost seems that Steve finds it hard to motivate himself but once he gets going he is pretty good.

TUESDAY 7 AUGUST – I’m up early as the man is due between 8 and 12 to fix the bathroom sink. I make good use of the time cracking on with some cooking. I get a call around 10am to say he won’t be coming, on his last job he fell down a hole whilst carrying ladders and is injured. I’ve been checking dates in my diary and we have a gap of 2 weeks at the end of the month with no appointments or commitments. As Steve is not having any different treatment I can see no reason why we shouldn’t go away for a holiday so check out options and insurance and find we can get cover with All Clear Travel. I phone up BRI for advice. I’m almost surprised when I get a call back saying that Dr Ackroyd is happy for us to go off on a cruise to Iceland, his main concern being insurance which I have got covered. He feels the slight risk involved would be outweighed by the benefits physically and mentally and as a precaution will take Steve off the medications that lower his immunity. I now set to work getting the best price on the Fred Olsen 12 day cruise on the Boudicca which goes to Iceland, Faroe Islands and Norway from Newcastle on Sunday 26th. Adventure travel has the best deal at £852pp for an outside cabin. I also check out tours, parking and other things that need to be tied in and finally when Claire comes round in the evening she double checks the insurance. Claire has arrived with Daniel, Natasha and Azura so we have quite a hectic couple of hours and also fit in a game of cards. The kids have got their animal suits on so Claire has to piggy back them to the car which looks hilarious considering Daniel is so much bigger than her!

WEDNESDAY 8 AUGUST – After letting Steve sleep on the cruise idea he says he is definitely up for it so I get it booked and then cancel our trip to the Bristol Cancer Centre which was at the same time. Declaring his leukaemia and ongoing treatment his insurance premium is £159 which is not too bad all things considered. We drive to Silsden and Steve manages a 1 mile walk up behind the village and even follow it up with a short trip to ASDA. It feels really nice to have something to look forward to with the cruise and it will double up as an early anniversary and Steve’s birthday present.

THURSDAY 9 AUGUST – Summer is here so I do some washing and Steve puts it on the line, I do make sure all the shirts and things are on hangers first as his idea of hanging out the washing is a bit different from mine and everything ends up needing ironing! At Riddlesden we walk along the canal admiring the many waterfront gardens of the houses. Steve does really well and I reckon we cover the best part of 2 miles in about 50 minutes.

FRIDAY 10 AUGUST – When Steve is having his Hickman line flushed I make notes and pay special attention as I will have to do it for him whilst we are on the cruise. Dianne suggests that on our next visit I do the job whilst she watches over. On the way back we stop at do the walk to Chellow Dene reservoir. Again we must walk about 2 miles and Steve copes well. In the evening we drive over to Saltaire. Netty & Ian are staying in Bradford overnight and we meet at The Old Tram shed for a meal. It’s a really nice restaurant with high ceilings and a gallery and that is where we sit. Going out like this is really nice as we feel “normal”, that’s not to say we ever were. We have a good chat and a few laughs. Steve copes really well for about 1 ½ hours until the place fills up and gets pretty noisy. We head home leaving Ian & Netty to stay for a drink.



  1. Oh Steve and Glen…sounds as if you are going to have a wonderful trip..soooo pleased for you both after all you have been through this year.We were just talking about you last night with friends in Alicante who are visiting the city. They always enjoy El Campello that brought us on to talking about you of course!
    I do enjoy reading your blogs although obviously you are having some really tough times…and I am impressed with your positivity throughout Glen..well done you!
    Anyway- we too are loving the Olympics- and in the heat it is an ideal way to spend a few hours infront of a fan!
    Love to you both!
    A and B

  2. Hi Glen & Steve…Great to hear that you are both on the move. Can’t believe you won more medals than us in the Olympics. We are currently watching the closing ceremony while writing this so have to get back to see the reat. Take care and have a good cruise. That 51 nighter that you sent me is very tempting, what great value. Love Ken & Kay

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