Posted by: glenswatman | November 21, 2012

20121111-20 Ups and downs

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SUNDAY 11 NOVEMBER – It’s no problem to do early visits at the weekend so Carol opts to drive me in and say Hello. It’s a really pleasant surprise visit for Steve and he is very pleased to see her. She leaves in time to get back to Newport before dark. Steve’s not feeling quite so well today but I manage the usual routine of the back massage and shower. There’s a TV in the room but it’s in the corner away from the bed and has no remote control and to top it off the picture keeps freezing. Steve could have the pay TV but is really not that interested, in fact he isn’t interested in very much at all at the moment. As usual I arrive at the platform as the train pulls away and then the next one is 10 minutes late (now why couldn’t the previous one have been just a minute late).

MONDAY 12 NOVEMBER – I pop to B&Q and pick up some kitchen and bathroom paint hoping to get the job done whilst Steve is in hospital. Sister says it is OK to visit from 1pm onwards whilst Steve is in hospital this time. I stay for about 4 hours and today Steve is feeling a little better and we play cards. The registrar has told him they won’t have the results of his stool sample or CMV test for a day or two but his ciclosporin drug level is now down at 153 which is good. In the evening I visit Lisa and family. We have a good catch up and she cooks a lovely dinner.

TUESDAY 13 NOVEMBER – Lisa and I head into Leeds and start on the “owl trail”. There are many owls all over Leeds in many shapes and forms, within badges, on fences and even on many panels of the amazing Leeds tapestry. We use my gourmet card to get 50% off lunch at The Northern Monkey, the place is a bit of a dive but the food is excellent. We head to hospital and Lisa stays for about an hour. Steve seems a little better but they are still running lots of tests.

WEDNESDAY 14 NOVEMBER – Sandra joins me for the trip into Leeds and after a bit of shopping we again use my gourmet card for a 2 for 1 lunch at Tiger Tiger. Arriving at the hospital Steve is not in his room and we learn he has been taken for an endoscopic biopsy. We leave a note asking him to phone us as we will wait downstairs. In the lift is a man wearing pyjamas but carrying bags of clothes. As he leaves the lift his diarrhoea becomes apparent as he leaves a trail as he walks along. Sandra reckons he is “absconding” so I head to alert a member of staff whilst Sandra follows him and reports he has gone into the toilets. By the time we come back from buying our drinks there is no sign of the man and the trail has been cleaned up. We sit down and enjoy listening to a guitarist who does request songs. He hones in on us and gets us joining in, much to our embarrassment. Steve calls and we return to find him back in bed. He’s had a negative stool sample so they needed to do the biopsy to find out if there are other underlying causes. The Doctor has told him that he will be in for about 2 weeks which has not pleased him. Sandra is really good at finding things to chat about but we have to leave when the clinical psychologist arrives to talk to Steve. She spends quite a long time with him and tells us after his feeling are common with a long illness like this but he is feeling it more due to the complete disruption to our lifestyle. She suggests my bringing in photos, audio books and other things that he can be distracted with when he can’t be bothered to read. Reckon some sort of Ipad type thing would do the trick. Back home I set about painting the kitchen and bathroom as I previously ran out of paint.

THURSDAY 15 NOVEMBER – Steve is much the same and nurse tells us his CMV is down to 4500 from 6900 so a bit to go. In the evening I catch the bus to Auntie Pamela’s. We chat for an hour before picking up Karen and going to the Toby Grill carvery where we are joined by Mike and Sarah. Auntie Pam has a voucher for free ice creams and also treats us to the meal. Next stop is Mike & Sarah’s house, a lovely big 4 bed detached with spare bedrooms full of Sarah’s clothes. Back at Karen’s I help her with a few things on the Internet, Skype and cancelling the Sky TV in Spain.

FRIDAY 16 NOVEMBER – Karen has to visit the solicitors before work and invites me to join her. At £600 you can see who makes the most money out of any divorce. Over in Leeds I enjoy a hand and shoulder massage at the Macmillan centre. Whilst chatting to therapist Linda it turns out she and her husband boarded the Boudicca ship after we arrived back in Newcastle. Steve is pretty weary but out of isolation so we take a walk around the hospital and sit in one of the lounges watching a bit of TV.

SATURDAY 17 NOVEMBER – Netty & Ian and call and pick me before heading into Leeds. Steve is allowed out of hospital over the weekend so long as he is back for his 6pm treatment so we pick him up. He tells us the Doctor says the 4500 count was from Monday and Thursdays test shows 500. They will do another on Monday and if it is negative repeat it on Tuesday with a view to sending him home. Just wish he felt a bit better in himself. Netty & Ian are staying at the Novotel tonight and we find the Lazy Lounge opposite has nice sandwiches for our lunch. Whilst Netty & Ian go shopping Steve & I make use of their comfortable room and Steve even has a bath. When they return we take Steve back to hospital then they drop me off at the Travelodge where I have 2 nights booked. We meet at Bella Italia on Briggate for a pasta meal followed by a big shared dessert. They then escort me back to my hotel.

SUNDAY 18 NOVEMBER – Today Claire, Netty & Ian are doing the 10km Abbey Dash. I walk to the library area and Claire, Richard, Azura and Natasha arrive soon after. Claire is quite nervous and has to disappear to find a loo. Ian & Netty arrive soon after and Netty also needs the loo. I’m really surprised when Catherine and her Mum & Dad arrive and I learn that they are all running as well. The runners are lined up in order of predicted finishing times and it is a about 5 minutes before we see our lot go past to begin the run. Whilst they are out running we go for a hot drink at Wetherspoons, its only 7C so quite a chilly morning. Karen is the first we see arriving back followed by Catherine then Claire just ahead of Netty & Ian all in less than 1hour which is brilliant. Richard has got a cold so won’t heads off with Karen & Azura and Netty & Ian say their Goodbyes leaving us to pick up Steve from hospital. At the Travelodge Claire has a shower whist Natasha and I nip out and bring back some hefty slices of chocolate cake. We are in China Town area and the Chinese restaurant is packed out and all the customers are Chinese which we take as a good sign. It is too busy for Steve but we are told we can sit downstairs which is much quieter and works well. Claire drops Steve & I back at the hospital where we sit in one of the lounges watching a movie. I stay until almost 8pm before returning to the hotel.

MONDAY 19 NOVEMBER – After 10am checkout I set off on more of the Owl Trail. There are 2 that I cannot find so will have to get some help another time. Lacking a tan I need to buy some good concealer to cover an “age spots”. Harvey Nichols is the posh store from London, complete with doorman, so I browse around there. Most of the expensive cosmetics don’t have price tags but a concealer at MAC is £14. It’s not perfect so I opt to keep looking. In Boots I find the cheap brands only have light, medium and dark shades but the No 7 girl suggests I try “benefit” brand. The girl is really helpful and I end up buying a mini kit with concealer, base layer, make up, blusher and brush for £25. Yates have special lunch deals on Monday at £1.99 so I tuck into a lasagne before heading to visit Steve. Dr Gilleece has been round this morning and is pleased with Steve’s progress but goes back to the original plan of CMV testing today and Thursday making Steve’s earliest escape Thursday night. It’s a cool rainy day so although he can leave the hospital it doesn’t seem worth it so we settle for a walk inside, including use of the stairs, then another movie watched in the lounge.

TUESDAY 20 NOVEMBER – A guy comes round about the free loft and cavity wall insulation but finds we already have both. We get a setback as Steve’s CMV counts have gone up to 1500 which not only a worry but will delay him coming home. Our afternoon hospital routine is now a walk around the Bexley Wing, watch a movie, massage, shower and now watching TV. Steve has finally accepted he is going to be in a bit longer so we have invested £35 for 10 days TV, have a feeling that football being on tonight had a bearing on the decision.



    Called on Marcia and Stuart the other day. They weren’t in but their neighbour informed us that Marcia had taken a turn for the worse a few days ago and was rushed to hospital…however, she is due out now- infact the door was open as I drove past earlier- will try to see them sometime soon!
    Keep keeping us ‘posted’. Enjoying the tips on cheap eating and makeup!
    Love from us both A and B

    • So sorry to hear about Marcia, hope they have got her sorted out. Please pass on our best wishes and tell her she is in good company as Timothy Spall had the same leukaemia that she has. Glen x

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