I read a post from a blog I follow - I'm Sorry For Cursing - about being thankful (seems a while since my post in a similar vein), it being Thanksgiving while I was in the Pilgrim Hilton.
Things I was thankful for in hospital:
That I'm confident and educated enough to speak up for myself when I wasn't getting what I thought I needed, unlike the more helpless patients in my initial 4 bed ward - all in their 80s.
An ensuite room to myself to get some rest essential for healing (and the nurse who suggested I have it when the previous patient died, rescuing me from Audrey's 10 minute wails of heeeeeeeeeeeelp pleeeeeeeeeeease, when all she wanted was some attention.
An ensuite room because of my toiletry needs.
Becky for taking me there, not freaking when I explained everything, feeding Alfie, removing any possibility of germs from rotting veg in my fridge and making trips to the sorting office in the snow. (Less thankful that you aren't tall enough or built heavy enough to bitchslapupsidethehead the twats we encountered up to 3am Monday morning, but you can't do everything I suppose).
Hayley for sending me books via Amazon since she lives in France, for being in touch daily to nag me out of self pity and for her son Reuben blowing me a kiss down the phone the night I came home - safe from his snotty germs.
My operation date only being delayed by one week (fingers crossed - 6th December).
Mum and her husband Peter driving over from Derbyshire twice with towels, toiletries, books, fruit and conversation.
The MacMillan nurse who came to see me and who will organise a hospice stay for me and ongoing hopefully some counselling.
Every nurse and HCSW (apart from brief encounters with those who just wanted to be nosy) who spent far too long chasing food instead of nursing.
Every nurse who spent time listening and passing me tissues, especially the sister on 7a, the four chemo nurses who came to see me (in particular the one who got me to 7a instead of rotting in M2)
The wonderful lady serving drinks who got me soya milk the very first time I asked if she had any "No, but I'll get you some!" without so much as a second thought.
Mr A, for swooping in and sorting it all out.
The Lone Ranger for ringing Mr A presumably at home to ask him to come and see me in the first place!
Mike for the vegan wheat free choc cookie in lieu of a missing nut cutlet meal the kitchen couldn't manage, the 2 bottles of WG cocktail.
Everyone who posted comments on Facebook (can't remember them all, but you know who you are obviously).
Katie for the chemo shopping delivered by Boston Tesco manager himself a couple of days before I was admitted - at least I got to eat the awesome (if wheaty) bread and still going cos I put it in the freezer, despite Becky having to get rid of the rest before it rotted :o(
Katie again for the gorgeous PJs which I must stop wearing so I can wash them for next stay - I didn't pack enough and the mags.
Jane for the DCI Gene Hunt/Chuck Norris quotes.
Maurice for the company on Sunday and the Sunday Wail (TV guide very useful) and telling me I look great despite evidence to the contrary. Sue for staying away with her germs, much as I'd have liked to see the whole family.
My ex husband for bringing my wonderful children for over 2 hours - I love every minute I see them, they cheer me up the way I never expected teenagers could.
I also wrote a list of highlights of the day, week, month, year, decade and my life in general:
Day: I was happy the day they stopped the injections of antibiotics which tasted like nail varnish in my mouth (administered via PICC slowly). The same day I had another visit from the MacMillan nurse.
Week: Mr A for getting me a plan and Sister B for chasing everything up and understanding a plan was the one thing I needed more than anything.
Month: The number of times I've seen my kids despite being unable to go to them.
Year: My 40th birthday, going to France in Izzy, Bec's Memorial. Bec's Memorial was beautiful and it confirmed my plans for myself in my head and my determination to Live Strong. Sept 4th when I last went out "with the girls", missing one badly but it was a great weekend, drugs excepted.
Decade: Finding out who my true friends are, including the ones I only met because we all have/had colorectal cancer. They, by our shared misfortune, understand in a way I don't want my other friends or family to know about.
My life: Having children so young. I will be leaving young adults behind, not small children. I know they have already become wonderful people. They are intelligent, thoughtful and independent (not always the best, but I think they have a better balance than I do). They know what the like doing, they have talents in totally different areas, but they both have a general direction. It may be hard for them, as it was for me trying to find work in the 80s, things seem rather similar, trying to survive. When I'm not here to support them, at least financially I can leave them some security to pursue what they want to do/pay off Uni debts or whatever.
This last one may seem upsetting, but it isn't, really. Leaving them behind even 3 years ago would have been too soon, damaged them too much and hurt my soul. As much as I want to see them settled in their own homes, both with families, if that's what they want, I will make it into their adulthood with them.
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