With my haemoglobin count being low last weekend, I was asked to have extra blood tests this week, so on Monday I set off slowly to the hospital. I wouldn’t say I felt ill, but I was definitely low on energy, short of breath, had aching muscles all over which had kept me awake a little the night before, my face was starting to resemble that of a teenager starting puberty and my hair was coming out all over the place.
Yay!!!!! Good morning world and a great start to the week 🙂
I made my Green Smoothie, took loads of supplements and set off uphill to the bus stop. I felt like I was dragging myself along or as one of the nurses, Alison calls it, walking through porridge, but it’s not a long walk. Once the bus stops at the main road it’s another 13 minute walk to the hospital and on that stretch I was wondering if I should cancel my afternoon plans. Sophie and I were scheduled to buy a wig, so I had one ready in case things escalated. I fancied the idea of getting into bed rather, as every move felt like such an effort, but I immediately told myself to push through.
At the hospital, the nurse took bloods, did a picc line dressing change and while she was busy we chatted about her dog Woody and hair loss. Dee advised me to perhaps not act too prematurely in case it stops falling out and as it’s falling out evenly, you can’t see a difference. There is just no way of telling how things may go. She gave me perfect advice.
I actually had a wonderful hairdresser of Jens on standby to either give me a pixie cut or the shave this week, so I contacted Fraser to tell him that he was off the hook, for now.
I sent Sophie a message to check on our plans, but her day had changed so we rescheduled, which meant I had the afternoon free.
I decided to pop into Natural Health North Finchley, which is the health shop that I’ve been going to since my diagnosis. It’s a great store filled with so much goodness, including the people who run it. It’s a beautiful thing to connect with people, especially like-minded people. I walked into the shop and we all greeted one another with big smiles. I haven’t seen them since I started chemo. Jay has been following my blog which is really awesome of him. We had a catch up about a few things while I was browsing around collecting supplies. Whenever I’ve needed any input about supplements, body products or foods, Jay and Erdi have bent over backwards to provide the best advice to support my own research and choices. I’ve learned so much from them both and really appreciate their generosity of spirit and support. I feel like I’m a part of a little community of people here in London, all looking out for one another, which really makes me feel taken care of and inspired to be here.
I had a few other things I needed to get and Jay had told me that I should pop over the road and go through a little alleyway that I hadn’t seen before, to get one of the items on my list. I left Natural Health and walked slowly through the alleyway. I didn’t know it yet, but I was about to discover something wonderful!
I’d been looking for the right gift for someone very dear to me and as I opened the door I knew I was about to find it. Marissa greeted me straight away and wasted no time in explaining the lay-out of her magical treasure trove called ‘Recycled Inspirations.’ I knew this wasn’t going to be a quick browse, as everything I laid my eyes on was calling for my attention. I had nowhere else to be, so I put my backpack down in a corner and continued walking around the shop, with Marissa as my tour guide. She was aware that I was looking for something specific and led me to the perfect display cabinet, so once I’d chosen each item carefully we continued bonding. She asked if I was South African and as it turns out, she was born in Johannesburg. What a lovely realization and what an incredibly special lady she is. She even gave me beautiful healing crystal as a gift. I left on a high with an even stronger sense of community that was growing by the second 🙂
Tuesday arrived and I was expecting a delivery from a very special friend who had messaged me on Friday offering support if I needed it. Specifically, she wanted to send me some meals to “make things easier for me”, she had said. How incredible!! I sometimes marvel at the timing of things because this wonderful gesture came in the week that I would be at the house alone, which meant I wouldn’t have the luxury of home cooking thanks to Jen or Jono. It also came in the week where I was actually feeling quite vulnerable and exhausted so I accepted the help. Lara’s message to me mentioned sending a “little parcel”, but what arrived were several parcels which included healthy vegan pastas, organic soups, fresh juices and she’d even thrown in a tub of organic vanilla ice cream, organic biscuits and Green & Black’s Organic dark chocolate collection!! I felt like a giggling child as I unpacked it all and lay it out on the kitchen counter. I called her straight away to thank her. Lara Bunting, you are an absolute angel to have spoiled me this week with your thoughtfulness and care and your request for me to “lean in” if I needed any help. I certainly did need help this week and I am so grateful for you.
Tuesday was definitely the highlight of the week. After the food delivery, Sophie and I had a lovely catch up and browse around ‘Crisis’ which is an awesome charity shop across from the wig place. We went to collect the wig we’d chosen weeks ago only to discover it wasn’t in stock, but clever Sophie spotted an even better one from across the room, so now I have a gorgeous brunette wig, thanks to you Sophie. See you now now!!
Back at the hospital this morning (Wednesday) for more blood tests to see how I’m doing before chemo tomorrow and the possibility of a blood transfusion is still being mentioned as I’m probably at my lowest in terms of symptoms and the haemoglobin count is climbing very slowly. Despite the fatigue, I decided to walk the entire trip back to the house and leave the bus altogether. I honestly think it’s the best idea to challenge yourself and push through, even when you feel you may be at your lowest. The walk home was invigorating.
I am now resting in bed and the plan for the day involves good eating, thanks to Lara, maybe a nap and hopefully lots of writing. I’m trying to keep momentum with these blogs, but sometimes the day takes me in the opposite direction.
Let’s see what the rest of the week holds, but so far, this week has surpassed my expectations and increased my sense of “belonging.”
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” – Helen Keller