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  • Lewis

Part Fourteen: Radio Silence

Updated: Oct 12, 2020

It has been a while, so I thought it to be incumbent of me to provide an update on the latest. I have been “shielding” myself over the last three weeks, only venturing out for a run through the countryside, where I won’t have any social contact with a friend, foe or anthropoid.

It’s tough, as I am sure every one of you with a social conscience will understand. The 23 hours you spend per day in the house is enough to drive anyone up the wall and put your mind onto incongruous thoughts. Just imagine what a stint in Solitary Confinement is like…

I received my letter from the former CMO a week last Saturday, telling me that I fall into an “at-risk” group and not to leave the house for twelve weeks. At the same time, I received a letter from the Beatson, informing me of an appointment in mid-May to see a “Professor” (Very fancy…) about the requirement, or potentially lack thereof, for Radioactive Iodine treatment as a belts and braces approach to the thyroid issues. Having spoken to several who have been through this, I am all for it - it doesn’t make you ill like chemotherapy and is very successful.

My first appointment with the Clinical Psychologist was on Wednesday, albeit over the phone. Until this, I didn’t understand just how good it is, and how much I needed only to lay my thoughts and feelings upon someone. We agreed on several strategies that I’ll try out over the next few weeks to see if they prove to be of any benefit. I am more than hopeful and encouraged. At this point, I would like to express the gratitude I have for both the Teenage Cancer Trust and Maggie’s centres up and down the country who do sterling work and make it so easy to access such services...An obligatory side note, if you are struggling, try to get help - in my humble opinion it makes you feel so much better and your thought process a great deal clearer, well it has a for me anyway.

Today the Haematologist Registrar called for my bi-monthly check-up again over the phone—a short and reassuring conversation. Blood counts are recovering and a sprinkle of reassurance around this lump on my neck that it is nothing to lose sleep over. It still frustrates me, just because it’s there and it is an unknown. But, as a lot of you tell me. I need to control the controllable, and this is as right a place as any to start.

My Birthday was a few weeks back, and as usual, lockdown or not it was spent drinking copious amounts of alcohol. It was a nice milestone, one that seemed so distant only four weeks ago. I hosted a Facebook fundraiser, and it took off! I was not expecting so much generosity - so a thanks goes to all those that donated. Especially in the current climate of financial uncertainty.

From the above and recent posts, it may not seem it, but I haven’t had much contact with the hospital over the last month or so. Compared to the usual anyway. Getting used to this delayed frequency of communication, it feels like radio-silence sort of - it is difficult, especially with all the little niggly worries that you could just run past someone when you were at the hospital so often. However, it is useful in a way - hopefully breaking free from the shackles of the system after so long.

Anyway, after that whistle-stop tour and in the spirit of radio communication. Over and out.

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