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  • Lewis

Part Six: The Realisation of Mortality

Updated: Oct 12, 2020

I must've drifted off listening to techno, somehow. Maybe I was dreaming of being in my favourite nightclub - you know where that is. Wareeeeehouseeeeeeeee (or whatever it's called this week.)

The day had arrived and with it so made the most horrible hospital dinner you have ever seen - I don't know what it was, but it looked like a cross between macaroni cheese and lentil soup...

It took until 3 pm to get me started on my chemotherapy. The first few hours passed uneventfully. I had loads of visitors to pass the time. A special shout-out to all the boys and girls that made an effort to come up and see me. Especially those that came up every day. It meant and continues to mean so much. Once everyone had left, for the first real-time in this whole experience - I had a breakdown. Not because I was sad, but because I am lucky. Now you wouldn't think someone at 19 diagnosed with cancer is fortunate, but I am, and I shall explain why.

The number of people that came to visit me throughout my stay in the hospital, the number of people who brought juice and sweets. The effort people put in to come up and see me, getting several buses, coming from far afield. People do care about me, and that is why I am lucky... You could be going this all on your own.

Due to the late start, I was hooked up on the drip until 11 pm - although, at 10:30, I felt horrendous. I couldn't battle nausea anymore; however, I did manage to get the sick in the sink. This happened another three of four times. Worryingly though it contained blood, the Doctor said that I would have cut my throat while watching and the next three bouts if sickness proved that, as I was throwing up dried blood which was a horrible black colour.

At this point, I suppose I should give you some background the chemotherapy regime escBEACOPDAC, but it is quite lengthy and complicated, so I will explain it in my next post which I have posted alongside this one.

The following day, I woke up after around four hours of sleep. I instantly started being sick and had peripheral neuropathy - this is pins and needles caused by the chemotherapy in your hands and feet. Mines was in my fingers on both hands. I felt so out my depth. This was probably the first time I thought, why am I doing this? Can I bear this? Will this work? It was at this point I realised that we are not immortal, mortality is a real prospect for each and every one of us - we will all die at some point, but I just hoped that this wasn't my time.

I phoned my mum. She came and sat with me all day, never once left. One of the only positives from this whole experience is mum and myself have become almost inseparable. She has not missed one of my appointments or treatments, and the debt I owe to her for this can never be repaid. That day I only managed to get out of bed to go to the toilet, but we managed to find an anti-sickness drug to stop me from being sick. As the night went on, I started to feel better and was paid a visit from an ex-teacher who happened to be in the hospital. Thankfully the chemotherapy I got that day didn't have the same effect as the previous days. I remember sitting watching "Supermarket Sweep" for the first time on the tiny hospital TV - it cheered me right up.

The next day, I got up and changed - sat in my chair and decided I was going to make every effort to get home. I felt a lot better, and I only had one prolonged infusion to get through, which would finish at 8 pm. The Doctor agreed that if I was ok, I could go home, and home I got. It was the small victories that helped get me through.

Remarkably, the day after I felt amazing - I was running about the house and even managed out for lunch. I felt like nothing had happened, which was very odd but bar the excruciating bone pain which lasted days 12, 13, 14 (similar to being booted in every bone in my body from my eye sockets to my little toe) it remained this way for the rest of the cycle. This allowed me to continue taking in several football games up and down the country. A highlight was being the match official's guest at Dens Park in Dundee for Dundee's game against Patrick Thistle - an enthralling counter spent with great people.

I would also like to put on the record; I got through this without eating one single hospital meal!

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