I have to thank a couple of people (who are highly unlikely to read this) who I travelled to the hospital with today, for making me think this matter through, and writing on it tonight. One was a fellow cancer patient (no, I dont know which), the other was a kidney dialysis patient, in her seventies. But no, this blog isnt about me, them, but a matter that they brought up in conversation. Children.
To be honest, even if my situation was terminal (which it isnt), I’ve at least had a chance of a life, and passed 60 years in life, and all that. Fine, in time, I have one issue requiring surgery I’d like to put right before death, but regardless, I’ve had 10 years of living fully as a woman, so it hasnt been a total waste. I also have known I’m Intersex for nearly 20 years, so all in all…
The first comment came from the dialysis patient, commenting on the fact that on her 3 trips a week to the hospital, its not her plight that affects her the most, its the young children that she sees receiving the same treatments as her that have more significance to her. Of course a certain Harlean Carpenter, better known as Jean Harlow died from kidney issues, long before dialysis, or kidney transplants!
Obviously we cancer patients dont share our treatment rooms with other people at the same time, but we do see people of all ages in the waiting rooms, waiting for their treatments. I have to say I havent actually seen any children in my time, on visits, but the other man had. And yes, it does makes you realise that however long I have, at least I’ve had a decent length of life. Thats not to say a percentage of these children, in both groups wont do so, but not all will, thats for sure, sadly.
OK, lets finish more positively. Firstly, when I’ve finished my treatment, and had refreshments afterwards (not allowed to eat for 4 hours beforehand) I report to the transport office to let them know I’m ready to go home. Depending on time of day, and other matters, this has varied anything between about 30, and 150 minutes before getting a vehicle to get me home. Today, well, about 5 minutes after sitting down to wait, I was called to vehicle! Yes, good timing, will probably never happen again, but…
The other thing, well I knew I’d get extra benefits for the cancer situation, but I assumed they would only pay it from September, when the diagnosis was confirmed, right? No, because I’d been unable to work since March, and it was related, I get the benefit back to then, wow! So, regardless of cancer worries, which could be a lot worse, my financial worries have definitely been eased. No, I’m not quoting figures, but lets just say I’ve a lot less worries now!
OK, video time. No, I dont think I’m young of heart, or much else now, but I thought the video would work for this, anyway.
As most of my regular readers would already know, I’m not a fan of the Royal Family. I know some say they bring in tourist money, though in truth, what they demand in payments from us in lieu of this probably level things up, if not a net gain for them? But anyway…
So, when I see Meghan Markle (or whatever she is officially now, Duchess of Sussex, seemingly?) moaning about the way the press focus on her, as a member of the Royal Family, I tend to lack for sympathy. Clearly, I do hate the blatant racism of some of them, much as I lack sympathy for the press when they show their transphobia too, but again, its a yoke that has to be borne with some, even if we shouldnt have to.
Therefore I assume it will surprise nobody that I had no plans to watch Prince Andrew’s ‘interview’ last night, as he tried to convince people that he wasnt a paedophile, lol. Let me say that whoever advised him that it would be a good idea (judging by social media) to do so, needs to be looking for a new job! Judging by comments, even by ‘Royal lovers’, it was a road crash, to put it mildly. So instead of convincing people of his innocence, all it seems to have done is convince people he is as guilty as anything. As for remembering he was in a Pizza Express in Woking, on a critical day, 18 years before, amazing memory, I dont think!
But if does damage to the whole Royal image with many, at least I’ll get something out of it!
As to hair today? Well, I washed my hair in the bath this afternoon, and for the first time, I really had noticeable hair loss in the treatment area. Nowhere else, but in that area, its now very obvious, but such is life? It would be less noticeable with a wig on, but when you havent got one on, due to wet hair, or has happened a few times, when I havent had chance to put it on due to early arrival of transport, well…? Carry on as things are, get the lot taken off, with which the wigs would fit snugger, but if I dont get it on in time…? First I think, but dont quote me on that! I might get feisty, lol?
OK, video time. You could say the hair loss is an expected sign of the times, so lets roll with a little bit of Belle Stars
To say its been raining heavily around here over the last 24 hours, and will supposedly stay that way until the middle of the night is to put it mildly. Seriously, even Noah might have been impressed by the amount of rain, but anyway…
To put it mildly, the journey to the hospital this morning took an interesting route, as my knowledgeable driver tried to avoid the chaos on the motorway to get me, and the other passenger in the transport ambulance vehicle to the hospital in a reasonable period of time. Even with her skills, it still took over an hour and a half, but anyway…
The traffic was chaos, partly because it was the very end of the rush hour, but mainly because of the large amounts of laying water we encountered on route.
After that, for a while, things happened normally (well, as normal as it can be at present) for me. My blood tests were fine, apart from a little dehydration (I drink too much coffee, not enough water, seemingly), the treatment went fine, but then…ah, getting home. Because of the weather issue, transport vehicles were a bit sparse, and it took, err, a considerable while to get home again. Alright, I requested transport at 12.15, got indoors about 3.40. Mind, apart from the last hour, that was spent sat at the hospital, but anyway…
To say there was laying water on the roads coming home would put it mildly, it was lake like in a number of places, in truth. But in the end…
Well, tomorrow marks 1/3 down, 2/3 to go, wow! Still, given that is still 21 more sessions at moment, well…
OK, video time. I did think of using Geri Halliwell’s version of this, but the last time I used one of hers, well, in no rush to repeat, lol. So, we’ll run with the Weather Girl original one instead!
To those who think that 1 video is one too many on the blogs, you’re going to hate me tonight. To those who think I need to include more videos, you’re going to love me, probably for 1 night only mind, lol.
Yesterday, as mentioned, I got the letter from the specialist confirming that the best option for this ‘old biddy’ was medical retirement, and I got the covering note from the surgery signing me off until the end of January, and these got sent off to work this morning. This afternoon, as planned, I got the call from the health experts at work, and strangely enough, they are now sending off a report stating the same thing. They asked all the right, and fine questions, I did the same with answers.
I’ll be honest, I’m glad its all settled, and has been done so in an amicable way too. It means I can put December 12th on the Diary (works Christmas dinner, for those who need to be told) as a date to look forward to, and I can also look forward to, in the New Year, after I’ve recovered fully, I can make a few plans for what I want to do in some ways, which those who know about the ‘other blog’ will get a few ideas on, later this evening.
There are 2 things that occur in my thoughts, one that I can probably deal with from this country, health permitting, and thats the transition step to full womanhood. I must admit I do wonder if its just one bit of manhood that needs to go, some think it probably is! The second is probably a lot more complex, and will require me to get to ancient wedding records in Los Angeles, to find out who Miss Clara Johnson became when she became Mrs Clara ? so I can follow her through a bit more. My suspicion is 1937 to 1939 is the period I’d need to look at, but no actual evidence, beyond the traceable end of her career in movie dancing in 1937, but given she was 32 by then, well getting on a bit for that role, lol…?
And no, I have no idea when I will feel up to that task at the moment! No time soon, I suspect, but I hope I will find her, lol. The other thing re her that now intrigues me is the cause of death at a youngish age. I always assumed lung cancer, as everyone smoked back then, but now, with what has happened to me, with the brain cancer, I do wonder if its a repeat of history, maybe? Just makes me more intrigued to track her down, in truth.
OK, videos time. All round one song, by OMD, ‘If you leave’, which ironically sunk pretty badly over here, but was one of their biggest in US. Probably because of ‘Pretty In Pink’, but anyway…
Lets start with a new video, only released today, that explains the events around that
Then, as its mentioned in here, the original video.
And lastly, a very, very rare live performance of the song
One thing I did after I’d got all my treatment appointments was to put them in my calendar on Google, as much so the others here who need to know, can always check them. Well…given that I have to be ready 2 hours before the actual treatment, as thats the earliest the transport vehicle should turn up, I planned to use that time as the start of the appointment period, so when I look at details, I know when I have to be ready by, and then add 2 hours for treatment time, until… Yes, you get the day when you forget to allow the 2 hours, and use the appointment time as the starting time, as I did today!
Therefore when, quite correctly, the transport vehicle turns up in the right period of time, someone isnt ready, because the time in her head is 2 hours out! Thankfully the driver got me to check the list, see I’d got it wrong, apologise, and get ready in about 3 minutes flat!
Then the irony kicks in. Because he arrived here about 20 minutes into the 2 hour period, and we left about 5 minutes later, I actually ended up arriving about an hour before my appointment time, such is life. Except that, about 15 minutes after that, I get called for my treatment, about 40 minutes early!
As is the way with such things, swings and roundabouts. Seems there had been an earlier accident on the motorway that would normally be used, which explained why my driver was sent off in another direction to get us (there was 1 other passenger) to the hospital. But yes, you’ve guessed it, a couple of accidents affected my journey home, so it took longer than planned. But such is life…?
Mind, the next few days, just a treatment doesnt seem to be the plan. Later today, a friend is bringing over the letter I can send off to work, to confirm I need medical retirement. Tomorrow, I get a phone call from the health people at work, so they can actually hear how busted my voice is, not much use for call centre work. Wednesday brings the first blood test to check on me, and Thursday, I get the results of that from nurses. Friday, as far as I know, just a treatment, lol! Mind, that is 8.30 in the morning, which means I have to be ready to leave here by 6.30, eek!
So yes, I might now generally be a redhead, but its clear I can still have blonde moments, lol.
Right, video time. Some might have worked out the video, though I’ve not been anywhere near a Fairground. But a live version, for variety
OK, strictly, apart from 1 day, my first job (2005 – 2009) up here in West Yorkshire was as a guy, and the second one (2009 – 2015) was as a guy too, for the first year or so, before I officially made the transition formal, but of course the last one (2016 – 2019) has always been as a woman, but hey, who’s counting? Especially as my initial coming out as a woman was in 2003, you could equally make a case that my actual working career up here in Yorkshire has been as a call centre girl.
The interesting thing about my 3 company career up here in Yorkshire is that not once have I actually written a letter handing in my notice. Twice I’ve been made redundant, once of my choice, once by the companies choice, and of course, after today, the third, and last will now end in medical retirement. Yes, the letter has now been sent off (though strictly will be collected by postman in morning) to work from the hospital, confirming that due to the cancer issue, and all that, the voice is no longer up to, or likely to be up to call centre work again. Thats even ignoring the 6 more weeks I would need off for radiotherapy, and chemotherapy, and the 4 – 6 week recovery period after that before I could even consider it, even if up to it, so…
Oh fine, with no disrespect to my current job (for a matter of a short period of time), I’m glad its all finally settled, and I can get on with getting better. To be fair, given the time I’ve been off work for (over 7 months now) through everything, they’ve treated me fairly, and barring setbacks, I’m looking forward to seeing some of them at least again on December 12th, for the works Christmas Dinner in Bradford (for which they are paying my transport, and meal) before the final goodbye. Given its the first ‘rest week’ post treatments, it should be fine, but never assume…
But yes, my Occupational Therapist told me today that I need some positive targets for post treatment, even now, and that will be the first of them, so…
Also of benefit today, the Social worker working for hospital/McMillan has taken all the PIP paperwork out of my hands, will arrange the disabled bus pass, and the thing I need to get the disabled car pass, which is all a great help. So now, on to Thursday, the meet the team (and machine) get together, and then on Monday, we get down to the serious business, with the start of radiotherapy, and chemo tablets. Hard to gather now that 2 months ago I didnt even know I had a cancer tumour growth! And now, so far forward…
Hard to believe that tomorrow is the penultimate weekday entirely at home for the next almost 7 weeks, the other being Friday. No, I dont expect to want to see Leeds again for a while after all that, lol!
The other amusing fact from today refers to hair. Through my life as a woman, I dont think I’ve ever deliberately worn my hair lower than back of my neck. So yes, today, I wore the wig to the hospital that drops below my neck. And yes, its taken a bit of getting used to, but I’m just beginning to get there now, and quite like it. I admit that Thursday, I plan to either wear, or at least take with me the silver wig, just because it seems a fun thing to do on the last day at a hospital before the treatments begin, the serious stuff! Whether I wear the silver Lycra bodysuit under street clothes, well…?
OK, video time. A joking comment at the 2 companies that made me redundant, even if I dont really feel that hard (at this point) about their decisions.
Ah yes, timing is a wonderful thing, or the opposite, just maybe?
The last 2 years, in the baseball playoffs, my team of sorts, the Los Angeles Dodgers have taken me all the way to the ‘final’ of the playoffs, then managed to lose at that point. But yes, they got there at least.
So fine, this year, yet again they have clearly the best record in their half of the baseball league, so hopes raised again, and all that. Except that the final in the National Division, to decide who plays the winner of the American Division is, err, St Louis, and Washington.
Basically, all season long, for 162 games of regular season, the team managers have a system that they work to. You have a team of 5 starters (though obviously injuries, and form can change who they might be), and when they are either having a bad day, or when they have thrown their designated number of pitches, they switch to the pitchers who are selected to finish the games for their teams. Simple logic, OK? Especially with a team like the Dodgers, who generally have a good group of pitchers to finish off the games.
Then you get to the playoffs, and simple logic goes straight out the window. You have all these people used to pitching in the late innings, so you turn to someone who started a game 3 days earlier (and had an exhausting cross country flight in between) instead of them. Yes, it went wrong, of course. Then, for a reason best known to the manager, after that, he doesnt go with one of the better later pitchers, he picks one of the worse ones, he gives up 4 runs in 1 innings, and out go the Dodgers.
No, it wont stop me watching some of the playoffs, though mainly the next day, as most of the games now will be night games in the US, in other words, the middle of the night for me. Its actually been a funny playoff season for me of course, after the last few weeks of the regular season, because I’ve actually missed so much of it with hospital time. But put it this way, however many wigs I end up getting (4 is current plan), none will be in Dodgers blue, lol
Right, video time. Getting back to the old system, there is quite a clue in the blog title
To be honest, its worked out for the best that I had the taxi drive home from hell yesterday afternoon, which meant that all I wanted to do yesterday evening was have an evening watching baseball (though sadly the Dodgers lost, after I’d gone to bed), and not writing up blogs, as I can now cheat, and cover 2 days of news in one blog.
Oh, the taxi driver, no wonder the NHS funds are needed, because he cheated the route home so much, that fare must have been nearly double what it needed to be, but anyway. I was going to report him to Leeds City Council over it, but unsurprisingly, given everything now, I cant remember his licence number, so sadly he will now get away with it, but anyway…
Yesterday afternoon was the day the plan got sorted out, and signed off. I also delighted myself by finding out my walking distance without hurting myself, is getting better, though we are still talking in terms of about 100 yards, than London Marathon stuff, lol. Still, Occupational Therapy in Leeds on Friday morning will hopefully see a bit more improvement too. Other than that, a bit of Speech Therapy help to be arranged, not because words arent right, though still faint, more down to the fact that I have a dribble issue at moment, though even that seems far less today, good news. Other thing is a Social Help contact, to sort out things like Disabled Bus pass, postal vote stuff,and the letter I need so that work can take the last step for medical retirement process. But as that couldnt be done before I agreed plan yesterday afternoon…
Plan is to start Radiotherapy in about 3 weeks time, for a period of 6 weeks, 5 days a week. Some might be shrewd enough to notice, that the exact start date is going to mean it might be over just before Christmas/New Year period, or just after, no guarantees either way, but holiday period, no treatments anyway, quite rightly. I will be doing Chemo tablets too during this period, and then do a few more of those in the 6 month period that follows too, but only a handful or so. I’ve been told that I need to allow about 4 weeks after that to get over the treatment, and then about a couple more weeks or so before contemplating flying or anything, all fine by me. Which in my eyes, gives me a probable date to do much at all as towards the end of February in likelihood. No promises on date, but it looks a fair date to me, with an anniversary on the horizon, March 15th, the first big seizure!
Just after the time, the lovely people at the guest house, sent me an email re the 3 nights that we never stayed there, saying the credit would stand for future use when I needed them. To be fair, I doubt they imagined it would take a year to get to that point, but it will. So, being the polite, and fair lady I am, I just asked if that date would still be fine to use it. Took about 20 minutes to get an email back confirming it would, so…Kudos to Pelham Lodge Guest House, Blackpool! No, Film Festival is later next year, but there is still the matter of the tram journey I never completed…
OK, end piece, got the call this morning, going to Leeds on Thursday afternoon to get measured for my plastic mask that will be used to direct the treatment to the needed area. Will also have CT, and blood test done on same trip, to give them the base settings they need pre treatment. As a few friends would know, I’d prefer a full face Iron Mask, rather than a positioned plastic one, but hey, its a start! Maybe the latter can follow post treatment, lol?
Right, to video now. One of my favourite groups of all time, one of their very early hits, live
OK, lets amuse a few at least, and confuse the rest of my readers, lol.
One of the things I was told to avoid this weekend was stress, especially politics, both sides of the pond, so clearly Saturday morning I was going to avoid the News channels. But yes, the Rugby World Cup is going on at the moment, and my Irish ancestry means I support the Ireland team when it comes to matters like this. And they’re supposedly one of the best at the sport currently, so even a game against the home nation, Japan shouldnt be an issue, or stressful, right?
Even less so when they quickly take a 12-3 lead, right? Thing is, someone, in their stupidly decided they could take the rest of the game as a stroll, oh dear. Thing is, Japan didnt get that message, got their way back into the game, and won 19-12 in the end! Dont get me wrong, I have no sympathy for Ireland, and in the end was glad Japan hung on for the win, they deserved it. As it proved, dont assume anything in life, just saying…
It may not prove fatal, as 2 teams get out of group, but a little bit too much ego, and then…
OK, video time. I know, yes, its back, lol. PS, singer is actually Scottish, but regardless