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Friday 22nd February



This is day 3 after my 1st Intravenous chemotherapy session. I also had to take chemo tablets yesterday and today . So far I have experienced no side effects whatsoever. Still, we have a long way to go and who knows what might be in store. It is strange how when you are aware that you have cancer you start thinking of your life in days. Days start to matter. You don’t know how many you might have left so you want to use them to the maximum. Hopefully my chemo treatment will turn my days to weeks, my weeks to months and my months to years. Before my chemo treatment had commenced I had done my research on the possible side effects and to be honest I was quite fearful on that first day. However, once I had been connected up to Freddie, (the name given to the machine that fed my drip by Nurse Ruth) my fears began to melt away. About 6 pints of this chemo stuff was being pumped in to me over a three hour period and it really felt like the cancer was being washed out of me. I like to finish each day with a pint or two of bitter and until 4 months ago these pints would have been accompanied by a pipe. I loved my pipe and still miss it dearly. What a shame it did not show the same level of affection towards me. As Freddie slowly discharged his cancer cleaning fluids in to my system, two hours later I still had no side effects and I started to feel totally relaxed. It was time for a chat with the nurses and our brief conversation went something along these lines.


Me “Nurse, if I feel like a beer tonight will it be ok to have one?”


Nurse, “You won’t feel like one, you will be feeling sick.”


Me, “But what if I’m not!”


Nurse, “You will be too ill tonight.”


Me, “But what if I’m fine, will it be ok to have a pint?”


Nurse, “Trust me, you won’t feel like a beer tonight”


It was time now for a change of tact.


Me “OK, what if I feel like walking my dog Skipper tonight then?”


Nurse, “You won’t feel like walking the dog tonight, you’ll be too tired”


Me, “But what if I’m not, can I still walk Skipper?”


Nurse, “You won’t want to walk Skipper, Captain or any other dog, not tonight”.


We were going nowhere fast. I was back home several hours later and it had been a long time since I felt so fit. My breathlessness had almost completely gone. I felt like I could walk the dog for miles and drink the brewery dry. I certainly didn’t feel sick. I was off to a great start; and I am still charging along, feeling fantastic. Yes for sure the cancer is still inside me doing what it will, but I feel like it has now met its match with the chemo and my more positive attitude. Yes! A pipe would be very nice right now, but look what kind of a friend he turned out to be. Sure I loved my pipe. However, I love my wife, family, friends and Skipper my Collie a lot more than I ever loved tobacco. So why did it have to come to this? I think most smokers think or believe there is a chance they might end up with cancer. Trouble is we always think we will have time to pack in before it gets to us. When we start to cough or become short of breath. It usually too late by then though. We smokers are like soldiers waging war each day against cancer’s bullets. Even though from time to time we witness our comrades being laid low we bash on because we believe that somehow we will manage to dodge the bullets. However, it only takes one cancer sniper to be successful and we fall too as I now know to my cost.


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