Tuesday, 11 May 2010


I have recently been for a CT scan in our large city hospital.
I had to arrive early and drink a jug full of insipid tasting liquid that looked like urine, very slowly over a period of 45 mins. I soon calculated how quickly/slowly to drink it and got down to my last cupful of liquid that had to be drunk inside the scanning room.
"Good," I thought, "I will soon be in the scanner and then out of here."
Suddenly all hell broke loose. Alarms going off everywhere. Staff came out and told us to leave the premises as they were fire alarms.
Still clutching my drink, I moved down the long corridors with all the other out patients and headed for the street. There is a fairly large forecourt outside the hospital but that was soon filled up with patients and staff.
No sign of Harry, who had been with me. Another woman had also *lost* her husband, too.Within five minutes the Fire Brigade arrived. The first fire engine parked along the side of the hospital and the crew disappeared inside the building. I was hoping they'd rescue Harry wherever he was, but they weren't letting any of the public back in.
Eventually, Harry came out, looking sheepish. He had decided to go to the toilet on the way out of the building.
Words failed me......... isn't that just what you are NOT supposed to do?
Well when Nature calls......... as it obviously had, I suppose you have to go but it wasn't as though he'd had to drink all that liquid like I did.
Two more fire engines arrived. By now I was wondering if my appointment would still be valid.

After much coming and going, the Fire Brigade left and the hospital was declared safe to go back into.
I was very near the front of the surge of people returning
and as soon as I sat down in the out patient area, my name was called. I managed to lie still under the scanner without coughing, as I was getting over a bout of laryngitis. That had been my main concern until the fire alarm incident. Would I stop coughing long enough to have the scan?

As we left the hospital, I was still telling Harry how unwise it was to go into a toilet when there was supposed to be a fire. He replied that he didn't smell any smoke so thought it was not an emergency!

Last week, I was rather surprised to be given a Councelling Appointment that I will attend very soon. It is five months since the moment I heard that I had cancer, and after completing six sessions of chemo therapy it seems strange to get the offer of councelling now. I really needed this last November when I first was diagnosed, as I was then shocked and angry and frightened and upset. I had felt that I'd lost my identity and purpose in life, suddenly being an invalid and not being able to work. However, I soon discovered that I was a fighter, more than I had visualised and I learnt to live each day as it came. This was so not easy for me and I am still learning.
I will go to the appointment this week, if only to tell them that I needed to talk when I was first diagnosed.

Then there is the question of my teeth.
I was told that while I had chemo, I could not have any dental work done because of the risk of infection. I was appalled by this because I have always looked after my teeth. (Unlike Pam Ayres) Does anyone remember her poem *I wish I'd Looked After My Teeth* ?
So this week I have also got a dental appointment and I believe I see cavities when I look at my teeth. I dare say that chemo blasts away enamel too. I am not looking forward to this appointment as I am squeamish about teeth but even more squeamish about losing them.

I must also get an appointment to see my chiropractor soon. All that sitting about while I felt ill was not good for my back and I have twinges much of the time.

You might wonder why I chose bunk beds to illustrate this post.
They are the ones the girls sleep in when they stay.
Next week Sam, my son, is going away to the south coast for some training for a course that he is doing. So I am having the children for the week. I am quite looking forward to it, as I feel very much up to doing this now. I have missed looking after them while I was on chemo. All being well, it is just a question of feeding them, taking and collecting from school, amusing them until shower/bath time, putting to bed x 5 days. Sam will be back on Friday evening so I won't be putting them to bed early that night.
I might not have as much time for blogging next week though...........


Mimi said...

Lol at Harry and going to the toilet on the way out of the building. We had fire alarms go off in school a few weeks ago, maybe 4 times in 1 day. The students were losing patience with me, as each time I wouldn't let them go back in until the building was declared safe, but I stuck to my guns.
"I will go to the appointment this week, if only to tell them that I needed to talk when I was first diagnosed." - Maggie, you're so right. They need to hear this, to improve the service.
And you're a brave lady, taking on two children for the week. Enjoy them, do as little as poss, and don't worry about blogging- we'll be here when you're back with fun stories of your escapades with them!

Twain12 said...

good thing you got to keep your appointment after all this.Have fun with the girls

Hilary said...

Harry.. he's a big kid, isn't he? ;)

I'm glad you're feeling better, Maggie. Have fun with your grandkids.. I know you will. :)

Patrick said...

lovely busy post...love these newsy posts...more please..
enjoy your rgandchildren..

saz x

slommler said...

Harry didn't smell smoke huh? LOL! Sounds like something my husband would do.
Glad your appointment went as scheduled. I feared you were going to say that you had to start all over again. Whew!
Oh do enjoy those grandkids! How fun for you; but a lot of work too. So be good to yourself during this week.

Eddie Bluelights said...

LOL At least Harry had he own sprinkler system - for a while!!
Glad you managed to get the scan done and glad you are feeling stronger.

SandyCarlson said...

I marvel at your strength and spirit. How you endure this situation impresses me. You are an inspiration.

Bernie said...

Maggie so good to hear everything is going so well...I love knowing you are so happy and looking forward to the girls. Tell Harry I said he should listen to you...LOL
Be well my dear friend....:-) Hugs

RNSANE said...

When I was still working, we would barely react to the fire alarms. Ridiculous, I know, since there could well have been a fire...but we were on the basement level and could walk up three stairs and be out the door if need be!

I've had a great few days. My son's wedding was Friday evening at a Sacramento winery...pictures were on my blog today:


Marguerite said...

What an ordeal! I'm glad that you were able to keep your appointment. And I'm so happy that you are feeling so well. You are amazing! Have fun with the grandkids! Blessings, Marguerite

chaniagirl said...

I hope somewhere in the middle of all that craziness you were able to just stop and breathe. Maybe when you were in the scan? ;) No, seriously, I hope you're doing okay all things considered. And I hope this coming week with the grandkids is a lovely one for you.

Anonymous said...

Lovely chatty post Maggie -just as it used to be xxxx

Monalisa said...

Typical man.
At least you managed to hold the jugful you had to drink...

Anonymous said...

Gosh yes, I think I would be pretty annoyed at the counselling appointment, not to mention the teeth issue.

CJ xx

Akelamalu said...

How ridiculous to offer counselling to you now!

I suppose the 'excitment' of being evacuated took your mind off the scan for a while and it's good that it didn't cancel out the appointment altogether, which could have been a possibility. Hope the results are good m'dear.

It's great when the grandkids come to stay isn't it? That will certainly take your mind off everything! LOL

Nora said...

I love the fact that Harry was so cool that he went to the bathroom. I would have done the same thing if I had to go and smelled no smoke. Have fun with the grandgirls. I'm glad you feel well enough to take care of them. You're a good grandma. I'm sure Harry does his best too.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Oh, goodness...what a character Harry is!!! I'm so glad you were able to complete the appointment Maggie! And your teeth may be fine...My dentist was surprised by what good shape mine were in...Now, of course, I still haven't seen my eye doctor...must do that. My eyes definitely deteriorated during chemo...So delighted that your grandchildren will be staying with you...it must feel like a celebration to be able to do all your "normal" things again!! So very, very happy for you! Love you so much, and continue to keep you in my prayers! ~Janine XO

Iota said...

I hope you enjoy your time with the children, and don't get too exhausted by it.

I think counselling at any point is a good idea (though agree that you should have had the option earlier). I'm finding that in a way it's harder to cope with 'normal' life again, than it was to get through the diagnosis and treatment. I think I'm quite good in survival mode, but not so good in normal mode.

Suburbia said...

Gosh Maggie, so much going on!

Losing Harry (after you had explained) made me laugh! Thanks for that.That liquid sounded horrid, I'm so glad you could still be seen and didn't have to do it all again another day. Good idea to go to the councelling apt just to let them know they are a bit late! You have do so well without them...

Hope you are ok looking after those lovely girls next week :)

Good idea to go to the cou

Rose said...

Oh, Maggie, I can sympathize with Harry:) Frankly, I was worried about you--not knowing what this awful liquid was that you had to drink, I'm surprised you were able to stand outside for so long:)

Being scheduled for a counseling session now instead of months ago does seem to be mixed-up to me. Health care reform has been a topic of so much debate in the U.S. ever since President Obama took office, but I don't think any plan is going to correct problems like this. When my father was in the hospital this past winter, so many different doctors and professionals came in to see him, but I sometimes thought they didn't even know what the other ones were doing.

Good to be back home and catch up on blog reading. Your tulips are beautiful, and I loved the story about the blackbirds. I'm so impressed that these tree surgeons actually stopped their work to save the little birds.

Gone Back South said...

Oooh, the ups and downs of life. I'm glad you got your appointment out of the way, despite all the fire brigade and alarms stuff going on! Have a great time with your precious little ones xxx

Brian Miller said...

sounds like you are going to have some fun visitors...

harry, i think i may have had to tell a fib if i was him...but it would be just like nature to call in an emergency...

thoughts and prayers...

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Great post Maggie - made me chuckle at the comotion at the hospital and Harry doing a typical man disappearing act! How typical that your counselling appointment is coming up now. A little more thought should go into that process, so I agree that you should tell them that. Wish you well anyway. Will catch up with how you are doing on my return at the end of the month. Keep on being positive Maggie - you are an inspiration. Hugs. A x

Jingle said...

I side with you,
at times we can handle or help ourselves!
Happy Thursday!
I enjoy your beautiful way of writing it.

aims said...

It is amazing that the horse follows the cart when it comes to care giving. I'm sure you're going to let them know exactly how you feel!

Ayak said...

I agree with you Maggie that the timing is all wrong for the counselling.
Enjoy your grandchildren...I'm sure I don't need to say that!

Debbie(single;complicated) said...

I think your strength is amazing!!! I cannot imagine all you have been through!! So thrilled your are able to share with all of us the journey!!

Anonymous said...

What can I say but: Men!

You are a fighter - we all admire your spirit.

Have fun with the little ones next week.

She Writes said...

Enjoy those kids :). Wishing you all good thins, Maggie!

Teacher's Pet said...

Maggie, it was so good to get here and read your blog. I am always so encouraged by your progress...your spirit...and look forward to hearing about your week.
Well, well...so, Harry ignores the fire alarm, does he? I know that you must have wondered and worried about him...and I am glad that all turned out well, but tell Harry that Jackie said that even in schools, when a fire alarm goes off (and we have a drill ever month of the school year)....even when it goes off, the idea is to GET OUT! :)) I did smile so much at the fact that he visited the men's room....and there you were, sweet Maggie...having downed what seems like gallons and gallons of that liquid, and you found the exit with ease and....where's Harry?? Again, I smile. I mailed you a little something today. I posted it Air Mail...and it is supposed to arrive in 5 to 10 days...(what that means is 10 days.. :)) )...but I wanted to give you a heads up that I did send something in the post to you...just because. :))
You are a sweet and special lady...
Now, if we can just get Harry to cooperate when the entire hospital is evacuated....(except Harry).
Much love to you both, Maggie.
Enjoy those Grands. They are Grand... Get lots of hugs and kisses. I'm sure you will.

Working Mum said...

I hope having the girls will prove an enjoyable time for you. Nothing like children to take you out of yourself.
PS I remember the Pam Ayres poem, it was on the wall in my dentists when I was a girl!

Life with Kaishon said...

I am so excited the children are coming for a week. They make life better! And they are there now. Can't wait to hear about your adventures with them!

I laughed about your husband not smelling smoke. Typical boy :)