Monday, 05 December 2016
Erica Russell Watson Erica Russell Watson

First setback rears its ugly head so it’s time to let nurse take charge

I ENDED my last blog by saying that I had lived to fight another day and that was certainly true. I just didn’t know how much of a fight I had ahead.

I have been eternally optimistic throughout the whole process from diagnosis through operations and now chemotherapy. However, my first setback was about to rear its ugly head.

It was a normal Saturday morning and as ever I was up early to take Oliver to his football match, which was luckily a home game. I met with the legends and great friends that are Steve and Louise Holland and their boys. We have always loved supporting our boys from the sideline at matches.

Steve sometimes forgets he’s not actually the coach but we let him off and put it down to his boundless enthusiasm!

A special mention and thanks go to Steve for all his support both emotional and practical during and after the funeral. He seemed to strike the perfect balance between always being available when help was required whilst never intruding, and even giving me some of his typical brand of banter just in case I was ever in danger of feeling sorry for myself.

The whistle blew for kick-off. Towards the end of the match I started to feel very achy and quite drained so decided to go home with my daughter leaving Ollie to play with his friends, he definitely needs his exercise and after recent events even more so.

With Ollie filling his lungs with fresh air and his heart with a bit of joy and sunshine, I happily went to bed thinking I just needed to rest.

That night was probably the worst I can ever recall. I have had a reader write to me imploring me not to talk about my side-effects and I think that generally I give an upbeat account. However, I think it would be misleading if I didn’t highlight some of the downsides.

As my treatment has changed I was told that I might experience some muscular pain. Well, there is no might about it! It was the most excruciating pain I had ever felt. This was a little alarming for me because I have quite a high pain threshold, or at least thought I did!

Readers’ response

Dear Erica

So sorry to hear your sad news about your ex, Angus, but you have to be strong for yourself now and the kids and beat the cancer, that’s your number one priority. Stay focused, keep strong and be positive, devote all your energies and inner strength to this effort to achieve your goal and beat this terrible disease.

You know you can do it, now more than ever, be strong, keep the faith, whatever it may be and you will survive and come through a much better person, stronger and better than before. You know it makes sense, and we are all rooting for you, keep on trucking babe, cheers and all the best for your future.
Andy

 

Dear Andy

I was very touched by your kind words and you are right... I have to dig even deeper now. I will beat the cancer, of that I have no doubt. For me and my children there is no other viable outcome. As you say, I will keep trucking!

All the best to you,
Erica

The next days were just about getting through each day. My battery ran down so quickly and I just had to accept that all the pending chores that glared up at me from my endless list of things to do would have to wait. I am a little stubborn and think that I can just carry on regardless, which on many occasions has stood me in very good stead, but sometimes I can be my own worst enemy.

So plaintively I crawled into bed and tried to be sensible for a change. Nurse Isabella was now in charge and you certainly don’t want to mess with her! She set about her task of looking after her mum with verve! Tea was brewed, hot water bottles made, temperatures monitored, pillows plumped, special juices whizzed up and lashings of love dished up. What a remarkable person you are, my girl.

Bit by bit I emerged from the haze and shivery darkness and started to feel better. I made it to the doctor’s for antibiotics because I had a terrible chesty cough.

My temperature was fluctuating and I could only keep it down with medication. It was obvious to me that my immune system was not firing on all cylinders. If I had a temperature the next morning I would have to go to hospital for blood tests to check what was failing and if I had an infection.

So, with that thought in mind, I retire with my hot water bottle, cup of tea and book and hope that I am feeling much better tomorrow.

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