150 Not Out

No, the title doesn’t refer to my age (although I feel it sometimes!) but this is the 150th post on this blog.

It’s come (coincidentally) in the middle of quite a big week for me and my family: I started the week with the final tablets of my final cycle of chemotherapy; Jennifer “graduated” from nursery yesterday and finishes pre-school tomorrow; and, tomorrow we move into our new home, The Hobbit House.

Looks Like I Made It

I’m feeling a lot better than I did earlier this week, when I was wiped out with tiredness after the chemo. I partially put it down to the fact that I’d had a few nights of broken sleep. I belatedly realised on Tuesday that, just because the Superdrug had prevented sickness, my body had still been poisoned and needed to recover from that! The last of the poison pills would have been out of my system by Tuesday evening so I should be pulling away from chemo-induced fatigue and back to regular fatigue!

Because I felt so terrible when the radiotherapy started, I didn’t feel much worse when it finished. When I said Radio Ta Ta, I didn’t have a sense of relief as such that the physical toll it had taken on my beleaguered brain had ended, although I was definitely relieved that I’d completed my treatment course without any seizure-induced issues. I recall that I was more preoccupied with, and worried about, the fact that two out of three of the treatment options had been completed, leaving only chemotherapy as the last line of defence against the growth of the tumour. The Donkey’s Tale mini-series arose out of this preoccupation, trying to guess whether the treatment so far had been a success.

Even though I have a scan and results next month, I’m less preoccupied now, after finishing the last line of defence, with whether the whole package of treatment has been a success. That’s not to say that I’m not wondering what the outcome will be, just that it’s not consuming me in the way that it was after radio. I think this is partly because I am overwhelmingly glad that the physical ups and downs of the chemotherapy cycles have now ended. Ironically, because I felt so good (relatively) in the good times as the seizure count and severity reduced, there was further to fall during the lows of treatment. I am glad that I have made it to the end of my treatment plan. For some, the side effects and their blood counts are such that treatment is aborted prematurely and even during the first cycle.

I [Don’t] Like to Move It, Move It

I counted the other day that when we move into the bungalow, I will have lived in seven flats and houses since 2008 – and that includes over five years in one house!

Graham was disappointed that I wasn’t more excited when we completed on the bungalow towards the end of April. I didn’t feel any excitement. Not one jot. I felt only doom and gloom. Our move into the bungalow has been forced upon us by my mobility issues that mean I would struggle even to get into our “old” house never mind the impossibility of living in it. My mobility issues are caused, ultimately, by the Squatter. That was not, and is not, a cause for celebration. In fact, it’s a pretty f*****g awful reason to have to move (excuse the language).

I was also worried about leaving the safety, stability and sanctuary of my parents’ house. We’ve all been living here since I came out of hospital mid-November and I feel safe here. I know that I have someone on hand at all times. A friend pointed out that my nervousness about the move could be a latent anxiety about being alone and helpless as I was when Squattergate erupted into my life (see An Introduction for a reminder of that dramatic episode). I think she hit the nail on the head. I’ve not been alone in the house for more than 20 minutes since I came out of hospital and that’s partly because I’m nervous about it, not just because of my protective family!

Another thing that caused me no small amount of sadness with buying the bungalow was that it seemed (and still seems) like it’s the end of the joy we felt moving into our previous house. We bought it just before we got married; we had two children while we were living there; and, we were excited about the future! That was the most excitement I’d felt since my brother died. Further, it’s not like we are moving upwards to our dream “forever” house. It’s not the bricks and mortar that I am sad to be selling (after all, I haven’t been in the house for nearly eleven months!), it’s the end of the forward-looking hopes and dreams that they represent.

Finally, the Hobbit House is (almost certainly) going to be my last house so I felt like I was choosing the house that I’m going to die in. So that’s why I didn’t feel any excitement.

Grimms’ Fairytale

So this has turned into quite a depressing post so far! I will turn to happier things of note.

I Like to Move It, Move It

I knew the bungalow would be perfect for our circumstances so I didn’t need any persuading that it was a positive step, I just felt a form of grief at the sense of an ending.

Now, I still believe all of the above but I am excited to be moving into the Hobbit House where we will hopefully be happy hobbits for as long as possible. It looks great and Alan (our builder) and the Hordes of Hobbit Helpers have transformed the place into a lovely family home. The Silver Bird Dog has worked his socks off, particularly over the last few weeks, to put the final pieces in place. They say it takes a village to raise a child but it has taken a whole army to move some Hobbits!

We will be living as a family of four again under our own roof with our own belongings and enough space for our stuff (sort of – we’ve had to be ruthless in sorting out what can stay and what must go). I’m equally excited that my parents will get much-needed breaks. They will still be close by (a few hundred yards!) and no doubt we will see them pretty much all of the time but they will be (mostly) free from the daily early wake-up calls. (We are hoping that they’ll have the kids a night or two a week so that Graham can enjoy the luxury of a lie-in for the first time since Christmas!)

A Ray of Rainbows

I was so pleased to feel well enough to see Jennifer’s little “graduation” yesterday. She’s more than ready for school but it’s a big step for us (and her) as she’s attended the nursery three days a week for over three and a half years. She won’t remember a time when nursery wasn’t part of her life. Thankfully for us, the amazing nursery staff will still be part of our lives thanks to Master Leo’s continued attendance there. (Whether the staff are pleased with Leo’s continuing attendance is open to debate…!)

To finish on a colourful note, here’s a rainbow rose that Jennifer chose for me yesterday:

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