Cancer Call

Week 4

Sunday 24 August
I’m really tired of all this. The sameness of the days is hard to take.  Every morning we know we have to go to that damn place in the afternoon.  It puts a shadow over everything.  The afternoon comes.  My appointment is generally at 3 p.m. so at half-past two I drink that half-pint of water, carefully measured out by Dot.  This means that if they take me in for the treatment on time, I can cope with the amount of water in my bladder OK.
We drive to the hospital, and get there comfortably in 10-15 minutes. Sometimes – very rarely – I am called in early, but that’s OK because the water’s had enough time to do its job.  But other times they’re running late, and that’s when the trouble starts.

‘How many others are before me?’ I ask at the reception desk.  The reply could be ‘Two here now, and maybe another two if they turn up.’  Very mysterious.  If my appointment is for 3 p.m. and it’s already five-past, how come?

One thing you learn is that the ways of Velindre are incalculable. They can call you in early or half an hour late.  Sometimes you’re given warning of a long delay when you arrive, but not always.  And quite often, someone with an appointment 10 or 20 minutes after yours is called in before you.

To be fair, the week before last everything was amazingly punctual.  I thought it was too good to last.

I suppose I ought to be grateful for this radiotherapy.  But I’m tired of feeling grateful.  I’m just tired all the way through.  I’m fit for nothing.  Don’t feel like going anywhere or doing anything, except doing bits of writing like this when I can.  And – worst of all – I don’t know if the treatment’s doing me any good at all.  Even when it’s over in three weeks’ time, I won’t know for a long time.

All the same, I’m glad I’m doing it.  If I hadn’t, I’d have been sorry.


25 August
Gloom and doom.  Don’t bother to read any more.  Perhaps I’ll give up writing it.



© Herbert Williams