Back where it started

I’m sitting here looking out the window at a familiar view of the city, a few rooms down from where I lay back in August when I woke from my cancer surgery. I’m back in the hospital.

That may seem a depressing turn of events, especially considering I’ll be missing the annual Sinterklaas celebration at the Cheese’s tonight. That makes me dreadfully sad, not only because it’s always a great night, but mainly because this year I was approaching it as my coming out event post-treatment. It was my chance to see the friends I hadn’t seen for many months, and have a decent crack at some festive fair. Not to be, but it’s good I made it to hospital.

I explained how my right eye had closed up. It was decided that the best treatment was a course of antibiotics by IV in the hospital. It wasn’t exactly as I expected.

I saw my GP first thing Thursday morning. He sent me to Sandringham hospital for what I expected would be a few hours of treatment. It’s just up the road and so I took a bus there wearing a pair of shorts and a t-shirt.

Once I was taken in I was plugged into an IV while the resident doctor conferred with St Vs. It was decided that I would be transferred there for at least a couple of nights stay. That resulted in a mad scramble organising for someone to look after Rigby, and for Cheeseboy to pack up a bag of clothes and drop them by the hospital.

By 2pm I was in the back of an ambulance – first time ever – and on my way to St Vs.

There were predictable delays on the other end before I was admitted after about 2 hours sitting in what appeared a converted garage. COVID has added a lot of red tape. Outside it was hot. Then it stormed wildly. Then I was admitted.

I’m back where I started. I feel a lot better now. My eye has just about recovered and I’m breathing better than I have for months. I’m eating well, though the food is poor – overcooked and bland. I haven’t quite got my taste back, but nearly. The major concern now is the swelling in my cheek that has become cellulitis.

I’m due to return home tomorrow and feel like I’ve been set on the right path. I expect I’ll be quite a bit stronger and the improvement in breathing/reduction in congestion will make a vast difference to my quality of life.

My main concern is the swelling. I have doubts, probably unreasonable, that it’ll ever return to ‘normal’. That has huge implications for my appearance, and my ability to eat properly. I’m probably being paranoid, but I need to see some real improvement. Perhaps that will come when the radiotherapy and chemo are completely out of my system.

I’m quite sure I’ll never be considered handsome again.

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