Coping with cancer.



I was amazed how fast the infection hit.

At 1810h,  Michael said he felt cold  and went inside from the garden.  He checked his tempreature 37.5C pretty normal.   I went off on my bike ride.       But he continued to feel shivery and within 30 minutes his temperature was 38.8C.  he rang me as I was still out on a bike ride. ( I don’t think Bradley Wiggins would have caught me getting home!)

We followed the instructions for the care pathway we had been given and rang the hospital. By 19.13h  we arrived  at the hospital and he was so ill he could not walk unaided. His temperature was 39.3C

me, to hospital receptionist…. With obviously sick man leaning on me. “Can I take that wheelchair there at the side of your desk. My husband has come for admission and all the chairs are being used? “

Receptionist. ...”well that is meant to be for the ambulances”

Me..thinking “ ambulances go to A&E.“…… “Well I really need It NOW my husband seems very ill.”

Receptionist. ..” well, I am not happy about you using that one,  are there none outside?

Me.  Thinking …..” would I be asking you for a wheelchair if there were some outside?   …..” No all the visitors are using them.  Do I have to tip somebody out?”

With that I grabbed the wheelchair and helped Michael into it, obviously becoming paler and more drowsy as I did so. and the receptionist protesting as I did so.

As I ran ff to the ward, she shouted after me, “can you make sure you bring it back”

Where do they get these people?

And then it was all drama. Me standing by looking very calm but inside I was panicking.  The difficulty of getting an intravenous  drip in , taking bloods,  giving antibiotics and other drugs intravenously,  tests, chest X rays and anxiously waiting for the drugs to have their effect.

Earlier yesterday we had seen the haematology consultant and nurses, ..6 days after the first chemo.   His blood results showed very low levels of white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets,   which is understandable as the chemo blasts the good cells as well as the bad ones.   Michael  had no way of fighting infection and he had a little hangnail on his finger that looked red and infected.   It had been arranged for Michael to be admitted for a blood transfusion today.

But of course in the scramble to get him to the hospital I forgot to take lots of stuff….his drugs, or a list of them, toiletries, clean pyjamas etc. Like a pregnant women I should have been prepared.

I should have had a bag already packed.

24 hours later I am relieved to report Michael is much better.  He recovered this evening as quickly as he collapsed.

…and of course I am SO relived.

Of course He has to stay in hospital for a few days to ensure the infection doesn’t return.

So lesson learned.

Next time we will be more prepared.

Love Denise

Less anxious times a year ago in Provins.



  1. Denise– As a nurse and healthcare attorney, I am so sorry to hear what you and Michael experienced. I am happy that he is feeling better. Thoughts and prayers are with you both. When it comes to healthcare, always expect the unexpected — and prepare to advocate for your loved one. — Mimi


  2. Well thank goodness you are able to keep all this in check with your fabulous writing Denise. This is something that keeps us sane and all of your observations are appreciated. So now you need two bags packed. One for Michael and one for Paris. Hang in there!


  3. How terrible that there are some people lacking compassion in places were it’s needed the most!
    Glad to hear that Michael is recovering.
    I can only advice you two things: lots of love and lots of patience…there’s a light at the end of this tunnel.


    • Hi Sylvia, yes, I couldn’t believe, even though the receptionist was not a nurse, anybody could see how ill he was and she was more concerned with some future ambulance than a man who was collapsing in front of her.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Love Denise


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