The Long Trek.(Part Four)

The excrement starts hitting the extractor or more common the shit hits the fan.

By this time I was almost feeling in reasonably good health,working in our garden,enjoying lovely long country walks,and attending University once again for my Post Graduate degree in my old classics department.

Furthermore we enjoyed the company of our great- grand sons,who came to visit us regularly.We played football on our back lawn,and board games in the evenings.It was amazing how these two boys brightened our lives.

We really appreciated the company of the members of our family.All these activities made our life so much easier.

It was about this time in 2013 that I first noticed that my wife started to forget things,and not being able to remember some recent occurrences.When mentioning it to her she thought it was in my imagination.I was at a loss.

Between visiting Haematology and  trying to research for my studies I became more worried,and I tried to persuade Edna to visit our GP to no avail.I was convinced that she was showing the beginnings of a dementia.

When visiting our GP on a trivial matter.I discussed my worries with him, I  asked him if he could invite Edna to come into the surgery for an annual check up,and at the same time establish if my thoughts were right.He agreed and Edna had a request from the surgery to attend for a check up.

We visited at the appointed time,and after a physical examination and a number of question, he suggested that Edna should see a specialist at the local hospital.

Two weeks later she saw a Geriatrician who after lengthy discussion diagnosed the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. The situation was explained to us and all necessary treatments were prescribed.

I knew what was likely to be in store for us,but kept outwardly cheerful so as not to worry my dear Edna too much.It was not long when her condition became more visible.I took over many of the household tasks as she was no longer capable doing them without endangering herself because of her poor memory.The situation became more stressful to me that I had difficulties in concentrating on my research. I had to discontinue at the University pro tem.

My own health seemed stable,and after a couple of years ,in 2015 I was told that there was nothing to worry about and that I was now in long term remission,and visits to the hospital were no longer necessary.

What wonderful news.By now I Had become Edna’s official full-time carer.Quite funny really,after some years in retirement I was now back in nursing.

Having nursed many people with varying types of dementia I found my role to be not too difficult. There was however a subtle difference,I was now on duty for twenty four hours a day instead of going home after my shift.

On top of this I was also carrying out most of the household tasks.Stress was great at times, but being a stubborn person I refused all forms of help.The exception being the family assistance whenever they had the time.After all they had their own life to live.

That was in September 2015. We had a lovely Christmas with our clan at our daughter’s home.It was at that time that I noticed a swollen gland in my groin.I contacted the Haematology department who promptly referred me to Surgical Outpatients to have the gland removed and examined.

I had the result of the biopsy two weeks later.The diagnosis was that I had a recurrence of my follicular Lymphoma.It was back to Haematolgy to a different consultant.He suggested that it was best to follow a watch and wait policy before carrying out any further treatment.After a few more follow up visits it was decided that I should undergo a further six sessions of Chemotherapy.I wondered How would I cope?

(To be continued.)

© pommer 2023
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