Life with Cancer

ros an d gladstlones grandsonThe writer whose story became a blog from the cancer ward

 By Alan Tristram

How many of us have suffered from cancer, have a family member who has died from it, or knows someone who is facing treatment for cancer?

I reckon more than half of us fall into this category.

So we are publishing the unique, and brave, personal blog of  Englishwoman Ros Aitken…

The first session

First, a session with a lovely nurse in the ‘Quiet Room’ which is intended to reassure – if you develop an infection and are ill in the night, get yourself asap to A&E and wave your yellow card to fast track you through to the ward, where if necessary you will be kept for a day or two etc etc.  Actual result is to make one feel one might be spending the rest of the year in St George’s Hospital, Tooting, South London – a gloomy prospect.

However, in the treatment room all is de rigueur cheeriness.  Everyone knows everyone else and is supportively welcoming and upbeat.  One chap who lives on his own clearly actually looks forward to his sessions, which are the social high point of his week!

For two hours I’m on a drip of water, with predictable results – 15 minutely visits to the loo, one hand pushing a madly bleeping drip stand and the other clutching a cardboard measuring jug-cum-potty. (If you know anyone about to have chemo, give them my advice – wear trousers you can manipulate with one hand!) Then an hour on the first lot of ‘stuff’ during which I get given lunch and rediscover the delights of toffee yoghurt.  Then an hour when I get given the other lot of ‘stuff’ and water  simultaneously – ‘2 drip Ros.’

Then home with 2 packets of tablets which both begin with ‘D’ but I must be careful not to confuse.  And so far I’m feeling  pretty OK, apart from some nausea and a tendency to fall asleep at about 8.45pm.  Long may it continue.

For the forseeable future, this is to be my regime: two weeks of chemo, then one week off (to be continued.


This is so amazing as Ros has been my Pen Pal for nearly 60 years and we correspond regularly.
Please send me this weekly.

Hello Glen.
We’ve arranged with Ros to print the Blog at fortnightly intervals,so just log onto Kapiti Independent. I plan to publish the next one about June 18.
With best wishes

Alan Tristram