I’m back in hospital for a few days so I can have scans and tests. There are a few nodes remaining in my neck and my medical team want to see what’s happening.
I’ve been feeling slightly dizzy and out of breath when I walk up the stairs or exert myself and that’s as a result of my haemoglobin being low. So once again I am hooked up to a blood transfusion. I’ll need two units of blood so I’ll be here for a while. Yet again I am beyond grateful to the amazing people who have donated their rich healthy blood so I can get better. Thank you, who ever you may be.
My latest must-have accessory has given me a new lease of life. I could feel my hearing dulling over the past few months so I was sent for an audiology test back in August. At the time there was no damage so I skipped off happily.
But as my chemotherapy drew to a close it became apparent that I was as deaf as a post. I got used to saying ‘sorry? Pardon? Could you repeat that?’
But when you’ve asked someone what they’ve said more than twice it becomes awkward. So I found myself either saying ‘yes’ or defaulting to the lie that I had an ear infection. Let’s face it, the lady at the cash desk in the supermarket doesn’t need to hear that I’ve just finished chemotherapy and it’s made me half deaf!
So I returned to Aoife and Nuala the audiologists three weeks ago for another hearing test. The findings were that I wasn’t going insane instead I had partially lost my hearing.
I feel, for all the world, as if I’m under water with cotton wool in my ears.
They gave me hearing aids and it was as if the water had been drained away! It’s a crazy thing that happens when the tiny devices are poked into my ears. The sound isn’t the same as normal hearing, it’s more tinny and background noises are really loud at first. Crumpling a paper bag sounded like crushing metal. If I put a plate in the dishwasher it sounded like I’d whacked it with a lump hammer.
But I was assured that would all settle down. My brain needed to adjust and figure out what sounds were relevant. I had a trial period with the hearing aids to see if they worked. That is now over and today I got my very own pair. The background sounds are less violent and I am now able to focus on people’s voices.
I’m finding the reaction of some people a little surprising. Firstly I have to show them the hearing aids as nobody has noticed. But, I’ve had a lot of head tilting going on, looks of pity and shocked gasping. While I understand that it’s not exactly the best scenario to be partially deaf, I’m also in the lucky position of having a solution to my problem. Hearing aids don’t work for all kinds of hearing loss. So I’m glad that they are working for me.
Many people wear glasses if their eyesight isn’t perfect so I don’t see the difference with hearing aids. If I’m honest I would personally prefer to wear hearing aids than glasses! I used to need glasses as I was as blind as a bat, but I had corrective laser surgery. I will never forget how happy I was to ditch my glasses – God I hated them. But these little things don’t bother me one bit. Isn’t it lucky I had the laser surgery all those years ago? Otherwise I’d be blind as a bat and deaf as a post and almost bald – wow not exactly sexy is it?
The devices themselves are tiny and totally unseen. I’ll show you a picture of them. I take the photo beside a standard pen so you can see just how minute they are.
I know lots of people have an image of a large custard coloured lump of plastic behind each ear when hearing aids are mentioned, but those days are gone. Mine are so neat and they can be controlled from an app on my phone!
They’re computer programmed to help with the exact sounds that I don’t hear. There’s no fiddling with volume buttons or squeaking noises. The way I look at it is that I’ve had ten years of continuous cancer treatment and this is the first bit of lasting damage I’ve been faced with. Not bad going and it’s a small price to pay in my books.
I’m hoping the tests and scans will give my doctor the information he needs to figure out the next step for my cancer treatment.
I hate this part – the waiting around for answers bit. It’s hard to stop my mind from whirring but that’s to be expected. Worry comes free with every cancer diagnosis!
Instead I’m trying to focus on how many Christmas trees I’ll put up. I’m thinking six but I’ll let you know.
The good news is that my chemotherapy is finished I’m in very little pain. My neck only hurts if I lie on the tumour and squash it. I know – the answer to that is to not lie on it!
My fingers and toes are crossed that I’ll be put on something new that will mop up the rest of the cancer and possibly keep me well for a while. My life is in my doctor’s hands, as it has been for the past ten years. I have an amazing team looking after me and I trust them.
My next book went to print yesterday. It’s called ‘The Wedding Promise’ and it’ll be out in Ireland in February. I’ve started another one so that’s keeping my mind occupied. Thank God for my job and the fact I can do it no matter where I may be.
It’s two weeks until December! I can’t wait for Christmas! Bring on the sparkles! If you’re looking for a Christmas read, my novel ‘Driving Home for Christmas’ is on sale for only 99 cent or a mere 85p on amazon.co.uk right now at this link:
Chat to you soon!
Love and light