Okay so today I did something for the first time. My daughter kindly informed me very late last night that Herbie the doggy-doodle had a tick. We parted the fur just above his eye and sure enough there was a yellowish white “thing” poking out of his skin.
I was exhausted and already in bed, so I said I’d deal with it today.
Today ended up being late this afternoon.
I had chemotherapy which was preceded by tests as I’d spent the weekend in hospital with a random infection. Fellow cancer vixens will understand the neutropenic infection thing where you have a raving temperature, shivers and are generally feeling dreadful to the extent where you’d gladly crawl into the back of the wardrobe and die quietly...
So I called the hospital and was told to come straight in and leave the BBQ in the sunshine and cancel all the fun for the weekend (sad/grumpy face).
Luckily the folks at Blackrock clinic are incredibly talented at helping me to NOT die, so instead they fixed me. I got mega-blaster antibiotics and more painkillers (because the previous mix had stopped working – again.) I can’t begin to tell you about the patience, kindness, laughs, genuine concern and wonderfulness of these people… I know I’ve said it before, but I don’t apologise for saying it again – these doctors and nurses are angels on earth. I am in awe of them.
Soooo, I escaped from hospital only to go straight back in this morning for my scheduled chemotherapy. (This time I had my own car so I knew I could make my get-away. Last time I was a raving lunatic with a crazy-lady fever so my car keys were removed.)
After a few hours the chemotherapy was administered and I drove home via the chemist where I picked up a black sack of drugs and dragged them to my car and continued on my merry way.
My son and I were relaxing when Herbie came to sit beside me. In my post chemotherapy, steroid state, I decided it was the perfect time to remove the tick.
We found disposable gloves, TCP (a must when performing any kind of home medical procedure – whether or not it’s effective it instantly makes your entire home smell like a hospital so that a great start) damp cotton wool and a pair of tweezers.
The seventeen year old read out the instructions from the internet and we successfully parted Herbie’s hair, secured the tweezers around the tick, without pinching his skin and swiftly pulled.
I laid the removed creature on a piece of cotton wool and wiped his little head with TCP to make sure he doesn’t get an infection.
THEN I looked at the tick. Oh sweet holy bejeebus… This was without doubt the most disgusting article I have ever laid eyes on.
‘Manky looking white yoke,’ said my son.
It had a creamy coloured fat body the same shape as a grain of rice, but six times as big, with six or eight (sorry I didn’t manage to count properly) black spiky but very wriggly, legs and two bug eyes flat on it’s head. Now I didn’t actually see for certain, but I’m using my author type imagination and deciding it had massive fangs…
To say this was the most gross thing I’ve seen in a long time is a fact. My son removed it before I could take a photo and I am told it came to a medieval type end as it was gouged by a sword during a jousting style fight… Okay he stabbed it with a cocktail stick and threw it away. I know I should feel guilty and it’s one of God’s creatures and all of that but ticks have now joined the list of living things that I wish were extinct along with rats, bats (flying rats) mice, hair lice and tape worms.
I am still scratching my head, which is not good seeing as it’s attempting to fall out and I’m supposed to be trying to stop it…
So I am off to try and sleep and not dream of being infested by thousands of ticks.
My body is exhausted. I've been on the usual cancer-slaying hamster-wheel for the past few weeks.
I’ve been in and out of hospital with infections etc. etc. etc. I’m delighted that my markers have dropped significantly, which is very positive. I have never fixated on markers as simple things can make them skewy so I don’t rate them. But when I was told my markers have dropped by a half today, I thought, yes, I'll take that thank you!
I’ll keep going until I’m told not to. This is a tough road this time. There are lots of set backs and I’m missing out on all sorts of social occasions and fun.
But I’ll get back there. I’ll climb out of the bottom of the barrel. And by God when I do, there better not be any ticks there…. Ugh, yuck…