I’ve already paid a couple of visits to the ‘chemo van’ which turns up in Stowmarket every Tuesday, but today was the first time I rocked up for a full session of chemo. I’ve enjoyed my visits because you get a more personal connection with the nurses. Today we talked about the strike. Both said they’d voted in favour – basically to get this blasted apology for a government’s attention – but didn’t really want to walk out. Having seen what they’re up against, at close quarters, I told them they had my full support. No matter what.

There are only four seats in the bus, so it’s a quieter, more intimate experience than the (often frantically busy) Day Centre at West Suffolk Hospital. Today my fellow patients were a young man who’d clearly been through one entire treatment already, and a man a little older than me who’s clearly had the works in terms of treatment. We discussed the effect of ‘first day steroids’ (basically, forget about sleep) and the loss and return of hair. (My younger fellow sufferer used to have a ginger beard, but it’s coming back fluffier, and surprisingly dark!)

Later a delightful woman arrived and sat opposite me. Like me, she’s had a prognosis of terminal cancer. And like me she’s trying to make the most of the time she has left. She’s been havering about going up in a hot air balloon, so I told her about our truly memorable flight over the ‘Fairy Chimneys’ in central Turkey. It turns out that she visits Turkey regularly, so I hope she’ll give it a go for herself. And I hope she’ll enjoy it just as much as we did. (I regard it as one of my most treasured memories – captured in the image at the top of this post.)

Given that experience, I’ll be aiming to book the rest of my chemo sessions on the bus. Next time I won’t even bother to bring my noise-cancelling headphones. And just for a (shared) laugh I might wear my latest custom t-shirt, too…

Take a look for yourself here... Or take a look at my custom t-shirt collection in a later post…