After posting about my lack of symptoms, I knew I was tempting fate. On Thursday I woke up and the pain in my tooth was incredible. So much so that it was difficult to open my mouth. Leonie inspected it and said it looked a little like thrush in the back of my mouth; Oscar had had oral thrush as a baby and when I looked in the mirror and saw the whiteness of the gum, I agreed with Leonie's diagnosis, we joke that by the end of this, we will both be professional medical practitioners!
I called the oncology helpline and as it was out of hours (7.30), I was directed to the cover line. The lady was really helpful, instructing me to book an appointment with my GP, and even advising which drugs and sundries to request. After 8am I called the doctors and was offered an appointment at 10.40, but after she took my name I was given a 9.40 appointment, silver linings, I get fast-tracked. I let Karyn know I would be late for work and dropped Sid at my mums while I went to get checked out.
I was due to see Dr Chikhalikar, not Dr Ravi. Dr Chick has been at the GPs as long as I can remember. When I went in he told me he was sorry to hear about the cancer, but that he was reading the blog. He told me that it was good and that other patients should be more positive as it goes a long way to helping mental attitudes but also to good health too. I think sometimes people underestimate the power of a positive outlook, I know I don't. If you look at life with a positive eye, then you can achieve anything. I have known some people who don't see anything positively, or struggle to anyway, and this in turn leads to unhappiness. I believe you make your own happiness, you are the controller of your own emotions. For example, I haven't let cancer get me down, it has just made me more determined to achieve things I dreamed of previously. Now I know how precious life is, so now I want to do as much as possible with mine, if I fail in some aspects, I fail, but as batmans dad said, "why do we fall, Bruce? To learn how to pick ourselves up again!"
Dr Chick checked my mouth, and he confirmed it was oral thrush. He pescribed me some amoxicillin, mouth wash and nystan oral suspension which is cherry flavoured and quite nice. More tablets to take but almost instantly I felt a relief of the pain. I picked up Sid, then dropped him at nursery on my way to work, and managed to be at my desk by 11. Another day, another appointment done. The pain eased quite a bit throughout the day, but it didn't disappear altogether.
In the evening I was feeling much better, so I organised to go out for a run with Lisa. I have been running years, and Lisa is one of the people I sometimes run with. She is training for the Great North Run, so it was good to get out with a purpose. We didn't go far, about 7k, and we jogged round at a slower pace than normal. This is my first run since starting chemo and I could tell. My calves were tiring quickly. The run itself probably gave me a mental boost. When I got back, I was tired but happy and I had a feeling that I could take on the world.
Running for me is more than just a healthy activity. It gives me a psychological lift. I always feel better after a run, no matter what the distance, a sprint to the shops or a marathon. During a run, I may curse and wonder why I'm doing it, but afterwards I think how lucky I am to be able to run and I feel great! Others have also felt the benefits. My birthday falls around the time of the Preston 5k and 10k so a couple of years ago I asked my friends to sign up for one of them. Some did and some continue to run, Stacy for example is taking on her first marathon this year in London, she is running strong and I wish her luck as she tackles the distance, quite a feat for anyone - I hope she enjoys it and continues to run afterwards (running is quite addictive!)
The run really did drag me out of a bit of lull, not that I was upset or depressed, I suppose I was bored, and Leonie always says that I am better after a run, maybe it's my route out of boredom and a great reliever of stress.