Let me introduce you to Sneaky. That’s the name we’ve given the pain that comes in the night, creeping around from my back into my chest and down into my stomach.
FortunateIy, I have an adjustable bed and when Sneaky comes knocking I’m already in my sleeping position, almost sitting up to relieve any downward pressure on the nerves around the pancreas. But a dose of morphine, backed up by two 500 mg paracetamol caplets, the size easier to swallow, quickly sends Sneaky to sleep and me, too.
This is becoming a nightly ritual rather like another, around 4 a.m., which sees my dear wife, Monica, fetching Kingsley a Rich Tea biscuit from the kitchen topped with little slices of mature cheddar cheese. But, don’t worry, she often snaffles one as well!
All this might sound as if we have disturbed nights. Not at all. We sleep like the proverbial log. But I also nod off, surprise, surprise, during the day as well and, come evening, I frequently don’t see the end, or the middle come to think of it, of a particular TV programme, usually a documentary, I’ve earmarked to watch.
But I’m so much better, as I’ve written before, since I came off chemo. No more lying in bed feeling exhausted. Now, family and friends keep saying how well I look. But looks can deceive. Take today. I can feel Sneaky is awake again, quietly gnawing away down below and I’m decidedly tired probably because I overdid it yesterday.
I planted out two boxes of violas to add some winter colour to the garden, then rushed off to a hotel for the presentation of a £230 cheque which took the total raised by our all-afternoon fundraiser for Pancreatic Cancer Action to over £3500.
Still, I’m not complaining. Every day is a new dawn. Every day, Sneaky permitting, is a good day. Every day, when it comes to surviving pancreatic cancer, is a bonus ….