Monday, 26 January 2015

Au Revoir, Exeter

First of all I am pleased to announce that this post (and hopefully the next few that follow it) will be less depressing than the last couple. Fingers crossed for no more bad news to kill the light hearted buzz!

The start of this week is dedicated to sorting my act out and getting myself in order, ready to start treatment over the next few weeks. The item on top of my to-do list was arranging everything in Exeter that still needed to be arranged, primarily moving out of my house. So, with this in mind we arranged to visit my Aunty who lives an hour from Exeter and my brother, father and myself headed out of Wales on Sunday evening.

Roughly two hours later we were approaching Yeovil (where my aunty lives and we would be staying the night) and a thought occurred to me. I had left something fairly important in Wales... My house keys. This could turn out to be a significant spanner in the works if I couldn't get hold of the landlord in the morning, especially as he was travelling to Paris at some point that day, but it was too late to turn around so we continued to my Aunty's house. Now my dad handled this news surprisingly well, one of the small benefits to this cancer being that he is far less likely to kick off when I do something stupid. You've got to take those silver linings where you can get them.

After an evening of eating and catching up with my Aunty and Uncle we were up early to start the drive to Exeter, where I would have to speak very nicely to the letting agents in the hope they would let me into my house. Luckily the fact that I've got a hole in my head gets me a bit of leeway when it comes to forgetting things so I was confident we would manage to find a way in.

Arriving in Exeter just before 11am I went to see the letting agent and explained that I had been a bit of a tool and left my keys 100 miles away in the valleys, luckily they had spares and were able to let me in the house. Unluckily they had given me the spare key for my room when I moved in, so it was in Wales and of no use to anybody. I was starting to realise how Frodo Baggins felt last time he tried to take something back where it came from, there's just always something unexpected there to balls up your plans.

Just as we were weighing up the pros and cons of dismantling the door frame/breaking the door down/calling a locksmith/enlisting a wizard we had a call back to say that the landlord was still in the country and able to come and unlock the door. Finally, some luck. So after a pit stop in a local cafe for a custard slice we gained access to my room. By this time it was gone midday and I still had a list of things to do in Exeter, so my brother was lucky enough to draw the task of packing up and cleaning my room while I was otherwise engaged.

First on the list was a visit to my office. The company I have been working for since September (MSM Software) have been outstanding over the last few weeks, with everything from making sure I had no worries about sick pay to offering to help me with moving out of my house, so I came prepared with Welsh Cakes for the team. Although I could sense the disappointment that they weren't my gran's home made ones, they were well received, cakes do make the world go round at MSM! As well as this I have been having regular messages of support from many at the company as well as a get well card and gift which I couldn't be more thankful for. I can't think of many companies where the CEO will spend a load of his free time messaging you well wishes and then send you a bottle of his favourite red wine to keep your spirits (and blood alcohol level) up.

Following on from my visit to the office I decided to return to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital where I had been treated initially to say thanks to those that had been involved in my care with a few small gifts of cookies and chocolates. I realised at this point I was basically spending my day as a cut-price, carbohydrate Santa Clause.

I didn't see anyone I recognised in A&E (not really a surprise given the nature of the ward) but on the Acute Medical Unit I bumped into a couple of the staff that had been around during my long day of waiting a couple of weeks ago. I was surprised initially that they remembered me at all, then even more so when I found out that they had been following my progress on this blog (Hi guys!). Hopefully they enjoyed the cookies I left behind, because I really am thankful for everything they did for me in Exeter and they were brilliant at keeping me calm and positive the entire time I was in there.

So my gifts were given, thanks had been said, work meeting had been held, all that was left was a nice pub meal in Exeter and the journey home. Sadly we didn't have time to go into town as time was getting on and we had to be back in time to squeeze a chest session in before the gym closed at 8. Priorities!

It's strange to be officially moved out of my house and into my parents place, but as-per my new "silver linings" attitude I'm focussing on the positives, which at this moment is mainly the abundance of home made chips.

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