Tuesday, 10 November 2015

A Blinding Weekend Build-Up To My MRI

It is Tuesday evening and I'm just about recovering from a long, tiring but thoroughly enjoyable weekend. It all began on Friday when I attended an event aiming to raise money for the Cardiff Brain Tumour Research that I wrote about in a blog post here.

The event had been organised by a group of my best friends with the local community helping by donating prizes for the raffle, contributing to the entertainment and of course by purchasing tickets to attend the event. It kicked off at 7:30pm with a local dance group 'Funk Force' performing a couple of routines. They also kindly donated to the fundraising efforts after the entertainment had finished. Following on from the dancers a local band 'Hot Squash' performed two sets which everyone really enjoyed and sang along to. This also roughly marked the point at which I caved and gave up on my plan of staying alcohol free for the entire night. Only a couple of drinks though, I decided. After all refusing drinks off too many people would be rude wouldn't it! By the time the band finished and the DJ's started I had long forgotten my no alcohol plan and had also won a bottle of whiskey and a bottle of wine in the raffle. Although in fairness those bottles did more damage to my family than to me, as I'm thankfully not a massive fan of either.

A Few Beers Into The Fundraiser
When the entertainment was finished we moved on to the pub around the corner which is where, unsurprisingly, memories become much more sparse and fuzzy. Based on my phone records I got home at about half 4 and retreated to my bed, ready to wake up four hours later to begin the next part of my weekend.

Saturday morning rolled around and I rose feeling slightly worse for wear, but knowing that I needed to be in Cardiff by 10:30 to catch the MegaBus to London. My brother and I boarded the bus and headed for the back row with the intention of sleeping through the entire journey, sadly it turns out a denim jacket is less than ideal when used as a make shift pillow for napping on a 4 hour bus journey.

Upon arrival in London we navigated our way through the underground and overground to find Deptford station and our host for the weekend. (Sidebar: I was overly excited at being able to use Apple Pay on all London transport instead of actually having to buy a ticket. So much easier.) After a shower, and change of attire, we headed out for food and in to Victoria again for the main reason we had travelled to London while nursing horrific hangovers. Wicked.

We had brilliant seats at the front of the Dress Circle and, due to the aforementioned hangovers, avoided alcohol for the entire performance. It was a brilliant performance by the cast and well worth the time spent being sick into a bus toilet sink on the M4.

Wicked and the Apollo Victoria

This weekend of distractions proved to be brilliant at keeping my mind occupied and away from my plan for Monday, which involved returning to Velindre for my first MRI scan since treatment began, all those months ago. Now due to my years of judo I have a higher than average level of familiarity with these machines, and as such I have developed my own procedure for dealing with them. For the uninitiated, these scans can take around half hour and involve you lying still in one position while the machine intermittently whirs and clicks around you. I stumbled across the perfect way to get through this when I unjured my wrist a few years ago: Be hungover. Turn up to the appointment having had very little sleep after a night out and you'll sleep through the scan, no matter what position you're placed in. I don't see the NHS recommending this approach any time soon but for me it works every time.

Sadly though, my busy weekend meant I was in no state to be getting wasted on the Sunday so instead relied on sleep deprivation alone. This didn't quite have the same effect as my usual procedure and I was therefore awake for the scan trying to ignore the itch on my nose that began as soon as I was inside and lasted for the entire half hour stint. One of the ladies that was operating the machine did mention to me that she read my blog so for her and anyone else at Velindre who may be reading this: Hey! You're all awesome!

Having been removed from the machine I collected all of my metal objects and headed home to await the results. I will receive them on November 20th, the day after my birthday. Here's hoping for a belated present in the form of some good news.





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