2) But when the drug, which makes your heart and mind race, wakes you up before dawn, lie there and hope for sleep again.
3) When there's absolutely no hope, totter out of bed into the kitchen, scrabble around the fridge and settle on a virtuous carrot.
4) Wash the carrot down with a few ginger biscuits, a glass of water and several white tablets. Remember you still haven't renewed your various prescriptions, promise yourself you absolutely will attend to it later and then forget all about tablets by
5) finding the most mind numbing documentary on Netflix. It's called, say, 'The Queen of Versailles' about a rather grimly mismatched couple determined to build the biggest, brashest house on American soil. You will retain nothing later except a solitary fact about the real Versailles almost bankrupting France with its gilt and glory. This from google and not the documentary.
6) No fever or tachycardia yet and you float about between bed and kitchen, eating noodles, watching rain turn to sun, and wondering why you aren't simply stepping out of your little house and walking the half hour to your nieces, one of whom has taken to saying, 'Shai! gone!' with a sad little flick of her hand.
7) At 4 in the afternoon, you have a high point of wellness. You steel yourself not to get dressed or put your contacts in, but to sit, still pyjama clad at the open window, sun blazing into your half shut eyes, drinking coffee laced with syrup and two Jaffa cakes melting as fast as you can eat them.
8) By half past five, sun turned to long shadows, you are in bed with a creeping temperature, a steady marathoning heart and a throat that burns with a thirst you cannot pacify. In the doorway, an old fashioned tape player and Catherine Alliott's rural comedy A Crowded Marriage. A fox has decapitated Cynthia. Not the heroine. The chicken...
9) You think about washing your hair.
10) You listen to the birds.
11) You write a blog post about how you survive Rituximab the wonder drug. The cancer drug. The lupus drug. The soon to be Parkinson's drug. You think about cupcakes, not the cake but the frosting. And washing your hair. And how quiet it is because the tape needs to be changed to Side 13. You take a breath, prepare to peel the blankets off your curled up legs and brace for cooler air. There will always be more tea, hot buttered toast and you will
12) begin again.