And so my vacation ends, not with a whimper but a bang

Royal Doulton teapot and cups with finger sandwiches on plates

It’s January 4 and nary a wine gum has passed these chaste lips. Sometimes I amaze even myself.

Last night, in honour of the Episode 1 of the 8th and final season of Downton Abbey, dinner included a variety of tea sandwiches–cucumber and cream cheese are my favourites–followed by home-baked pear-ginger scones with lemon curd (yes, the curd was bottled) for dessert. We washed the scones down with a spot of English tea served on Royal Doulton china.

These festivities officially marked the end of my vacation. Of what vacation do I speak? I never mentioned a vacation, and I tell you almost everything, don’t I? If you’ve been paying close attention, I’ve been on a vacation from cancer for the past 6 weeks, both in my life and on my blog, with the exception of a few recent posts. No doctors, no labs, no fretting (okay, maybe some fretting), and, to be honest, no major concerns of late. I’m as healthy as a horse person with leukemia.

My illness hiatus ended this afternoon when I risked life and limb at the lab. Anyone who sets foot in a medical lab or doctor’s office at this time of year is taking her life in her hands. But I needed to provide a spot of blood for analysis in time for tomorrow’s Cancer Centre appointment. So off I went, lab appointment and all, and sat in a room filled with many a potential for infection. Yes, I fretted, “Please call my name and free me from this cesspool of germs.”

The number of influenza cases is expected to peak later this month. Many of those fluey people are seeking medical attention for a virus that modern medicine can’t do much for. Bet they’re regretting not getting their flu shots now. I too am regretting they didn’t get their flu shots, and I’m praying the one I got will protect me from their unfortunate infection.

To add insult to influenza, tomorrow at the Cancer Centre I’ll be seated amongst immunocompromised people just like me. Cancer may not be contagious, but it can make us cancerous people magnets for germs. I will do my best to keep my distance, sanitize my hands, and flee the Centre as soon as I’m able. If all goes as planned, I’ll be sent off for 6 weeks or more, which will keep me away from doctors until after peak flu-age. A girl can only hope.

But who am I kidding really? Sure, the lab and the Cancer Centre are germ factories, but so is the local gym where I go for yoga, and the grocery store–beware the unwashed vegetable!–and, of course, the drug store. What was I thinking walking down the cold-and-flu aisle toward the drug counter while I was killing time awaiting my lab appointment? [Hits palm to forehead gently to minimize bruising.]

Well, I’ve made it home safely now, where homemade chicken broth awaits in the fridge. You know they call it Jewish penicillin, right? I’m hoping it can protect me from the rampant dangers I’ve encountered today. I’ll let you know.

Ta ta for now!



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