Monthly Archives: October 2012

Needle Phobia!

When I was helping my ex through her last years with colon cancer I joked that I would never be able to do what she was doing because I hate needles! This may be something I was born with but an early experience may have contributed to it.

When I was very young (under five) I did something really stupid in the garden, involving broken skin, blood and dirt. I was taken off to the hospital for a tetanus shot. I remember it was also the day of my piano lesson and I had my piano music, in its leather case, with me at the hospital. The nurse tried to put me at ease by talking about music but I could tell from the smell of the place that I didn’t want to be there. My mother and I were put into a small cubicle and moments later a doctor appeared with what looked to my young eyes like the most enormous syringe on earth. He jabbed me with it and it hurt like hell! Since that day I have had a huge phobia of needles and anything else small, pointy and sharp.

My skin is also especially sensitive and so, regardless of what anyone says, needles hurt me. One time I actually broke the skin in my palm, when squeezing my hand tight at the dentist’s office. Crazy!

Stress Ball After my second operation last year I was told I had to have a blood-thinner shot every day for a month!
One way I was able to handle all the needles during the last year (daily blood thinner shots for a month, blood tests, chemo) was to take a small stress ball with me – the foamy kind that used to be given away as promo by outfits like trucking companies, publishers, etc. I squeeze that in the hand of the arm that is not getting the needle. I wish I had thought of it sooner – it sure helps!

Quick Update Cycle 6

Hello folks …

Thought I would send a quick update on where I am at as it has been a couple of weeks since my last posting. I started Cycle 6 last Thursday – my final pair of treatments. The second treatment is scheduled for this Thursday.

Having attempted and failed to take the last treatment it had been four weeks since I had had any chemo. My body had totally forgotten what was involved! Consequently, I have had a several days of feeling pretty grotty, and I am tiring very easily. Of course, I have no idea how my bone marrow is faring but will arrive early for the blood test this Thursday, before my appointed treatment time, so that we know where things stand and whether I can receive the last treatment this week.

We enjoyed watching Chocolat (lovely cinematography by Roger Pratt) and Barney’s Version. I had forgotten some key aspects of the plot in Barney’s Version – enjoyed the movie very much!

Following on from reading Just My Type I re-watched Helvetica, a really interesting (OK, nerdy) documentary by Gary Hustwit on the design of the Helvetica typeface, and the influence it has had on typography, graphic design and global visual culture over the last 50 years. It is interesting that all the graphic designers interviewed seemed to be European and British – North America does not appear to feature in these fields.

We also watched Urbanized, about the design of cities. I can’t wait to see Objectified, the third film in Hustwit’s design trilogy, about industrial design.

I think as I recover from the next treatment I shall retreat into catching up on the Harry Potter movies!

That’s all for now. I hope that when I next write, in a couple of weeks, I shall have started on the road to recovery. There is a bit of a ways to go!