“Hello, this is Brenda from the department of work and pensions. Am I speaking to Mrs *****?”
Me: “Yes, how can I help?”
Brenda: “We need you to come for a work focused interview to see how we can help you get into paid employment as you are on income based ESA. Are you still a registered childminder?”
Me: “No, I have never looked after children, apart from my own cos I am their mother. I have never been a childminder”
Brenda: “Oh, it is written here that you are a childminder”
Me:”No, I do care in the community and I am a lunchtime supervisor at a primary school”
Brenda”Oh, I dont know how this has happened...when would be convenient for you to come for an interview so we can get you into work?”
Me: “Well, perhaps you can send me an appointment for your work focused interview and I will see if I can take the time off work to attend”
Brenda “ Oh, are you working then?”
Me: “Yes, and I send you my set of accounts every six months to show my income and expenditure. Could we have this conversation another time as I am a bit busy at the moment?”
Brenda “Dont worry, I will send you an appointment”
I drove off thinking to myself “Did that phone call actually happen or have I finally gone completely mad?”
Well, I hadn’t gone mad cos an appointment came through the post for May. What a waste of bleeding time!!, but I will attend, with my sets of accounts to show them that I do actually work, even if it is for peanuts.
The work I do, fits around my day and gives me time to look after the girls and Ady. If they think I can fit anymore work in, then they can whistle!
I told Ady about the call. I should have kept quiet because he went into an immediate panic about him having to go back to work and the pressure this whole thing is putting us under. I told him not to worry cos I am dealing with it and if I get any shit, then I am phoning Iain Duncan Smiths place. God, bloody people, why cant they get their flipping act together and leave us alone!
Poor Ady has been knocked for six a bit lately, with the death of Julia and the phone call from the DWP.
When he finds things tough going, he sleeps a lot more than usual. Bless him, he is knackered enough with his hormone therapy and up all night weeing, without stress making him sleep too!
The other Saturday, he sat down with Steph to watch You’ve Been Framed. By the time Steph had got the telly on and the correct channel, Ady had fallen asleep. He woke up a bit later and said “That’s not You’ve Been Framed”
“No dad” Steph said, “It’s the adverts”
She found that hysterical and Ady went back to sleep.
Ady’s poo and wee issues seem to be calming down a lot now,and he had a phonecall from the radiographers to see how he was doing. They are very pleased with him.
We snuck in a PSA test the other week while he was having other bloods done and that is still at zero. Its nice to know we are on the right track. Christ, if his PSA is rising at this early stage while he is on hormones, then we are rather buggered so it’s nice to know that we are not.
We are seeing the oncologist in May to check everything is OK and she wants a PSA test too. Then, I assume after that, we do the odd PSA test here and there and if it starts rising, then we go back to the oncologist for more treatment. We will see, but I assume that will be the plan...?
Ady asked me to cut his hair for him the other day, so I got the clippers out and thought to myself, “If I do it on a number one blade thingy, then I will have to cut his hair more often” So I was very naughty and didn’t say anything, but clipped the lot off with no guard. It looked MUCH better, but of course, Ady was not too happy, naturally, but he is very chuffed that his hormone tablets have started making the hair on top of his head grow again!
So, he has got a bald square by his winkie, where they blasted him with radiotherapy and his bald head has hair growing!
At the beginning of April, we had to go and see the rheumatologist to talk about going back on the Methotrexate for his arthritis. A couple of days before, our rheumy nurse Lisa rang (she is lovely) to say that his bloods had flagged up to say his white cells were on the cusp of being too low.
We agreed that it was probably the radiotherapy that had caused it and what a good job we were seeing Mr Rheumy guy in a few days.
Mr Rheumy guy took some more bloods to make sure the white cells weren’t going any lower and if they weren’t, then Ady is to start back on the Methotrexate and 10mg for the first two weeks, remembering his folic acid two days before and two days after, and then move up to 22.5mg.
He is also to have blood tests every two weeks for six weeks and then monthly after that.
Phew, I am glad I have written this down, so if I confuse myself, then I will check what I have said on here!
I asked about the Methotrexate mixing with the Casodex and Tamoxifen and he wasn’t sure of the answer and told me to check with a pharmacist. I did that and have been told that although both are pretty toxic on the liver, it should be OK with plenty of blood tests.
His white cells haven’t gone down any further, so he has taken his first tablet today. I will be the wife from hell and ring to check the results every two weeks, just to make sure nothing is missed.
You’ve got to be proactive with these things ya know!!