On New Year's Eve
Today she started chemotherapy at the excellent Bexley Wing of St James's Hospital in Leeds. So far, everyone there has been a model of best practice - kind, welcoming, thorough, knowledgeable - and hence there has been none of the panic from my mother which has characterised previous hospital visits.
She was sitting in a comfortable recliner armchair and they put a cannula in her arm to deliver the drug.
First they sent some saline through it to check it was working properly, and then after about ten minutes they started the carboplatin. It took about half an hour to go through. It did make her very cold but we worked out that this was because it had been in the fridge and she now had a chilly drug flowing through her.
After a little while she said that she was hungry so we got her a coffee and a tuna sandwich - it seemed quite incongruous to watch her eating it with the drip in her arm.
There were about ten people in the room having similar treatment, many - like my mother - with their families round them. My mother had my brother, her gentleman friend and me. I felt sorry for the ones who were on their own.
As each person's treatment finished, the machine that was using made a little pattern of beeping sounds, a bit like the spaceship in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind".
Mum never did work out where these beeping noises were coming from, but she took great exception to them. Her indignation every time a machine beeped was providing amusement to some of the other patients and definitely lightened the atmosphere in the room.
After a while she got fed up of keeping her hand still and kept bending her wrist, which caused the tube to kink and the alarm buzzer to sound. The kindly nurses patiently kept restarting the machine, but Mum couldn't really understand why she needed to keep her hand still.
"Mum - - no - - don't move your - - oh. Too late."
Finally she was done and released to come home, where she fell asleep but is now awake and seems fine.
It can, however, take a while for side-effects to show so we'll be keeping a close eye on her and they have given us a twenty-four-hour number to ring if we have any questions or concerns.
I've never liked New Year's Eve: all I can ever think of is all the sadnesses of the past year, and I find it hard to count my blessings and think of all the good things, and then I get cross with myself for being that way and I get even sadder.
This year is, in a way, the saddest of all. But it doesn't totally feel that way because of all the warmth and love and care that my Mum is getting from many different people. So no matter what happens, I will always remember that.
I wish you all a very Happy New Year: thank you for reading my blog.