Since I was 16 my shoe size has been 10 (UK size). For the first couple of years, that was big, but then everyone else caught up and ever since it has been normal. So all my shoes are size 10. Every single one of them.
With the morphine and the chemo, my feet swelled. Like balloons. As the doctor explained, I was being less active, and the body had less energy for pumping everything up from feet to torso, so there the fluids sat. This was a bit upsetting. I’ve always done quite a lot of running, and thought my legs and feet were my best feature, aesthetically speaking, but now, to look down at them was to look down on two slovenly slugs. And a practical problem arose when, after a longish period of not getting out of the front door at all, I decided I was due for exercise, and wanted a walk round the block. So I went to put my shoes on. They wouldn’t fit. Another pair. They wouldn’t fit. And another pair. They wouldn’t fit either.
Ah no – so I couldn’t go for a walk! But that was too awful, like being in prison. Walk round the block in slippers? Not good, they were tight too and it was cold and wet. Go and buy some? Yes but – not immediately, the shops were not open, and also I’d need some footwear to go to the shops in. (Shoes are one thing I’m reluctant to buy online. You really do need to check they are comfortable.) Lateral thinking required.
I have some tall neighbours. Borrow! Mick is tall. So I asked “what shoe size are you?” “Ten.” Bother.
Jamie is also tall. So I asked him. This time – 11! Bingo! They fitted a treat. A week of Jamie’s trainers, a trip to the shops, and now I have my very own size 11’s!
Yesterday was Round 4 of chemo. All went fine, though Time flew by as the friend who was visiting told me of her undercover adventures investigating slavery on the prawn ships of the South China Sea, (like prisons themselves, enormous and not coming in to land for years on end) and the Burmese refugees in Thailand who get press-ganged into manning them. (No papers, no legal status, it’s easy for them to disappear.) She wore a James-Bond-style button videocamera as she interviewed the middlemen…
People have warned me that the exhaustion, from chemo, is cumulative. I slept through from 4pm when I got home from the hospital, til 2am this morning. So then I was up and about, checking email, eating, and now, at 8am, I’m ready to go back to bed again!