The Coronavirus Diaries, 20th May 2021

I know self-pity is a deeply unattractive quality and something to avoid, but this morning I am feeling very sorry for myself. Perhaps if I write it down I’ll feel better. I have a pounding headache, a horrible metallic taste in my mouth, and I suspect a slightly raised temperature, all the result of my second Covid vaccination yesterday. I feel betrayed. Everyone said the reaction I had to the first one would not be repeated.

To be fair, and I don’t much feel like being fair, it is a much milder reaction than last time. But again as I prepared for bed last night I began to feel unwell, to start shivering, To feel slightly sick, to struggle, even when under the quilt, to get warm. My head felt as though I had a tight band around it. This morning the nausea has gone, and if anything I am too warm, but the taste in my mouth and the headache remain.

To add to my woes my leg is very sore. Yesterday I had the extra margin of flesh excised from my leg in case there were any satellite cancerous cells establishing themselves near the melanoma. The doctor and nurse could not have been nicer. The procedure, under local anaesthetic, went without a hitch and by the end we were almost at the point of exchanging addresses so that we can send each other Christmas cards come December. The only bit that was disconcerting was when the doctor asked me if I’d like to see what he had removed. I don’t know, I was saying and looked up to see a larger chunk of my flesh dangling from a surgical instrument than I had imagined was being excised. It’s an image that will remain with me for some time.

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The Coronavirus Diaries, 14th May 2021

When I was called to room ten and the staff member introduced herself as the skin oncology nurse my stomach did a little lurch. I have been doing a very good job of telling myself this appointment would be just to tell me everything was fine, or at worst that they wanted to check on it again in a while. Then I found out it might well have been, as the results only came through this morning.

So it was a melanoma. Not good, but not so bad either. It was in the early stages, they believe everything has been removed, but they will want to remove a larger area just in case. It sounded more inconvenient than anything else. The site is of course the same only bigger, so rest and minimal walking, certainly no cycling. I am going to be as fat as butter. More showering with clingfilm wrapped round my lower leg. Horrors. So I have just ordered one of those pricey limb protectors from Limbo. Is this a sign of a new direction in my retail habits? I remember when the attractions of Miss Selfridge palled in comparison to those of Blacks and Cotswold Outdoor, am I now going to be browsing the aisles of John Bell and Croyden on Wigmore Street or browsing surgical aids online when I want a shopping kicks?

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