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(I made the decision to stay in medical accommodation while in Darwin having radiation treatment for 7 weeks following breast cancer.  The description of the accommodation ensured there would be transportation to and from medical treatment for those staying there.  It seemed like a good thing as I did not have anyone to take me to and from the treatments about half an hour away each day.  However the reality of the transport did not meet the promise and it was a consistent problem for me except when my husband and daughter visited me with a rental car.  In hind sight I would have done things differently.  Isn’t that the way?)

Okay, let me just say first of all, for a transit lounge to work, you have to actually have transportation available.  The outcome of yesterday’s ‘face to face’ with the manger of my medical accommodation was to inform me that there is a ‘transit lounge’ at the hospital.  Interesting. It is the first time in my FOUR WEEK stay that anyone has mentioned this, despite many conversations I have had with the staff and bus drivers.

Secondly, the ‘malaise’ has set in and I am now officially tired all the time.

This morning’s 10am bus appeared here at BJH at 9.50, so we were off to a great start.  Then, en route, the driver received a phone call from ‘the boss’ apparently, and it sounded like trouble.  After he finished the call he turned to me and said ‘We are one driver down today, only 3 of us to do all the runs today’.  I said, “This sounds like a good day to take the city bus into town after my treatment, would that be right?”  He said ‘absolutely’!  So I was very lucky to have had that ‘tip’ and could see that was the way to go.  Oncology whisked me through treatment and I was finished and out the door before my appointed time, again.  I walked to the hospital and got my yummy little coffee and waited for the #1 bus to the Casuarina exchange.  I was feeling rather ‘wobbly’ as if my blood sugar levels were very low, but thought they shouldn’t be as I had my usual good breakfast, and was hoping the coffee would ‘kick in’ and give me an energy boost.  Working like a well oiled machine, I finished my coffee and a few minutes later, the bus came, and within 10 minutes of arriving at the exchange, the #10 bus arrived and we were on our way into the city.

I did make one observation, which I have unfortunately observed numerous times during my intensive exposure to the general public here…. There seem to be a great many more white people who smell filthy than any of the other representative cultures.  Ugh.

I arrived into the city, had a lovely, healthy lunch of rice salad and carrot salad with fresh papaya for dessert, and then walked to Woolies for a few grocery items to bring back in the taxi with me.  All was going so well and then I arrived at the taxi queue.  Lots of people waiting and no taxis was not a good look.  After just a few minutes waiting in the heat and humidity I could tell I would not last long, so I found a bench and rang for a taxi.  At first they put me on hold for a few minutes, and then when they did answer I could hardly hear them as the sound on their end was very poor.  I wasn’t confident a taxi would actually appear.  Some of the group seemed to be waiting for a bus, and some climbed into a taxi after agreeing to share so when a taxi showed up, I had good reason to believe it was the one I had requested.  He was talking on his phone when I got in but I asked if he was the taxi I had called and he nodded.  A lady standing there asked if he would call for another one but he said ‘no’.  Once in and on our way I found out that technically he was NOT the taxi I had called, but I guess it was a serendipitous opportunity for both of us, as his booked fare had fallen through, and I was waiting.  So that is the way the game is played, mostly like a game of chance!  He went on to explain that it was no use ringing a taxi when there were none waiting at the queue, because the fact there were none waiting meant that there were none available!!  I was just ‘lucky’, apparently.

The radiology technicians told me today that when the tiredness sets in from therapy, is the time when they recommend a bit of extra ‘sugar’ or even a milkshake or some chocolate to give some energy.  I was craving healthy salad type foods, however, and followed with a small bit of chocolate (as per usual!) for lunch.  I would have indulged in a nice gluten free cake if I could have found any, but after looking for the umpteenth time and finding nothing, I decided when I was at Woolies to buy some gluten free buckwheat pancake mix and maple syrup to enjoy in the coming days.  I also bought a small non-stick frying pan in which I can make an omelet, or cook the pancakes.

There is a new resident here on the women’s wing who has decided she is ‘special’ and doesn’t need to wash her own dirty dishes.  Last night she fried something in the only fry pan in the kitchen and left it greasy and dirty, along with some cutlery in the sink.  This afternoon it is still there.  I had a feeling it would be.  One evening I went in and a woman was standing barefooted in rice and curry that had been spilled on the floor.  I don’t know that it was she who spilled it, but coincidentally that is when the dirty dishes started appearing as well.  Until last week, everyone who had stayed here had managed to clean their own dishes, wipe them, and put them away so that whenever anyone went in to prepare food, it was clean and ready for them.  So today I purchased my own small fry pan so that I can use it when I need to and not have to clean someone else’s greasy, dirty pan.  I guess maybe I am intolerant of the shortcomings of others, but I don’t feel I’m in a position at the moment to have the extra energy to make up for what others refuse to do.