Saturday, 28 March 2009

1st Chemo - Day 3

Feeling brighter again today. Had broken sleep last night but didn’t get back to sleep for a while so overslept and Holly got her self off to school. Got up just as the bin men arrived so made a mad rush with all the recycling I forgot to put out the night before. Holly helped as well and we got it sorted.

I did breakfast this morning, Egg and soldiers sounded like another good plan. Made a couple of phone calls then off we went to Glastonbury to buy some meditation tapes. Decided on a hot chocolate when we got there so went into our favourite cafe made our order and decided to sit by the breakfast bar facing the window. Well Rachel got up on stool ok but as the foot bar on stool was high, shorty here struggled. Rachel nearly asked for a box but the waitress was too busy laughing at me. I had to lean the stool right over to put my foot on then use the table to hoist myself up!! It was worth it.

Left Glastonbury with purchases, Anne called round for cup of tea then Rachel and I went to sorting office as I suspected one of the wigs had arrived. Called into train station but refused to buy Laura’s ticket for a £10 charge (as the money hadn’t got into her back account) so called Worcester and Colin and Sandra were on the case. THANK YOU !!

When I got back Holly said Kath from work and been round and dropped off some flowers and a magazine. I was gutted I missed her. Called her and Holly neglected to tell me she had also given her some kinder eggs…..

Came home and didn’t want to do anything, lay on sofa watching T.V. Mouth started to water, wanted food but didn’t know what to have and didn’t want to do anything. So, one hour later, fish and chips, KFC and one teenager picked up from train station. My fish and chips went down really well with Baked Beans and Bucks fizz….

1st Chemo Day 2

Was ok. Feeling much brighter and orange wee had died down. Not feeling so sorry for myself either. Had a good nights sleep including a wee break at 3.45am but went straigt back to sleep. I got Holly up for school, Rachel did boiled eggs and toast for breakfast. She said she got up at 4am and heard me singing happily in my sleep. I know makes a change from snoring. I will do more of that I think.

Made some phone calls and accompanied Rachel to the Hairdressers. I left her there and went to butchers, cake shop and community hall where I picked up some info on Reiki healing. Went back into the Hairdressers and sat with her and I chatted to one of the ladies about when my hair starts to fall out. I will go there when it’s starts.

Came home had lunch with a foootspa and watched a bit of telly before getting down to Asda and start being practical. Whilst there the Hospital made their 2nd attempt to see how I was doing. I felt the love there. I wasn’t just handed my coat back and off you go. I confirmed my mouth had been watering, went cold and then hot but temperature was ok and assured her I was taking my tablets. Today I was just having hot flushes. Confirmed I would call if I needed to but thanked her immensely for the call, I can’t think of the word to some up how that made me feel.

Sorted the freezer out, got rid of freezer burnt food and stacked separated bread in there and organised it more. Made curry for tea, burning the naan bread which I seem to have got into a habit of. Holly had some Risotto left over from the day before. Couldn’t eat my all my tea went to bed feeling ok and listened to some more music

Day 2 over with.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Chemo Day 1

Well there is never a dull moment in my life and Chemo day 1 was going to be no exception.
It kicked off the day before when Donna being bed ridden with a virus so should have realised this day would be no different. I decided to make a beef risotto for tea and get the ironing out the way. Phone is going most of the morning and I have in my mind that I want to get certain jobs done before I leave. Got organised to leave remembering to print a map for Rachel and pick up messages and there is one from Rachel saying she has missed the train. RACHEL HAS MISSED THE TRAIN!! She’s having a laugh so ring her and yes she has missed the train. She’s upset but tell her it’s not a drama and she’s using the promotional picture of Daniel Craig to cheer up.

As I start walking down the canal I realise that at least there will be less car parking charges with Rachel turning up at 12. Bright side to everything. I come across 2 women and their dogs. Dog A on lead, Dog b no lead. Dog A is being restrained by it owner snapping back at Dog B chasing Dog a round it’s owners leg. Not a pleasant sight and I don’t fancy going pass this at all. Dog b finally gets restrained by it’s owner and she marches off past me. I ask if she has a lead for him and she replies with “He doesn’t need one he wasn’t being aggressive” This rendered me speechless and I checked the other lady was ok before carrying on.

Well I’m having an eventful morning and not got to the hospital yet. Gail called and told her what had been happening and I carry on deciding to change my route along the way, ending up by Tesco’s. I’m wondering where the other road leads to as they might be quicker and thought I better stick to the one I remember using with Kath. This is when I remember that I could have brought my Sat Nav ….

I get to Oncology for 10.05 and the receptionist books me in but I ask her if I can go to the lou first and get some chocolate. I come back relieved and armed with a giant marathon bar and my nurse calls me. It’s not the nurse I met the other week so I am taken back with that not that it’s a problem just not what I expected. I correct her as I am a Miss and it’s Sue. I’m taken into a room with big comfy chairs and I choose my perch as I am the only patient there. Nurse sits in front of me on a foot stool and starts asking me what I know about my treatment. Told her what I remember and she goes through the Fact sheet again. I’m confused about the difference between one drug being fed intravenously and the other 2 fed into the saline. She tries to explain and I can’t take it in. I wish I hadn’t asked her I just want her to start the treatment. She passes me tissue and waits for me and I said don’t worry carry on as I just want to get out of there. I have a warm blanket to put over my hands whilst she fetches my drugs and the Somerset Cancer Care lady pops in and confirms that she can’t massage my hands as the nurse has put heat blanket on but I think she feels sorry for me and offers to sit with me until the Nurse gets back and we chat. My nurse comes back carrying 2 blue trays with bags and syringes of drugs and saline, along with another nurse who is carrying 1 tray with similar contents. My face said it all and after I had confirmed my name and address my nurse puts down her 2 trays and said she would be back in a minute after doing the same for the other nurse and off they went. Even the SCC lady thought they were all for me and she’s a regular visitor!! Relief reigned and I’m offered a drink and opt for the hot chocolate and biscuits.

My nurse comes back and arranges the drugs and starts looking for a vein on my right hand (The SCC Lady goes off now to see other patients). I have a pillow on my lap and the infusion machine is on my right so I’m thinking great I can look away, move pillow over no problem. No can’t be done as she can’t get a vein. Has to be my left hand so all the tubes are sat on my lap whilst she gets a vein on my left hand. Tears are rolling now, and I ask if she will be able to move the equipment, can you cover my hand I don’t want to see (The wall is boring). Nurse reminds me of my iPod – yes and she passes it over, I start to listen to a meditation and calm down. Nurse carries on and sets up and is then able to move machine over the left hand side but she still has to sit directly in front of me to inject drugs into the cannular placed in my left hand. I take a peak but can’t deal with that right now and go back to my iPod.

I start to feel relaxed and brave enough to face my nurse, she has covered everything up but I can still see the syringe and I know what that’s doing as I can feel the cold liquid in my hand. Well at least I can drink my lovely hot chocolate with my right hand and nibble biscuits, we start chatting about anything but not what’s going on and I feel better. We talk about the new Cancer centre and software she’s had training in. She doesn’t use the Somerset Cancer Register (project I work on). I suggested about having tables to the side of the comfy chair for the hand to rest on rather then our laps (That would be my idea of heaven for this treatment) and she laughed. It’s ok I’ll ask one the bosses in Cancer Services!!! Good luck she says. (Watch this space as I may insist on bringing my own). As we are chatting away, refreshments lady comes in and accidentally bumps into nurse and says whoops sorry Suzanne. I replied it’s ok it wasn’t me it was the nurse you bumped. Yes and that’s why I said sorry Suzanne. Oh right, it suddenly dawned on me that when I first met my nurse she hadn’t called me Susan she’d said I’m Suzanne. One all as she did call me Mrs Davies and we both laughed.

Another Lady came in for lunch order. Ooh no one had mentioned lunch and Suzanne advised that her 11:30 may want some but hadn’t arrived yet. Yes I did ask and suggested that they make my appointment later next time ……..

11:30 lady comes in and sites on a comfy chair, seems very confident, clearly done this before. She’s left with the hand heater blanket and Suzanne disappears for a bit as I’m now having the infusion and we have a chat. The machine started to bleep indication the infusion had finished and Suzanne arrived swapped bag over to help flush me out then dismantled everything from my hand and no, I didn’t look. She talked me through some more results. Cruella is 31mm. I think she’s bigger then that so will take my own measurement and compare.

Well that was it I was handed my coat and told I could leave. Rachel had text to say she wouldn’t be too long so phoned her to tell her where I would be waiting. Phoned Gail, had a few more tears and a giggle. One of our senior managers walked through and I called out to him and chatted for a bit, as he left Rachel turned up. Took her in to show where I had been and the support centre went back to look at scarves and the SCC lady was there and she showed us what to do. Finally left with the minimum car parking fee just for a change, and went into town for a well deserved pint and lunch. Had an bright orange wee before leaving then went to the crystal shop which was lovely picked up Holly from school came home and then it all hit me. I am no longer in denial of what is happening to me.

My mouth had been watering but the tablets were doing its job as I wasn’t sick. Went to bed for an hour at 4:30 and indulged myself in self pity. It was a pleasant time this morning I want to say in bed till it’s all over, why me, why now. Going to get a T.V for my bedroom then I won’t come out.

Eventually came downstairs had some tea made some phone calls and did some meditation. Took iPod to bed with me and listened to some tracks with some very poignant lyrics, took a Z tab and went to sleep.

And that was the end of 1st Chemo day 1!

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Rachel’s Adventure to Take up Sick Bucket Duty!!

It was all going so smoothly last night , went to Salsa, (on reflection not the best idea with a trapped nerve in your shoulder!!!) knew exactly what I was packing, had my bath and was all ready for this morning……..

Woke up late, oops, not a good start but not to panic, train leaves at 0854 and its now 0750, doable, I can get to the station, no problem……

Left the house at 0840, a little bit later than planned, but ok, get to the end of the street and panic, arrgh which station do I need to go to (on reflection it didn’t really matter too much if I’d carried onto Shrub Hill but bit of paper said Foregate St, so made my way there!) Which is where it all started to go so horribly wrong…..

The machine at the station didn’t like my card, it just wasn’t working and I didn’t have enough cash on me, so, left my bags at the station, (I did ask if it was ok!) Ran, yes that’s right, ran (it wasn’t a pretty sight!) to Lloyds on The Cross, as my card doesn’t work in non Lloyds machines, grrr, 1st machine wouldn’t give out £10 notes so couldn’t get £30 that I had in the account, so screamed at the machine (yes, I do realise that didn’t help!) frightened this poor lady at the machine next to me and she very kindly let me in front of her, got the money, ran, yes again, back to the station, where, as I arrived, the train was pulling out………..

Bought my ticket thru tears of frustration and went and sat on the bottom step leading to the platform and had a good cry, ignoring all the comments and stares, god people are so rude, and so uncaring!!! And when I looked up, thru the tears, who was smiling down on me, yes my knight, Craig, Daniel Craig…. Unfortunately, it was a poster, but it did make me smile all the same!!

So, jumped on the train up to Shrub Hill, got chatting with this lady, and didn’t realise we had got to Shrub Hill, oops, just got off in time!! So had 20 mins till train due, went into the cafĂ© and had a cuppa, then before I knew it, it was 2 mins till the train, arrg, ok, don’t panic, on the right platform, just pop outside and will be on the train… er no, that’ll be the train over there then will it, ooops, naughty word came out a bit louder than intended, so grabbed bags, strap got twisted round my wrist, trying to, yet again, run up the stairs without dropping bags or tripping up, which almost happened on the way down the stairs on the other side!!! But the very kind conductor, who I think heard my naughty word, held the train for me; he had seen me on the other platform!! There are nice people around!!

So, disaster averted!! Sue wasn’t happy me missing the first train, I know she’d have been really pissed if I’d missed the second one!!!

Anyway, not sure what’s wrong with me today, distracted I suppose, hadn’t realised that we’d pulled into Cheltenham, so grabbed the bags, which nearly ended up under the train as I was trying to disembark!!! Got on the platform, somehow, ended up circling the bag then tripping over it, much to the amusement of the couple sat watching me, but I just kept laughing at the stupidity of it all!!

5 mins till the train due, no more disasters please!!! Get on the train, get all nice and comfy, and it leaves the station, not in the direction that I’m used to when travelling to Taunton!!! Arrrgh, ooh, ask the trolley dolly, he assures me I’m on the right train, so finally relax.

Getting off the train at Taunton, no problems; didn’t switch of at all and nearly miss the station!! Well, here now, and then the cheeky taxi drive ripped me off!!!

Made my way to the hospital to pick Sue up, and her directions weren’t too bad, and I didn’t feel at all nervous that she’d got her lefts and rights mixed up!!

Found her waiting in reception, thankfully, so didn’t need her left right left directions after all!!!

Well, hopefully, the return journey will be less eventful!!! ;-)

Sue says thanks for all your messages, we will post her ongoings from today tomorrow!!

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Twas the night before chemo and all was quite throughout the house...

Especially after Holly went to bed! (Holly added “was quite throughout the house”bit :-)) And all you can hear is the keyboard and me, without alcohol, or cigarette doing my breathing exercises. Didn’t have any more Trauma moments today which was good and I even went to Slimming World and lost a whole pound! Better have lost some more in the next few months! Cant write on here what Holly said to that but it was to do with surgery!

Well I have been practising my breathing all day. Breath in, hold then breath out and I don’t even fancy a glass of wine. Donna is ill in bed so had to quickly come up with and arrange a plan B for coming home after being drugged up tomorrow. I LOVE YOU RACHEL xxx I promise I’ll do my ironing when I get up at 6am tomorrow.

Listened to a fantastic meditation tape today called The Rainbow House by the Sea narrated by Jane Brewer. Have had a quick on the net to see if I could buy a copy but cant find it so if anyone has one I could either buy or copy please give me a shout.

Holly’s Great Granny phoned up tonight I love talking to her. Spooky that last night I had written a card to her which is on the side waiting to be posted.

Not long now. Soon I shall be wondering what ever was I worrying about. I will wont I?

Monday, 23 March 2009

Manic Mondays…..

Have had a fabulous weekend. Gail and Jennifer came down from Brackley and took them to Street and Glastonbury Saturday including a walk up Berrow Mump. Cothlestone Hill on Sunday and the Exmoor ponies came out to play. Had to cook and lug shopping around so had to remind them I was ill a few times!!! Talked about Cruella and Jennifer wanted to know what the other side was called!! We roared and explained we were talking lumps not boobs…

Chatted to my 2 scientist’s friends, Sarah (Sands) in the afternoon and Lynne came round Sunday evening on way home to Torquay. Both have helped me put things into perspective a little bit. Still Monday I woke up in a panic (thank you sick monitor for my reminder) , will have to call these “Having a moment “. Called my boss after Holly went to school and she came round with cake!! I managed to listen to some meditation (I love my iPod especially when I find the earphones that don’t fall out!) so was relatively calm by the time Kath came round.
After she had left, I called school to find out how much risk Holly was at with the Scarlet Fever case being reported at school, and reminded them that I’m due to start chemo on Wednesday. They updated me on the position at school so not too concerned and they will give me the heads up on any more. Went onto the hospital, got a hair appointment for 2:30pm before my scan starts and off I go for yet another injection. I can’t look I’m sure they think I’m a woos.

All that done, time to walk into town and meet with Sarah (spelling) in the P&P for lunch. It was great meeting up, more hugs and a good catch up. Thought we were in for a bit of a bargain lunch but was bitterly disappointed. Meals for a fiver, 2 glasses of wine get the rest of the bottle free. Well even the chicken salad looked more embarrassed then our shocked faces and we didn’t realise the wine offered to us was £6 + a glass. I mentioned the complaint quite calmly and even though my Chemo fact sheet was out on the table when we mentioned the lack of food that was served we did only get £2 off the bill however won’t be going there to eat again. !!!

Walked back to MPH, had haircut feels much better now, then went back to the x-ray department for my scan. I was allowed to use my iPod, it was placed on the pillow out the way of the scanner so was able to listen to the meditation books on there and take my mind off the fact that there was very little space between my head and the scanner wall and before I knew it all done. I almost fell asleep!!

39 hours to go. Not counting really………

Thursday, 19 March 2009

What the Consultant Surgeon said was

I am pleased to say the CT Scan really didn’t show any abnormality. Dr reported a small patch of thickening in one of the vertebrae but didn’t think this was an abnormality. If obviously you do get back pain then we can check this out……..

Think I’ll get a skeleton out and started checking names of bones however the key message is Cruella has no friends !! :-)

Watched Wendy Richards documentary earlier which was interesting. Tried to send Holly to bed but, being such an authoritive parent that I am, she was back down for something after 10 minutes and as the documentary appeared to be sensitively done, I let her watch it, enforcing the fact that Cruella has no friends in my body unlike Wendy. It was informative on the chemotherapy aspect of it and Holly couldn’t believe that she was wearing a wig. Have already hatched an evil plan for when we go camping in the summer. If Laura and Holly play up, if I loose my hair, I can threaten them with taking off my wig .....

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

What the nurse said is this…..

Chest Clear, small nodes as would normally expect to see, no obvious pulmonary metasteses (Lung Disease), liver checked out the same.

Some abnormality of the bony texture of the right SI joint (some where in the pelvic region) – appearance is benign.

I have a NM (Nuclear Medicine) Whole body bone scan arranged for Monday. I have to have an injection first and then 3 hours later a scan (I can leave and come back) which can take up to an hour oh joy (must remember the headphones to iPOD Karen you can text me mon am if you feel I might fail )

So to summarise Cruella doesn’t have any friends lurking about that showed up on the CT scan !!!

I managed a trip to MPH without loosing car parking ticket, (ok Thanks Donna ) tried on some lovely wigs, got tiresome after a while, think I will just wear a bandanna or get the nutty professor look from the pound shop IF I loose my hair ( I know I have been told I WILL and it doesn’t bother me )…..

Will continue ensuring I sleep well as I have felt good all day long……


Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Have decided to call my tumour Cruella and I can honestly say it has been well and truly christened at Ady’s I’m not 40 birthday party on Saturday which was great!! Friday night comedy with Red Nose day, Holly wanted to know if she could climb a smaller mountain before Kilimanjaro. Looks like the lakes next year for us! Caught up with Wendy, Sara and Kerri on Sunday. I was really stupidly anxious about meeting up with them. Being extremely tired didn’t help but it was great and enjoyed myself.

On the way home stopped off at Bristol so Holly could have a KFC (Lucky girl had 2 of those this weekend). Due to my tiredness I think, I got angry with the world again on the way home. Cruella better not have any friends lurking around my body.

Lit some candles around my medicine Buddha (Buddha Amitabha) had a listen to the healing mantra Jamie sent me. All lovely and relaxed before having a good nights sleep (with a bit of help from Mr Z)

Monday I came up with another good saying, Maltesers make good tranquilisers. I have to accept though that is not an excuse for me to keep eating them. Need to find an alternative!! Left work a bit early. Just seem to get really anxious later on in the afternoon. Had a good chat with Holly and the counsellor phoned up as well. I don’t know how I get the timing right.
Thought I would try the relaxation technique to get a good nights sleep. It didn’t work. I woke up at 1am and have felt terrible all day. Holly bless her got up before me and brought me a hot drink. Got up and went to work before going to the dentist, and the Somerset Cancer support group. This group felt good and we did some relaxation before it finished. Feel more confident about my recovery after meeting some of the members today. Just wish I could fast forward the next 5 months.

I have accepted I will spend the 1st Chemo cycle at home. This will help me plan the next 5 or 7 as I should have an idea how my body will respond. I know it’s not set in stone but this uncertainty is becoming a pain. I was thinking earlier who would want to be me. Didn’t take me long to realise that actually this isn’t all that bad. I’m not a soldier in a war zone, I’m not blind. On facebook earlier a friend had a link on her page which I read and I feel so much better. This could have been so much worse for me. Well we’ll hold onto that thought until I get my scan results. Hair appointment tomorrow so I will pop into the breast clinic to see if they are in and then hopefully I can feel even more relaxed.
Went to slimming world tonight I have have put on 3.5lbs in 3 weeks. Well no surprises there then will have to refocus on that on my good weeks

Friday, 13 March 2009

More test results in ...

My Tumour is Hormone positive. I had a score of 300 which was almost 100%. I will explain when I understand it I just know this is good. Cells have receptors on it which the Tamoxifen can cover and prevent oestrogen from attaching itself to my tumour (i‘m going to think of a name for it). So after I have recovered from chemo and surgery I will be on these for 5 years. Strangely this makes me feel brilliant. Bring it on !!! 12 days to go and counting…

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

CT Scan Day...

Finally arrives. I’m prepared and ready to leave so go in to check Holly as it is 7:45am and I am disappointed to see her glasses on top of her clothes thrown on the floor. I mention this to her and that these will get broken if someone treads on them. She replies with … “ It’s ok as no-one will walk over my clothes” What can I say!!!

As I get into my car, packed with books, iPod and dressing gown, my neighbour across the roads shouts over and reminds me if I want to pop over any time feel free and off I go to Musgrove Park Hospital well on time for my appointment. Get an easy parking space for 7:55am in the morning and then realise I have to go to a different building so walk all the way round, A&E looks busy and find my way to the main X-Ray department and get booked in.

I get settled as have to drink lots of water, put my iPod away as I have left the headphones at home and start reading a book given to me by Laura, called “Life is short wear your party pants”. This is written by a stress management counsellor and I get stuck in. She uses the verses for Blues songs to demonstrate how people can see some of their own distortion and I have to stifle my laughter and she writes some well known verses. I woke up this morning, didn’t sleep a wink all night,….. Nurse reminds me to drink my water and then it’s my turn to get changed into the fetching hospital gown to be scanned.

She follows me through from the changing cubical to the scanning room. She would prefer if I could wait to go the toilet as this won’t take long. Oh I thought this was going to be a long one but she reassures me it is only 5/10 minutes. I get on the bed and the Dr comes out and explains the procedure and that I have to have a line placed in (oh no another needle) to pass some fluid round to assist with the image. Not to worry, one of them told me I would get a foul taste in my mouth, and I would feel warm as this fluid goes all around my body. This is all I remember being told. I’m left alone now and the bed moves under the scanner , computer voice says , “Take a deep breath and hold” so I do and wonder if this machine breaks would people realise and breath properly again. This happens a couple of times as the bed moves backwards and forwards under the scanner. Then I can feel this liquid going in and I’m getting hot and there’s a horrible taste in my mouth. I think please don’t take too long as it goes round my body then I feel I have wet myself. I feel mortified. Why didn’t they tell me I’d have brought a spare pare of knickers. I start to feel a bit cross now and the bed moves out and nurse comes in to help me up. She asks if I’m ok. I nod as still feeling bewildered, she asked if I had felt the warm liquid and did I feel as if I’d wet my self. I replied yes I did, you mean I haven’t wet myself?” “No that’s just the liquid” How relieved do I feel. Cant wait to get out. All over with I can get dressed. They can’t tell me when I get the results as they will come through the Dr. Thank you that ‘s great …… Off I go to the breast care clinic.

I tell reception I’m here to see one of the specialists nurses, I take up my seat in the waiting room and write. Jane spots me and asks if I mind waiting as they have another patient to see. I don’t mind as I am calling in without an appointment and I mention that I have been given some advise on complimentary medicine that I will research into to take along side my chemo and she hands me a leaflet on Somerset Cancer Care. Off I trot to get some breakfast. A huge chocolate covered muffin calls out to me. Got to build my strength up. I scoff that and go back to my writing whilst I wait for Jane. She calls me in and we have a chat. I can drink alcohol whilst on chemo!!!. Get the important stuff clarified first. I do need to find all I can about my tumour and she explains the Tumour Grading to me and that until the final results come in from Bristol there is no further news. I need to avoid Oestrogen. She will ring me Monday to advise of the CT Scan results. I have already told her I am trying not to panic as feeling pains all over my body but know I am just being slightly paranoid.

Jane kindly takes me up to the chemo area after our chat and it is lovely. The corridor is a pale lilac colour, and then there are individual rooms where the drugs are administered where there could be more then 1 person at a time receiving chemo. Jane introduces me to the receptionist and I feel so calm and relaxed. I answer Jane’s question that my nurse is Lorna whom she knows and then finds out she is on study leave today so can’t meet her but she turn’s up on our way out and we get introduced. She seems lovely and I immediately feel totally relaxed about the whole going to have chemo thing. Jane also tells her I work for the informatics part of the Trust and her eyes light up and says oooo I could pick your brains (you have to find them first I think)

I feel so much better after this morning and feel really calm about the whole thing. I thanked Jane for her time and make my way to the car park only to realise I cannot find my car parking ticket. Oh no .!!!! I pull everything out of bag and rucksack. Typical I hate this. I make a point of putting ticket in my purse and it is not there. I go over to bluebell (car) to see if I have left it there and cannot see it. I march back to pay station muttering the explanation I am going to give car park attendant if they charge me extra and I hear a horn, looked over at the ambulance and saw Holly’s swimming coach. I walked over and she got out and said she had been watching me marching and muttering (yes it did look funny) so I enlightened her of my current dilemma and that I had been practicing what I might say to any unhelpful car park controller. Explained to her why I was there and I’m super hormonal so really would like a smooth exit. She came up with good advice. Had I tried seeing if I could get another ticket issued from the machine. Fabulous idea so walked across as she pulled up at the exit with her ambulance. Uh o the ticket machine says no. Lovely lovely ambulance driver pressed the button her side and said ambulance crew requiring exit, ok was the reply, handed me her ticket and then left. WOW there is someone smiling at me. Ran past bluebell and back again (lost her in the excitement) and laughed all the way home !!!!

Next milestone is Monday when I hope to get the results of CT Scan, Wednesday Hair appointment, then the following Wednesday is chemo day 14 days……….

Meanwhile I will be looking at diet and antioxidents……….

Tuesday --- Calmness reigns

Didn’t sleep well Monday night so didn’t rush when I woke up Tuesday, called work and said I will be coming in but just a bit late. Potter about, phone Aunty Joyce, was laughing as I set about going to work.

My team were already in their meeting so I sneak in, it’s ok . After the meeting Kath wants a word with me which is good as I need to tell her that about my OH appt in an hour. Before I start my surrogate mother reminds me that memory loss is part of the side effects of what I am taking. Hooray I’m not loosing it. It’s ok I’m legally blonde!!! Madly I feel so relieved. She reminds me of the practical things I need to organise. Shopping, Holly’s clubs, Cleaning. I did own up I have been thinking of getting a cleaner in, Kath says good just twice a week. I feel shamed as I’m thinking once a fortnight. But then there is the washing up. Holly doesn’t want to do it. Also she has pre-empted my feelings of being cut off if I stay at home during my chemo. ( ok I’ll call it chemo leave) . She has promised she will come round and even give me the Cancer Reform Strategy book for me to read if I’m up to it. Umm let me think about that… I prefer the team meetings. So I am going to get organised. Told me lots of other good advise which I know is all for my well being.

I rush off to make my appt at OH. Rach texts me to ask how my CT scan went. Told her it was tomorrow had a blond moment, she tells me about hers, buys a monsoon skirt size 14 , cant see what’s wrong with that, and then it fits her as well Fantastic !

Well meeting goes ok with OH Dr. I have to start accepting help and taking time out, appears to be the only thing missing here. Reminded me if I’m not well enough to go to work I shouldn’t be doing it at home. Kath reminds me we have more interesting literature other then the Cancer Reform Strategy hooray !!! Another interesting statement he made when he asked me how I was feeling was that the only thing we can be certain about is the uncertainty. He was alarmed I wrote that but I thought it made sense. Then I add to it that another thing I am certain about is that in12 months time all this will be a memory, as I will be fit and healthy, slimmer (better had be), new hairstyle and a new boob. (still not happy with that one)

I stop off for a hot chocolate on way back to work, write my journal, and decided to call Colin and see how he is. “ ok you know hows you?” “ ok you know”) then we both laugh. I ask him which treatment plan he’s thinking of opting for and we talk about the toxic chemo in Manchester. Suggested we could set up a web cam when we are both having our treatment. He then ask’s me about mine and if I’m having it in hospital. Yes inpatient, it will take about hour and half. He ask’s who will be looking after Holly, replied she’d be at school. He’s is concerned at this so I mention Donna is coming for the day, ok then someone will be there for her. I said I’d be back before she gets home from school and realise I should have said outpatient instead of inpatient. Always get there in the end.

I stop off at the Irish house before getting back to work. Showed Margie my diary I had bought to assist with memory loss episodes and crack on with my lovely distraction. Later on phone goes, it’s Colin. Still haven’t worked out how to answer this and end up calling him back. He has just heard that his PCT have agreed to prescribe him Sutent so he doesn’t have to appeal against it. Wonderful news. I am so pleased for him. He has another treatment to consider.

Did go to the Dr’s but there is nothing wrong with my throat. Well just drink water. Will be doing lots of that tomorrow when I have my CT Scan on Wednesday 11th March. JC texted how did it go……. He said he would just send it me again tomorrow…

Manic Monday

When Holly came back Sunday night I sat down with her and told her what was happening this week so I don’get any oooohhhhh I don’t want to do that behaviour. We had a lovely chat and she confided that she had cried in school on Friday and I reassured her that it is ok to cry as it is all part of the healing process. She said she didn’t want the sympathy factor at school and said it was down to how she handled this really. Everything here is fine we just have a bit of a hard year in front of us that’s all and she can let them know we are fine thank you and that as her friends, she has to remember they care about her.

Monday I got into work after a good night’s sleep, (thanks Mr Z), business as usual as far as I’m concerned and set about doing my tasks. One of my friends at work has morning sickness take her by surprise. That’s it, lunchtime task is to get a selection of Ginger biscuits and she can rate them for me and give them marks out of 10 for when I have my chemo treatment. She has agreed to take on this clinical trial hosted by the informatics department and not the hospital trust. So off I shoot lunchtime to get the biscuits. Ok I’m cheap and go to Sainsbury’s and come back with a lovely selection for her to try. She’s been to Marks and Spencer’s comes back with Ginger and Rhubarb and they are lush. I have to leave else I will eat the packet. I know I have to build my strength but that is no excuse for robbing her biscuits!

Well I’m fine getting on with work, letting my contacts know to call me back Tuesday pm when I’m back in the office. In my head I have my C.T. scan Tuesday. Told that to the Guys the weekend Tuesday 11th March !! Clare J phones up from Barnstable. When I answer her call it takes me a while to realise who she is. I have a mental block. Shouldn’t do as her sister Karen is my sick monitor. She gets my “I’m really ill and can’t come to work” calls instead of Kath. Don’t ask just accept it happens. Only twice I might add and it made David laugh when I told him in Hospital last year. When Clare has identified herself and I realise who I am talking to, she’s called to offer practical help with Holly during my chemo. When I know when my bed days are they are happy to come and take holly out for the day and also when I am recovering invite me over to stay over. I thank her for her kind offer and will put this into my practical plan when I write it. I admit I can’t wait to go to the beach. Any beach really I just want to sit and stare but my commitments won’t let me do that for a while. I will have to get Rachel to take me to Charmouth when she’s on first sick bucket duty.

After we had finished I got on with what I was doing and something made me check the date Monday 9th March , so Tuesday 11 March doesn’t exist, so CT Scan is on Wednesday 11th March. What a dohnut !!! I shake it off but realise I just want to come home. My safe haven. I politely let my colleague know I am going home but have worried her so she follows me out to ensure I am ok to drive and the tears flow. I know it’s not the first time I or anyone else has done this nor will it be the last but I feel really silly. Thankfully I find out today and not Tuesday morning at 8am when I have turned up at the hospital !! See always counting my blessings.

I arrive home and before I can go upstairs to cry the phone goes and it is Occupational Health calling , Do I want to accept a cancelled appt they have for Tuesday at 11.15am as it is unlikely to get in for a while. I accept, reason for everything I think. I phone the breast care team at MPH, please can I go round and see the chemo treatment room, this will help with the anxiety I feel about the whole process, yes no problem, come round tomorrow after your scan. Yes my CT Scan booked for Wednesday not Tuesday, 11th March. It’s is also suggested as my throat contracted earlier when I got upset that I see the GP to see if there is anything they can give to help keep me calm as I need to be fit for the chemo. I confirmed I do not want to go on anti-depressants, but she reminded me how they put me back in control and perhaps just something short term to deal with the anxiety. We’ll see and accept her offer to call the surgery. Also asked if will be ok to bring Holly with me when I meet with the Hairstylist at the hospital . Yep that’s ok. Brilliant all Fab then, oh and would I consider seeing a counsellor. Do I need one , I realise that she can’t see me nodding so just say ok and that’s all that done now.

What a flaf. I have decided I am going to get a diary to put in my dates, am also going to get a scrap book so will stick all the messages I have received along with this journal so when I have a trauma moment I can read it and calm down. Something small, not unusual but it frightened me, not sure why it never use to bother me before. Must be hormones !!

B'day Weekend

Well what a fab weekend we all had. Fred & JC got lost and came off at Wellington. It was the stopping at too many lay-bys that did it and perhaps the Scooby mask got in the way. Turned out well as Jo and Joe had arrived so they stopped at the pub to pick them up. Tea didn’t spoil and they brought lots of lovely wine and champagne with them which went down really well. THANK YOU!
Woke up feeling a bit tired but wasn’t sick even though I’d had a mixture - so was feeling chuffed with that. Breakfast was superb if I may say so myself. Chilled champagne, orange juice, warm bread rolls, garlic and herb soft cheese and smoked salmon. Good company however sorry about the conversation Fred but JC wanted to know all about my treatment plan!!!
Finally we found ourselves tootling off onto the canal route into town. Browsed in a couple of shops including Fred’s favourite pound shop. There were some silly mad professor wigs which was a suggested purchase instead of a hat!! Then we were all very thirsty and had to go to the pub. There we stayed. Anne Nige and Lou found us, Tony and Tracy turned up and when Jo & Joe finished shopping found us as well. Decided food was required and we settled for the pub grub. Then we went to the next pub and they had Rattlers on tap!! wow I was back in Cornwall last summer.
We decided to go to the Plough on way home so we could freshen up before dinner that night as the table was booked for 7.30 at China China but spotted the Kings Arms which I had never been to so off we went. Get diagnosed with breast cancer and go on the piss with some of your mates. Fab remedy in my book! Lovely pub, JC couldn’t sell me for discount off the round but hey never mind. I think it was here that the idea was born to have a wide wake boob party for my boob and all the girls have to wear corsets and the blokes have to wear boobs as well. Even sober it still makes me laugh !!
By now Nige had called to check where we’re at and it is obvious by now we are going straight to the restaurant. Anne offered to pick us up if we wanted to get changed. I did as Lynne had forced me to buy a new top last week and I wanted to wear it with the shoes Barbara forced me to buy in Jersey. So Anne, dropped Nige off, picked me up, both of us got ready and took us back down again. I LOVE you!! What STAR!!
Food went down well and we ended up in the pub again. Left earlyish, I was happily falling asleep on the sofa, as we were coming out of the pub some drinkers asked Fred for a light, I tutted and Fred threw back , I know I know, smoking stunts your growth and gives you cancer and you got both ! Well I roared, not sure what the smokers were thinking but we were all laughing. Found a taxi at the train station and made our way home. Fred got in much later…
A more subdued breakfast the next day but still satisfying. Even had a decent cat nap in the afternoon and my headache caused only by tiredness disappeared and satisfied we all had a great b’day weekend with Fred. As for me we couldn’t have planned that better when we agreed this weekend back in January. Just what the Dr ordered !! I wasn’t sick and didn’t fall under any tables either what a result !

Friday, 6 March 2009

Can’t remember what it was today...

Trauma day I think

Feeling good as last day of the week, friends coming down, Bucks Fizz breakfast Sat ….

But I did a really stupid thing. I decided to Google loosing weight with chemo… I didn’t look on any of the search results as I knew I’d just upset myself. The only reason I did it was to see if I’ll beat Rachel to loosing 2 stone. So I got out my chemo fact sheets that I’ve been carrying round in my rucksack and read them. 5 minutes later felt myself getting all hot and nauseous. Took my bottle of diet code (doh) into the canteen and sat down for 5 minutes. Couldn’t open the window to let some air in (just my luck) so just stare out at it. Once I had restored a bit of normality (phew what’s that??) I returned back to my desk and reassured Jim that I was ok and when David came back was able to discuss again what had happened and how I feel.

I have so much anticipation in me. The Dr can give me the worse case scenario so that any positives will help me physiologically but there is absolutely nobody that can tell me how my body is going to respond to the chemo. This is so crap and currently I feel that it doesn’t help me at all. I have to expect the worse case scenario but I want to carry on as normal!!! (At this point I could really smoke a cigarette)

And then there is the NEEDLES …. My arm still hurts from the blood test they took on Tuesday!!

I know I’m not a wimp but argharghargargh … Decided that from now on I will leave all my books and info at home or in the car and not read newspapers in supermarkets telling me that breast cancer patient has died that stood up to the Government for the rest of the breast cancer patients for herceptin treatment!!! ( But a big THANK YOU )

Then I am balling my eyes out (shock settling in) before I even got home. I don’t even know that much about the Cancer I have got! Holly’s step mom had picked her up and had left me a bunch of purple Tulips ( big smile ) and a box of hand made chocolates (bigger smile ) and letting me know they are happy to drop holly off Sunday if I don’t feel like it, which I don’t at this time of writing. Had a good howl couldn’t even tell you what for then phoned Gail to pass it on. IT IS MY TURN!!! Anne phoned didn’t even know who I was speaking to and she was round in 5 minutes so I dropped Gail and gave it to Anne.

Any way totally recovered ( 3 glasses of Red later ) and in an acceptable state to spend the weekend celebrating Fred’s birthday with wine , good food, as I have cooked it, Bucks Fizz breakfast and what ever else we plan to do tomorrow.

Feeling much better (But still might buy a hip flask tomorrow when shopping- I did try the rescue remedy)


Thursday, 5 March 2009

Bucks Fizz can be legitimately drunk in the morning!!

is today’s mantra...

I woke around 6ish this morning and lay in bed with my head buzzing around and feeling anxious again. A drink would stop this but I know that’s a rocky road to start thinking about that first thing in the morning. I will make sure I get my rescue remedy out my bag to stop the temptation of having a drink or worse I’ve even thought of buying cigarettes. Don’t panic as I’m not doing either have resorted to rescue remedy which I have found and will try tomorrow morning.

Moving on with the Bucks Fizz, Fred and JC are staying over the weekend and we are meeting up with Jo Jo Tone and Tracie and we are all coming out to play with Nigel and Anne. Fred’s birthday is an excellent excuse to have a Bucks Fizz breakfast on Saturday. I lay smiling to myself at this fab idea then remembered that last time I had a Bucks Fizz breakfast with JC and Fred was in Jersey on Lynne’s wedding morning. Wonderful day and I ended up on the floor under the table before dessert was served. The only reason I know this to be true is the picture JC took and got blown up to A4 and showed to everyone. I have a copy in my kitchen. Ummmm better make sure I pace myself and drink lots of water. So with these thoughts I was laughing when I finally got out of bed and came into the kitchen to inspect Holly’s washing up from the day before. I did wash it all again but did laugh that she couldn’t be bothered to open up my lunch box. She really didn’t want to wash up!!

I have to scribble down a dream that I had last night. Keith came into it bold as brass in a wet suit and carrying a body board as if no time had passed since we last saw each other. Very bizarre.

I have replied to Holly’s Granny as she sent me a lovely note and assured her I am of a positive mind which will help in the coming months. Told her this is definitely the last time I join slimming world as last time I joined I fell pregnant, joined again in January and now look at me !!

Work has been a pleasant distraction today. Walked up to the library lunch time and thinking I feel normal I am not ill. Perhaps if I repeated in my mind I have breast cancer it might sink in. Didn’t work. I much prefer this morning’s mantra.

Coming home from work I wondered if I’m fine with the chemo would they up the dosage and avoid surgery? I think I know the answer to that one but still a valid thought. I am really cringing at the thought of a mastectomy.

Asked Holly tonight if she wanted to come to the hairstylist in the hospital with me. She appeared dead keen so will find out if this is going to be ok. We’ve had a wonderful evening at Laura and Alex’s. She interacts so well with them and I forgot about chemo for a few hours.

Must read my documents on my Chemo combination and write up my to do list. Rachel is taking annual leave to take over from Donna for my first cycle of Chemo to be on sick bucket duty. I do hope it’s not too bad….

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

21 days to go and counting....

Well I feel much better today. Yesterday was information overload. Comming to terms with your Cancer diagnosis is one thing, have done the denial, speculation, shock. Practical tired and angry all came in together. Now, after being told I will loose my hair with the chemo, I'm told it's is most likly to loose a breast as well. Not liking that bit at all!!! I understand the benifits, not a problem, it's just doesnt sound right, I cant believe they are talking about me.

Felt anxious this morning after a good nights sleep (thanks Mr Z) but stayed the whole day at work. Have already picked up my new phone but dont have the patience to figure out how to move my contacts across so the lovely lady at the phone shop did that all for me. I stopped off at the lovely Irish house on the way back and practiced sending a text message on my new phone as when I'm confident with that I'll cancel my old phone then it's unlimited texts Hooray :-)

Holly still a bit grumpy with me as she is grounded from using the DS and watching TV as she lost my ds game but did seem keen to stay at her dads for the Easter fornight. Got her to practice the washing up tonight as I couldn't be bothered but will check that in the morning.

Thanks everyone for your lovely supportive messages and wishes, I will print them off and get Holly to read them to me when I'm feeling crap. I know they give you the worse case senario's at the Hospital so maybe I might get off lightly ??? ok it's just a thought. Donna Rachel and Laura on first round of sick bucket duty so they can ask their angels to be kind .....

Well I have a few more jobs to do before chemo day and couple of social gatherings lined up as well. Will write my list tomorrow and make sure I do them. It's ok Bianca I hoovered on Sunday :-)

Well this is where I'm at...

Just to let you know or confirm if you have already heard on the grapevine but I have been diagnosed with Lobular Breast Cancer.

Treatment Plan
1st Treatment is hormone therapy – Tamoxifen

2nd Treatment starting 25/03/08 6 cycles (3 weeks = 1 cycle) of FEC (Drug combination of Flurouracil, Epirbicin, Cyclophosamide ). Depending on how my body responds to treatment this could extend to 8 cycles if they have to change the Drug combination which will be fed intravenously.

3rd Treatment is Surgery to remove the breast. Bummer still getting my head round that one.

I will come out the other side and be fine, same as others before me, this is just another mountain to climb to get there. I’ve already had a few weeks to get my head round all this and whilst I'm in for a rough ride (worse case scenario) It will be for the greater good.

This blog site is to keep family and friends informed of my progress. Rachel (sis) Holly and myself will be updating this to keep you informed and for any messages you may want to leave to cheer me on my way through when I can legitimately stay in bed all day feeling sick and it is not alcohol related :-)

Well here goes…