Thursday, September 27, 2007

hardest so far

this is
this is the hardest so far.

Only one chemo to go .. and I feel as though my life is in a sort of limbo ... I'm scheduled to have chemo next week, 2-4th Oct then the SCAN the week after, Oct 11th, if it all goes to plan.

.. basically it feels like we're hunkering down together and waiting for the next stage of our lives to announce itself, probably on Oct 12th (day I should see Dr Adab for the scan results).

We're going away to Scotland for 1/2 term, whatever he says, and then the rest of our lives will kick back in, either full of renewed hope and planning to recover from the last year or resigned to more and more treatment ..

For B, back to work after 1/2 term is going to mean a difficult time at school cos her boss has got to have some surgery and will be off till Christmas..... it would be so nice not to be adding any more to her "work-load" ...


Part of what makes it hard is the fear that if this scan brings bad news the situation so far will have been a breeze compared to entering a phase of having cancer as a chronic condition.

I am afraid of that.

It's hard this is,
it's the hardest so far.

Monday, September 24, 2007


Heard on the news there have been some tornadoes in Central England today .. it certainly has been blowy here, but after torrential rain first thing I've been able to catch a bit of sunas I went for a walk round my favourite gardens.

I bought some new walking boots too - tho it's so hard to tell if they are right or not, when my fingers are too numb to do the laces properly and my toes feel very strange all the time! hey ho .. they are men's sizing so they are a bit wider than women's boots and I reckon they'll be OK for my limited walking needs...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

home again

This chemo was not so bad without the oxyliplatin .. I feel far less sickly and quite alert compared to previous levels of tiredness. I enjoyed a good bunch of visits and send my thanks to Woolfie for bringing me home on Thursday. *mwah*

All being well I'm back in again on a two week schedule, and that's the last. Then the week after there is another scan. Trying hard not to think about the scan. I sooo much want a break now .. a bit of time without the chemo-fog.

B is asleep - managing to actually STOP herself from scurrying around in a busy busy whirl. That's good. I'm going to make us meatballs for tea, also good, so it's all good here!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Chemo 11

here I am back in the hospital. Not feeling too bad cos the doc decided not to administer the oxilyplatin this time (due to the numbness in fingers and feet) this means no need to take piriton (so not so knocked out) and less side-effects:
less sleepy generally, less nausea and LESS TIME in here, cos I dont have to have the 9 hours of fluids to replace minerals when I don't have the "poxy-oxy" as it's affectionately known!

We had a chat about getting stressed about the next scans etc and he was very sweet. He says we have to put worst-case-scenario thoughts out of our heads, but it's only human to get a bit upset sometimes, he says even ppl who've been clear for years get stressed when they have to comeback for scans and checks ...

I was also upset talking to John about Annette, the neighbout who died of cancer last week. She was 55 and her breast cancer came back -all through her body. I didn't really need to know quite so much about what dying friom cancer was like for her .. that was, after all, why I didn't go so see her in the hospice .. but I enjoyed talking to him in other respects and I plan to go to her funeral on Friday .. a good cry will be fine .. I do quite a bit of crying about "other ppl" - it's easier to stop than if you start crying for your own situation and immediate family's distress...

B has struggled with the return to work - it's always such a tiring time of year cranking back up to work-pace, and added to that the fact that this is now a whole year of pretty relentless treatment and illness it has taken its toll on both of us this last couple of weeks. However, she seemed a lot more calm yesterday, so hopefully she is hitting her stride again!

Saturday, September 15, 2007



I've had a busy week with Ann from Bristol and doing a few chores but I tell you - I'm bone tired


Tuesday, September 11, 2007


This (slightly out of focus shot!) shows SOME of the bouquet sent to me by my college friends. There were more roses than this and LOTS of pink lilies which I split up and spread about the house. The smell is lovely, and in fact, even the roses have a scent, which is unusual for shop-bought ones! I am very grateful for these and all my other presents. Thank-you!
I've continued to see lots of people. We saw James, Chris and Woolfie on Saturday, then Sam came round later in the afternon. In the evening Andy and David came and we went for our meal at Bella Napoli. They were madly busy in there but it is a great place for good food and Pepe gave us a free tipple of limoncello at the end and a bottle of Prosecco to take away .. which makes you feel like he values our custom!

On Sunday I was predictably tired, but managed a stroll round the Italian Gardens and a pop-in to Kasia's on our way back.

Yesterday I cooked a simple Italian meal for Azrini and today I am awaiting the arrival of Ann from Bristol who is staying up here for a couple of nights and we are going to be tourists .. which is a thing I like to do ..

PS ... I recently up-dated the other blog (take heart) if you've stopped checking it due to its static mood for the past few weeks!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

There was a miner, forty-niner

So here I am, a 49-er!

My siblings will remember us playing that tune on the little electronic organ we used to have! LOL

I enjoyed my trip to M/C and seeing Mand yesterday, but was, quite frankly SHOCKED at how tired it made me. I get complacent about my energy levels cos I do *so* very little and in such small amounts that I didn't realise how big a deal this trip out was.

I was absolutely shattered and had to doze when I got back, couldn't face any cocktail (I know .. very hard to believe) and fell asleep in front of the fire by 9.30! Still, we enjoyed our chinese meal and B put the massage table up so I got a top-class neck and back massage to relax me .. which was lovely!

Today we have a few pals popping in this afternoon and we are going with Mr K and David to the Italian tonight ... hope I don't nod off into the minestrone!

I had lots of lovely cards and pressies to open yesterday, special thanks to the THREE people who sent me cards with pink shoes on them ... lovely!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Birthday Girl


As my dad's electronic card said -- "How old are you?"
"Eeeeeeekkkkk .. time to start lying about your age!"

Although, really, I prefer the Gloria Steinam approach: when told that she didn't "look her age" she retorted, "This is what 50 looks like"

... (tho I'm not 50 yet and that's not a lie!)

My plan for today is to go to Manchester (on the train) and spend a couple of hours with "my mate Mand". We first met each other on our first day of secondary school, so it's always our "anniversary" at this time of year too! She has been my mate for 37 years, and we STILL find things to talk about!

B will collect me off the train and we'll come home and have a cocktail or two ... while I open my cards and pressies, she has bought me lots of things and wrapped them all up really sweetly!

There are lots of cards here already too. It seems that many of you have been super-organised this year and got early posting done.

We will probably have a Chinese delivered for our meal, crispy duck and pancakes I reckon ... sounds good to me!

Lots of love and thank-you so much to my lovely family and friends for your kind thoughts, support and love today,

and everyday ...

you mean the world to me.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Sorry about that last post - I was feeling a bit worn out with it all ... normal service starts here: B is back to work, which presents challenges for both of us anyway, but I don't feel too bad and am trying to plan a bit.

My next Chemo will be on the 18th Sept. - Dr A had lengthened the gap again to see if my numb finger tips will recover. I can now see all this typing as "therapy" cos it stimulates blood supply to the fingers! This means I've got a "good" week next week and a pal of mine from Bristol will be coming up Tues-Thurs which is great.

We've made a date for this weekend to celebrate my birthday as usual with the legend that is Mr K ( he's promised to be less inebriated this year!!) and the weekend after I'll be seeing Kate and Sam on Sunday. We might even go away on the 14th -15th - but the hotel we want in Llandudno is full so I will research The Quay again - otherwise I'd rather stay here!

I was very impressed today when my NHS GP phoned me to see if I'm OK (she's done this before) and has given me her mobile number cos she's having a month of unpaid leave and she wants me to be able to contact her! How great is that?

Tralalalalalalalalalalala - and the sun shone nearly all day today!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

home again

I've lost count now - this was the tenth post-op chemotherapy course but I reckon I've been an in-patient at the hospital 17 times in the past 12 months, what with the operation, infections, pre-op chemo etc etc .. Then there were the "investigations", various scans, regular blood tests and 30 sessions of radiation on an out-patient basis.

It's weird being on such pally terms with the staff there now - and no disrespect to them I hope these relationships are not going to be any more protracted.

One year on from my first diagnosis I guess this might be a good time to come clean with readers about my prognosis.

I've told my immediate family and few friends, but the chances of this cancer coming back have been described as "high risk" by my doctor. The clear scans we've had so far are just the first step .. what we are watching for is two years .. and in the first year there is a two in three chance of the cancer returning ..

Then the odds drop to half that in the second year, and drop to 10% risk of return in the third year.

That's what he means by "high risk".

We are trying not to dwell on these stark statistics. They ARE only statistics .. and I've just got my own chance .. but just now, a week from my birthday it's hard to be "brave "and to believe that I will make it to 50 next year ....