Sunday, November 29, 2009

First chemo


Oh well, it could be worse, it's nice not having the oxyliplatin, and only having to stay in for two nights.

It's also nice coming home!

Still feeling a bit queasy, tho the anti-nausea tablets do keep it down quite well. I'm a bit tired too, tho managed to get some proper sleep last night, for the first time in over a week, so that helps.

This week I've had visits from Andy, Sam, Mandy, Huw, James, Keith, B's mum, David Stretch. Gosh, that's a lot of visitors ... and I enjoy the distraction.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Llandudno Treat

I have tried, several times, to line up these picures with their captions, but Blogger is beyond control sometimes, and determined to move them about.

Perhaps you'll have to imagine this as a puzzle and play "match the caption" if it scrambles them all AGAIN ...

This shows off my new dressing gown and the pyjama top you can just about see:

and the lovely breakfast that come on a tray
and the view down the prom from our window

The size of the suite is more obvious from this angle, with sleepy B on her sofa .
We had some good sunshine on Sunday:
Artistic view of the Grand Hotel .. worth clicking to see it full size.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hospital Glamour

Went shopping at M n S last week to treat myself to some new pyjamas and a dressing gown. The ones I wore last time are pretty tired and also I'm three sizes smaller, so I would have needed new stuff anyway. I reckon a new bit of luxury will make the fortnightly stays in hospital a little more bearable, so I set off to the shops, giving Primark a wide berth.

It was a good time to go shopping, cos (if you hadn't noticed) it is nearly Christmas and they have got lots more stuff in. I chose some luscious soft stuff in their Autograph range ... warm mink and aubergine colours which I really like.

When I got to the till I thought I'd offer up the gift voucher that people from work had sent me, which was supposed to buy me a few flowers (I'd been told!) In fact there was enough money to pay for the lot. I must admit my eyes filled with tears .. I hadn't any idea there was such a generous gift in the envelope.

I hope they don't mind I didn't spend it on flowers, and it feels very sweet that everytime I'm in hospital I'll have this glamourous gear with me as a reminder of the kindness of the people I work with.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Weekend plans

Brigid and I are going to have a couple of days by the sea this weekend .. to my favourite: Llandudno ... and our favourite hotel there Osborne House.

We stayed there before for my 50th birthday, and we like it cos the rooms are HUGE, well suites really with lots of antiques to give it a proper "country-house" feel. The room we're having has a bay on the front which allows you to look out down the length of the promenade, and is very close to the pier for a littel stroll out ... even if it is raining.

In fact, to ensure walking in all weathers we have bought ski pants, so there is no excuse, we have warm trousers that are both wind and waterproof ! Yay!

I've had my flu jab and will get my swine flu jab later on in the week next week.


Went to see Mrs Hall this week .. she told me about the histology again. 11 or 12 lypmh nodes were taken out and they are all clear, so she was REALLY pleased about it ..

I guess this level of pleased-ness is all very relative, since the whole situation isn't making me feel too great, but on the sliding-scale of things she was expecting to find at this point it's clear she is taking an up-beat view! In short - it could hav been much worse!

Monday, November 09, 2009

New Car

We toddled up to Wigan this weekend and came home in my "new" car. Of course it isn't literally new, but it is only four years old, and looks very new inside! It is a Honda Civic, three door version and with an automatic gear box. It is a metallic blue colour that we can live with!

The best thing about it is that the number plate is only one digit different to B's car number plate. Weird but true -- looks like we got matching plates only without spending any money on it!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Forward Planning

The good news is the histology was back after the surgery and Mrs Hall has got it all out .. clean margins .. always good news. Also good is that they found nothing in the lymph glands ... and nothing in the lumps she thought they were suspicious in my old scar. Three goods!

Dr Adab can't see the point in a PET scan, cos the treatment ... chemotherapy ... would be the whatever any other scan showed. I need more chemo now, because there has been a substantial new growth on my bowel.

The hope is to contain the lesions on my lungs and stamp on anything else that was thinking of growing. He'll review progress with another scan in three months.

I asked him if this was my outlook for the rest of my life, and he said not every other week for the rest of my life, there will be breaks in the treatment, but yes, I can expect regular burst of chemo to contain the metastasis in the future.

The new regime is going to be slighly different. Still 5FU and avastin, but NOT oxaliplatin this time (the one that gives the peripheral neuropathy side effect). This time I'll be getting irinotecan - side effects: chronic gut pain, diarrhoea and if that wasn't enough - you get hair loss with this one too .. hey ho! Actually you can read the whole bloody page on some of these chemo drugs without spotting the bit that tells you what GOOD they're doing you ... I assume they're killing cancer cells ino the bargain.

The only redeeming feature to this is that I will be inside for two nights instead of three this time, and he wants us to carry on living our lives as normally as possible.

Right then.

Oncologist update

I will be seeing Dr Adab this evening. Had a fairly restless night, not consciously thinking about it, but no doubt it was lurking in my mind.

It was in Brigid's subconscious mind, for sure. She had a very vivid dream where someone was breaking into our house and she went down to send them away. Which she did, and then she ran after them to get the keys back. Which they gave to her. The house was full of obstacles, but she was successful in her mission to keep us safe.

She sees this as symbolic of us trying to get rid of the intrusion of cancer into our lives. In dreams your house often seems to represent your feelings about what is closest to you, or your own soul.

It also reminds us of that time when she really did race after a guy who had sneakily stolen her handbag off the back of her chair when we were having a picnic in Park Guell (Barcelona), She somehow knew it was him in the crowds and ran about 80 metres to catch him. She made him give get her bag out of the bag he was carrying and got it back from him. Crazy woman!

This is exactly where we were sitting when it happened:

Monday, November 02, 2009

National Trust Fans

Had a good day out at Sudbury Hall with Mark, Tracy and Luke. We found the pub in the village there suited us, The Vernon Arms, which was just the ticket for decent portions of good pub food at reasonable prices. The last time we went to Sudbury we turned the wrong way out of the car-park and ended up having our worst pub-lunch experience ... so we were nervous!)

After lunch the sun shone enough or us to walk around down to the lake at the Hall and through massive flocks of swans and various geese / duck types of birds (see I'm not taking up a new career as a twitcher!)

We had a good dayout. I am also recommending the coffee at the Hall cafe where we enjoyed a giant cafetiere and shared out Tracy's Thorntons mint chocs, hey ho to the diet resolution ... a great complement to the fish and chips I ate in the pub.

I thought I'd post these photos from an earlier jaunt out to Cougthton Court, we've been to a few National Trust places together this year, and sometimes we have a camera with us. This was just at the end of the summer hols.