At last… the last one!!!

‘They’ say that the body can only tolerate eight sessions of chemo, and I think they’re right.  I’ve not been quite so lucky with this last chemo, but hey, do your worst chemo, cos this is IT!!!

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I had my last chemo on Wednesday, 4 November.  Stephen and I set off at 7.15am, arriving by 8.50am for my 9am appointment, only to be informed that there had been an error made and my appointment was in fact at 11.30am! I was told that they would try and get me in earlier, and they did – for 11.15am!!  a whole 15minutes earlier.  Talk about being bored – I’d also forgotten my headphones, so I couldn’t even watch a movie! but nothing could wipe the smile from my face that day…. MY LAST CHEMO!!

That evening, my very good friend Micky, who has been an absolute god-send for me throughout this horrid ‘journey’ came round and together with my family, we toasted to my ongoing health and relief that chemo was over with a much-missed and much-needed glass of prosecco!

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Unfortunately, as I mentioned above, I was soon to find out that this last chemo was going out with a bang!  I’ve had some terrible pains, a bloody nose and the dreaded return of the temperatures (leading to one nights stay at my favourite Christie Hotel!) not to mention stomach cramps, pins and needles/numbness in my fingers and toes, muscle pains (close to my boob area) and worst of all (I hope you haven’t just eaten?) I have lost my thumb nail with more, I fear, to soon follow as all my finger nails are sore – I am literally falling apart people!  It’s almost laughable.  BUT, I don’t care anymore, i’ve finished, finito, fertig….in the words of Arnold ‘Hasta la vista baby’.

Good news though, I’ve received my first surgical appointment.  I am hopeful that I can make my feelings clear and assuming I will also find out the date for my surgery too.  Wish me luck!

Finally, after almost 3 and a half months of having a SOLD sign on our house, it looks like things are now starting to move (if you pardon the pun there!).  Gosh, I’m almost too nervous to tell you the date just in case I jinx things…. so I’ll refrain if you don’t mind and I’ll tell you in my next post whether we have actually (finally) moved or not!!, but if all works out, all I can say is that it is SOON!  I should be okay to help now too, but I promised my much-loved Auntie Edie that I would stay with her overnight (let her look after me), so to keep me out of the way (with all the dust etc), so that’s where I’ll be,  along with Emma who couldn’t possibly miss out on staying too.  Believe it or not, when we originally organised this I still had two chemo’s to go!!

I’m sure I’m forgetting to tell you something really important, but that’s chemo brain for you! I really hope my memory reverts back to normal, not sure I’ll get away with blaming ‘chemo brain’ for everything for much longer!

Oh yes, now I remembered…. I now have hair!!  my head hair has regrown to almost 1cm already.  I’m still hairless with my eyelashes, eyebrows and everywhere else though (if you know what I mean?) 😜

 

‘They’ refer to Oncologists at The Christie Hospital.

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Penultimate

So what happened with the second to last chemo?

Well I’m pleased to say pretty much nothing.  I got the usual aches and pain a few days after, but they went away pretty quickly leaving me to live in a very surreal world for the next 15 days or so…. no temperatures, no stomach cramps, no infections… well, I still got oral thrush, but that’s pretty much a given.

Every day, I was asked “How are you today?” and every day I systematically mentally honed in on my body to see if there were any pains, any aches but no, there wasn’t.

So, thankfully I was able to actually get on with living fairly normally.

Emma had her second meeting with her counsellor at Beechwood Cancer Care centre in Stockport.  Although I don’t get to hear exactly what was said in the meeting, it was reported back that Emma is handling everything remarkably well, was well-spoken, coherent and expressive – what more could I ask for? That’s my girl.  She really is a trooper you know? However, we are seeing a couple of changes in her, and have found this to be  also the case in school.  Seems to be whenever I am having a particularly hard time of it, she becomes moody (mainly with me), requires a lot of affirmation from teachers and sometimes needs things repeating (at school).  Her teacher has spoken with us about this and the support we (particularly Emma) are being given is amazing.   We’ve received some really helpful suggestions, (I particularly like the ‘Feelings Book’, a book solely for Emma, decorated by Emma with all her current feelings recorded within it).  I will be recommending this to anyone in the future, what a wonderful way for a child to express themselves, without the fear of retribution.  Trouble is, I gave the task of buying said book to Stephen and Emma, a simple book would cost… what? a couple of pounds right?  No, they both toddled off to Hobbycraft and spent nearly £80!!!  I need to get better real quick!

I hope your getting ready for Christmas, because for the first time in my life, I’m as organised as I’ve ever been.  Majority of presents have been bought (mostly for Emma) and I’ve made my Christmas cake (actually I’ve made two!) AND I’ve made my Christmas pudding.

Well, that’s it for now.  Fingers crossed that my final chemo is as kind as this one was…

BTW – Someone wants to wish you all Happy Halloween!

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Hey world? Nice to see you again

Would you believe it, I feel almost normal again 😀 I hope I don’t tempt fate there, but the pain in my legs and feet is subsiding and the general achy feeling in my chest and arms is dying down.

To celebrate, Stephen and I walked Emma to school.  Well, actually I stopped halfway as I’m not taking any risks going into the playground right now with all those mucus dripping, coughing, hand wiping kiddywinks all around me – I mean, I can literally imagine the quantity of germs.  I still have a couple of days left of antibiotics to take, so no – I’m no danger lover, I’m more your ‘precautionary’ type.

So, my last update mentioned another visit to Christies on Sunday.  Again, me just being precautious because my temperature was creeping up again.  And this time I wasn’t taking any chances.  It was confirmed to me by my oncologist that the two infections I ‘endured’ last month were (1) Gastroenteritis and (2) Ear infection (which had swollen lymph gland in throat).  So can you blame me for getting a little hyper paranoid about germs?

Had an ultra sound last Friday, but don’t get the results until the 13th October.  I feel positive about it, I mean, it had already gone down a little on my last ultra sound, so hopefully, it’s still reducing.  I will let you know…

Getting ready for the ultra-sound to start (photo courtesy of Stephen Farnsworth who has no shame!!) 

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So what’s happened since I last did a proper update? Stephens birthday was on the 23 September.  Poor thing – apart from Emma and I making him a chocolate cake, it can’t have been the best! I promised I would make it up to him next year (what else could I do? He’s lucky I remembered! 😁).  So because chemo was delayed for a week due to everything that happened, my oncologists appointment fell on Stephens birthday too, so off we went and got stuck in terrible traffic and was late! So yep, not the best birthday for him.

We are about 2-3 weeks away from a house move, we have a ‘SOLD’ sign outside the house, but as per the usual, solicitors dragging their heels and slowing things down.  My mother in law Ethel, is beside herself with excitement, she just wants us all gone now.  I kinda know exactly how she feels… I kinda want something gone too!!! 😜

A friend of mine told me about a book called ‘The Secret’, it’s a self-help book about positive thinking.  Rather than praying to God (if your not the religious type), you talk to the universe.  You ask, you believe, you receive.  So I’m giving that a shot at the moment, last months infections, hospital visit, endless injections and above all the amount of pain did a brilliant job on my mental wellbeing, I went from someone who almost acted like I didn’t have bc at all, to someone very scared, fearful and weepy.  Apparently, after speaking with a wonderful psychologist at Christies, I’d hit my first major hurdle and allowed fear to creep in.  I’m now a lot stronger again, in fact, if anything, I’m pissed now – I will not allow it to get into my head again.  I do a chant to myself every morning – YOU WILL BE BEATEN, I WILL FIGHT YOU, I WILL NEVER GET CANCER AGAIN AND I WILL LIVE A LONG, HEALTHY LIFE.

Two fingers up to you cancer – Go to hell.  

Can you guess where I am……….again…

Yes – back at Christie’s but I’m hoping it’s a quick in and out. My chemo was delayed for a week after my blood transfusion so I had a week feeling pretty good – well, compared to how I had been feeling. So I had dose 6 of 8 on Wednesday, had my steroids and here I am back now that the steroids have worn off.  It’s more of a preventative visit this time I hope! My temperature has been creeping northwards and so I’ve been called in.  I’ve just had an x-Ray and now I’m waiting for my bloods to come back….

Christie’s stay

i thought I might be in for the night but it’s looking like three nights at the moment 😱.  The latest thinking is that I have glandular fever AND some sort of puddle of blood behind my inner ear – yuk. So tonight I’ve had my first blood transfusion.  I used to give blood but it feels weird to have somebody else’s blood inside my body!! I’m kinda hoping my donor was Spider-Man but I’ll take anybody with a descent haemoglobin level…  I’ve had visitors though – my college friend Paige dropped by and of course Stephen and Emma.

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