Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Many many updates....

......and many apologies for the long absence. It's been a busy few weeks.

So, where was I? Well, I'm still alive, which is a start! Just kidding - lots of people find that hard to laugh at, but my dark humour gene has well and truly kicked in.

After a few days of feeling fragile and annoyed post chemo, I managed to get over it, pick myself up and start getting back to normal. I've done a bit of work, a couple of auctions, and generally managed to keep myself busy. Oh, and a lot of Christmas shopping! Nothing's wrapped of course, but Christmas is still ages away, right?

Heart wise, I'm okay. We upped the dose of Ace Inhibitors after 2 weeks which seems to have made me feel a LOT better despite having a second dose of chemo, which I'm "pleased" to say they let me have on 10th December.

Well, I say pleased. That's not really the right word, but at least my heart's ejection fraction had improved enough (to 56%) to let me have it.

The chemo session itself was fine - the port was really quick at getting the stuff in, and we had some new anti-emetics to try. Fortunately my chemo nurse made sure I had the full litre of fluid via the drip. Just as well - I was as sick as a very very very sick thing.

Brutal is the best way I can think of to describe it - sick every hour for nearly 24hrs was horrid, and my throat still hasn't recovered.

Still, despite being a bit tired I am over it now, but dreading the next session on the 2nd. At least I get Christmas and New Year to myself though - lots of positives.

Having spoken to Dr Evil again today, we are trying yet another new anti-emetic which I've got to pick up this week. I'm to take one the day before, one on the day and one the day after, so whilst I can't remember the name I'm hoping it is strong stuff! If not I will be pushing to be re-admitted and put on a drip.

So, what else? Oh yes, I'm a bit bald. Not entirely yet, but I had my head shaved last week as the hair loss was unbearable, particularly as I had to hoover my clothes, pillow cases, chairs..... you get the gist. I even went for a walk and saw a clump blow past me.....

I also have two wigs. Yes, two. A bit greedy, but necessary for my sanity and vanity. I've been wearing a headscarfy thing and I do look a bit like a refugee wearing it. I won't be able to wear the wig when I'm cooking, due to fear or melting (just like the wicked witch of the west!) but for going out and about, it's essential.

The children absolutely love my wigs, which is a huge confidence boost. Even the smallest has coined the phrase "mummy's new hair"...... their enthusiasm is infectious.

Anyway, I have waffled enough for now, and I'm starving, which when I'm not throwing up or being nauseous appears to be a regular thing. At least the massive carb cravings have eased off - apparently carbs give me indigestion, but it's hard not to eat them when all I can think about is cheesy Doritos......

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Dear Mum and Dad

I don't know if you'll ever read this.

I do know that you stumbled across my blog 10days or so ago, typically when I had just posted information that was new news to you and upsetting to say the least. That was the exact opposite of how I wanted you to find out about my "heart problem".

"Heart problem" is in inverted commas because were it not for having to have Chemo, it really wouldn't be an issue. 50% Ejection Fraction in the left ventricle is the lower end of normal, but as we know. it is something I may have lived with all my life thus far and until cancer turned up, I was able to function perfectly adequately. Assuming that the new medication improves it, who knows how much I might actually speed up - I'm not sure that anyone would be able to keep up with me, but even so....the possibilities are endless!

As you gathered, I was pretty mortified to know that you found the blog in the first place. I know, I know, I'm writing in a public place therefore it was perhaps inevitable, but I hope that you can forgive me for doing it.

I have tried to explain the release that it gives me, to be able to write in such a way and in such a place as a public blog. It isn't that I ever expect anyone to read it and goodness knows, it certainly isn't a masterpiece, but part of me hopes that if anyone with cancer ever stumbles upon it, my thoughts and random ramblings it might give them some comfort and maybe even help them through what is a pretty tough and horrible time. Certainly I read a few other blogs and the sharing of thoughts, laughter, pain and determination is an absolute inspiration to me.

I thought about deleting this blog altogether, about moving it to another site, about just making it private, but in the end, and after a huge amount of deliberation I have decided to reactivate it and keep it in the public domain. I am not ashamed of anything I have written, and although I hope you don't read it, I do understand that in many ways if you do read it, it might help to give you an insight into what I am going through.

As to why I don't tell you every morsel of how I'm feeling, well, sharing my crazy thoughts with the internet is as I said above, a release. It's a way for me to get out all the words and emotions that bottle up in my head and I don't necessarily want to say to people face to face. I know that my husband reads it, and a few of my friends, but they don't feel the need to discuss every point with me and that's the way I like it.

A lot of people read this blog that I don't know. That's okay too. In fact, it's kind of the whole point isn't it? At this point in time, I've had nearly 10,000 page views - not that I'm counting, but if something I have written has helped even one person, then I'll be over the moon. Perhaps it is a bit of an ego boost? I don't know, but even if it is, perhaps I deserve it.

I hope beyond hope that you aren't upset by me not sharing everything, but yes, I do want to protect you from some of what I am going through. 

It isn't that I don't think you can "handle it", or cope with it. 

It isn't that I don't love you, or don't want to share my life with you.

What then? 

To be frank, our relationship is precious and I don't want cancer and my treatment to be the focal point of every conversation that we have. No, I'm not always fine, but what will be will be and I just have to get on with it. Perhaps I am trying to stick my head in the sand, but I have to live with all this on a day to day basis, and during the conversations and visits we have, I don't want cancer and related conversations to bloody ruin everything.

That's one of the nicest things about having two small people in my life. They are, for the most part, oblivious that I am "ill". Again, with the inverted commas. This "illness" is, as far as I'm concerned a very temporary thing. I am damn well going to beat it and start living my life normally again and in a way, in my conversations with you I'm already doing that. 

No, I don't see you on a regular basis which is horrible, but again, what is, is and unless you move, or the divide between Gloucestershire and Norfolk closes up there's nothing we can do about it, except in the meantime try and have normal lives.

I don't want it to be all about me, hence I want to talk about what's going on in your lives, not just about me and I hope you can forgive me for it.

Never ever doubt how much I love you and how much I rely on your support, even though you don't perhaps feel like you are doing much. I know that you are there for me and always will be. Never underestimate how much strength this gives me.

Christmas is but 3 weeks away (or so I'm told), and I can't wait to actually spend some proper time with you. Until then, I am okay, really, albeit a bit frayed round the edges, but I'll get through, I promise. 

And, if you insist, I'll promise not to do any washing up whilst you're here over the festive period and I'll even leave you all the housework too.

R xx