Archive for July, 2012

July 29, 2012

Just sayin’…

When you see my wigs on the shelf, do not snigger, nudge your friend and say,
“Go on, you put it on; it’ll be funny”…you insensitive oaf.

Is it funny when I put it on? Is it a laugh? Um…no.

Don’t make me throw away the wig you have tainted with your ridicule.
Don’t make me hide until I’m certain you’ve forgotten how I used to look.

Just sayin’…

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July 29, 2012

Hooray…and up she rises!

Well that wasn’t very nice!

Yesterday afternoon I emerged from the horizontal position in which I had been for the previous 63 hours. I was so dizzy and nauseous I couldn’t stand, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t focus, couldn’t think and 5 migraines in 5 days. It began with needing assistance and a wheel chair at the local surgery (there for my weekly ferritin blood test) and went downhill from there. I think the elderly gentleman sat next to me may have thought his luck was in when I put my hand on his arm…
but then I asked him to get me a nurse!

So I guess days 8-10 are the baaaaaaad ones for me. I shall make the most of my time till the next mid-cycle.
But guess what? I’m still smiling :o)

And TB, I love you xx

July 27, 2012

Vertical…? Overrated!

Hello, TB here.

Just to let you all know my wife has spent the last 24 hours unable to stand up.  At one point I received a text declaring she’d made it downstairs but couldn’t make it back up again.  Needless to say this expedited my return, although when I arrived she was back in bed! She’ll be back to post again in a day or two.

The worst days were imagined to be slightly under the weather, propped-up-on-a-pillow in bed, laptop-on-a-tray.  But they’re not like that at all.  What does one do when sitting up makes the room spin but one isn’t actually tired?

My answer: Rely on the support of those who love you and stop trying not to be a patient

As always, thank you for reading and commenting. It really does help.

July 23, 2012

Oh, Mrs Captain…

Oh, Mrs Captain…thank you so much for all the treats which appeared this afternoon as if by magic in a Waitrose (my favourite supermarket) van and had me leaving little splashes on TB’s shoulder…happy splashes though :o)

The district nurse has just been and he’s shown TB how to give me my booster! He also gave us a list of numbers to call at anytime if I need any extra medication for side effects and again, I’m in awe of the NHS. I am totally the main focus in all this and the diva in me (just a little diva) likes it.

July 22, 2012

Drip drip drip…

Ha ha…yesterday morning (Day 3) as I was ironing, my nose dripped onto TB’s shirt.
Half my nose hair has gone already! I knew it was good for keeping stuff out (titchy flies, pepper, feathers)
but I’d never thought about its usefulness at keeping stuff in.

I’ve heard/read plenty about hair re-growth after chemo being curly (very curly) but curly nose hair? Really? Yikes!

July 20, 2012

Medicinal Chocolate!

Right then…first chemo session (I’m having FEC-T, four sessions of FEC then four sessions of T, but you’d worked that last bit out, hadn’t you?) was ok. It was a long day…we arrived at 8.30am and left at 3.30pm but were told that was partly because I saw The Chemo Guy on the day of the chemo rather than the day before. For us, it is actually better that way as it saves losing another day’s work.

Here I am, prepped and waiting to be attached.

The first two drugs, Epirubicin (it’s red and makes your wee pink for two or three days…I like pink but usually go for it in a nail colour or pink sapphire way) and 5 Fluorouacil (5FU) are injected slowly into the cannula by a nurse and takes about an hour and a half. It’s a great time to ask all sorts of questions. Actually, that pink wee thing applies to all body fluids so there’s a chance my contact lenses may turn pink…bring it on!

It was during this that I was told I mustn’t have Take Aways as the risk of infection is too high. I was aware that chemo will supress bone marrow so my white cell count is low thus my immunity is low but I hadn’t realised just HOW LOW. Apparently, week two of the three week cycle is when it’s at its lowest. To help boost it, on Day 5 a nurse will come to my house and give me an injection. On days 6 – 9 TB will give me the injection…the nurse will show him how!

I was also told I absolutely, no messing, no resisting MUST HAVE a bar of chocolate a day to increase my sugar intake.
So if Green & Black would like to sponsor me I’m happy to endorse their vegan chocolate.

The next drug, Cyclophosphamide, is in a bag and fed through a tube to my cannula. It hangs on a thing with wheels so I can wheel it to the loo with me. (You know what I mean, the type of thing Jack Bauer could drag around with him for a whole 24 hours while he saves humanity.) Ah, but I need the drugs in my right hand as my cancer is in my left breast…and of course, the loo paper is on the right hand side of the loo. Luckily, I’m pretty flexible :o)

We passed some time after prepping playing chess but abandoned the game to talk to my nurse. We may carry on from this position at the next session I’m playing as white…email me any hints you may have!

Other bummer related news (I won’t only blog about cancer I promise, but at the moment it’s a bit full on)
I knew I had Stage2, Grade2, ER+ cancer but now know it’s also HER2+. You can google but sod that!
It means the cancer is more aggressive than I thought and I will need a further 18 sessions for the drug Herceptin (that’s about a year!). The first four sessions will be at the hospital then we’re hoping
the rest can be administered by a nurse at home.

I’m also very anaemic due to a “girls’ issue” ;o) and this means extra weekly blood tests to monitor my iron levels because if I drop too much (and the bone marrow thing makes this worse) treatment has to wait. So I have iron tablets to bring it up and keep it up…funny, ’cause normally they tell me they’re going to help me keep things down.

Yet again, I’m completely in awe of the NHS. The treatment, care and consideration I’m receiving are what’s making me cry the most…but crying a good way. Also, your messages are fantastic and make me do that crying-in-a-good-way thing, too…so thank you to all of you and please don’t stop…and Messrs Green & Black, if you really want to make me cry… xx

I was too FECed (geddit?) last night to do anything other than sleep so we didn’t watch “24”. I can’t remember what precarious predicament we’ve left Jack Bauer to face without us…

July 18, 2012

La Di Da…

Today I collected another wig…from one of the best shops you could wish to find. The lady who has been helping me
is patient, super efficient and trimmed this baby for me just how I like it, so Doreen, thank you xx

It’s actually quite a bit more orange (ginger) than the photograph shows.
It’s a prescription wig so for me it was free. It isn’t such good quality as my other ones but I do love it.

I love how it fades to dark brown

It’s quite a bit shorter than the first wig and is a lot easier to wear so I may get a second one like this
(though in just dark brown) which I will have to pay for but daaaahling, I’m worth it xx

I’m trying to think what else has happened in the last day or so but really nothing more than the plumber safety checking the old  boiler (I passed!), the landlord replacing the water pump and the plumber calling to arrange replacing the hot water cylinder. Jack Bauer has saved the world from destruction a few times (boxed set of 24…135 hours of it!) and I have painted my nails red this week. Apparently, keeping them a dark colour helps with damage during chemotherapy so no more delicate pinks, I shall stick to red and deep, deep plum…I love them both.

Tomorrow I have a very important date so I shall post about that in a a day or two and tomorrow the car is having the exhaust fixed…la di da…the excitement of it all!

July 14, 2012

Not for onions

Yesterday evening I sat at the kitchen table while TB cooked dinner (nothing fancy, just a simple pasta dish) and this was going through my head:

No, you’ve chopped the onion on the wrong board…now anything else chopped on there will taste of onions.
You’ve put the green pepper in too late.
Don’t leave a wooden spoon in the washing up water…the wood will expand.
No…you’ve salted the water before it’s boiling and that can pit the pan.
Oh God…you’ve put a hot pan on the chopping board and that will open the grain.
Etc etc etc…

All this when I’m feeling fine.
How on earth will I relax after chemotherapy when there are people in my kitchen abusing my knives?
(Knives which get a little sharpening action each time I use them)

I have a plan…Post-It notes:

“The pink towels do not belong here!”
“This drawer is for table cutlery…scissors are kept in the one below”
“I love you with all my heart”

TB and I have very traditional roles…he does the boys’ jobs, I do the girls’ stuff. I take care of him and he provides for me. It is going to be very hard not to feel like I am letting him down. He tells me that for now he will look after me and when I’m better I can look after him…and put everything back in it’s rightful place ;o)

July 12, 2012

DM14Lt

No meat, no fish, no fowl, no dairy, no eggs…but all the fruit and nuts and vegetables and herbs and spices and nut milks and bean curds and pulses and grains and funghi and oils and breads and noodles and pastries and fillings and tarts and cakes and pastas and sauces and gravies and nut butters and fruit spreads and juices and cordials and wines and beers and teas and fresh roasted coffee beans and bakes and roasts and fries and…and…and…and…Lord, I could add more!

I’m 56, a vegan, a model, a portrait artist, stupidly proud mother of a grown up son, and wife to a wonderful ToyBoy.

Please scroll down for my blog posts (you can subscribe by email by clicking “Sign me up” on the right hand menu or at the bottom of the page or you can just pop by) and do come back for more.

PS: I’m sorry I don’t always respond to your comments and emails but please believe I read them all and they make a big difference to me. Thank you xx

July 12, 2012

…and it ought to be square

There are workmen round the corner installing a new drain (I think). They dug a deep hole…but not a round hole… a very square hole

It reminded of this Bernard Cribbins Classic

Don’t dig there, dig it elsewhere
Your digging it round and it ought to be square
The shape of it’s wrong, it’s much much too long
And you can’t put hole where a hole don’t belong

My second wig arrived today. How good a service is that? The company I used is Banbury Postiche and I shall without doubt be using them again. The VAT was deducted (cancer patients are exempt from VAT on wigs) so I am a happy bunny.

I also received my Prescription Charge Exemption Card. Not something I ever thought would be in my wallet but then I never thought there’d be cancer in my boob.

EDIT: I finally did the Sticky Post thing!