Sunday, 31 May 2009

Sess 4/12 Thank you Fellow Bloggers (Friends)

I just wanted to say thank you for all of your kind comments and support, not just after yesterdays blog but through out this journey so far. You are all helping me with my fight and I wanted you all to know just what a difference you are making to my life.
The pills the doctor gave me (taken 4 times per day) are working and the discomfort is not so intense now. Things still are not as they should be but I will go to see my own doctor this week and discuss a long term plan of action while I am having chemo.
I have the same problem as Stephanie with fruit because I get chronic heartburn for which I am on medication. I always take a prebiotic supplement which helps but I think I am just going to have to work my way through this and when chemo ends, this problem will too. I will try the linseeds though. I was advised agains suppositories because of the risk of infection. Apparently the chemo attacks the delicate linings of your body so the risk is higher if you start fiddling!
I noticed two indentations in my arm yesterday, just above my elbow, they seem to come and go but must be something to do with my veins and how chemo is affecting them. I know alot of you guys have ports or picc lines but I have a canula inserted each time I go for chemo. The drill is to put your hands in a bowl of hot water and pray that your veins come up!! The last two rounds have been placed into a vein in my wrist which isn't pleasant. Then comes the heated wrap placed around your arm so that when the chemo goes in, your veins don't shut down.
I have also noticed little thread veins appearing on my arm, nobody else would know they were there but I do. There are a cluster of brown marks around the inner elbow too which look like bruises and on my hand, you can actually see the veins are bruised internally.
Sorry, me talking about the state of my veins isn't a very interesting blog but I thought I would share it with you because this is a side effect most of you won't get. I start CMF on 11th June which isn't supposed to irritate the veins as much, this is a good thing really because I get two rounds within a week of each other!
Happy days!

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Sess 4/12 - Side Effects - Dreadful!

I have been feeling too ill to post over the last couple of days. I have had (sorry to share this with you) chronic constipation since chemo and it just got worse. Despite taking Movicol, nothing was working. I even tried Dulculax which normally is rocket fuel but nothing.
Yesterday I looked as though I was pregnant. I couldn't eat, couldn't get comfortable. I tried all the usual things. Hot water with a lemon, herbal teas, Aloe Vera juice (yuk) and three satchets of movicol but nothing.
In desperation, I phoned the doctors for an emergency appointment, I really couldn't see an end to my pain and discomfort. Luckily I managed to see a doctor who was very sympathetic and gave me some medication to take four times a day.
This morning; slight relief, but nowhere near normal. However, at least I feel as though I can eat! I have decided to keep meals small and frequent and keep drinking the herbal teas.
It looks as though this is the chemo side effect I am going to have to endure until September! Help!

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Sess 4/12: Wonderful Walks

It's a week today since I had my last dose of chemotherapy and apart from the really tender, sore mouth and the dreadful digestive problems I am having, I feel much better today!
Last round of chemo, I was wiped out for nearly two weeks but this time I seem to have recovered alot quicker. However, what do I do when I feel this way? Yes, I jump right in with both feet and over do things!
I bundled the children off to my mums house for an overnight stay, their first time ever with her. She has some rescue chickens and they enjoyed harvesting the eggs, washing them then eating them for breakfast this morning. The "jobs" she has lined up for the boys are things like feeding the wild birds of which there are many where she lives; sparrows, jays, woodpeckers, robins, thrush, starlings to name but a few. There is nettle clearing to be done in the orchard and pruning, always pruning! Oh, mum found a dead bird and they have a funeral to arrange! All good fun for my boys. Hopefully, I will have my bed to myself tonight!
So once my boys were off on their adventure, I went off on mine!
I left Dave Decorator painting the outside of our house and went for the most beautiful walk with the dogs; Pickles, Wilbur and Poppy. We ended up in Darland Woods which has been newly cordoned off. Some people would complain about this but having walked these woods for 15 years, I am quite glad because it reduces the amount of people using them and I can enjoy the natural beauty with my dogs without hassle.
The golf course was busy today so we decided to remain within the woods then cut across the footpath. I met Dave Golf, the groundsman and had a lovely chat with him. When I am grooming, I clip and bath his cocker spaniel, Maisy.
The walk across the course was glorious. The sun shone down on us and the dogs ran through the long grass. Heaven!
I was just deciding whether to cross Chester Road into the fields there with the dogs when that sudden wall of chemo tiredness over came me and I decided that enough was enough, time for home.
It was lovely to walk amongst nature and it was lovely to see familiar faces in Dave Golf and W the bus driver amongst others.
My dogs and I have returned home to rest but satisfied that we have had our own splendid adventure....

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Session 4/12: I love my bed!

I had a bad nights sleep last night, I do with chemo anyway but last night my little son Harry decided to join us again. We have managed to get him out of the habit of crawling into bed with us but he seems to have slipped over the past few days. He is so long, long, long and he crunches his teeth (just like me, I trashed my lower retainers after my cancer diagnosis!).

I ended up in his bed which is not comfortable at all! First of all, I had to negotiate the ladder which digs into my old feet, then squeeze my ample bottom through the gap that leads to the bed. The bed itself was full of "stuff". By that I mean, soft blankets (he likes soft things), toys, lego!!!!!

I did not have a good night sleep!

Consequently, I am sitting here typing my blog, feeling rather worse for wear and I can't blame it on chemo!

Seriously; children grow up so quickly. Children can be a pain, its their job but they can be an incredible joy. So many parents wish their children back at school, out of the way etc but what they don't realise is that these precious gifts are ours to care for and protect while they are vulnerable but they are their own little people and have their own destiny to follow. Once they are gone, they are gone.....

So.... I may moan about the bedtime visits, they do leave me tired but I equally appreciate what I have got and soon, I may not have it any more.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Session 4/12 New Phase

Sorry, this is not a very good picture but I was inspired to publish a photo of my lumpectomy scar which is around 3 1/2 inches long. This has been taken about 3 months after the operation. I just remembered how scared I was before the operation, I didn't know what I would end up looking like. As you can see, its not too bad and pretty soon the pink will disappear and it will blend in more!! So...... if you are reading my blog, waiting for a lumpectomy, I sincerely hope that this picture reassures you.
My husband is returning to work today, another new phase in this cancer fight. His employers have been fantastic, I never could have believed an organisation could be so supportive. He is going back on reduced hours and we will see how we all get on.
My mother in law is coming over today to look after the kids as they are on holiday from school this week, they will have great adventures today so I hope it stays dry for them. Its a blowy day and I am enjoying listening to my wind chimes on the pergola outside. My legs are cold but then again, they always are these days!
My friend has gone on holiday and I am looking after her dog, Poppy and her daughters rabbit Albert. I have started a new blog for Alberts holiday adventure mainly so that C can monitor his holiday and be reassured that he is having fun and being well cared for. Oh what fun! Actually, this morning I took my cuppa tea to the bottom of the garden and sat, talking to the rabbits and enjoying their company. Rabbits!

Monday, 25 May 2009

Session 4/12: Hope & Buddy - Cancer Fighters!

I had a wonderful "care package" sent to me from my friend K in America, I think I have told you about it before. My darling husband took this photo while I was blogging, wearing a couple of the items sent. A gorgeous, soft, lilac scarf and a pink hat which is never far from my head these days!
The care package contained a whole treasure trove of goodies. Bracelets and tokens to lift my spirits, which they did. I was in awe!
Two items were a lilac bunny and a super soft lilac American Cancer teddy bear. I decided to call them Hope and Buddy.
My little boy has ASD and I introduced Buddy and Hope to him one night when he was particularly over wrought. We were lieing in bed and in my dreadful American accent introduced him to the "Cancer Fighters". They told him who had sent them to me and why. They asked him for his help in looking after me (his mum). Smiles, strokes and laughter followed.
My son loves anything that is super soft. He snuggles my silky pj's, curls up in my woollen blankie.... so moments later, I turned to find my little man had rolled over clutching the Cancer Fighters close to his chest, fast asleep!
Since then, my son makes sure that the cancer fighters are on my pillow each and every day.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Session 4/12 I am thinking of this ...

I am seriously thinking of doing this. I love Snowdon. I climbed 3 peaks about 20 years ago (before kids) and I adore The Alarm and Mike Peters, have followed him for almost 25 years!
He is a cancer fighter too and has helped found the Love, Hope, Strength Foundation which aims to put a cancer centre in each country across the world.
I am not able to post youtube videos onto my blog but if you go to his website called the Alarm and go into the Snowdon rocks, it will take you to some inspirational interviews with this amazing guy which will inspire any of us cancer fighters to carry on...... check it out!
Cymru am Byth

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Session 4/12 Pandora Bead Celebrate!

Just thought I would share this with you all!

My dear friend Jan bought me a Pandora Bracelet for being a supporting parent for her daughter. She also gave me a breast cancer pandora bead to put on it. I purchased the "Love, Faith, Strength bead" to signify my fight with cancer and my mother in law bought me a gorgeous silver bead encrusted with hearts to show her support.

I promised myself a bead for every journey and occasion through my fight with cancer and as I have just finished my Epi-R (the lethal red stuff) I decided to buy a red pandora bead and it is pictured above at the start of this blog.

I ordered the bead from John Greed yesterday afternoon and it arrived in record time, this morning, I am so proud of it and I can highly recommend John Greed for pandora purchases.

Session 4/12 Jade Goody

This is the book I am currently reading.
Might I add that proceeds from the sale of this book are given to the Marie Currie Cancer Foundation.
Jade Goody was a reality TV star, rising to fame in Big Brother. She was known for being a little bit "dim", "dippy", she said what she thought. She came out of the show a star, always smiling, loud and bubbly and continued to live her life in the public eye.
She came from nowhere, had a tough life growing up and yet you didnt feel that when you saw her on TV or in the papers, she was just a normal girl.
She found out that she had cervical cancer at the age of 27 last August when she was filming the Indian version of Big Brother, Big Boss and from then on she was in the lime light for not the best of reasons.
She decided to film her fight with cancer to raise money for her two little boys aged 3 & 5 so that if things got bad, they would be cared for. I admire this as a mother of two because despite public scrutiny, she was fighting for her boys until the end.
She got married to her love Jack Tweed and baptised with her sons and she died on Mothers Day. How fitting.
She has highlighted the risks of cervical cancer and the importance of screening, screening tests in the UK have gone up since Jades publicity. She has also managed to lower the age for screening.
This book is difficult for me to read because some of it is so close to home but I feel that I can get strength from her story and I can live and continue in some way where she left off.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Session 4/12: Day 2....

This has to be the worst I have felt since starting chemo. I am tired, my head is buzzing, my mouth and throat is dry, I am feeling nausious and so tired my body feels like a lead weight.

However, I know that with each passing hour, I will get better. I have finally realised that I have to give in to these feelings so that I can have short bursts of sheer enjoyment whether that be with my family, friends, children or dogs.

Right now, I am lieing in bed writing this then I plan to sleep if I can or at least rest then I am going to take my lovely dogs Pickles, Wilbur and Poppy out to Darland woods. There has been a light rain fall, but it is warm and the sky is glowing with the sun trying its best to break through so the woods will be filled with beauty; the damp smell of wild garlic and fallen leaves, the ducks on the pond and the vibrant colours of grasses and leaves... if that isn't something worth resting for then I dont know what is!

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Session 4/12: Parties and celebrations

What a week!

Harry had his 8th birthday at Funky Monkeys in Chester, what a brilliant boys birthday party! The laser party he had took place in a play barn, after hours so we had it to ourselves. The lights went out, the rock music started, the flashing lights flashed and the kids went off to do battle. There were 9 of them altogether and they had so much fun. It was professionally run, the organisers loved kids and had a wonderful enthusiasm for making it a great party (can be sadly missing in the UK). The look on Harrys face made it all worth while. Of course, we had nuclear fall out after the party as we always do when Harry is overstimulated but we had planned for that this week and it was no surprise. He kicked, screamed then fell asleep - sign of a great party!

I went to Talk 4 Talk on Wednesday after getting my blood test done at the hospital. I met my friend D who has recently had her operation, she was having all her tests done followed by her meeting with my/our oncologist. We had a hug and she is like me, pretty up beat and positive about the fight ahead, its the only way you can be. Another survivor was there who had just finished all her treatment, an inspiration to get through this nightmare! Group was good, nice to see my favourite friends J, J and M - you will know who you mean if you read this!

So.... brings us back to today! Chemo day! The last round of Epi-Reubison!

For the first time in my chemo treatment I was scared, really scared. I couldnt sleep last night, felt subdued, had nightmares and when I got up this morning I felt physically sick with the anticipation.

What triggered it? I think it was a mixture of things; the fact my veins aren't always forthcoming, one blew on one occasion, my arm and veins are so sore and stiff, I feel really sick when the drug first hits my body, the lady who cried last time at her first session... it all played on my mind and scared me.

However, when we got to the hospital, my husband enquired about having IV anti-sickness drugs rather than tablets and they said it might make a difference so we tried that. The nurse was fab! I told her I was scared and she was so gentle, I hardly felt a thing, not like the other times. Oh, I forgot to say that this time my white blood cells were fine so no hanging around for more tests which was brilliant! The IV poisen went in quickly too and the nurse brought me the best cup of tea ever!!!!

The nurse made me laugh when she put the anti-sickness drugs in, she said it would feel like I was sitting on a hedgehog. I was giggling and waiting for the experience and when it came I couldn't help but laugh my head off. It was like eating moon dust but obviously, the sensation wasn't on my tongue but on my bum!!! How funny!!!!

So now....the epi-R is over, and I am hoping that the CMF is ok too and my hair grows back! I am half way (virtually) through my chemo. There is light at the end of the tunnel!

As we left the Shooting Star Unit, I saw the lady who had cried the last time and it turned out that I used to work with her partner. I enquired how she got on and she was very negative so I guess her war with cancer is going to be a hard fight :0(

Harrys actual birthday today was fab! My relatives came over which means so much to us and Harrys little friends came around. Of course, Harry was hyped up again and tried to pistol whip C with his clone trooper gun! However, he kicked, screamed, got taken off to our bedroom to relax and now he is sleeping next to me in my bed, the happiest and most whacked boy in the world.

I feel grotty. The show is over, the make up is off and I am allowing myself to give into the effects of chemo (for a while).

Today, I will go to sleep and thank God for my wonderful sons, husband, family, friends, my pets, and most of all for my life and for being so lucky in catching the cancer quickly and that it was in a "good" place. I also pray for those close to me to take comfort in the fact that I am a fighter (the Jones dont give up), a history of really strong women in my family, I have the best medical attention FREE and I am here for the duration! I am lucky.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Session 3/12: Overwhelmed

Thats how I felt yesterday.

My ten year old son is having problems with my best friends adopted daughter, also ten. Last night my friend went on about it to the point that I just felt overwhelmed by my life.

The last ten years I have dealt with speech & language therapists, worried myself sick about delayed language, delayed reading, trying my best to get help for my son. I have a second son, I get no (and I mean no) sleep for three years, he has severe colic, he has delayed speech & language, I find out that he is autistic, I have challenging behaviour to deal with, sleepless nights, a full on war with the education system to get him support in the class room. On top of this I worry myself sick about their social skills (or lack of them).

Then.... just when I thought I was getting there... I get breast cancer.

So.... I don't need to my childrens problems highlighted. Last night, I felt as though it was all too much and I didn't feel depressed or sad persay, I just felt overwhelmed by the reality that is my life. For the first time in 10 years I felt as though it was all too much to deal with.

My husband is going back to work next week. His employers have been fabulous and he will be returning on reduced hours. The children are off school, I will be recovering from chemo and I am a bit worried about how things are going to be.

I saw my oncologist yesterday and I got a full check up and was dismissed with a clean bill of health. My veins are ok (still really sore) but I have my last lot of epi-reubison which aggrivates the veins. Hopefully my hair will start to grow back too when I am on CMF and I am praying for that with all my heart. I just want to run my fingers through my hair!!!!

My sons birthday party tonight, that will be something to look forward to. He is so excited and we have bought him a Star Wars cake, he is obsessed by Star Wars.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Session 3/12: Marley and Me

The chilli night was a success, we had a lovely evening and I managed to stay up until 11pm! However, I drank too much wine and had a dreadful hangover the next day. I ended up having a cold shower to cool me down which is such a change for me because chemo makes me so cold I am not used to being warm. Yesterday (hangover gone) I was wearing two jumpers and a woolly hat. Mind you, the weather isn't too good; cold, dull, miserable and so much rain! Harry went horse riding and Lisa's farm house (his tutor) was flooded - poor thing!

Last night we watched "Marley and Me" which was brilliant. I read the book a couple of years ago and loved it but it made me cry so much, the ending still haunts me. I cried buckets last night too, it was a great film but makes me think of all the dogs I have loved and lost in my life. My most special dog was Bobbi, I have talked about her before in my blog. She was with me for five years then died of leukemia. I miss her.

Thing is, there is a speech on the film which made me think about the dogs I love in my life; dogs accept you for who you are, they don't care if you are naggy, tired, bald or ill, they just love you for you. That is why I am so in love with dogs! Mind you, my dogs know when I am worried or ill, they become depressed and sigh alot so that is my incentive to keep up beat and well because I dont like to see them down.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Session 3/12: "Life is here and I am free..."

A line from a Mike Peters song, Regeneration which he wrote when he beat leukemia the first time. I can't wait to be able to sing that with real conviction. When I saw him at the Gathering all those years ago in his combat fatigues, sharing his great news with us, I didn't think that I would be a member of the same club as him, a privelage I don't really want.... sorry Mike!

I am feeling like myself this week which is great. We are having friends over tonight, Jason is cooking a chilli and we have wine! I have compiled a play list but I just know it won't be played because it turned out to be punk, songs from my youth! I am currently taking a trip down memory lane. I managed to power walk today, another 2 miles which is great and I didnt feel the need for a rest afterwards!

I met my friends for coffee yesterday morning which was great then had lunch out with Jason at the Alyn Pub so I didnt "power walk", I gave myself a day off.

Raining and miserable today which always makes me feel sad. However, we will get the chiminea on and the candles burning and we will have fun. I am making the most of this week because my next session of chemo is on Thursday and I don't know how quickly I will recover.

By the way, I am NOT going to fall asleep at 9pm tonight!

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Session 3/12: Mole is OK

I have just returned from Wrexham Hospital having been referred there for a suspicious looking mole thing which I discovered when my hair fell out. It was multi coloured and a strange shape but funnily enough, I "knew" it wasn't cancer. I have just been told that it is a non infectious wart which I have probably had for a long time and the doctor offered to freeze it off for me. I declined his kind invitation because I know this process hurts and when my hair grows back, nobody will be able to see it. Why have needless procedures done? All I wanted to know was that it was not cancer and it isn't so - good result!

Forgot to mention that I power walked 1.90 miles today at 15min mile pace - it feels great to be exercising!

Session 3/12: Blast Cancer!!!!!

Just a short blog today.

Hopefully, I have uploaded a link to Mike Peters singing on Everest 2007 on his trek to raise money for the Love, Hope, Strength Foundation, a global cancer fighting charity. He is singing my anthem "Without a Fight" - listen to the lyrics, they are my mantra.

Sadly, I have just found out that a friend of mine has been diagnosed with breast cancer, she has had surgery and now is waiting for her treatment regime. Why? Why nice people?

and sorry... no link... will try to work on this one!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Session 3/12: Power Walking

Today, despite mentral cramps, (yes I am still having them!) I started my power walking regime. I managed 1.54 miles of actual power walking with a warm up and cool down walk added on. My pace was 15 mins per mile which was good for a starter! I followed the walk with some stretching out and that felt good.
I am focusing on walking as much as I can during the week and as I become stronger and fitter again I will increase the distance.
Before I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I had a hip flexor strain which has been nagging me so I am taking the next six months of power walking as an opportunity to strengthen my muscles in preparation for running.
I am so proud of myself.
It was a warm sunny morning with a brisk breeze but the sky was blue and I enjoyed soaking in the surroundings. Sheep grazing in their fields, pheasants in the pig farm, blossom on the trees and my robins. I always think of good things when I see Mr Robin Red Breast. When I am feeling down or sorry for myself, a Robin appears from nowhere and I instantly feel revived.
Its good to be alive today!

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Session 3/12: Bald Outing

I did it!
You should have seen me this morning! It was so funny. I was totally fed up with stubble on my head so I got my remington bikini shaver and shaved my head until it was soft and smooth. As you can imagine, it took forever but I managed to do it before the battery needed recharging.
Now my bonce is shiny and smooth. I can moisturise it without it getting all clogged up.
The other thing I did was, I took the plunge and I went commando. I actually went shopping and I got so hot and bothered I took my scarf off. I felt a little self concious but I didn't get any weird stares or anything. A little girl aged about 7 looked at me intently then gave me the most beautiful smile.
I am so proud of myself.

Session 3/12: I Love Life

Awful picture of me! I am wearing one of my Suburban Turbans

Jilly, one of my 8 guineapigs, she is a grey Rex

One of my dogs, Wilbur wearing his bandana so that he can be added to my Face Book group called The Bandana Brigade

I really do love life. People keep telling me how brave I am but I am not brave, I just love life, it is as simple as that! I love my dogs, my guineapigs, my rabbits, my husband, my children... everything.
There is so much I want to do, so many places to explore and people to meet.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Session 3/12: Feeling Better

Joe and his "dog" together with Harry wearing his flight suit!

I am feeling alot brighter today. Harry had a party to attend in Chester and the plan was that we would go into the city as a family, drop Harry at the party then spend some time in the city centre. However, I was woken up rather early by a happy Harry and didn't feel too good. Had a slight headache and tired. So I decided to stay at home and get some rest while the boys went out on adventures.

I really would have liked to have gone into Chester, it is a lovely day but I must follow my body and there will be plenty of other days. It was nice for Jason and Joe to have some "father and son" time together, to do some bonding. They went to the music shop to look at guitars (dont know why because we have 2 mini acoustic guitars, 2 standard acoustic guitars, an electric acoustic and an electric guitar! Joe was impressed with the shop assistant who was demonstrating the instruments. They ended up buying an ampliphier that does "everything" and they are both very excited but I just dont get it.....oh well..... whatever floats their boat and as long as they are happy!

So, I am feeling brighter and more positive. I rested with Pickles and Wilbur on my bed. Pickles warming my feet, bless her. I am looking forward to starting my power walk training tomorrow but I cant for the life of me find my wireless MP3 or my Garmin Forerunner!

I go to the hospital on Wednesday to have my mole checked out. My inner sense tells me that there is nothing to worry about but at the same time, I am calm because I have had all the tests I can have so if it is something to worry about, it can be sorted out directly.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Session 3/12: My Life Floats

Christ Church Rossett, where Harry was christened, where I was Sunday School teacher for 4 years and where my children go to explore with their Nana
Recently my posts have been negative and that is a reflection of "post chemo blues" I think. I have felt "battle weary" and fatigued with cancer.
I am now in a new phase and that is because of the kind words and support I have received from friends, but more importantly, my fellow members of the much unwanted Club Cancer.
My thoughts are with a poem about a man who was drowning but those at the shore line thought he was waving. I have felt like that man these last few days, but my friends and fellow members have acknowledged the fact that I wasnt waving and have thrown me their swimming floats to keep me above water. Right now, I am enjoying the feeling and bobbing along, making a slow but steady progress to the shore line.
Thank you to my life floats!

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Thankful Thursday

I am grumpy so I will keep this short;

  1. I am thankful for having all of my faculties; my eyes for seeing, my ears for hearing, my legs for walking and my nose for smelling. This week I have enjoyed seeing and smelling Bluebells and wild garlic and walking through the woods. I liked seeing the different colours and textures of the grass and the catkins on the trees.
  2. I am thankful for my good friends who have listened to me and helped to lift my spirits
  3. I am thankful for having the ability to laugh when I feel like crying, smile when I feel like frowning and putting on a brave face.
  4. I am thankful for my husband who is always there for me and has supported me so much through this battle with cancer
  5. I am thankful for the wonderful doctors and medics who have helped me and continue to research cancer and find new cures

Session 3/12: Why are People so Selfish?

The above is an old picture of Rossett Mill before it was renovated
I am a good natured person, I accept people for what they are, warts and all.
I am a believer in the fact that nobody is perfect and to love someone is to accept the good and the bad in them too. The bad bits are frustrating at times but if the good bits outway the bad, a blind eye can be turned,
However, this seems to be an ongoing trend in my life. Friends who come into my life and take, then take a little more, then more... until in the end, my friendship is tested to the hilt.
I have experienced this recently as you can probably tell by the tone of my blogs and I am begining to lose patience.
I put others before myself.
If I can do a favour then I will.
I consider others feelings and desires.
Why oh why do I not get this back?
With some friends I some times wonder if they have actually realised that I am fighting cancer and undergoing chemo. Yes, I put on an act, yes, I smile, I laugh and I enjoy my life because that is ME but it doesnt mean that I am not tired or in pain or discomfort.
At the moment, I seem to be going through an angry phase in my treatment.
ANGRY: because I didn't want breast cancer
ANGRY: because I didn't want to lose my hair
ANGRY: because I hate feeling tired and uncomfortable all the time
ANGRY: because I have had to put my business on hold
ANGRY: because I have had to delay my races and race ambitions and stop running
ANGRY: because I can't even swim
ANGRY: because, because, because, because, because
.... everyone elses lives are going on and certain friends just don't even think about me or my situation!
I REFUSE to end this blog on a sour or angry note. I REFUSE people to make me feel this bad.
So... I will list the things that cancer has given me;
I CAN: take time out to train my dogs Pickles and Wilbur
I CAN: spend more time with my little animals
I CAN: focus on strengthening my posture
I CAN: have a go at power walking and train towards a running goal following treatment
I CAN: spend more time with positive friends who really do lift my spirits
I HAVE: strengthened existing friendships
I HAVE: made new friends through WW NCU, Face Book and my blog
I HAVE: taken part in the spirit jump programme and made 6 people happy so far

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Session 3/12: Been to the docs....

I visited my doctor this morning and I joked about having a weekly ticket there! She has prescribed some anti-acid tablets and enough to keep me going through the rest of my chemo, what a star!

I am lucky to have a small doctors surgery in the village. It is in a converted house and has lovely staff there including a nurse! I really do value their service especially in recent years when I have had problems with asthma, blood pressure, hormones and digestion. Now cancer!

The front garden is surrounded by a high hedge and the garden itself is full of Hebes and Bluebells. As I walked down the footpath their perfume lifted my spirits, oh what therapy!

I met my friends for lunch at the Alyn Pub which is also on the same road as the doctors. It is situated by the River Alyn and next to the main bridge over. On one side of the road is an old Flour Mill which is now home to BASC, The British Association of Shooting and Conservation and on the other side is a very, very old mill made from timber and recently refurbished. I am so lucky to live in such a picture-esque village.

Lunch with my friends, hearing about Helens sky dive and watching the DVD, hearing just how much she has raised for MS and good food... lifted my spirits. Janet commented that my eyes were much brighter now.

I just count my blessings for they are friends........... Thank you, you all know who you are!

Session 3/12: Behind the Stage Curtains

I have talked on my blog before about "show time" and how when I step out of my front door, I put on my smile and the show goes on..... Equally; when I am at home, the costume is removed, the makeup taken off and I am me..... bald, tired, pained... me! My home is my sanctuary, it is the place where I can be.... My dogs accept me, so does my husband and my children.

So when people enter my humble home, I expect them to accept me as I am. Why is it then that people feel the need to make tactless remarks. Oh, don't get me wrong, I understand that they are remarks which are misguided attempts at making me feel better but they wound me.

The same remarks don't penetrate the costume when I go out of my front door, they fall off me like water off a ducks back but at home, with my protection removed, I am scarred.

I didn't ask to be bald. I didn't ask for someone to "go ahead and shave me". I detest it, I hate it. When I look in the mirror I am repulsed. I don't want this look, its not my sense of fashion! However when I am at home, I like to be comfortable. I wear my woolly hat because my head gets cold, I snuggle up in my husbands jumper becauses its warm and comforting then I take my hat off when I have a hot flush..... Don't judge me for my looks, accept me for me like my animals and my family do.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Session 3/12: Success!

This is an "arty" photo of me wearing my bandana and cowboy hat by my husband! He produced the photo for me to display on my group which is called "The Bandana Brigade" on Face Book, just a little bit of fun with friends!!!!

So today, I have been so tired, my body has felt like a lead weight, my veins still hurt and I now know what it feels like to be old! However, at least my heart burn has subsided and I have some relief and although I am craving fruit, I am frightened to eat any in case of a reaction.

Now, back to my title "SUCCESS". I did have success today with my one year old Miniature Schnauzer, Wilbur. He is a gangly, big hearted, silly boy with no co-ordination, life is one big party to him and everyone is his friend. When we go out for walks, he barks the neighbourhood down and NOTHING can calm him at all. Since my diagnosis I have been focusing on training him and going to classes. Today; one chunk of smelly blue cheese, and we made it to the woods without him being hysterical! Hurray! He walked to heel and after about 100 yards, that manic look in his eye was gone, he was no longer hysterical, he listened to me and when we got to the woods, he sat, waited for me to take off his headcollar and release him.

I felt amazing! I was so proud of him and so proud of me! There is light at the end of the tunnel. The woods in the rain were so much more beautiful for our success! I had to share this with the world because cancer hasnt taken everything!

Monday, 4 May 2009

Session 3/12: What a Party!

The one good thing about going through chemo, is that I am allowed to fall asleep at parties, be a "light weight" or just sit and watch! Last night, we had a fab BBQ with friends, then neighbours joined in and we ended up with such a laugh. My neighbours brought around a selection of head gear which included a blonde wig, a Cruelly DeVille wig, a cowboy hat and a santa hat! All being worn in support of moi!!

However, I got to 9pm and flaked out in bed! I even went to bed before the kids!

Saw the photos this morning and I didn't like what I saw! Me, bandana, dressing gown over my clothes, hogging the fire! I looked poorly without being poorly if you know what I mean. I will look back on those photos and think of this time in my life.

Took the dogs to the woods this morning, such a beautiful place in the spring rain. The Bluebells were out along with the wild garlic and it was such a magical, spiritual sight. I touched the catkins on the trees, wondering at the cotton and feeling the texture. Each day is splendid and each day is special for the little things.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Sess 3/12: Keep the Home Fires Burning

My husband has taken my boys to his mothers house to give me a break but oh, how quiet the house is, even with my two noisy miniature schnauzers!!

I decided to light my chiminea and have been burning logs for a while. Everyone is out in t-shirts but me? I am wrapped up in a woolly hat and fleece blanket practiacally hugging my fire. I get so cold after chemo, does anyone else get that?

It was such a positive experience staring into my fire, breathing in the smoke and listening to the burble of the neighbourhood. I closed my eyes and took myself back 30 years when we were kids making fires in the fields and baking potatoes, happy days!

I had a cute conversation with my little 3 year old neighbour. He sits on his tractor in his garden and calls me until I stick my head over the fence, the conversation went like this;

Ollie: "what you got on your head"
Me: "a woolly hat cos I am cold"
Ollie: "I not cold, I got this" (points to his hair)
Me: "I haven't got hair now"
Ollie: "no, you got no hair, you got a round shape"

Kids are so great, what a wonderful conversation, I will be chuckling all night over this!

Friday, 1 May 2009

Session 3/12: I must be radio-active!!!! lol

I MUST be radio-active because EVERYONE keeps telling me I am glowing! If I get any more "glowing" comments, I swear, there will be a nuclear reaction!! lol

The glamorous picture above is a lady I have the privelage of knowing through Weight Watchers. Her name is Helen, she is the same age as me, 42, and is fighting MS. In order to raise money for MS during MS Awareness week, Helen is going to parachute jump tomorrow - May 2nd - What a brave lady! Awesome! She is one of the most positive and up beat people I have met and a joy to know.

Anyway, day one after chemo. Took some sleeping pills last night and although my sleep was disturbed because of the steroids, it was better than before. Woke up feeling great and managed to visit Weight Watchers to wish Helen good luck for tomorrow (hence more glowing comments) then I was laid up in bed for a few hours.

We are burying Mouse and Spangles today. I took Joe to the Grosvenor Garden Centre and he chose a variagated Ceanothis to mark the spot. We are burying them in a place where he can see from his bedroom window and the flowers will bloom this time of year to help him remember his little friend xxx