Monthly Archives: June 2010

Feel the Love

If there’s one thing I’ve learned since February this year, it’s the people that care. There are lots of different categories of friends and family. Here are the six I can think of:

  • Family that care
  • Family that don’t
  • Supportive friends and family
  • Friends that disappear
  • Friends that reappear and that are supportive
  • Friends that reappear to find out if you’re falling apart, and then disappear again

I count myself as fortunate to have lots in the supportive and caring categories and just a few in the others. The amount of help we have received from people has been unbelievable. People that have come to look after me and Jake on my poorly days or clinic appointments (Christine, Cary, my parents, Neil’s grandparents), or had Jake while I’ve been at chemo (my lovely father in law) or come to chemo with me to make it more bearable (Neil, Nick, Lisa, Angela, Christine, Wendy), those that have visited me in hospital (so many people that I can’t name!!), all of my lovely friends and family who did Race for Life with me.

But it goes deeper than that. That makes it sound like it’s only people who live close enough to visit or help are the only ones that are supportive, but it’s not. There are people that I haven’t seen since my diagnosis that have been just as supportive in different ways. The ones that sent flowers, scarves, messages, cards, texts, phone calls, organising a yummy mummy weekend away for when it’s all over, doing a Race for Life with my name on their back, running a half marathon for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research. Each and every one of those things means just as much!

To those of you that have been there, thank you. If it wasn’t for  you guys, this would be so much harder.

To those of you that don’t care, and haven’t bothered, I’m doing just fine and don’t need you anyway!


Four Years Ago…

….today, Neil and I said “I do” in the Dominican Republic.

To say we’ve had an interesting few years is a bit of an understatement. You’d think that two knee operations, a miscarriage, a horrible boss, followed by a redundancy (hmmm, horrible boss, redundancy, go figure!) would be enough, but no, on top of that cancer, (suspected) pneumonia and a stay in ITU has also come to test us.

It hasn’t always been easy. Just like anyone else, we have days that we want to kill each other, but I think we’ve had enough stress to justify that!

We both agree that having Jake is by far the best thing either of us have done. He certainly keeps us both positive and makes life more interesting!!

Neil has handled the whole cancer thing very well. He’s adapted it into the new normal. Going for chemo and clinic appointments is the new normal. When it’s all over, that will be normal. He’s never let me see him upset, and although he’s sympathetic when I feel rubbish, he doesn’t let me wallow too much either.

We’ve never been the soppy type, we don’t declare our love for each other on Facebook, or anything like that, it’s just not our style, but it doesn’t make what we have any less real. This is about as soppy as it gets. So, Happy Anniversary, and lets hope the next four years aren’t as eventful!!

New Widget

Hi all

I’ve changed the widget on the right hand side there, so that now it’s not to sponsor me for Race for Life, but to sponsor my lovely friend Rachel who is running a half marathon (a braver woman than me!!!) on 12th September for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.

Their life-saving research is focussed on finding causes, improving diagnosis and treatments, and running groundbreaking clinical trials for all blood cancer patients.

Blood cancers including leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma affect people of all ages from newborns to grandparents.

Thanks in advance from the both of us 🙂

Honey, I’m Home!

I only just got released (yes, it felt like a prison) from hospital today. I’ve been in for a whole week and stayed in three different wards. I started off in the Emergency Admissions Ward, then got moved to ITU, and then onto the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit.

Basically, after I was admitted on Tuesday, I was on oxygen as my levels were really low and still having my obs every 2 hours. In the middle of the night, my blood pressure dropped to 75 something, so they had to give me a drip to get my BP back up. Then when I got up on Wednesday morning, I couldn’t even walk to the end of my bed, which is how I ended up in Intensive Care.

We still don’t know whether it was a bad chest infection or PCP, but the treatment was for PCP, and it seems to have worked. We’re still waiting on blood results. It’s been horrible. I’ve had three lots of antibiotics (one of which was through a drip and two litres a day), plus an anti fungal, and steroids. I managed to get one of the drugs orally because it was making my veins burn and it was too uncomfortable.

I think going into ITU was when I hit my lowest low. I didn’t realise how ill I actually was. It was so horrible being in there, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. There is absolutely nothing dignified about it.

I know people are speculating as to whether I pushed myself too hard by doing Race for Life, but I don’t think I did. We were practically last to finish, and I’d even spoken to my consultant a few days before about my breathing which is why he agreed to drop the evil Bleomycin, because that was most likely the cause of it.

Chemo is delayed by two weeks, so I am now due to finish on August 11th. Not getting my hopes up though – but lets just see if I can avoid any more hospital stays!!

I’m in Hospital

And about to be moved to ITU. I came in Monday morning with a temperature of 38.8. I felt fine though. I was put on some IV antibiotics and given paracetamol to bring my temp down. They sent me home 9 hours later and I totally don’t blame them. My temp was normal again, and I felt fine, all my bloods were normal, so there was no reason not to.

Yesterday morning I woke with the worlds worst headache, so I came back in. I’ve had blood test, a CT scan and various other things done to me. The long and the short of it is that they suspect PCP which is a type of pneumonia. I’ve had a blood test, but results won’t be back for a few days as they have to go to Manchester.

I’m not even allowed to walk to the loo, I have to be taken in a wheelchair because my breathing is so bad and I’m on oxygen.

Just wanted to give you an update, will ask Neil to go into more detail later.

Thank you all for your facebook comments, text messages etc xx

Race for Life Beckons

I can’t believe how quickly Race for Life has come round. It doesn’t seem like that long ago since I put a request out to my friends on Facebook to join me, and all of a sudden, it’s this Sunday.

I have to say, the nerves are starting to kick in about Sunday. I’ve never been fit, not really, but before the hodge rudely invaded my life, I was on a bit of a “lose the baby flab” mission, and joined a gym, and was managing to do my workouts without having a coronary. However, since the invasion, the damage caused to my phrenic nerve resulting in my diaphragm squashing my right lung, plus the horrible drug that is Bleomycin means that these days I struggle to go upstairs without getting out of breath. My only aim for Sunday is to complete it, even if I am the last one to finish.

I am also worried I’m going to get emotional. I’ve not really had many “Sh!t, I’ve got cancer” moments, but seeing my name on other peoples back signs, and knowing that people are there supporting me, might make it hit home a little bit more.

Can I also just take this opportunity to say thank you? Thank you to everyone that is joining me on Sunday and travelling to do so, thank you to those with my name on their back, and thank you to everyone that has sponsored me. You will never understand how much it means.

Four Treatments to Go!

Apologies for the gap between updates. Again, nothing overly exciting to report. Chemo is chemo. I now have just four treatments left. Sometimes I find myself thinking “Four isn’t that many” and others I’m “FFS, another four? Really?!?!”

I’m not sure if each treatment is getting harder or if I’m just getting more and more fed up with them. I need a sick bowl now whenever I have my steroid injection. I’ve never actually had to use it, but I can guarantee, the time I don’t have one will be the time I need to use it. Also, my veins are shot, so they can never get a needle in first time, last time they managed after two attempts, which was actually quite good. It’s usually three. So for the most part, I’m covered in bruises and resemble a druggie.

Tomorrow is my thyroid ultrasound and biopsy.  I’m trying not to worry about it, and keep telling myself it’s nothing to worry about. I’ve done some research and apparently the chances of having two different types of cancer at the same time are very rare, and more than 99% of abnormalities with your thyroid aren’t cancerous. So this time, the odds are in my favour.

We have booked a holiday for October. Neil and I will be going to Nissi Beach in Cyprus. Notice how I say Neil and I, rather than Neil, Jake and I? Jake will be having a holiday of his own at his Nanny and Granddad’s house. I am so looking forward to this holiday! It can’t come quickly enough!!