Monthly Archives: February 2011

Chemo and Weight Gain

I seem to have a constant battle with my weight. Before I got pregnant with Jake, I was a lovely size 10. Then I got pregnant, gave birth, recovered from giving birth, joined a gym to get rid of the baby weight, and then I got cancer.

I (like most people) thought that by having to go through chemotherapy, I would lose weight. I thought that at least there would be that silver lining. No. It would appear that chemo doesn’t have any silver lining. In fact, I gained weight.

Once chemo was over, I gave my body a few months to recover, then I rejoined the gym. I also joined Slimming World. And I’ve lost a grand total of 12.5 pounds, which is pathetic. I joined Slimming World before and did really well. I lost 2 stone in around 5 months, so I thought I could do it again. Nope.

So, I decided to look into it a bit further. I looked at a forum I’m part of, and found that loads of other people that have had the same chemo as me, also have trouble shifting the weight.

Things I have found out are:

  • More younger patients (15-35) gain weight than the older ones (55+).
  • Chemo kills so many cells throughout our bodies. Therefore our metabolism has to work overtime to replenish them. Once chemo ends and those cells are no longer dying off, our metabolism hits a wall, hence we gain weight.
  • A reason may be because of the steroids taken during treatment. At one time, it was believed that once the steroids stop,  your weight gain and desire to eat so much just goes away. Now, it’s thought that you have been on the steroids so long that your body still feels it absolutely must eat!
  • It could also be due to hormones  (periods stopping during chemo etc) and that once everything gets back in line metabolism should pick up

So this did make me feel a bit better about it, and it helped me understand why i’m not getting big losses every week, but I know the reasons. People who see me when I’m walking down the street don’t, they just think I’ve let myself go. I am trying, and I will get the weight off, it might just take me longer than it takes most people.

The informational content of this article is intended to convey general educational
information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice

 


Clarification

The problem with being so open about my cancer experience, is that people automatically think it gives them the right to offer advice. There’s one little thing that is starting to grate on my nerves and that is peoples reaction to me choosing to postpone the radio iodine treatment IF I need it.

I don’t think I clarified properly my decision to postpone the radio active iodine treatment. So I shall do in this post and this is where I shall direct people when they inevitably choose to say I’ve made the wrong decision.

First and foremost, although I haven’t spoken to my consultant about this decision (I plan on doing so in my next follow up appointment), I HAVE spoken to my key-worker. He says that other people have also chosen to postpone it and that my decision would be respected.

Let’s also remember, that unless I’d had the Hodgkin’s, I might not have found out about the thyroid cancer for another 10 or 20 years, and even then, the prognosis is just as good. So by postponing the treatment for a year or 2 it’s still 8-18 years sooner than it would have been otherwise.

If they turn around and say to me that if I postpone it, I put my life at risk, then do you really think I wouldn’t have it done? I may be stubborn, but one thing I’m not is stupid. I’m perfectly aware that I have a son and husband who need me around. I haven’t gone through months of chemo to throw it all away now.

My decision is based on what I know the facts to be. I’m not saying not ever. I’m saying not now.

Since January 2010 I have spent 16 nights in hospital, two nights at a friends house because of radioactivity after scans, 12 days in hospital for chemo, as well as another 36 visits to the chemo unit in between chemos. When you add the double figures of my other hospital appointments, you can see how much I have been away from Jake, and how I’m sick of hospital.

So please don’t stand in front of me, when you haven’t had my year to deal with and tell me that I’ve made the wrong decision. Because I haven’t. I’ve made the right decision for me.

We never know how we are going to react to a situation until we are faced with it ourselves. Read what Henrietta has to say on the subject.

 


Don’t Say Nothing. Say Something.

Everyone who reads this blog will know that last week was my one year “Cancerversary”. Well, my cancerversary of my Hodgkin’s diagnosis anyway.

Blogging my way through it has been one way that I’ve dealt with it. I’ve come to make connections on Twitter that have been an amazing support. Some people don’t get it, and that’s just fine. It doesn’t float everyone’s boat. We’re all different and that is what makes life interesting.

Both times I got  my diagnosis, I made a conscious decision to post it on Facebook and Twitter, only once my friends and family knew. Some people wouldn’t, they would choose to deal with it privately and not broadcast it to all and sundry. That’s okay too.

In this post, I managed to put family and friends into six categories. Looking back at that post, I stand by everything I said. And dealing with cancer the second time round, those six categories still exist.

Someone I have a lot of respect for in the blogging community is having a hard time at the moment. I haven’t met her “in real life” but she always has an encouraging or supportive word to say to me. She is one of my favourite bloggers and you should really go and have a read to see for yourself.

Henrietta has made the point this week that people who don’t know what to say, say nothing at all. It’s not about saying the “right” thing, or the “wrong” thing. It’s about saying something. It’s about letting someone know that even if you don’t know what to say that you are thinking about them.

People will talk. I know for a fact that people who haven’t spoken to me for years have been talking about me. Did they call, text, email, send a card, even say to send their love via someone else? No. All that makes me feel like is a piece of gossip to talk about in the office kitchen or the pub.

If anything has been taught to us over the last year or so, it’s that life is too short, and we may not have forever to say the things we want to say. Treasure your family, love your friends, and show them that you do. You don’t have to say something profound or wonderful, but just say something.

 


#CyberMummy11 – Sponsorship Opportunity

 

CyberMummy11 is the chance for you to get your brand infront of 450 of the UK’s most influential mummy bloggers.

CyberMummy is THE premier event for the best of mummy bloggers in the UK.  On average delegates have around 1,000 Twitter followers, presenting you with a potential pool of 450,000 new contacts.

As your Cybermummy delegate I can generate new online and offline clients as well as generating new champions for the company by promoting your products for online sponsorship and review.

Now, I know I don’t necessarily fall into your “typical” mummy blogger category. But what is a typical mum? I don’t think a typical mum has had to fight cancer twice in one year and deal with a small child at the same time.

Writing my blog throughout this has helped me immensely, and it’s allowed me to network with some fantastic mummy bloggers. I was unable to go to last years CyberMummy conference as I was too ill from chemo and I was reading everyones tweetstream feeling really jealous because I wanted to be there.

This year I will be well enough, and I can’t wait to go to CyberMummy!  The only challenge I have regarding the event is the financial one of attending, which is why I am asking for help….

I would love the opportunity to represent a brand at CyberMummy and for this I am looking for a sponsor to get me there.

I am looking for a sponsor who can provide the following:

  • Cybermummy 2011 ticket – £100
  • Travel Expenses – approx £50
  • Accommodation Expenses – approx £160

TOTAL: approximately 310

In exchange for this the sponsor would receive:

  • A button advert in the sidebar or a banner advert at the end of each post until 31st December 2011  ~ £250
  • A sponsor feature post on my blog ~ £50
  • A text link in all related CyberMummy posts in 2011 ~ £150
  • Sponsorship related tweets on Twitter inclusive of agreed hashtag ~ £150
  • I will represent your brand at the CyberMummy 11 conference, wearing any branded clothing and/or badges that you supply and spreading the word about your business in front of hundreds of other mum bloggers –  ~ £££ ?
  • Any other reasonable requests
  • This means at least £600  of advertising and exposure for around £300

I would love it if you would consider sponsoring me, it would help put a smile back on my face!

I also want to thank Ruth Douglas for her help and advice of putting my post together 🙂


Thyroidless

I am now without a thyroid.

Surgery went ahead as planned on Friday, and I spent 3 nights in hospital, only being discharged yesterday. That was a long 3 nights. I had a drain in which they only removed on Sunday, and my calcium levels were low, which is why they kept me in for the third night.  I am now also on medication for that as well as 125mg of Thyroxine.

I still have no voice, although they assured me that they haven’t damaged my vocal nerve.

I had a meltdown in hospital on Sunday. I haven’t had a huge amount over the last year, but I have had a couple. I’m just done. I’ve got no fight left anymore. I can’t do it. I’m done.

I can’t bear the thought of going through the radio-iodine treatment and being in hospital in isolation, and then being away from Jake for some weeks after. So I’m talking to my consultant when I see him and telling him I’m not having it done yet. I spoke to my key-worker about this yesterday and he said that I won’t be the first person who has chosen to do that. I just want some life for a bit. I want to have another baby, I don’t want to be away from Jake anymore. I’ve been in hospital enough over the last year and it’s unsettling for him.

This operation has left me feeling much worse than last time. I’m in more pain. I was in hospital an extra 2 nights, I had a drain in for an extra 36 hours, my stitches are in for longer, I feel constantly nauseous and my voice is yet to return.

Jake keeps pointing at  my wound saying “hurt, poorly, hurt” and kissing it better for me, which is very sweet. We are currently taking up residency at my in-laws, so that we can both be looked after, I can be with him, and Neil doesn’t have to take any time off work.

So that is it in a nutshell. I have Slimming World weigh in tonight, which I know isn’t going to go well, but having been in hospital for so long, it was out of my hands!


One Year On

Exactly one year ago today, at this exact time (I’ve scheduled this post to go out at this time for a reason), I was sat in a consultation room at Selly Oak hospital, with (what felt like) a 12 year old registrar, who would tell me that I had Nodular Sclerosing Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Well, eventually she did. First of all she told me I had non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. 

I remember bursting into tears, and being scared. But I also remember feeling really angry that no one had listened in the first place. I wanted answers. I wanted to know what treatment I would have. I wanted to know what stage I was. I wanted to know how it would effect my fertility. I wanted to know when treatment would start. I walked away with no answers to any of those questions, but an appointment to see a haematologist 24 hours later. That was a hellish 24 hours, I can tell you.

I remember walking out of that room, tears streaming down my face, worried that everyone was looking at me, and Neil pulling me to one side and hugging me while I sobbed my heart out. I remember the phonecall’s I made with no hello, just: “It’s Hodgkin’s”. Then we went home, Christine was looking after Jake, and we had to tell her. That wasn’t fun.

My parents were waiting to hear my results, and I’d purposely not told them I was getting them that day. I knew it was going to be bad news, and I wanted to tell them in person, but I also wanted to give them answers, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to that day. How could I give them answers when I didn’t have any? My dad called about 20 minutes after we got home, Neil answered and told him we’d get them the next day.

I remember Nick cancelling his work trip to Germany. I remember us ordering pizza. I remember Neil sat upstairs, researching Hodgkin’s and chemo. He’d refused to before, because he didn’t want to research it if we didn’t know it’s what I had.

I didn’t sleep well that night, and the next day dragged until I had my appointment with my haematologist. She made me feel OK again. I trusted her to make me better. She gave me answers to the questions I had, and I was able to see my parents that night and tell them without crying. My mum didn’t cry, I think she saved it for when we left. She only cried in front of me once, and I’m glad for that. That night, I slept.

So, one year on and I cay say I kicked Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t pleasant. It wasn’t fun. But – I did it. And although it’s not all over, there’s still the small matter of the thyroid cancer, but that’s easy in comparison, just a bit more surgery and maybe some radio iodine at some point, and hopefully that’s my lot.

 

I’ve added the pictures of Jake and me so you can see how much he’s grown in the last year, and of course to see how gorgeous he is! I am one very proud mummy (most of the time!). All I can hope for, is that one day he reads my story and is of proud of me as I am of him.


Family Fun Give-away! dfs Crufts!

Okay, so not the usual format for this blog, but I think it will make a nice change to have something non-cancer related!

I think most of you know that I’m a dog owner. I have two gorgeous pooches. Frankie, who will be 4 in a few weeks, a beautiful chocolate Labrador, and Ernie, a 2 and a half year old handsome (but cheeky) Cairn Terrier. They are both Kennel Club registered pedigrees. Frankie’s Kennel Club name was chosen by the breeder, Woochester (the breeder’s Kennel Club name) Brown Beauty. Ernie’s name we could choose ourselves, Hyde Castle (again, the breeder’s Kennel Club name) Great Dane. A play on words as he he from Danish descent, and Great Dane, because when he was a puppy, he could fit into the palm of your hand. Ernie came home with us two days after we found out I was pregnant with Jake!

As you can guess, Jake adores them. He can’t wait to come downstairs on a morning and say hello to them! In fact, you can see a tiny Jake in the picture of Frankie, she used to lie there when he was playing on his mat to keep an eye on him!

 

Imagine then how pleased I was when I was invited to go to dfs Crufts this year. Excited doesn’t come close!

And what’s better, is that I can also get one of you there for a family fun day out! The Kennel Club organise dfs Crufts each year and it is currently in its 120th year. It is the worlds largest dog show. The show will take place 10 – 13 March at the NEC Birmingham

One lucky reader will receive a family ticket to dfs Crufts and personalised children’s shirts (the style of which you can choose – one of which has the 120 anniversary logo on). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is:

1. Follow @rozzibee and @KCLovesDogs on twitter

OR (if you’re not on twitter) you can visit us on facebook at ‘kin Hodgkin’s and  Kennel Club and like us

2. Answer this question: “Crufts is named after who?”

Comment on this post with your answer when you have done the above.

For one extra entry you can tweet this:

I love dogs!  I want to win Crufts Tickets with @rozzibee and @KCLovesDogs http://bit.ly/ereW6T #dfscrufts2011

Entries must be received before 1500 on 19th February. Winners will be chosen at random and  announced here after the competition has closed.

 

The winner of the family ticket and personalised kids shirts:

Simone (@SFRProdReviews)

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