Monthly Archives: April 2011

The Skydive Story

Yesterday, 23rd April 2011, I did my skydive for the Lymphoma Association, along with three of my friends. I was so excited, especially seeing as I hadn’t seen two of the girls since September. It was an incredibly early morning, we were up at 6am to get there for 8.15am.

It took us forever to get registered. Rachel (in the pink shorts) got there before us and managed to get registered early, so she’d done her jump before 10am. For the other three of us, there was lots of waiting around, and eventually we were given a  jump time of 1230.

We had our briefing, where we were told what to expect, what to do and how to land. We were told that sometimes, very occasionally, that the main chute doesn’t open and what would happen if they needed to use the reserve chute. I’m pretty sure all of us were sat there thinking “Oh, that won’t happen to me”, I was one of them.

We met the guys we were jumping with, got into our gear and got on the plane . All pretty uneventful, apart from the person on the plane who kept breaking wind, which was pretty gross.

While on the plane, the guy I was jumping with checked my gear, tightened up the harness etc and we went through what would happen when we jumped out. We’d walk to the door, I would tuck my legs behind me so he had all my weight (poor chap) and then he would jump out. We would free fall for 45 seconds, and then he would open the chute.

We jumped out and it was so, so cold. But wow, it was the most amazing experience to be free falling at 120 mph. Then our 45 seconds was up and it was time to open the chute and gently glide to earth.

Or at least, that’s what should have happened.

What actually happened was my instructor was going “Sh!t! Bug*er! Sh!t!” and kicking like mad. He wouldn’t answer when I asked what was wrong and just said “Sorry, but I think we’re gonna have to get rid of this. Arms back in!” and before I had chance to register what was going on, we were free falling again. I can honestly say I have never been so scared. Then he released the reserve chute, and it was nice and gentle again. We landed in a completely different field, and a little buggy had to come and pick us up (might I add, my landing was perfect!!

Neil, my father-in-law and my best friend were down on the ground, not actually having a clue what was going on. They were expecting to see me coming down attached to a purple and white parachute. What they actually saw was a purple and white parachute hurtling to the ground not sure if anyone was attached to it or not. They saw an orange and white parachute land in a different field, and heard a tannoy announcement saying that those that had landed with the orange and white chute in a different field were fine and a buggy was going to get them, but had no way of making that connection to me. So I think it’s safe to say that Neil and the others were quite relieved when he saw me in the buggy being transported back to the airfield.

I was a shaking wreck, but still smiling. Or at least I was until I got a bit tearful. I have to say I was disappointed with what happened after. In that nothing did. As soon as we got back, my instructor disappeared and I didn’t see him again. Some other guy helped me out of my gear along with a cocky comment of “Have you settled up for your extra skydive, because I heard you had two?” (referring to the second freefall). There was no debrief, there was no hot sweet drink offered. Nothing. The most I got was in the conversation with my instructor once the reserve opened where he told me that the chute did open, but the lines were twisted, so it didn’t open fully and that it was his first malfunction in three years.

I am gutted that I haven’t got any photos of my landing, or any of the chute that didn’t open.

Would I do it again? Yes.

Would Neil let me? No. I think I need to work on him a bit more!

I’m booked in to do Go Ape on Thursday. At this moment in time though, I’m not sure it’s a good idea and wondering if it would be pushing my luck!

PS! Don’t forget, if you haven’t sponsored me, and you want to, you still can. Just click here. Any donation is greatly accepted. Thank you!

Facebook Break

I recently find myself wanting to spend less and less time on Facebook. I’m just finding it too hard at the moment. Everyone is announcing pregnancies, or births, or about going on maternity leave. It’s not that I’m not happy for these people, because I am. I’m not completely heartless. It’s just that every time I see one, it’s like a kick in the stomach. It should be me. And if it wasn’t for cancer getting in the way twice, it already would be.

Everyone has an opinion. Everyone thinks they have the right to tell me what to do. How long I should wait before we try for the next one, or that I should “enjoy Jake for 6 months first”. Surely it’s our choice?

So, I made the decision to limit my time on Facebook. If people want to see me/speak to me/keep in touch with me, there are other methods. Sometimes Facebook makes people lazy. You find yourself knowing everything about someone, so you don’t have to see them because you have nothing to catch up on. So, if  you find yourself saying to me “It feels like I haven’t seen you for ages”, chances are, you probably haven’t, so rather than say it, rectify it, unless of course the reason you want to see me is to tell me you’re pregnant, in which case, a text message is fine.

Do you Know the Symptoms of Lymphoma?

Things and Stuff

Sorry I haven’t updated for ages. We went to Italy for a week to visit family and to go to my cousins wedding. It was the first time that Neil and Jake had been so it was nice for my family to meet MY family, if that makes sense? We were glad to get home though. I feel like I need another holiday now to get over that one!

In other news, I had my 3 month check-up for haematology yesterday. All was fine and pretty much a non-event. Will go back in another 3 months time for more of the same.

Today, though, was my thyroid post op. I went in expecting them to tell me that the other half was benign, and expecting a long complex discussion with my consultant about why I wanted to postpone the radio iodine treatment.

What actually happened though was a bit different.

The other half wasn’t benign. It was malignant, again. So both halves on my thyroid were cancerous. I was quite surprised to learn that, because I distinctly remember asking while I was in recovery whether there was a lump on that half, and there wasn’t.

However, the prof surprised me today. He is the most laid back consultant I have ever met. He reminds hubby of Pete Waterman, and I am inclined to agree. Usually, I hate his laid back approach. Any one who knows me, knows that I need to know the details. For instance, before I had even been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s, I knew all about it, prognosis, survival stats, chemo regimes etc etc. The prof doesn’t work like that, he only tells you things when they need to happen and not before. So he’s always been cagey about radio iodine and not giving much away. Always saying “possibly” and “we’ll discuss that when the time comes”.

After waiting for the most part of an hour, I was finally called through. He asked if I was there to discuss radio iodine, and I said that yes I was, as well as my last biopsy results. To which he then had to look up because he hadn’t already. When he told me it was malignant, I was expecting him to say I needed the radio iodine treatment sooner rather than later. He didn’t. He asked if we had children. He asked if we wanted more. He asked how old Neil was, then asked me the same. He then said that if I was to say to him that I wanted to put off the iodine treatment so that we can carry on with our family, that he would say ok. I said “Oh good, because that IS what I was going to say.” Apparently, the blood tests I have will tell them everything I need to know.

So that’s it. Decision made. They have changed my Thyroxine dose, and will see me again in 6 months, in which time I will hopefully have a baby on board 🙂