Tuesday, 25 October 2011

I'm Tittoe'd

The building that houses Oncology and Radiotherapy in Hull is new and quite something. I was seen quite quickly and the staff were all very pleasant. Was asked if I could put both my arms over my head for scan and subseqent radiotherapy sessions. Luckily I can so that creates no problems. They got me into position, they have sort of cups for your hands and arms, put loads of stickers and felt tip lines over my stump and scanned the area. Then they gave me two very small permanent marks that look just like moles which they will use to line me up every time I have radiotherapy. Clever isnt it??

They have told me I shouldnt have to wait too long to get into each session which is a good thing and treatment takes about 20 mins. So hopefully as I have to be there every day at 9.30 I should be out by 10.15 which means getting home by about 10.45. Which means I dont have to lose everyday I will have time left to do other things.

Looking forward to our holiday now.  Spending the rest of the day preparing for it, will be so good to get away and swim and walk along the beach and do normal things. Shall of course update you on our return ......

Monday, 24 October 2011

Hair today

Off to Hull this afternoon to have a scan and permanent tattoo's put on my stump ( tittoo's). The tattoo's are put on by the radiotherapy department - they are very small brown spots, so that they know where to head for when I commence radiotherapy. Should be an interesting experience.

My fingernails are becoming more disgusting by the day. Isnt it weird that theyve only just started going that way, weeks after I have finished chemo? Still, nothing I can do but wait for them to grow out.  Good news is I have some 'fluff' appearing on the top of my head. Not on the sides yet, but on the top. Now I have to wait and see what the colour will be ( at the moment it looks very light ) and what kind of texture I shall end up with.  Its quite interesting to see how my body is changing yet again.

Managed another 50 minute walk yesterday, although my legs and feet ached but did it none the less. Looking forward to walking much more on our holiday, and swimming, both will do me good. Am wanting to get radiotherapy over and done with now. Must be feeling better as I couldnt even think about it before. Just want to complete all these treatments and continue in life. Dennis and I intend to have lots of discussions next week about what I want to do next year. Have lots of thoughts about that but you have to think about practicalities all the time- bloody annoying....

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Universal comments

Well yesterday was interesting. Started at the Pink Rose Suite where Barbara ( my breast nurse) was very complementary over the way I handled a call from a recently diagnosed lady, who asked Barbara if she could speak to someone who had been through the process. Then my consultant Jenny Smith was very happy over the way I looked ( she said she found it hard to believe I had recently been in hospital) as  I looked so healthy - another message from the Universe. Was really happy about how my stump had settled, so found no need to inflate it further.She also spoke to me about initial plans for reconstruction. Because of radiotherapy side effects I have to wait at least 6 months before reconstruction can commence. It will be a major op- much bigger than the first op to remove the breast. And recovery will take upto 6 months, although as she said I seem to bounce back quickly from these things so it hopefully wouldnt take that long for me. However I am not convinced that I want to tie myself down to something that will remove me from life for a period of time next year. If I am on borrowed time why would I want to give myself that grief when I could be living my life to the full? Afterall this is just a cosmetic procedure. Anyhow its too soon to make any decision about that, I shall ponder that over the coming months and see how I feel nearer the time.  As I said I feel very confident with my 'stump', it does not prevent me from wearing any of my clothes and next week it shall be on show in a bikini top. There is however a possibility that radiotheraphy may distort it, so I shall just have to wait and see.
They are so good at the Breast clinic that as I was walking out one of the nurses who had been in with us suddenly announced that as I was going abroad next week I ought to have a letter in case I set off the security scanners. Apparently the tissue expander has a metal port which can sometimes be picked up . So to save me from any potential hold up they have given me a letter explaining my metal piece. 

Popped into the shop where all my customers kept saying how well I looked ( Universe worked so hard yesterday)

I also had an appointment to see my GP later in the day as I wanted to ask her if she would give me some anti biotics in case I got an insect bite or injury to my right arm whilst on holiday. She very kindly did and also added the comment about how well I seem to be coping with all this and ' how well I looked' ( Universe). What can I say. I dont feel I am making any effort to deal with this, its just how it is. I have choosen to ' embrace' this rather than be in denial. Accepting a situation is by no means giving up or condoning what is happening, it just saves all that energy that would otherwise be wasted in feeling sorry for yourself or becoming horror of all horrors a Victim !!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Indian Summer

Wonderful sunshine. Am sitting in my shed and its really warm. The sun is shining, its amazing for mid October. Had a good evening with Sue night before last. Loads of catching up.  Had another kitchen company around to give me a quote. God knows how much their quote is going to be. Thing is do I spend the money on a new kitchen or do I blow it on a wonderful trip ? Difficult one that!! Den and I have been talking about our future, well mine I suppose. Thing is I have to accept that whilst I may make a full recovery, it is also quite possible that I may develope a secondary. And whilst it is possible to survive quite a while with a secondary it does shorten your life span and your quality of life. With this very much in mind I am keen to make the most of every day whilst I can. Quite how I want to do this changes quite frequently- which is very frustrating for both of us. I am a bit limited for a time because of my condition for travelling. We both really want to go back to Nepal, I want to go to Egypt.  I want to travel around the UK in a camper van. UK/ Europe travel is OK, but Eastern destinations pose a potential health risk and lack of insurance becomes a problem. I shall have to bite the bullet and call some insurance companies, starting with the ones recommended by Breast Cancer Care. But I'le do that when I start radiotherapy, when I'm resting in the afternoons.

Been looking at my stats on this blog, am amazed to find that I have visits from France, Germay, Malasia, USA, India, Russia, not to mention all the other places that my friends have visited over the summer. Its strange isnt it ? , how small our planet has become. That people on the other side of the world are looking me up to read my mumblings. To them I say a very special ' hello' and thanks for your visit. Its very humbling.

Tomorrow I am getting my stump pumped up - ready to get ' them' out next week in my bikini round the pool. Before that however I have a celebration on Saturday with Colette and Christian which will be fun.......

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

All's Well

Heck, times just running away with me. I seem to be running out of hours in the day at the moment and I cant figure out how or why. Am feeling much better, fatigue is becoming less and less every day, so I suppose Im doing more than I was. Lots of jobs that need catching up on. Looking forward to our holiday next week. It will be great to get away to some proper sunshine, and to be able to walk along a lovely beach.

Just been looking at my face in the mirror- boy is it crinkled !! I know they warn you that your skin will suffer, but blimey I look like a prune. That is despite all the moisturisers I have applied several times a day in the hope of preventing this.  But if it means my life has been saved I guess its a small price to pay. ( and I can always just double up on Botox and Fillers)

Looking forward to tonight, Sue's coming round for a catch up that will include a little sparkling wine and a lot of chat, Ok got that the wrong way round. I mean a little chat and a lot of sparkling wine !!

Then on Friday I get my stump pumped up again, ready to show off on Saturday night when we,re off celebrating Colette's 40 th !!

All in all ' alls well in my world' - at the moment !!.....

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Walk on

What a lovely day, the sun is shining and it is warm out here in my shed. How lucky are we to get this late sunshine? Had a good day yesterday, with a visit to the Odyssey Center for a treatment and then popped into the shop to check up on everything. Which thankfully was ok. Today I am going to plant some winters plants we brought back from Norfolk into some containers for some winter cheer. Have cold in my shoulder and neck ( from throwing off my covers in the night) and its upset my stump, which is also feeling a bit tender. Ah well shall just have to take it easy. ( if I take it any easier I shall grind to a complete stop). Did well on my walk yesterday- did 50 minutes - 2 miles. Felt quite tired at one point and had to have a little rest, but happy with my progress.

Appointments changed for hospital. Hull called to confirm my appointment for Monday and I happened to mention that I was having my stump expanded next Friday - after the scan. They then said the scan needed to be done after the expansion and have changed my appointment to Mon 24th. Why dont these people ask me what other appointments I have. I mean I,m not unusual, lots of women have these expander's and I guess a fair few end up with radiotherapy, so it cant be anything new to them.  They only have to ask the question when they call you initially to arrange. Anyhow lucky for me I mentioned it otherwise would have had a wasted journey on Monday !!

Looked at Breast Cancer Care website yesterday, dont know what possessed me, because now I think I have a secondary, I knew I shouldnt look at those bloody things.....

Thursday, 13 October 2011

By the Sea side

What can I say- its been days since my last blog !! I have been in Norfolk - my home county , staying at my brother in laws house near Cromer. My brother in law is on holiday and his and Dens Mum who is 93 was staying at a nursing home whilst Alan was away. So we decided to go down so I could get some beach walking and we could also give May some company whilst she was there.
Had a really good time - the weather was Fab - 20 C - unheard of in October. I finally managed a 1 hour walk on Tuesday ( pathetic I know),  before  ' all this' I wouldnt have thought twice about a 1 hr walk. But this felt quite an achievement. 
Had a lovely meal at Brancaster  White Horse one evening. A great big bowl of proper Norfolk Mussels - yummy, and three glasses of wine !!! It was so funny because on the next table talking REALLY LOUDLY where a group of retired ' posh' people - typical types that holiday in Norfolk. They didnt mean to be but they were very amusing. Just as well really because they drowned out everything else. Totally un PC they were referring to ' Dusky' people and shooting and stuff. Totally unaware of how the whole restuarant were chuckling away. Classic.
Den's mother May was also amusing at times. She gets very confused at times and comes out with stuff that has you trying not to laugh, as she then asks you what you are laughing at !! Then suddenly she changes and becomes totally lucid and starts a conversation about current affairs. Madness !
Anyhow the change and sea air has done me good. I am feeling much better. My thumb nails however have become really discoloured, and the rest on my nails are starting to go the same way. My fingertips are still numb and tingly, which is obviously connected as are my toes and balls of my feet. Its quite bizarre, that this is still occuring weeks after chemo. Am slightly concerned that I may lose my nails, but not worried as theres nothing I can do. Looking forward to my holiday in two weeks. But before then have a pre- radiotherapy scan in Hull on Monday, then an appointment in Grimsby next Friday to increase my tissue expander. Shall feel like a beached whale on holiday- but shall in fact look like Matt Lucas !! Poor Germans- shall they be ready for this .......

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Impatient patient

Still feeling tired and worn out- bugger. Cant think theres much improvement yet, which is very frustrating. I feel like my get up and go has gone. I cant be bothered to do anything. House work has gone down the pan. If I walk upstairs I feel like I need to lie on my bed to recover from the strain. Its ridiculous. Den and I went into town today to shop and had a bit of lunch. Was so tired when I got home I  had to lie down to recover. Tomorrow we are going to Chesterfield and then onto Matlock for some transcendental checking. Thankfully Dennis will drive. We have planned to go  to Norfolk at the weekend, to do some beach walking. Cant see much walking happening but hopefully sea air shall do me some good.  This is driving me mad.  Fingers and Toes still feeling very strange and eyes continually running, its embarrassing.  Am sinking vitamins and now have some Actimel in the hope that it can buck me up. Any suggestions would be most welcome, anyone know a solution for this malaise ??

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Moan moan

Still feeling pretty knackered. Got to the hospital yesterday for my blood test. Pleased to report the nurse got to the vein on first attempt ( thankfully) . But after that I just had to get home. My energy level sank to nothing.  I dont understand why I feel no improvment. Dennis keeps reminding me its only just over two weeks since last chemo and I had the complication of the infection. Its just that I was so hoping to be up and back into everything, this is such a set back.  I have an appointment at the Odyssey Centre this afternoon, maybe that will help to kick start my recovery. Am also taking a high vitamin supplement with antioxidant in the hope that it will have some effect. I have also planned a trip to Matlock via Chesterfield this Thursday- thankfully Den has changed his day off so he can drive me, otherwise at this stage I would have to cancel. Its so bloody frustrating !! I do not like feeling like this, I am useless at the moment and gettin concerned about how much longer it will last.  Really it is getting too much now.
Physically I have noticed my fingernails have developed brown patches over the last couple of days and my fingertips are numb and tingly at the same time. An obvious sign that the chemo hasnt done with me yet. So why am I moaning, it all makes sense doesnt it. Its all a matter of time.  I just need to pull myself together and stop feeling sorry for myself. Just wish I had the energy !!!

Monday, 3 October 2011


Not so much to say today. I am feeling better but still really tired and sleeping like a log at night. Guess I.m still recovering from the infection. Have to go to the hospital today to get my bloods checked- which in view of my vein situation I am not looking forward too. Then a bit of food shopping and if I have any energy left a walk in Cleethorpes with Dennis this afternoon.
Kieran came over yesterday and he and Dennis attacked our front garden and gave it a good tidy. I wandered around handing them things ( which was as much as I could manage ) and then we had a BBQ. Can you imagine a BBQ on 1st October??  The weather has gone mad. Still it was a very nice day.
I am hoping this fatique will wear off soon, that together with my still streaming eyes is starting to really piss me off. I really feel like I cant be bothered to do anything.  And that as you know is  not like me.