Monday, 24 August 2009

Mon 24th Aug. 'Five more sleeps to Cornwall'

Yes I'm counting down the days now to our holiday, just need to confirm dog sitting arrangements, so I can relax. Relaxing, now that's something I haven't done for nine months. Even when I'm supposed to be relaxing my brain is working overtime. Last Friday I felt as though I was going to explode after a day at work when it seemed as though the number of things I had to remember and my ability to keep everyone happy became a big 'mush'.

After an hour or so at home 'winding down' things were more in perspective and I did enjoy the weekend especially the opportunity to have a little informal 'counselling' over a coffee and doughnuts with Graham and good friend Allan.

Well I have taken a step forward by informing my Manager that I'm struggling and I spent an hour today filling in an on-line research questionnaire all about long term sickness and how my 'return to work' was dealt with.

Today was my last opportunity to speak to the 'Breast Cancer Support Nurses' about arranging some CBT, but after some thought I made the decision to re-assess this when we come back from holiday. I think in my mind a good rest away from everything will give me the mental and physical energy to keep going and to plan my work activities in a more sensible manner. I realise it won't get rid of some deep seated anxieties and I suspect I may still need some support.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Tues. 18th Aug. 2009 'Keeping on top'

The last few days have been quite difficult for several reasons. Last weeks journey took it's toll and the fact that I was tired prior to my Herceptin treatment has resulted in me experiencing some of it's side effects, mainly fatigue and flu-like symptoms. I've also had an ulcer on my uvula (clacker) and an upset stomach. Second time lucky with the cannula, but first attempt left me with a painful haematoma on the back of my hand.

Quite apart from that I'm still feeling some confusion and pressure in relation to work, which continues to come in thick and fast. My blood results were ok, which I expected, so now I have to decide whether I want to access some counselling and how I'm going to manage my work load without 'crashing' and not coping. Fortunately we have a holiday coming up and that may well be the break I need to re-charge my batteries.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Thur. 13th Aug. 2009 'Post Guildford Tm Mtg.'

Left to right - Fiona, Sally, Margaret, Laura, Anne, Alan, Steph. (Me in second pic)

Feeling a little jaded this morning, but at least I'm home safely from Guildford. It was wonderful to see my colleagues (my buddies) and to feel part of the team again, although I must confess at times I felt as though I was standing outside the circle looking in! We had two busy days and I've got lots of new stuff buzzing around my head. We also had a super evening out at 'Bell & The Dragon' in Godalming (worth a visit if you're down there). Alan (Dr Davis) was on form with his numerous stories of past experiences and people in BOC. I was sitting next to Laura, she's our new Admin support and worth her weight in gold. Laura comes from South Africa, so it was great to share memories of our time in Swaziland.

Set off back at 14.40p.m. yesterday and arrived back at 19.10p.m. It was a reasonable journey, but I do find it difficult at the moment, my confidence is quite low and it's physically uncomfortable. Everyone keeps telling me how good I look, and that's really important to me, but outward appearances are often hiding many underlying issues, both physical and psychological. I try not to go on about them too much, because generally people want to hear that all is well. However, this blog is meant to be a record of my journey (yes I hate the expression too, but it fits), and I think it's important to note the severe bouts of diarrhoea, which I believe is IBS. I have also developed a dry itchy rash across my lower back around the spine, which I've no doubt is anxiety related.

I need to ring for my blood results this morning and consider my next move, which may be some CBT. I've got my third Herceptin treatment today too and I can feel my stomach churning at the very thought. Anyway, onwards and upwards, better log on to my work lap top and catch up on e-mails etc.

By the way, I didn't explain the 'Flying Ants' label on my last post. It was simply because I visited my Sister on the day that they all take to the air briefly and then shed their wings - uuuugh!

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

5th Aug. 2009 'Flying Ants'

Have been struggling a bit lately, seem to be on a roller coaster of feelings and emotions which I hate and can't control. Had a great weekend meeting up with my family and cheering Roo on in the Jane Tomlinson run, but even then there were moments of acute anxiety, feelings of sadness, even mini panic attacks. By mid day/afternoon I'm really fatigued, to the point that I can't think, can't be bothered to think, just want to sleep. Sunday evening was awful, I felt so messed up and that makes me really irritable with everything and everybody, well mostly Graham, who definitely doesn't deserve it.

Monday morning I woke feeling really depressed and decided to ring for an appointment with my GP. I nearly cancelled it a couple of times because I didn't really know what I wanted to say to her apart from 'Help', plus I feel it's a sign of weakness or failure almost to admit I'm not coping very well. Actually she was wonderful and felt that I had probably coped too well with the whole diagnosis and months of treatment etc. So the plan is to do a full blood count and rule out any medical reason. If all is clear, we will look at some support counselling (CBT) and possibly medication as a last resort.

I feel better knowing that I've been to see my GP, but I just hope things will get better, it's so annoying not feeling in control. Fortunately we're on the countdown to our Cornish holiday with Roo and Gor which gives me something to hang on to.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

2nd Aug 2009 'Jane Tomlinson 10k York'

Just a quick blog to say thanks and 'really well done' to daughter Roo and Gordon's Sister Viv for completing the Jane Tomlinson 10k run in York today. It was such a wonderful atmosphere as they came past us near the Minster and I was so emotional that I got several pictures of the pavement and the walls of the Minster. However, after a quick jog down the street we managed to snap them coming down Goodgramgate. I think they completed the run in around 1hr and 14 mins which is wonderful. We met in town after and celebrated with a well earned frappa-thingy drink.