Thursday, 25 March 2010

Thurs. 25th Mar. 2010 'Hopes & Fears'

I have been thinking lately that in a couple of months I will have come full circle from the beginning of treatment. This time last year I had my last chemotherapy and with only a very short break, prepared myself for mastectomy & reconstruction. I started the Herceptin just before we travelled to Skye for a well earned break and I am excited to think that this time I will be having my very last Herceptin before heading up to my favorite Island, where I will be completely free of cancer treatment.

Of course this means that I will also finish my blog, which will be quite sad in a way. However, I'm looking forward to putting it on paper and finally reading it from start to finish. I know that it will be extremely interesting to look back at the ups and downs, many of which seem so far behind me now.

Despite this I still do have worries now and then, but having spoken to other breast cancer victims I know this is normal. It's hard to know what is a normal pain and what should prompt a call to the breast care nurses, or my GP. For instance, I haven't felt very well for the last few weeks. Nothing I can actually put my finger on, slight nausea, recurrent sore throat, dry eyes and just generally feeling naff. It could just be the after effects of a rather chesty cold a few weeks ago, but it does make me worry.

I also worry about any lumpy changes around the reconstruction as I don't really know if these are fatty/muscle changes or something I should report. I'm inclined to feel they are nothing, but I do get paranoid sometimes. Anyway, I will see how I feel in a day or so and if things don't improve I will have to pester my very nice GP for advice.

One good thing is that the Merbentyl are proving beneficial and even though I still get bowel problems, the griping pains are now just stomach ache. I managed a work trip to Derby the other day without too many problems, despite the usual anxiety.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Frid.19th Mar.2010 'My Mega Mum's Day Trip'

I'm dedicating this entry to recording the most wonderful surprise 'Mother's Day' trip last weekend. Organised by my daughter Roo and husband Gordon because in her words the last 18mths have been 'pooh', to put it politely.

First class tickets to meet Roo at London Kings Cross kicked off the magical weekend. A few stops on the tube and into Covent Garden, which I really liked, not unlike York, with smaller streets and really interesting shops. Roo showed off her amazing map reading talents (with a little help from google maps on the iPhone). We walked through 'Neils Yard' and into The Covent Garden Hotel.

Now I've stayed in some nice Hotels, but this was something else. I can't begin to describe how fantastic it was, but if you look on line, you will see what I mean. I don't think the bed would have fitted in our bedroom and the bathroom had a flat screen in the wall at the foot end of the bath and a telephone.

The evening was a short tube trip to Piccadilly and into The Wolesley. Oh my goodness, what a superb meal. I had Pollock for my main meal and a whisky marmalade sponge pudding for afters - it was just wonderful. Just before we left, Roo spotted Timothy Spall with some friends or family, so a super night all round. We walked back past the Ritz and spent the evening relaxing in our room.

The following morning after a stunning breakfast I was handed over to the beauty therapist for a 'facial' before we headed off into Covent Garden for a look around the market. To cut a long story short, we ended up walking along the river bank next the the London Eye, where with 'fast track' tickets and had a wonderful, if a little scary, experience. The weather was superb and we could see for miles. More walking and map reading found us outside 'The Lion King' theatre and I crumbled when we turned to go in. What a fantastic show, words cannot describe how magical it was.

We ate in the Hotel that night and again it was a top notch meal. Roo gave me my Mother's Day card, which in itself was beautiful, but she followed that with a silver necklace from Tiffany's, a small key with their signature jewel in the top corner.

Well what can I say, I could go on forever about the whole experience and I will never forget it. We did so much in such a short time that it felt like a dream. Oh yes, I nearly forgot, we also had lunch at 'Fifteen' Jamie's original restaurant where he gives budding young cooks a chance to make something of themselves (see what I mean).

Am I lucky or what?

Friday, 12 March 2010

Thurs. 11th Mar. 2010 'Herceptin No15'

Yes Mr know-it-all Oncologist, I am going to the finish line, so stick that in your budget!

It's been just over a week since I started the meds for my bowels and I swear I'm already feeling the benefit. Despite the fact that I've had a really 'snotty' cold, I have felt very focused and even had some glimmers of enthusiasm in relation to planning work. I am under no illusion that the pills are the only factor and like other conditions such as, anxiety/depression and ME, it requires work from me to overcome the confidence problem and focus on the positive (damn, there's that word again).

The Herceptin went very smoothly today and now there's only three, yes three, to go!!

Friday, 5 March 2010

Frid.5th March 2010 'Spring at last'

At long last, some sunshine and a hint of Spring. I picked up my IBS medication yesterday and I'm hoping that will signal a new start too. The prospect of daily medication doesn't thrill me, but if it works it will make such a difference. Also, I feel sure that with time everything will settle down and eventually I won't need them.

I had a reply from the CT radiography unit today too. They offered an apology and said they were grateful for my suggestions. The only thing I found annoying was the statement that 'normally post chemotherapy patients attend the cancer unit for cannulation, but as I wasn't referred by the NHS this didn't happen'. So basically I was given a second class service because I'd been privately referred. They have assured me that this won't happen in future.

On a bright note, it's a year this month since I finished chemotherapy and I'm being treated to a special weekend in London for Mother's Day, courtesy of my Daughter Roo. I'm really excited and I will report back on the experience.