Total Pageviews

Friday, 31 December 2010

1st January 2011 - Day 19 on 1st cycle of chemo

Happy New Year!!!
Hope that you wont be 'hung over' this morning!!!!

Well.......
Woke up with sinusitis again, a bit of heart burn and a very sore scalp.
The sore scalp started yesterday afternoon/evening.

My hair has started to come out.
As soon as I think that I have lost enough, I am going to shave the rest off.

How do I feel about it?
Oddly, I am not really bothered.
I was expecting it, I have prepared for it, and getting upset really doesn't help.

Sometimes you can loose eyebrows and eye lashes, that will probably upset me a bit more if it happens.
I think that my eyebrows are my best feature! Lol!
I quite like my eyelashes too.
You may remember that I have bought false eyelashes, just in case.
Apparently, it will all grow back.

My hair may grow back a different colour, and it may be curly instead of straight.
With the marvel of hair straighteners and hair dyes, I should manage.
If my hair grows back pure white, I may even leave it.

Maybe I will look like this, (I can dream).



(Urgh, hope that if I loose eyelashes and eyebrows, they don't grow back curly, I had better start to think of something that I can do, just in case. Growing back white I could cope with, the glory of mascara and eyebrow pencils!)

I probably wouldn't even bother with a wig, but compared to the more than ample proportions of my bottom, thighs and chest, my hands, feet and head are quite small, so without hair, my head would look like a pimple on an elephant's bum! Lolol!



The most annoying thing at the moment, is that, for example, while I am merrily typing this blog, lonely little hairs are failing on to the key board. Not loads and loads. just one or two, so I am thinking that I had better cover my head when cooking or some one could get a hair in their dinner....not a nice thought.

Hmmmmmm...........maybe I can use this to my advantage and get someone else to cook! lol!!!!!!!

OK, that's it for today.
Have a wonderful day, and a better year!

So excited!

I am so proud to announce that my cousin, Jean Bartlett has been awarded an MBE in this years Honours list!!!
Well done Jeanie!!!
Very much deserved!
Go Jeanie! Go Jeanie! Go Jeannie!!!

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Friday 31st December - Day 18 on 1st chemo cycle

Good Morning!
Well, once again I woke up with sinusitis, not as bad as it has been, but I know that it is there.
Still a bit concerned about my eyesight. I will ask about it on Tuesday, when next at the Hospital for some blood tests.
My skin is drying out, and is starting to look like crocodile skin, particularly on my thighs and back, despite slapping moisturiser all over it.
(I put that much on that if some one hugged me, I would shoot all over the room! Not a pretty sight!)

A bit like this!



I was really tired again late after noon yesterday.
I was falling asleep at about 7pm, and went at bed at 8pm,  slept until 06.30!

Keith and Sarah left at about 12.30 yesterday, and my friend Claire, came to visit as they left.
I had a great after noon with Claire.
Doreen phoned, and we had a long chat, then I made some more jewellery, bit of an experiment, but I think that it turned out nicely.
Not a lot more to report, so have a great New Year's Eve, and a lovely New Year's Day!

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

30th December Day 18 of first chemo cycle

Again, I woke up with sinusitis. Not as bad as yesterday though!
Still up at silly o'clock. Temperature taken, so if it gets worse I can take some paracetamol.

Keith and Sarah came and stayed over yesterday, that was a lovely surprise.
Philip and Faye, my brother and niece came for a visit yesterday evening too, another surprise. What a great day!

I went and had my wig trimmed, that looks good now.
My own hair is beyond redemption, so I will just have to make the most of it!
I went out for a lovely walk, I really enjoyed it!
All in all, it was a very great day!

I am collecting magazines so that I will have something to do whilst at the hospital all day on 5th Jan, starting my second cycle of chemo. I have 'quite a pile' now.
The difficulty has been not reading them as I buy them! Lol!
If you remember, I was unable to use my computer or make calls last time, so I got quite bored and restless.
Getting a bit nervous again now.
Ho Hum! What will be will be..............

Well, I am off now to prepare myself for the day that is unfolding itself before me.
Coffee, paracetamol, shower and BAMM! Launch and lift off!

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

29th December

About yesterday's blog....
It wasn''t 'Fritz the Dog'.......
It was 'Fritz the Cat'........
Should have been 'Fritz the bloody Rabbit'. Lol!

Anyway, enough of that.

I  woke up with sinusitis this morning.
Every head movement feels like my head is going to explode and fall off!
Particularly when I bend my head forward. It is actually making me feel nauseous.
I have already taken my temperature, so I can have a couple of paracetamol now, well, in a minute, when I have done this.
No, I am going to do it now..... be back in a mo!

Ahh, that's better, made another coffee too, sorry to keep you....Lol!

Today, I am off to the hairdresser.
My hair just won't do as it is told! It is still all there, but it will not be 'guided' by me any more.
'Guided' is a bit of an understatement. I always put that much gel and spray on it, that it could do some serious damage to anyone touching it!
So, I am off to see if the hairdresser can do anything with it.
I am going to take my wig along for a trim.
Great style, lovely hair....there is just so much of it.  It makes me look like I should be in  an advert selling Dulux paint.
(For those of you that don't know this advert, it uses an old English Sheep Dog). See pic.

Beautiful, isn't he? (or she).

Monday, 27 December 2010

28th December - Day 15 of 1st chemo cycle

Should start loosing my hair over the next couple of weeks. Start the 2nd cycle in 8 days, although I have to go for more blood tests the day before.
Hopefully, the side effects don't get worse with each new cycle, because they were manageable last time.
I would like to keep it like that.
We shall see what we shall see..........

The thaw is on!!! Yaaaay!
I have been feeding the birds and squirrels, and it has been great watching them!
(Still better than the TV), however, I have enjoyed the animated stuff....Over the Hedge, Ice Age, and all of those.
Cant resist a cartoon!!!!!!!

Liking cartoon got me into a bit of a jam when I was younger.

I was working as a pupil nurse.............
I was on a half day/early shift.
On the way home, I noticed that there was a cartoon showing at the cinema, so I thought that I would go and see it.
Paid, went in, sat down, made myself comfy.
Well, it started!
Oh my word, I was so embarrassed, I daren't get up and leave in case I was noticed, so I sat all the way through it, and at the end, I hid behind a seat until everyone had left....
I went to see
'Fritz, the dog!'
(For those of you who don't know it, it was just cartoon animals bonking each other!)
I still colour up just thinking about it!

Sunday, 26 December 2010

27th December

Well, as I said I would, I gave myself a firm talking too!
I played 3 games of tennis on my newly acquired WII.
I made 3 complete sets of jewellery, (very nice, if I say so myself).
I designed another necklace, Oh, to die for! Amethyst, Sugalite, Agate, Rose quartz and Ruby lace Jasper!
It is a bit OTT, so I have left it in the design tray to 'review', lol!
Did loads of washing, (mainly bedding because I had the guest beds to change).

I will probably have a go on the WII again today, and then look at where I am with this book...............

This morning, I woke up with sinusitis and a nose bleed. Not really a problem, just a bit of a surprise, because I was under the impression that I had already worked my way through the side effects for this cycle.
Maybe they aren't side effects, and I would have woken up with them today even without this chemo stuff?!

My vision is still a bit of an issue.
It feels like I am wearing the wrong prescription contacts and glasses. It is the biggest problem when doing delicate close work, like making my jewellery. I am finding that I have to move the work or my head around to find the 'right spot' to maximise my vision.
Anyway, see how it goes, If it doesn't improve, I will take a trip to the opticians. There you go, easily sorted!

Right, I know that there are many of you reading this blog............1,598 hits so far, which is great.
Please feel free to comment, I would love to hear from you.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

26th December

Good Morning!
How did your day go yesterday?
I hope that it was all that you wished for and that you had the company, food and gifts that you desired!
We had a quiet day...
Apart from short 'flurries' of activity, the day pretty much just 'dragged' on.
Lots of calls and texts, beautiful gifts, more than sufficient food and a couple of reasonable films on the TV.
Apart from the absolutely necessary, (like cooking dinner, clearing up etc), I did very little.
I was feeling pretty 'washed out' all day.
To be honest, I was just waiting for the clock to indicate that it was a reasonable time to retire to my bed.

How do I feel today?
Well, it is weird really,
I feel how I imagine a caged Tiger would feel!
Bored and frustrated with a complete lack of purpose.

What am I going to do about it?
I am going to write a list of things that I need to do, you know, the uninteresting things that you tend to put off,
like sorting cupboards and drawers, organising important paper work.......
Then I shall FORCE myself to do one task a day.
I am also making a list of things that I want to do
Like take a walk in the woods, walk along the canal, finish a book that I started writing, write some more poetry....lots of stuff really.
Then I shall FORCE myself to do them.

I am lacking motivation, the ability to concentrate and energy at the moment, so in order to achieve the goals I have put down for myself, I need to motive myself and instil some enthusiasm.
That, of course, is going to be the hardest part.
Perhaps an hour of exercise each morning will help with that. That is something else I am going to have to force myself to do.

If I think about it, now is the best time.
I have been presented with an opportunity to do all of these things, I certainly have a bit of time on my hands!
Time has always been an issue, well, circumstances have given me the time.
I think that I am going to have to give myself a 'jolly good talking to!'
Get myself motivated and give myself a kick in the a*rse!
In fact, I am going to go off and do that now, over a cup of coffee!!!

Just writing this has has helped actually......

So...............CHARGE!!!!!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

24th December - Day 11 of the first cycle of chemo

Here we are again, at silly o'clock! (05.08).

For years, I have been complaining that I never get the opportunity to 'lay in'.
Now I have all the opportunity in the world, and I am blowing it!
(I dare say that Freud would have something to say about it)!

Anyway, I am feeling fine.
When I spoke with the Oncologist yesterday, she gave me the impression that by yesterday, I should have experienced any side effects that I am going to have, - for this cycle, anyway.
I thought that it may be useful to others who may be embarking on their first journey through chemo, to list the side effects that I have experienced so far, with a 'scale' to indicate the severity. I thought 1 - 10 would be as good as any.
1 being the mildest and 10 being the worst.


  • Palpitations                                                                  2/10
  • Heartburn                                                                    2/10
  • Lack of concentration                                                  4/10
  • Continence issues                                                        4/10
  • Lethargy and tiredness                                                 4/10
  • Sore/bleeding mouth                                                    4/10
  • Drying skin                                                                  3/10
  • Bleeding nose                                                              1/10
  • Tenderness to the body                                                2/10
  • Headaches                                                                   1/10
  • Food and drinks tasting weird                                       1/10
  • Dizziness                                                                      3/10
  • Runny nose                                                                   1/10
  • Tinnitus (ringing in ears)                                                 1/10
  • Mild alteration in vision                                                  1/10
  • Nausea                                                                         1/10
  • Sore, dry lips                                                                 2/10
  • General irritability                                                           2/10 *
  • My 'innards' feeling heavy and tender                              3/10
  • Swelling and feeling bloated                                            2/10
* I think that my family are suffering from my irritability more than I am - aahhh, bless, lol!

Some side effects won't have kicked in yet, hair loss, for example.
I may have the same with the same rating during the next cycle, they may be more apparent....who knows!
I don't think that any 2 people will be the same.

Today, I intend to get some washing done, do a bit of cleaning and tidying, a bit of 'silver surfing' and make some more jewellery!


Generally, so far.... I don't feel as bad as I was expecting to, for which, I am very grateful!
However, there is still a long way to go. 

Been to the hospital.

Not a lot to report really.
I was examined, and although it was clear that there was tenderness, no lumps were found, which is great.
Other than that, is was mainly to make sure that I was managing the side effects well, which I am...and to see if there was any additional medication or help that I could make use of to make me more comfortable...........
which there isn't
The rest of the time was trying to find a 'main' present for my husband. - Bloody nightmare!
What can you give a man who has the best wife in the world, and most other things that he wants!!!!! Lol!!!!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

23rd December - 10th day of first chemo cycle

Good Morning!
Feeling well today, went into a bit of a dip yesterday when the family left, but I am feeling fine now.
I have to go to the hospital today to see the Oncologist. Appointment is at 10.20.
I am having this possible lump checked out. Not sure what it is, but it is giving me the same sensations as the original one that was removed. Probably nothing, but worth having it checked anyway.
My temperature is still within my own 'norm', so that is good.
My mouth is a bit sore and my jaws ache, (that is probably all the talking and laughing that I did when the family were here!)
STILL waiting for the Critical Illness Insurance to pay out! (All the more to look forward to in the New Year.)
Ooooooooooooo! In time for the sales!!!! Whoooooohoooooo!!!

I will report back when I have been to the hospital.
Last day at work for a lot of  you, I imagine.
Have a good holiday!

Well, they've all gone

We had a great dinner, chatting, laughing....it was fantastic!
Keith and Sarah need to go to Cheltenham and Leicester, Roxanne has got to go Leicester as she is back at work tomorrow.
It made sense that they all went to Leicester first, so they have gone.
I feel so sad. I am feeling very tearful as I write this.
Physically, I feel fine.
Emotionally, I am a complete wreck.

22nd December - 9th day of first chemo cycle

Well, my mouth is a bit sore on the inside. It bleeds when I brush my teeth.
My lips are getting dry and sore, but I have lip balm.
I have had to cut all of my nails as they were ripping.
I am still having to 'toilet time' myself.
I am still 'peeing for England'.
Heart burn under control, not too much of a problem as yet.
I haven't had the tenderness on my back and shoulders since I last mentioned it, so that is good. The only thing that I can say, is if I am laying on a crease in my bed, on the sheet or my night wear, I do have to get rid of it before I can sleep as I can feel it.
I am still getting tired quite easily, and I am starting to feel a bit dizzy at times.
My skin is drying out a bit, but I always use moisturiser anyway, so that is helping. I am 'dolloping' it on now though. Lol!


As I mentioned, I have the family here at the moment, so we are having our 'big dinner' today, so I have to crack on and get that all prepared ready to go.

Will keep you posted!
Have a good day!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Another change of plan!

Keith and Sarah travelled own this evening. They arrived at 23.15!
Stayed up chatting until 00.45.
Bed Time!

21st December - afternoon

Well, from cool, calm and in control first thing this morning, things have changed!!!
I thought that I would put a machine of washing on, then have a shower and get ready for the day.
Fat chance! Lol!
The washing machine flooded the kitchen, because the pipes were frozen, water all over the floor!
Got the flood under control, turned the machine off. Didn't have time to do any more, because there was stuff that needed doing.
Ok, shower. Brushed my teeth, they bled all over the place. (I was warned, but had forgotten)!
I cleaned the blood from the mirror, sink and any other areas. Into the shower.
Got dressed.
Received a call stating that the bank had not paid a direct debit, phoned the bank, (their error), they said it would be paid Friday. Contacted payee. No, the need money now! Off to the bank to get the cash.

My son contacted me to say that he was now coming tomorrow instead of today. Quickly arrange for today's planned menu to be tomorrow and sort something quickly for today.
Washing machine is now sorted.
Finished stuff in town.
Back to calm and ordered!!!!

Ooooooops, what I meant was..............

Monday, 20 December 2010

21st December

Hey! Look at this! 07.00, and I have just woken up!
That is far more civilized!
(Mind you, Sod's law says, when I am better, and I can return to work, I will have the Devil's own job getting up in time!). Lol!
Never mind, I'll get there!

Don't know if you remember, but in a previous post, I requested a Wii Fit!
Well, my daughter and her fiancée have donated theirs to me! Isn't that great?! Well, a Wii, I'll get the fit bits myself.
It's been great having her around. Really cheered me up.

Keith and his girlfriend will be coming today, so that is great.
Last minute wrapping today!
So far, I feel well enough to have a little stroll around town, maybe grab a bit of lunch with Roxanne.
I may even go and make a snow man later today, in the garden. That should be fun with all the family.

How do I feel?
Not too bad as a matter of fact.
Not so much heart burn. Still bleeding a bit from the nose, a bit more that before, but still not a problem.
Tiring easily........it can become an effort just to raise the kettle to fill it, but I am managing.

The most uncomfortable thing was:
Last night, settled in bed, getting comfy, I lay on my back, and it felt like all my insides were really heavy, and they were crushing everything behind it!
I just turned on to my side, that did the trick.
Then I slept like a brick!

I have to say it, the TV! What a load of old rubbish!!!!!!
Not only is it rubbish, it is repeated rubbish, all the stuff that I tried to avoid last year and the year before!

I heard that our little Robin's are finding it difficult this year to survive in this harsh weather, so I bought some special Robin food for them, I bought loads of other bird food, and squirrel food.Bought some Goose fat too, not sure what I am supposed to do with it, so I imagine that I will be 'Googling' today.
Roxanne should know though, she is qualified in animal care and land management.
The seed has all been put out so that I can watch the birds come and feed from the sitting room, so much more entertaining than the TV!
(Mind you, so is watching paint dry more entertaining than the TV at the moment!).

Picked Roxanne up.

Roxanne arrived at the station at about 08.50.
I picked her up, we came home and readied ourselves to go and get the food shopping.

On the way to the car, I had a beautiful delivery of seasonal flowers in a ceramic pot from all the tenants where I work.
Fabulous! Thank You!

Wasn't too busy, although the roads were very slow due to snow.
Finished the shopping, put it away, made lunch.
Feeling a little tired, but all in all, I am feeling well.
Busy day so far!
Flagging now! Lol!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

20th December

My friend was unable to come yesterday, due to the weather. Although, I would have liked to have seen her, her safety is more important.
I was hanging yesterday anyway, and would not have been good company.
Mind you you, I did do all the polishing, and cleaned the bathroom, that was probably too much in one go.
I had a good sleep.
I don't feel as tender all over my back and upper arms today, so that is good.
My face feels very swollen though.
My daughter is coming this morning, and she will be at the station at 08.30ish.
The plan was to get some food etc in yesterday, well, I didn't, so I will have to do it today.
Right at this moment, I feel fine. Hopefully, I will continue to feel fine for the rest of the week, as I am having my wonderful family in attendance!
I sneezed, and gave myself a little nose bleed, nothing to worry about though.
Oh, and I still can't 'feel' if I need the loo, so I am still making sure that I take myself every hour or so. Stools a little looser than the norm too.

Right now, Carol needs COFFEE!!!!!

11.45

Feeling really weak.........
Don't seem to be able to get enough pressure to brush my teeth of blow dry my hair.
I am showered and dressed, and I have done a bit of .tidying. I think that I will just rest a bit today.
Speak again soon.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

19th December, 6th Day of first chemo session

Good morning!
Up early again, temperature 36.1.
A bit wobbly on my feet this morning, but it wore of quite quickly.
Slight nose bleeds, like yesterday, nothing of concern though.
The only thing that is worrying me a little today so far, is that I can't 'feel' if I need to use the toilet!
I am having to toilet 'time' myself.
I can feel a small lump in the original site, the hospital is aware of this and it will be checked out on Thursday.
That reminds me, I must double check the appointment time because they changed it!.
I am getting tired early in the evening, but that is probably because I am up at 'silly o'clock' every morning!
The only other thing, is that I feel that my sight is not as it should be. I have had a recent eye test, and all was well.
It is probably due to playing on the computer and spending so much time making jewellery!
The snow is very deep here at the moment. The garden looks great. I am very glad that the snow is outside and I  am not.
I am a little 'hot house' plant on the quiet.
We are celebrating Yule on Tuesday, as that is when the family will be together, I am looking forward to that.
Anyway, as I said, the only concern is the 'toilet timing' right now.
Take care.

Friday, 17 December 2010

18th December Day 5 of first chemo cycle.

Up at 05.15!  (I have no idea why!)
Temp 36.2.
Still getting heart burn, a bit of an occasional headache.
Teeny weeny nose bleed yesterday, after blowing it, so I am not worried about that.
I could pee for England!!!!!
Other than that, nothing to report.
Will crack on and get the cleaning done, get some food in for the festivities, wrap the presents!!!!!
My Daughter, Roxanne, is coming to see me on Monday, we usually get up to a bit of no good mischief, so that will be fun. She will stay for a couple of days. I think that her fiancée Tom, has to work though, which is a shame.
My son, Keith is coming to see me next week too, I am looking forward to that.
He is coming with his lovely girlfriend, Sarah. They will stay over.
With the weather, and me not sure how I am going to feel from day to day, it doesn't look like I'm going to get to Bristol to see my eldest Son, Robert, and there is no way that he can get to me, so that may have to wait until the new year.
My friend Claire is coming to see me on Sunday, that will be a giggle! You know, the one I told you about, she is as mad as a box of ferrets!!!!
And I hope that my friend, Sandra will come if the weather is good. Bad time to travel, so that may have to wait for the new year too.
Mum seems to have recovered from her lazer treatment really well, so that is good!
So, all in all, a lot to look forward to!
Catch you tomorrow, unless something happens that you may be interested in!
Have a good one!

17th Dec after an interesting day

Well, it was a devil getting out of bed this morning, so it was a mad dash to get mum to the hospital, made it by the skin of my teeth.
Last lot of chemo meds for a while yesterday, but still had to take anti sickness tabs all day to day. I have just taken the last one! Yaaaay!!!!!
I have some more that I can take as and when required that I will keep close by.
I think that the plan is now the side effects start to kick in, and the effects of the chemo on the 'useful fast growing cells' will show themselves in due course.
Then they recover, and when the have, I start all over again!
My temperature seems to be creeping up slowly.
From running low, I am now 37.0.
I will see how things go.
I have been busy and a bit stressed today, with taking mum to hospital and all that.
Anyway, mum had lazer treatment on both eyes, she seems well, and I will monitor her vision over the next couple of days.
Ooooooooo, and I have a wig! I have more hair on my head now than I think I have ever had in my life, What fun!

Thursday, 16 December 2010

December 17th 3.00am

I have no idea why I am up at this time in the morning!
I went back to bed for a couple of hours yesterday, so it may be my body telling me that I have had my usual quota of sleep!
Well, I will sit here with my nettle and peppermint tea and try my bed again in a minute.
I need to be alert in the morning because Mum has cataracts and I need to take her to the eye hospital tomorrow for 09.15.
She has had them removed once, but they have come back which is impairing her vision quite severely and she loves to read and do her 'word searches'!

Apart from heartburn, palpitations and a thirst, I am feeling OK.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Thursday 16th December.- 3rd day of chemo

Temperature is still OK. Mind you, it is only 06.00, and it hasn't started yet...07.00 first meds to be taken.
Heartburn and palpitations have started.
Had a little bit of both on Tuesday afternoon, nothing to worth mentioning....
Yesterday, I had palpitations about 1/2 an hour of each dose of chemo med, again, short lived.
Heartburn has been getting progressively worse, in fact it woke me in the night.
Gaviscon is working.

Getting tired more easily than usual, and my hands shake a little sometimes, making it difficult to thread my gems when jewellery making. That is quite frustration!!!!!!
Although, having many wonderful virtues, (tongue in cheek), patience is definitely not one of them! Lol!
Other than that, all is well on the western front

Amendments to tablet time!

After reading what is to be taken with food, some 1 hr before food....
Medication times are_

07.00
08.00
11.00
12.00
15.00
16.00

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

15th December - First morning after chemo

Up with the lark again this morning!
I can tidy some loose ends from yesterday's blog now.
(I was 'hanging' yesterday when I got back and I had a headache that tempted me to rip my head off and carry it under my arm, May have been a good move on 31st October).


Right...
The meds I have taken home to use:-


Etoposide 100mg - 1 capsule twice daily for 2 days. 08.00 and 16.00.
 Must wash my hands after touching these as they are cytotoxic.


Cytotoxicity is the quality of being toxic to cells. Examples of toxic agents are a chemical substance, an immune cell or some types of venom (e.g. from the puff adder or brown recluse spider)
Ref: wikipedia.


Dexamethasone 2mg - 1 tab 3 times daily - for 3 days -  08.00 12.00 16.00
These are anti sickness, I think that this is the steroid.


Emend 125mg and 80mg - 1 daily for 2 days - 10.55
125 mg was taken at lunch time yesterday.
80mg take daily for 2 days.
More anti-sickness. They are bloody HUGE!


Domperidone 10mg - 1 or 2 tabs - 3 or 4 times daily if required for the relief of nausea or vomiting






I am able to take conventional pain killers if required, but if they contain paracetamol, it is important that I take my temperature first, because they may hide symtoms of infection.
I imagine it is because there is something in them that reduces or masks a raise in temperature.


Still feeling a bit dizzy and woozy this morning, hopefully this will wear off as the day goes on.


I took a bucket to bed with me last night, just in case!
Didn't need it!  Yaaaaaay!
Any changes in the way I feel as the day progresses, I will blog 'em to you!


Right now I need more Coffee!!!!!







14th December My first chemo done and dusted!

Those if you who are reading regularly know me by now, so you should expected the unexpected!!!!!

Well, it was like this......
Pete, my brother in law is great, (so is his wife, Dot).
Anyway, as I was saying before I rudely interrupted myself.....
Pete, my brother in law agreed to take me to the hospital at short notice, (If you remember, I was asked not to drive myself).
I had to be there at 08.30. The hospital isn't far, Pete arrived at 08.00, in his big white van!
I had packed by bag with:-
 lap top, Nintendo DS, books,  tissues, fruit jellies, nettle and peppermint tea, my mobile phone, slippers,- (lilac fluffy bootie things) and magazines, (thanks Doreen).
Went out yesterday and bought a bag especially to put it all in, Ooooo,  a lovely pillar box red!
Me and my husband jumped in and
Vroom, we were off!

08.15, the van stops dead!
Ran out of diesel! Ooooooooops.
Called a cab, arrived at the hospital at 08.29.! Phew!

I was asked to wait in the waiting room. Whilst there, I phoned Pete to make sure that he was OK,
which he was, thankfully, diesel on the way!

I was called through to 'start'.
Derek, (my husband), called Pete to ask if he could pick him up.
Derek left.

I have to say before we start, that the staff are fab!
They run around like little 'blue a*sed flies'.


In fact it reminded me of Arthur Askey and 'The Busy Bee Song".

Tra la la.................

Oh, what a wonderful thing to be,
A healthy grown up busy busy bee;
Whiling away all the passing hours
Pinching all the pollen from the cauliflowers.
I'd like to be a busy little bee,
Being as busy as a bee can be.
Flying around the garden brightest ever seen,
Taking back the honey to the dear old queen.

(Chorus): Bz bz bz bz, honey bee, honey bee,
Bz if you like but don't sting me,
Bz bz bz bz, honey bee, honey bee,
Buzz if you like, but don't sting me


Off on a tangent again!
I don't care Lol!

OK.....
I was led in to a 'bay' with 8 or nine recliner chairs, each place had the gismo that holds the bags of stuff to be 'dripped' in to you. Each chair had one of those little fold away TV dinner tables, you know, the ones that Dunelms sell.

Oooooo Hooooooo! Dunelms, any sales due to this blog, bung the commission this way!!!! Lol!!!
I had the pick of the positions because I was first there, - tell a lie, there was a man before me, he and his wife were ensconcing themselves in their chosen spot.
I picked my place based on practicalities...nearest the loo!

The nurse came and sat  with me to explain the days 'agenda' and made sure that I was who I was, and not someone else!
You know, the usual................. address, DOB and that stuff!
I think that this is a good idea, Uurgh, just think of the possible consequences, I can't even go there!!!!!
And....
I can't plug anything in and there is no internet, that is computer redundant.
Can't take or make phone calls on mobile, can text though.
Best veins in my right hand, and I am right handed, My right hand is attached to the gismo,  movement is limited!  Ho Hum!!!!

Anyway, I am me - established!

I took the opportunity of going to the loo before I was 'joined' to the apparatus and wall.

Job done, I tried to flush it, saw this hole that looked as it the 'flush button' was once housed there, to see it not there.
I explained to the staff that I was unable to lush as it appears to be broken.
I saw the staff go in to investigate, and I saw them look towards me and gesture that all was well.
'That was quick!' I thought.
The next time that I went to the loo, I noticed the hole was still there?
The next thing I noticed was a whacking great flush handle on the wall that was working!
Ever felt like wanting to hide due to embarrassment?

Had a little look at my veins, well 'Sod's Law' decrees that mine a very small, hunt out a smaller needle.
Warm up the veins to keep them open and receptive.
Used those wheat germ bags, microwaved, what a great sensation.
All snuggly wuggly! Lol
Needle and cannula in - all stuck down with Teddy Bear Plasters! All together now.....
Aaaaaahhh.
Tried to get a picture of them to post, but I had to contort into such 'challenging positions' to get the right shot, it was impossible to do this surreptitiously and I was attracting a bit of an audience, so I aborted that mission!

As all this was going on, the rest of the chairs received their occupants.
The time they received treatment varied,
2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 hours.
I was last out.

Anyway, the other patients and their visitors were great, all very brave and positive souls. They were all at different stages on their chemo. Right from full heads of hair, bushy, long short to bald as a ...as a.........????
Whatever or whoever the baldest animal or person that you know is!
Can't think, let's hope that is a side effect of the chemo and not the side effect of getting older! Lol.

Lots of different bags were put up and 'infused'.
I will try to remember the order. (Fat chance if I can't remember bald as a ????)
But I will try.

  1. Saline
  2. Clear out stuff (About 5 mins)
  3. Anti-sick stuff
  4. Clear out
  5. 1st chemo drug
  6. Clear out
  7. Saline
  8. Clear out
  9. Ant-sick
  10. 2nd chemo drug
  11. clear out
There was another thing, sucrose or some such other thicker stuff some where along the line.  Thick and sticky! I think that it was before 1st chemo and clear out.
This was the only thing that I had a reaction to..............yep, you guessed, one of very few people and very unexpected!
Made me feel 'weird' and sent my arm really funny.
Well spotted by staff and sorted in the shake of a lambs tail!

I had loads of my nettle and peppermint tea through out the day. I did offer it around, but I had no takers.
I am glad that I took it, because I had a few bouts of heart burn, the peppermint did the trick!

Lunch was served, I had a ham and tomato sandwich, anti-sick capsule, chocolate....a patient who had been going for a while brought some for all of the patients, one piece per bay. Received with thanks, what a lovely thought!

I was given 2 types of anti-sick tabs to take home. 1 type to be taken tomorrow only, another to be taken as and when required, not to exceed 8 a day. I believe that these are of the steroid type.
I was given more of one of the chemo meds that had been infused, to be taken over the next 2 days.

Any side effects should present themselves within the next 7-14 days.
This how long the chemo takes to make an impression on the fast growing cells in the body.
(I think that one of the side effects is making your balls drop! My voice is so low today, I reckon I could start a new business - Rent a dirty Phone Call) Lol!

The whole experience was not as bad as I was expecting.
I arrived home at 18.10.
I was tired, a bit wobbly on my legs, but well, with a whooping yen for a chinese!
Ordered my crispy duck and pancakes. Yummy scrummy!
Sadly, I couldn't eat it all.
Dougal, my dog, well, more of an aspiring dog, he is fully grown, and could just about give a guinea pig a run for his money! Lol!
Anyway.......... he loves me, 'cos he got to eat it! 

Monday, 13 December 2010

13th Dec - back from the hospital

I had my pre-therapy assessment this morning with a lovely nurse called Raj.
Anyway, she had to go through some 'stuff' with me to make sure that I understood.
It was quite difficult to write it down and listen, so I hope that I have got all of the following right!!!

OK
The chemo dose/mix is dependant on the patient, and would be mixed in accordance with the body surface area.
It is mixed with a 5% leeway allowance.
This is why it is important that I am weighed at each visit.
If I feel that I have lost weight, then I need to inform the hospital and go an be weighed to ensure that the correct dosage is 'mixed'.
This is pre-mixed, so if I have lost or gained weight and not enough notice is given, the next treatment will have to be postponed by a day to give time for the correct and safe dosage to be mixed.

A record book that I keep is updated at each visit. This looks at the different compounds within the blood..
white cells, red cells, platelets and bone marrow.

Chemotherapy is indiscriminate and will destroy not only the cancer cells that are fast growing, but all other fast growing cells.
This is why the side side effects are as they are, because they are associated with other needed fast growing cells within the body.

Red cells
These carry oxygen.
It is expected that this will become low, the chemo will induce lethargy and tiredness.
If I become short of breath and have difficulty climbing stairs,
this needs to be reported to the hospital immediately and may require a blood transfusion.

White Cells
These deal with the immune system.
The neutrofiles are a specific white blood cell, they are crucial for a normal functioning immune system.
When these specific cells are low this can compromises the immune system. These being low during chemo is common.
This can lead to risk of serious infections which may be fatal.
This is called neuropenic sepsis.
This is not probable but it is possible. In the event of this happening a blood transfusion will be required.
The main symptoms are high temperature, fever and/or shivers,
 this is why is is crucial that I take my temperature  2 - 4 times daily and report to the hospital if it should be higher than my personal norm.

Platelets
The deal with clotting.
The signs are symptoms of these being dangerously low are nose bleeds and blue patches to the skin. This too will have to be reported to the hospital, (I can't remember if this would require a blood transfusion or not).

What to expect tomorrow
A heat pack will be placed over my arm and hand.
This is because the drugs that are going into my viens is very cold, and the veins need to be kept warn to keep them open.
A needle and cannula (the plastic thing that holds the needle in place and has the 'drug infusions and saline' drips attached), will be put in place.
I will be on a saline drip for the whole period as this also helps to keep the vein open.
Anti-sickness medication will be given intravenously before the chemo meds
This will take 6 -8 hours..

The chemo drugs that I will be given intravenously will be Etoposide and Cisplatin.
One of these I will be taking orally as well, but I can't remember which one.

Most common side effects.
This is the one that effects the bloods cells and bone marrow as described above.
Loss of hair.
Nausea and vomiting.
Changes to the nail beds.
Diahorrhoea
Continence issues.
Constipation
Affecting kidneys and urethra. (Urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the 'outside world').
Symptoms - lower back pain.
Numbness to fingertips and toes. These are irreversible. Symptoms are being unable to do up buttons and zips.
Change in sense of taste.
Low Blood pressure.
Sore mouth and moth ulcers.
Taste of metal (One of the compounds in one of the drugs is metal, it is platinum based).
Tinnitus and changes in hearing.
Loss of appetite
Heartburn.
There is a possibility of anaphyllactic shock due to an allergic reaction to the drugs.
Side effects to cysplatin should show themselves by day 14, Etoposide by day 18-23

What can be done
There are medicines to counteract most of the common side effects.
Blood transfusions.

Advice given
Drink at least 1 1/2 ltrs each day.
Don't drive yourself to the therapy.
Make sure some one is with you to go home.
Buy a very soft tooth brush
Make sure you have laxatives at the ready
Make sure you have rennies or gaviscon to hand
Put hand cream on regularly through out the day
Keep your lips moisturised
Get some mouth wash with no alcohol and rinse your mouth after every thing that you eat.
Keep moving to help with constipation.
If anyone out there wants to buy me a WII Fit.........!

Do not eat
Eggs
Seafood
Yoghurt with bacteria
Salads
cheese

It is expected that
After this chemo - 3 x 3 week cycles
Then radiotherapy
Then more chemo

Please see
macmillan.org.uk

On the 'Up Side'.....
Free wig
Aromatherapy
Make over
Apparently Debenhams have donated £200.00 worth of stuff to paper us!!!! (And pamper us!! Lol!!) Whoooohoooo!!
Thanks Debenhams!!!!!





Sunday, 12 December 2010

Monday 13th December

My daughter should be coming back from the 'Canaries' today, Can't wait to catch up!
I am going to the hospital this morning to do some prep for tomorrow when the chemo starts.
Will let you know what happens when I get back.
Not sure how long it will take.

Just spoke with a friend from work

She is barking mad, and always laughing!
Cheered me up no end.
We have arranged some retail therapy.....YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

12th December

A bit worried about the start of the treatment.
The sensations that I described yesterday may be the scar from the op playing up.
I dare say that I will find out soon enough.

I am still more scared of the treatment than the cancer.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

A bit of a worry......

I went to sit down in the sitting room and I felt the same sensation as I did the first time the original 'lump' started to hurt me.
This was removed on 19th October.
Probably nerves, paranoia or hypercondria......

I will see how it goes.

11th December

I forgot to take my temperature yesterday and the day before!
Well, I did it this morning. 36.0

Today, I have a great feeling of urgency.
A feeling of 'so much to do, and so little time'.
When I have finished 'blogging', I have to get the washing all done, ironing, tidy up paper work, change sheets, full spring clean............ a bit like just before I went into labour with all three of my beautiful children.
Feather the nest and make things perfect!!!!
 It's probably because, after Tuesday, I have no idea how I will feel.
Will I be able to do these things?
Will I want to do these things?
I should imagine that the first week will have little effect, but I don't really know.

There are other silly things....like
My hair needs cutting, should I have it done? Why, if it is all going to fall out over the next couple of weeks.

I have already made an appointment with the wig maker who is resident on the chemo ward, I have bought false eye lashes for when my own fall out!

Buying them reminded me of when I was younger.
It was fashionable to wear glasses that were half the size of your face! (I wear contacts now).
Well, I had such glasses.
I was invited on a date....heheheh, such fun!
I got all 'dolled up'....
False eye lashes and nails.
We went to the 'flicks'. (Cinema). 'Where Eagles Dare'.
Anyway, whilst in there, we watched the film.
We had pop corn.
Yes, you guessed.
One of my nails must have come off, because my date found it in the pop corn, he had been chewing on it, and had to spit it out.
I didn't want to admit that it was mine, so during part of the film, I was trying to get them off. Well,  they were flicking all over the audience!!!!!
I put the 'butter wouldn't melt in mouth' face on and pleaded ignorant.
When we got out of the cinema, my date kept staring at my face. He said,
"There's something on your glasses".
I took them off to look, and my eyelashes were stuck solidly to the top rim of my glasses!!!!!!!
I was so embarrassed!
Not only that, we had to leave before the film had ended because I had to be home at 10.30, and the last bus was at 10.00. The film finished at 10.45!
My date, bless him, STILL invited me on another date!!!!! Lol!
Being asked on a second date was unusual because most of my dates were eventful in similar ways!

Friday, 10 December 2010

Wow!

Just this minute, I received a beautiful bouquet of flowers. they are fabulous.
These have come from my place of work. They are stunning.
Thank you.

10th December

No one is talking about my cancer at home.
It's like..
If we don't mention it, it will go away.

I think about it at least twice a day.

How do I feel?
Well, I don't know really, it changes from thought to thought.
Going back to the stages of grief, I am probably in the 'disbelief stage'.

Sometimes, I feel nothing at all, and others, I just don't believe it.
I forgot to take my temperature yesterday. I must remember today.

I have picked my funeral plan. I am still waiting for the money to come from the 'Critical Illness' policy I took out yonkers ago. 
I have to continue paying the premiums until I get the money, or I don't get the money.
Anyway, all the paper work is done for this funeral plan....
I have even picked the music. I think that I will put it on CD.
I might even do a video...........
I can change it each year to fit the circumstances, because, as you know, everything changes.

I genuinely believe that I am not going to die, not of this cancer anyway.
I had always planned to just 'wake up dead' one morning, when I am about 70 years old!
I see no reason why I should change these plans at this stage of the game!! lol!

Well, just need to wait until Monday now, when I have to go to the hospital to have further tests and do a bit of prep for Tuesday when the chemo begins.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

9th December

I have to go out today, running low on food and toilet paper, the important things!
I thought that I was getting used to not having to get up in the mornings, but I think that my body is so used to getting up at 05.45, even without the alarm, apart from a couple of days, I am wide awake and ready for the day with the birds! (Not that I can hear many singing in the morning in this weather).
I do make sure that they have food and stuff when it is cold and frozen. There are squirrels in the garden too, They are so funny to watch.
I am getting to enjoy watching Jeremy Kyle during the day, Oh, what decadence!!!!

8th December

Well, feeling fine, get increasingly nervous as the start of the treatment gets nearer.
My temperature has been consistently lower that the 'normal'.
Lowest was 35.2 I think, reaching the dizzy heights of 36.4!
Checked the thermometer out and it is fine. Checked with the hospital, and they said that it was fine, I clearly 'run' at a lower temperature.
I can live with that ! (Clearly, otherwise I wouldn't be here writing this blog)! lol!
Keeping myself busy making gem and silver jewellery and 'blogging'!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

definately

carol-mybrothers.blogspot.com

Info for those interested

Just a quickie to let you know that on 6th Dec, I mentioned my brother, and said that it was a long story and needed a seperate blog, this is now up and running...can't remember what I called it though, it is either:-
mybrothers.blogspot.com
or
carol-mybrothers.blogspot.com
Have every confidence that those of you who want to read it will find it, and those of your who dont want to read it wont even look.

7th Dec 09.15

Stayed in bed until 08.30! Wow!!!
Still trying to be positive and look at the 'advantages' to the whole situation.
  • I get a free wig! Think that I will go platinum blonde, short and spikey.
  • Don't have to negotiate the wonderful M6 in the snow.
  • This week, I get to catch up on the things that have been nagging me to complete for a number of weeks.
  • Staying up a bit later to watch things that I usually have to miss as I need to be in bed for 22.00 to be up for work at 05.45 each morning.
  • Over the past year or so, I have been writing a book, I can get that finished, perhaps.
  • My Mum lives with me as she is elderly and very unwell, so I get to spend more quality time with her and give her the care she needs when she needs it and not wait until I get home.
I dare say I will think of some more over the newt few weeks.
I don't want to even consider the 'down side'.

Monday, 6 December 2010

6th Dec 18.25

It's very cold out.
-3!
Still very misty.

Had the MRI.
Not an unpleasant experience. The hardest thing was to keep perfectly still for 40 minutes.
I would have liked to have known that I was going to be strapped to the bed!
(Perhaps I should have read the litreature that I was given).
I was laying there, expecting to trundle in to the tunnel, when these 'things 'were placed on the lower part of my trunk, and then another on the upper part of my trunk, and then straps pulled over and secured.
(As I said, I should have read the litreature, but I am not one for reading instructions and stuff, probably why I 'cock up' and learn by my mistakes)! Lol!!!!
Heads phones were given to me.
When the machine started, so did the sounds from the headphones.
It was radio 4. Some sort of play, or interview of a life story.....
The part that I came in on was a man talking about how wanted to bury his wife, that was a bit unerving, but there was little that I could do, as I had to stay very still. (I hasten to add that the lady in question was dead - well, I think so anyway).
I was thinking,   Ooooooooo, where is Smooth Radio!
Anyway, half way through, it changed to Radio 2, this was a lot better, but it wasn't Smooth Radio.
So, job done, went home.
Back again next Monday for further tests ready for the first chemo session on Tuesday.
My husband thought that I could use a Nintendo DSI for when I am sitting having the treatment.
That's a good idea, I thought.
We went to have a look at one.
Well, I couldn't touch it or try it out to see if I would get on with, (the reason I wanted to try it is because I didn't like my 'touch' phone, so I wanted to be sure that I could use it).
All Iwas able to do was look at the picture on the box. How bloody ridiculous is that?!
Anyway, deep breath and patience.........
Then I was told that the games are extra, £10.00, £20.00,£30.00 each!
WHAT?!
Not on your nelly! I decided to get a crossword book and a pen instead.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

6th December 07.45

Weather.
Very cold, misty, foggy and very frosty.

My tempreature.
36.7
I am not feeling quite so angry now,(although the temptation to 'Whoooop it up' for the next few months is still a small temptation)!

I am going for my MRI scan this morning at 11.00.
My daughter and her fiance are f
lying to the 'Canaries' this morning. I hope that the flights will be on time, and that the weather doesn't cause any disruptions. They are getting married next year. I am really looking forward to it.
I have been looking through 'pre-paid funeral plans'. Don't read anything into that, it is something I would have done anyway, but I am doing it a bit sooner than I had planned.
The cheapest one that I have come accross so far is £2,800.00 as near as 'dammit'.
Bloody Hell!!!
Good job you can't take it with you, because there isn't a hope in hell that you would be able to anyway!
Anyway, I will let you know how things went today when I get back.

December 5th 08.33

Firstly, the weather, not so cold now, no further snow and the existing snow is melting.

My tempreature...
36.6 last night and 36.2 first thing this morning.

The way that I am feeling is slowly changing.
Right now, I feel angry.
This made me think of the stages of grief.
The Kubler-Ross model talks of 5 stages of grief:-
1.Denial
2. Anger
3.Bargaining (To do with you belief system)
4. Depression.
5. Acceptance

Some other trains of thought add another 2 stages.
At 2 - Pain/guilt
and at 6 - reconstruction/hope.

As Sir Winston Churchill said,
"If you are going through hell, keep going".

Anyway, back how I feel.

Don't think that I have felt denial or pain and guilt. (Perhaps later or not at all).
I do not believe that I am dying, so I am not bound to feel them at all.
But as I said, I do feel angry - that could also be self pity in disguise.

OK, So what is making me feel angry?
I will tell you.
I have worked hard all of my working life, taken on additional jobs so that I can buy a pension and insurances to keep me and my husband in retirement.
I have taken out critical illness insurances, which, by the way, I would recommend to all of you out there, becuase now I need it.
I digress......
This will pay out soon, (I hope), and with that, I will be responsible and pay for my own funeral so that my children do not have the burden of finding the cash that they don't have.
My husband would be unable to pay because he is not working, and recieves no benefits at all, because I work.
I will pay any outstanding debts that me and my husband have. That leaves me with no extra cash to do the little things that I have always wanted to do.
So, in life I am working for others, and being worth more dead than alive, as most of us are I imagine, all the money paid into pensions and insurances whilst I have been working, are to go to others. What's in it for me???
Told you my anger could be self pity in disguise! lol
So, in a nutshell,
"It's a bag of b*ll*cks!"

Friday, 3 December 2010

4th December 06.08hrs

Good morning.
The most important stuff first.
It snowed a lot over night, and it settled. Even at this time on a Saturday morning there are footprints on the pavement, and tyre marks in the road.

Yesterday, at 19.00hrs, I recieved a phone call from the hospital asking if I would go in for my MRI scan on Monday.
I was originally going in on Monday 13th for the scan and other tests. Now I am going in on Monday coming for the scan, but still have to go in on 13th for the other stuff. (The last scan I had was a CT scan).
Not totally sure of the difference, but I think that an MRI will have a good old look at me from the waist down, and the CT scan looks from the neck down. Anyway, I will let you know on Monday.

I have been taking my tempreature twice daily as I was asked to at the hospital.
I think that I have ice water coursing through my viens!
It goes something like:
36.8
36.6
36.3
Unless I am outside in a cutting wind wearing inadequate clothing, I feel quite warm.
Must be my age! lol
I do get my regular  'power surges', as many women of my age do.
 (better known as menopausal hot flushes).
Hmmmm, might be interesting to take my tempreature during one for experimental purposes.

Decision Made!!!!!!

Ok...

Last night I spoke with my son Keith and my daughter Roxanne, they both told me that I had to do what I beleived was right for me, and they would support me in that.
My mother and husband said the same.

My cousins, Jeanie and Sandra said that I should have the treatment because there was a chance, but they would support me in any decision that I made. They said that I still had such a lot to give.

 I was on the way to work today, when I reached a roundabout close to work, I saw the most beautiful sunrise.
The sky was the most wonderful colours of reds, oranges, yellows and pale blues. I looked and enjoyed, but had no real profound thoughts, but I was in awe.

A little later I the morning, I took a walk around the outside of the building. It was cold, but the sun was shining and the fresh snow looked beautiful,

My brother phoned me and said that he would come and give me a 'slap' if I didn't have the treatment.
He also told me that he was used to having a sister, and didn't want to loose her.

This is quite a long story........we have only just found each other, I say only just, it's been about 11 years now. I will explain it all in a later blog.

I went to see my line manager,  In another part of the City. When I got out of the car at head office, it was crisp, cold and sunny. It made me want to take a deep breath and linger a while.

We thrashed out the options and odds. By this time I think that I had pretty much made my mind up.
He said that I had a 'life force', cant remember the exact words, but my interpretation was that I was a bit like a force of nature. (I like that, lol). Powerful, unpredictable and unstopable.
Even if it wasn't what he meant, It made me feel strong.

I went to see Jo in HR.
He said, " I have only known you for 4 years, and if I was a cancer in your body, I would be bloody scared!"

My brother phoned again to re-inforce how he felt.

My nephew left a comment on the blog, (you can go and read it).
His words have helped with my decision.

Anyway, the long and the short is that I have decided to have the treatment.

3rd Dec At work now (Sorry Boss, if you are reading!)

Well, There was hardly any traffic, the only real issue was some poor soul had their car stranded on the inside lane just before jct 10, I think it was.
My heart went out to them.
It was very cold and very foggy.
Until I got to 100-200 yards away from work all was well. The roads close to work are very dangerous, as I mentioned earlier, there is no gritting going on there.
What I am trying to say, is that I didn't really get my usual 'thinking time'.
So in the immortal words of Winnie the Pooh,
"Think think, think think......'

Thursday, 2 December 2010

3rd Dec 05.52hrs

Slept like a brick all night, the alarm forced me from my slumber.
I had a quick look in the back garden, and there doesn't seem to be much, if any change in the landscape, so hopefully the drive to work wont be any more nerve racking than earlier this week.

I need to make my decision quicky, because if I choose to have the treatment, I need to take next week off to insure that I don't come into contact with any people who have colds etc., because the treatment will have to be postponed if I get one.

I am off to take my tempreature, have a coffee, shower and head for the M6. Hopefully, I will make a firm decision on the way to work.

Catch you later!

Ok....The questions and Answers.

I would like to say that the staff at Newcross hospital in the Deansley centre were fabulous!

I really pressed the Oncologist to give me the following information.
I would like to say that the following answers are professional opinions based on reasearch and experience, and nothing is carved in stone or written in blood!!!!!

Q. Will I have Chemo and Radiotherapy together?
A. No
     First you will have chemotherapy. 3x3 weekly cycles. You will be have 2 types of Chemo at the same time. Etoposide and Cisplatin. (EP/PE). These will be administered by drip and orally. This will take place over 3 days each week.
The serious or frequently occuring risks are:-
Nausea
Vomitting
Diarrhoea
Constipation with painful bowel movement.
Lethary/fatigue
Aemia
Bruising
Bleeding
Damaged kidneys
Damage to hearing
Damage to nerves to the ends of fingers and toes causing numbness.
Hair loss
Lower resistance to infection.
Sore mouth and ulcers with unpleasant substances.
It will effect all fast growing cells in the body, not only the cancerous ones causing high risk to infection.
Taste changes.
Skin changes.
Allergic reations.
Blood clots.
Some of the above may be fatal.
May cause a second cancer to erupt in later life, usually a type of leukaemia, although this is rare.
See
macmillan.org.uk
for further information.

Q Is there more than a 50% chance that the treatment will prolong my life?
A 30% - 70% chance.

Q Can I get trasnsport to and from the hospital?
A Yes.

Q What would my life expectancy be without treatment?
A The type of cancer that you have is rare. Even in these rare cases, the cancer has been found in the lungs, not the vagina. I can only comment on the prognosis if it was in the lungs. This would be 12 - 24 months.

Q When would the radiotherapy commence?
A When the chemo is finished, you will start radiotherapy. This will be daily for 28 days.
This has a whole new set of risks and side effects that we will discuss when the time comes.

There will be reguar MRI scans to follow progress.

Q If you couldn't see anything on the CT scan, how will you know if there has been an improvement?
A Any cancer has to have a minimum of 10,00000000 cells to be picked up on the scans. The scan will monitor differences in the images.

I would like to say that getting all of the side effects is unlikey but possible.

My interpretation of all of the above is:-

If I have the treatment
There is a 50% chance that I will die within 24 months after spending 6 months being quite poorly.
By default, there is a 50% chance that I will live a normal life after 6 months of being quite poorly.
The question is...do I want to spend a minimum of 25% of the rest of my life being quite poorly.
If I don't have the treartment
There doesn't seem to be much difference to me. My head is spinning, I can't think any more. I'll have to sleep on it........

Your comments and views would be gratfully received!

Ooooo, I almost forgot.
I have to take my tempreature twic daily staring now to find what my usual tempreature is, the when the chemo starts, I have to continue. If there is a raise in my temp. I have to alert the hospital immediately as this is most likely the first sign of infection.
I also have to alert the hospital if I notice any lumps, bumps which are painful which may be blood clots.

And yes, you guessed, it is still snowing, and seems to be settling.