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Saturday, 30 April 2011

30th April

Well, not a great deal to say..................
I have developed a really painful lump on my 'bits'. I am not sure what it may be a late developing radiation burn, could be a boil or a bloody great pimple! I will see how things go.
Bit of a bummer though, (no pun intended).
I thought that I had seen the back of discomfort in my nether regions.
Ho hum, and all that, sais la vie!

(Found this pic on the net, really like it, and it expresses how I feel so perfectly).

To top it all, I think that I have over done it a bit! I am so tired, achy and I have a head ache.

Serves me right, I was warned that I would feel really well, but it wouldn't mean that I was well!

That will teach me to get 'cocky!' Lol!

I am going to take it easy tomorrow.....Ann and Dave are coming from Bristol, and we are going out to lunch.

This means no cooking, washing up, gardening or anything else that means I have to lift anything heavier than
a fork!

Friday, 29 April 2011

29th April

I have had a great couple of days.
I worked in the garden yesterday and today...doing as much as I can and resting at will!
I hate to admit it, but I still get tired quickly.
I don't seem to need the loo so often now either, but it is still unpredictable, so I wont be lulled in to a false sense of security.
I had to take some sleeping tablets because I was tossing and turning, getting up, going back, getting up.......
I was getting really fed up, and really cranky during the day!

So I took the sleepers to give my family a bit of respite.

I want to work some more in the garden tomorrow...I will see how it goes.
I have my friends, Ann and Dave coming to visit on 1st May, and I am really looking forward to has been ages since we have seen each other!

I really hope that you have all enjoyed your holidays, including this one for the Royal Wedding!

(Just in case you feel that you need to see more of the lovely couple......Kate is really beautiful, and she looked stunning in her Wedding Gown......I watched the whole thing! Fab!)

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

27th April

Had a job getting to sleep last night.
After tossing and turning, I decided to take a sleeping tablet.
Slept like a baby!

Whilst I was waiting for it to work, I sat on the settee with a magazine, and Dougal, my little dog sat on my lap.
It was during this time that I realised everything no longer smells of iron and metal.
Dougal did a poopsie...(trump or fart), and it stank like rancid boiled cabbage!

Rejoice!!!! I can smell proper smells now!
Not sure when it all changed, I didn't really notice until 'the incident'....Urgh,....bloody horrible it was! nose has regained conciousness!

Today, I went out for lunch with my friend Claire.
We had a great time, and I laughed so much that my tummy hurts!
It was fab, and hopefully, we will do it again soon!
Thanks Claire!

Monday, 25 April 2011

26th April

I did say that I would post on here I am!
OK, it is only just fact 20 minutes into the day! 20 minutes pat midnight, and here I am 'blogging!'
Why?  Because I can't sleep!
There has only been 2 nights that I have been able to go to bed...and sleep.
That was last night and the night before.

I am not sure what it is that stops me from sleeping...I am tired, very tired!
As soon as I get into bed, I get strange some one is stabbing me all over my body with needles, particularly on the soles of my feet and the palms of my hands
(The same sensations on my thighs are just as irritating but not as frequent).

My legs are jumping all over the place.
I do attempt to just try, try and try again to sleep, but I usually end up getting out of bed and coming down stairs to play on the computer, watch T.V, read some magazines.
(Books aren't good, because I can't concentrate well enough yet to read and understand what I have just read. I end up having to read most paragraphs twice!)
My eye sight is still a bit 'iffy' too, and there is nothing that I can do about it until I have finished my next lot of chemo.

Oh, well, I am going to get a drink, and then try bed again.
Wish me!

Hope that you are all having more joy getting to sleep than I am....Good night, (or morning in this case), lol,
and sweet dreams.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

24th April

As promised here I am again!

Not a lot to report.

I think that I think that I am 'weller' than I actually am..........if you understood that!

I am feeling pretty well, so I am getting stuck into cleaning and gardening...then I get really, really tired, and have to crash out!

Keith came  and stayed for 2 nights and 3 days. It was great to see him. He has to go back to work on Wednesday, so he left today, giving himself time to do his stuff. He and Sarah will be moving at the beginning of  May, so they both have a great deal to do.

I am not looking forward to starting chemo again, particularly knowing that I am not going to know if I have still got cancer or not at the end of it all.

I wont dwell on it now...too much stuff I want to do, too many people that I want to see, and make sure that I get it all done between now and 10th!

Will talk again on 26th!

Hope that you all are enjoying your Easter break!
 I am!
What wonderful weather!

Friday, 22 April 2011

22nd April

Well, as I said yesterday, I don't think that there will be anything to report cancer wise until 10th April, so I am going to talk about my garden, family and friends.

As you know, on 5th, 6th and 7th, Roxanne, my daughter came. We did some gardening. I use the term 'we' loosely, as I was not really well enough to 'do' I just gave directions!
Oh, what pleasure I got from!

On 15th, my friend Jackie came, and we went out to the Wing Wah for lunch, and then came back and just sat chatting in the garden. That was very 'civilised! lol!

On 18th, my niece and nephew came for a few hours, and we made Easter baskets.

For the basket, we used:-
Card and  raffia.
 I drew a pattern and the children cut it out.
Then, we used the raffia to weave the basket.
We filled the basket with shredded green tissue paper.
For the Easter chick we used:-
Yellow furry fabric.
Orange felt.
I drew a pattern on the fabric, and the children cut out.
(Two circles, one smaller than the other.)
The edges of each circle were 'tacked' using needle and cotton, so that it could be pulled to close the circle.
The circles were stuffed with 'soft toy stuffing', and then sewn closed.
The circles were then attached to each other using stitches.
The large circle became the chicks body, and the small circle became the head.
A diamond shape was cut from the orange felt. This was folded in half, stitched along the edge to keep an 'open beak' shape.
Then it was sewn to the head of the chick in the appropriate position.
A heart shape was also cut from the felt. This was sewn to the under side of the body to make the feet of the chick.
One large black dot was drawn on  the chicks head, each side of, and just above the beak, to make the eyes.
The basket was then filled with small chocolate eggs and 'jelly bunnies'. The chick was placed on top.
The children did this themselves with a little help and total supervision.
Afterwards, I face painted the children.
A butterfly for Sophie, (aged 6 years), and an Alien for Reece, (aged 8 years).

I met my friend Sandra in town.
We had lunch, and then did a little shopping. We visited 4 shops, and then we came home for coffee.
Sandra isn't too well, and I need to rest a great deal, so 4 shops is all that we could!
Isn't that tragic?....So sad.......all that shopping opportunity gone to waste! lol!

This isn't actually a picture of us...but you get the idea! lol!

I wont post again until 24th!
Have a wonderful Easter break!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Thursday 21st April

Well, I had my appointment with the oncologist today.
I still have a couple of radiation burns, and a lot of scarring from the burns that have now healed.
I have lost weight...Yay!!!!!!!!
Mustn't get too excited, because, as soon as I start chemo again, it will all come back...Oh joy! Oh rapture!

After asking some questions, i.e.
Do I still have cancer etc..........
The response is as follows:-

For the next 5 years it will be considered that I still have cancer. It is hoped that after the chemo is complete, the cancer will be in remission.
The cancer may rear it's ugly head again.
I will need to go for regular check ups for the next 5 years.
I have an exemption certificate for 5 years, (until 2016), for free medication.

Apparently, with any cancer, it is uncertain as to if it is gone, or in remission following the treatment.

My next chemo session is on May10th. Each session at the hospital will last for 7-8 hours each.
It will be as it was last time.

I am feeling really well, although I still tire easily. This, according to the Doctor is to be expected for many months, if not longer, following chemo and radiotherapy.

Continence issues are still a bit problematic, but improving daily.
Getting off to sleep is a nuisance...but then is getting up in the morning! Lol!
I am still squeezing as much socialising and gardening in as I can between now and 10th May, (I do rest as I need to).

I know that for 5-10 days after each session, I will be feeling anything but social!

O.K.....I am of to make hay whilst the sun shines............................

I will 'post'. tomorrow, but it will be more about my social activities and the garden than my little friend.....Cancer!

Back to 'business' on 10th May.

Happy Easter to you all!!

(I did my private celebrations on 20th March for Oestara - sometimes spelt Ostara).

But, I am still celebrating with my family!

Monday, 18 April 2011

18th April

I am worn out.........

I don't honestly think that I am going to have anything worthwhile to say until Thursday................So........
other than saying that I feel a lot better, and that I am enjoying seeing friends and family, nothing to say....

Oh yes, there is......
I have noticed that friends and family are interacting with me in a different way........
Now that I am feeling so much better, they are smiling more, staying longer, and talking about loads of different things........

Roll on end of ALL treatments!

Well, that's it until Thursday when I hope to have something more interesting to say!

Break Time!

Until Thursday then?!..................................

Sunday, 17 April 2011

17th April

Went to sleep almost straight away last night! Yay!
Then the neighbours had a party and woke me at 12.00 midnight! lol!

I am not upset though, because they have never disturbed me before, so it isn't a regular occurance.
Been busy in the garden today, loved it!
I went out to lunch yesterday with a friend...that was great too!

Tomorrow, I am spending about 4 hours with my niece and nephew, then taking Mum to her 'blood clinic'.
Tuesday, all day with Roxanne, my daughter, Wednesday, I will spending the day with another friend, Sandra, in town. Thursday, I have to see the Oncologist....Friday, Saturday and Sunday, my some Keith is coming.

I am being the proverbial 'social butterfly'................How fab is that!!!!!

I am certainly going to make the most of this before I start to feel rough again when the chemo starts.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

16th April

Still taking ages to fall asleep at night, I resisted the temptation to get up last night, but I tossed and turned for what seemed like hours!

I did go out to try to tire myself out yesterday...and I succeeded!
I can back feeling exhausted!
Did it help me sleep?  Don't think so.

It does appear to be helping my back ache though, so of on another jaunt today.

In fact, my social calendar is bursting with activity over this week end and all of next week.......
Oh, I am a popular bunny at the moment!
All of my friends and family work, so they are all wanting to come and see Me..............!

I do feel so important and so loved!!!!!!!!

Friday, 15 April 2011

15th April

Yesterday, I forgot to mention.......

Still there, but only really noticeable in complete bed time!

Comes and goes, a couple of paracetamol sort it if required.

Well, as I mentioned before, I have been having some restless nights.....................

I decided to go on a jaunt to town, and walked and sat, walked and sat for a number of hours....this was in the hope of making myself very tired so that I would have a good night's sleep................
Well, it didn't work!
It just made me very tired, but still unable to sleep! lol!

On the 'up' side....(I insist on finding an up side or I would go bonkers!)......anyway.................
On the up back ache is a lot better, still there, but muted!!!!!!!!

I really am starting to feel so much better now, in fact, it is making me think that I really, really don't want to start feeling ill again when I have the chemo,
so....the conclusion is, try not to have long enough to really remember what it is like to feel well in between treatments!

I am going to continue with the treatment, because I am a third of the way through the lot now, and I think, believe and hope that I am already over the worst!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

14th April

I stopped taking all of my pain killers and sleeping medication, and I also stopped taking the anaesthetic gel and anti-biotic gel.................

My pain has reduced greatly, so, I don't feel the need to take the pain killers (Morphine/Tramadol).
I will take the occasional paracetamol if I feel that I need to. (Usually for my back at the moment).
 So far, so good with that.

Sleeping tablets...well, I am having difficulty sleeping without them, but I am a little concerned that I will become dependant on them, so I am happy to put up with a few restless nights. (After all, it isn't as if I have to get up for work, so I can still nap in the day if I need to).

Now, the anaesthetic gel and anti-bacterial gel is another story all together!
I still NEED it!
Without it, the pain and discomfort of the last few external burns is very noticeable!
On the 'up side', instead of applying each time I use the loo, I am only using it twice daily....each morning and each night.

It has been 2 weeks since my last radio therapy session, so what effects remain from this?
Well, some effects may still be from the chemo....not sure.

I will list the effects that are still with me.

Eye sight.
Still not good, doesn't seem to be getting any worse though.
It may do during/after the next lot of chemo. I will see the optician when it is all over.

Back Ache
A real pain.
To be honest, it doesn't seem to be getting any better at all. As I said, I am exercising, walking and moving about...but no change there.

Vaginal pain and discomfort
Greatly improved, and getting better by the minute!

Bladder control.
I can go longer with out using the loo, but, as before, if I need to go, I need to go NOW!!!!

Bowel control
Not needing to go as often, but very, very little warning.

They are still getting loose, gums receding, good pain.

Taste and smell
Everything tastes of and smells like metal.

I can concentrate for longer periods now, but I do find that I get very frustrated and even angry if I make a silly mistake due to my eye sight, or lack of concentration, particularly if it means that I have to do the same task again!
I could 'spit nails!'

Up and down, I am pleased to say, mainly up, although there have been some very dark moments........

I thought that I should mention this, because you may be wanting to know if it is possible etc.....

Well, apart from the days that I actually have chemo at the hospital, and often, the 2 days afterwards, I have been able to drive.
Sitting in the driving seat was no more painful than sitting anywhere else during radiotherapy, I drove myself there and back everyday.
Taxi would have been too expensive, and ambulance service would have been impractical, because, there would have been many pick-ups/drop offs, this would have caused a continence issue. Using the ambulance service would have taken 1-2 hours each way.
I wouldn't have been able to sit in the same position for so long, due to the pain, and I would have pee'd myself at least twice each journey. (And maybe even worse!)
Driving took 10-15 minutes.

I am unable to drive for any length of time, as I proved to myself on Monday, I can't go any longer that 1 hour without the toilet...max!
The same applies to walking now....I have to plot routes that are either very short, or I know that there is a toilet close by.
Got that pretty well sorted as far as a little jaunt to town goes. I think that I am aware of every 'pit stop' in Wolverhampton! lol!

Hopefully, the issues with continence will be temporary!

No reason for this picture at all...I just think that it is cute!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

13th April

Last night and the night before, I had a bit of difficulty sleeping, I think that it is my back ache, not sure what is causing it.
I have started to do stretching exercises, which haven't helped, (yet anyway), I keep taking myself for regular but short walks.

Everything smells like some sort of metal or iron.........everything tastes like I am sucking on a crow bar, (an iron bar for those that don't know what it is). yucky, yucky, yucky!!!!!!

The next pic is a crow bar....

I think that my whole body is showing signs of radio!

I am sure that my wee is flouresceing too............doesn't matter what, or how much I wee is 'dayglo yellow!'

Pooh...this varies from khaki to citrus lemony-greeny and mustard..........bit of a 'pooh-bow', (as opposed to rainbow).
Apart from the back ache, the other stuff is more of an annoyance or real major concerns.

Observing the silliest things because I am going 'stir crazy'....insanity is creeping in slowly.

So, all in all I am a positive little bunny!!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

12th April

Further information as promised.
I will try to keep this simple and honest, taking some relevant information from other sources.

The first 2 pictures, I have chosen to try to indicate how the large 'canopy type' part of the machine can move from the position directly above you whilst you are on the bed. It can move in a circle/large arc around you body.
This ensures that the radiation is aimed accurately.

This third picture just looked a little somehow! 

Radiotherapy – (Also known as radiation therapy)
Radiation therapy uses a special kind of high-energy beam to damage cancer cells. (Other types of energy beams include light and x-rays.) These high-energy beams, which are invisible to the human eye, damage a cell’s DNA, the material that cells use to divide.
Over time, the radiation damages cells that are in the path of its beam — normal cells as well as cancer cells. But radiation affects cancer cells more than normal cells. Cancer cells are very busy growing and multiplying — 2 activities that can be slowed or stopped by radiation damage. And because cancer cells are less organized than healthy cells, it's harder for them to repair the damage done by radiation. So cancer cells are more easily destroyed by radiation, while healthy, normal cells are better able to repair themselves and survive the treatment.
There are two different ways to deliver radiation to the tissues to be treated:
·         a machine called a linear accelerator that delivers radiation from outside the body
·         pellets, or seeds, of material that give off radiation beams from inside the body.
The above is from the blog, ‘Both the food and the gardening are keeping me both happy and healthy’.

Below, Wikipedia states……………………………………………………………………………………

Radiation therapy is commonly applied to the cancerous tumour. The radiation fields may also include the draining lymph nodes if they are clinically or radio-logically involved with tumour, or if there is thought to be a risk of subclinical malignant spread. It is necessary to include a margin of normal tissue around the tumour to allow for uncertainties in daily set-up and internal tumour motion. These uncertainties can be caused by internal movement (for example, respiration and bladder filling) and movement of external skin marks relative to the tumour position.
To spare normal tissues (such as skin or organs which radiation must pass through in order to treat the tumour), shaped radiation beams are aimed from several angles of exposure to intersect at the tumour, providing a much larger absorbed dose there than in the surrounding, healthy tissue.

Me talking!
Clearly, the radiation is going to 'zap' healthy, normal cells that get in the way of the beam....the way I see it is...
Imagine a daisy.......the yellow bit in the middle is the cancer, the intention is to 'zap' the cancer.
The radiation rays are crossing over at that point. During the process, all of the white petals, (good healthy cells), are also getting zapped.  The yellow bit, (the cancer),  hopefully, should not repair itself or re-grow, however, the petals, (the good cells), will get zapped, and bloody sore, but will repair.

Still me talking...........
It is clear that internally, a lot of good healthy stuff is being zapped, causing damage.
This is showing it's self by causing an over active bladder, unpredictable bowel, aches and pains, tiredness and lethargy. 
During the treatment...(which actually burns, like a fire maybe, or scolding water), I had difficulty walking, laying, sitting, generally moving, due to the area that was being treated....the vagina.
My lower back very painful it kidneys? Is it back ache? What is it? 
Well, I don't know.
What I do know, is that I didn't have it before radiation, and I have it now, so therefore, it is an effect!
Anyway, the internal stuff, I can't describe as I can the external and very obvious.
That is where I am going now.......this is going to be be honest and graphic, so if you are 'delicate', I wouldn't read on.
OK....Here goes..............

The following are some pictures that I have on the internet of radiation/radiotherapy burns, they are not pretty!

Now, imagine these burns internally....and on the vagina and the crease on both sides between the torso and thighs!
The whole of my vagina was effected, internally, the vulva, lips and the outer edges to and including the crease as described above.
Just another reminder, this is my experience, and I am unable to talk for cancers in other areas, although, someone that I am aware of, had similar experiences when she had treatment for bowel cancer, and now has a stoma. I can only imagine her pain!
On a bright note, my burns are very nearly healed now, and I am able to walk with minimal pain and discomfort.
I would also like to say that the lady I spoke of with bowel cancer, to herself on a holiday abroad recently, and is also recovering from the burns!

Monday, 11 April 2011

11th April

Trotted of the the Hospital for there, and there seems to be a mix up...not sure what's going on, but it appears that I have no appointment to today at 11.30....Thursday 21st now....Hummmmph! a loose end, I thought that I would go on a jaunt.......just a bit of a trial, to see how I would fare if I was to be ready to return to work.....I know, I know, I am not ready, before I get written flops to the back of the head from you all.........just thought I would give it a go...that's all!!!! bladder can't make the journey without considerable discomfort! (My bowels only lasted 5-10 minutes longer!) Kept everything under control though.

Today was also the first day that I have been able to wear me drawers without pain and discomfort, although, it felt great to take 'em off when I got back home!

Anyway...whilst I was there, I met with Mike,(my leader0, for coffee.
He stated that he had been reading this blog regularly, but there were a couple of things that were not as clear as I had is for this reason, I am going to be clearer about some issueS, this, I will post tomorrow.

(I don't want you to get bored reading this, particularly as all I really have to say is that I am feeling so much better! lol!)

Tomorrow I will discuss ion detail the effects of the radiotherapy, and the actual session...

Please be aware that these experience will be mine, and based on the vagina..I cannot comment on any other part of the body, or speak for anyone else who has undergone the same procedures

Sunday, 10 April 2011

10th April

I had a great day at the RSPCA Charity thingy.
Met loads of lovely people, sat chatting....had a reflexology session....chatted some more, and won most of the various raffle prizes!

Not sure how much money was made, but as a quick guess, I think that it was over £400.00....but don't take that as gospel please.

Still feeling very positive, feeling pretty well................
Seeing the Oncologist tomorrow, should find some more stuff out.

Right now, I am waiting for my 'Lemon Grass Chicken Fried Rice!'

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.....yummy scrummy!

Saturday, 9 April 2011

9th April

I feel so much better today!
It doesn't seem possible that I could feel so rotten only a couple of days ago and feel so good now!
Don't misunderstand me, I don't feel like I could go bungee jumping or parachuting yet, but I feel better.

(Just in time to see the Doctor and be told when I start chemo so that I can feel like sh*t again!)

Oooooops, now, now, no negativity please Carol!

Yep.....I feel brill!

I have been busying myself going hither and thither, doing this and that, moving far more freely and painlessly than I have done for yonkers!!!!!

Come on!...........Bring it on!!!!!!!!!!