Thursday, 22 May 2008

Apologies for being a rather crap blogger this week, but I've been a bit of a crap patient too! The week has been spent throwing up (STILL!!) and feeling uncomfy in my skin (hot flushes followed by cold sweats and repeat until clothing is saturated). I've been tweaking meds and discovered that since swapping anti-nausea tabs, I've been vomiting, so went back to the old domperidone and hey presto - 2 days without throwing up. Add in a bit of paracetamol and no fever - so slowly coming around again. Yesterday was dire - cried mostly - was feeling very sorry for myself. But three weeks without riding, wrapped in a blanket and spending 3 hours a day throwing up in the car just took its toll.

Still. Today is better and only 6 days left of treatment. I went this morning, and have to go again in an hour or so, but then tomorrow is only once, and I get 3 days off with the bank holiday. The 4 more days and finished. AND THEN... back to living again.

The RT is having an effect. The pain is so reduced that I've halved the pain meds, and swallowing is a bugger - so painful. But temporary they assure me, till it heals up in my oesophagus. Cross your fingers folks that the RT shrinks this little bastard once and for all.

On a good and positive note, Bramble is settling in well, as you can see in the piccie above. He is a boy (we found a pic to sex him once and for all), and is clean, thank god. He uses the litter tray, is eating and drinking well, and wakes up for a mad half hour's play time every couple of hours. He is so sweet that even hubby is besotted with the little blighter!

Sleeping. It's what I do best!

Wha'?! What is it?

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Radiotherapy Treatment No'8

I thought you may be curious to see what the whole RT thing involves - so asked one of my Radiotherapists to take a pic for y'all. She kindly obliged and even caught B in the photo too (he said he doesn't mind it on the web - I did ask!).

So the machine revolves around me. The mark me up, as you can see along my body, to line up with the lasers, and then cover me with a piece of tissue to maintain some sort of dignity.

When the machine is doing its thing, they have to leave the room, but the lights are dimmed and I spend that time concentrating on being healed. They usually leave the radio on too, so there's nice music in the background. Very peaceful.

The whole thing is painless, if a tad uncomfortable, but the staff are superb, and get it all done in under 10 minutes now.

So now you know!

Yesterday my brother-in-law took me again, and I was only sick twice. This time I made it to the grid (in the garden) and the loo (at the hospital).

The best thing is that I now have 2 whole days off! Hurrah!

And we're going to collect the kitty this afternoon!

So excited...

Thursday, 15 May 2008

email snailmail

I just looked at my email inbox, in the folder labelled, "To respond to" and there's about 15 emails in there. And that's just my private/home email addy. In hotmail there's more, and in Yahoo, even more.

So this is just to say to everyone who has been kind enough to email me, that I will get back to you at some point, and I'm not being rude, I'm just on radiotherapy - travelling at the least 3 hours a day, and in the clinic for another hour on top.


But they are saving (hopefully) my life, so mustn't complain!

And it's only till the end of the month.

And then I will email people back, and will ride horses again, and will continue writing the novel and driving you all nuts with ridiculous blog posts - like this one!

Righto! Off for more RT.


Tuesday, 13 May 2008

One for the blog...

Yesterday I pulled off an absolute cracker.

I had my RT. Bro-in-law ferried me. I did not throw up in the car - neither there, nor back - and we arrived home safely.

We sat in the garden in the sunshine, and I was just reclining on a garden lounger, sipping away at my orange squash - I think I was commenting on how well the drive went, and how the RT itself was painless and quick...

And then without any warning whatsoever, I did it; 5 bodily functions (and major ones, the kind you normally do one at a time, and even then if it can't be avoided) happened all at once!

G did a kind of slo-motion gasping in shock whilst leaping (slo-mo) to his feet. Meanwhile, all the time this watery gunge is emerging violently from any orifice it can breach.

I sneezed, coughed, farted, pee-ed and vomited. An ensemble to die (of shame) for. :)

So I'm sitting there, covered in puke - down my cleavage (damn that summer top), all in my lap, on the floor. I stood up and stripped down to my vomit soaked undies, a pile of sticky clothing on the patio in a pool of more goo. I thought, "Oh shit, where's my brother-in-law gone? I am now semi-naked in the garden!"

G appeared in the doorway looking helpless - you know the one; mouth wide open, hands outstretched, palms heavenward. He fetched a towel - no doubt he couldn't stand looking at my sexy body any longer!!!

Poor thing was still retching as I showered and changed. I could hear the hose-pipe slooshing it away to his guttural cries!

Beat that!

Today I've been once already for an 8.30 am slot, and now, due to the merits of bank hols and RT planning, I've to go back again for a 5 pm slot! Fab. That's about 5 or 6 hours in the car for someone who gets travel sick, not to mention two lots of tunnel toll fees to pay.

But I haven't thrown up today so far. I've reduced my oxycodone to the previous dose, and while I might have a bit of pain, I'm not throwing up.

A balance may have just been reached.

*I Effing well hope so any way!

Monday, 12 May 2008

Posts have been a bit sporadic these days. I haven't written much at all this week, and read even less. Thing is, there's not much going on.

Except vomiting.

Lots and lots of vomiting.

That's the thing about cancer - it's the other bloody side-effects. I have perfect lung function, no cough, no wheezing or shortness of breath. No pain on breathing. And yet...

Everything else seems to be wanting to join in -a whiny kind of please let us be sick/ailing/underfunctioning too! Please! Stomach is certainly making the most noise at present.

And so my trips for RT are a daily nightmare of throwing up all the way with whichever kind soul trying their best to act as if this is all perfectly normal. Even those who can't stand vomit!

And then I get home and I sleep for a few hours. It's been a bit crap to be honest. 3 down. 17 to go.

But never one to be entirely down...

I went and bought myself a pink Nintendo DS-Lite with Sight-Training, and Scrabble. Woo hoo! The 8 year old is saying, "Can you feel it, mum?! You've got that DS Feeling!" Followed by, "Now we can play Animal Crossing together!" Right there, hun, just after I puke. Again.

Also - the sun is still shining and that has got to be a plus. Imagine a 1hr 20 min journey puking in the rain and cold.

And the kitten - Bramble seems to be sticking as a name - comes next week!!!

There was something else, but I can't remember what it was.


Oh yes. I remember. The Conference. The Short Story Conference I booked and paid for, and was looking forward to all year. That Conference. I missed the bleeding conference because I was too ill. I realised at 11 am on Saturday morning, my head down the loo. I'm sure there was somewhere I was supposed to be...

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Another glorious day, and I'm back on the up. I feel like a bloody yo-yo these days, but what goes down seldom stays down for long (quite literally - boom boom), and the sun is shining, the birds are singing at next door's cats. At one point I thought, Is this still England, or am I in some sort of opiate induced dream of warmer climes - but no - I've even got a summer frock on! I hope you are enjoying the weather wherever you are.

Yesterday I had my first 'fraction' of radiotherapy (RT). Family friend, D, was my volunteer driver for the day, and duly turned up in Maisy, a lovely little Mazda convertible - top down - the works. Instinctively, I grabbed a sick back and bowl on the way out the door, and wondered what people must have thought as we sped along; him in cool shades, arm sunning on the window ledge, and me, throwing up between conversations. I looked like shite by the time we finally pulled into the oncology car park!

But hey, the sun was still shining, and D handled the situation beautifully. He's a dad, you see.

SO the first thing we had to do was see a doctor. We ended up in a side-room - in case I infected anyone/everyone else with the bug - so while D hunted for pics in The Star and got sent on pharmacy runs, I sat with my head in my hands trying not to throw up again.

But the treatment went fine in the end. I was a little perplexed at having to strip to the waist in front of two rather sweet young men, but there's no room for embarrassment when your life is on the line - which mine most certainly is. I got the boobs out, adopted my porn-star-lay-back-and-think-of-healing pose, and got on with the job of... not moving. Which isn't as easy as you may think, especially when people are drawing on you under your arms, with tickly pens!

They said, you can talk if you want. Some people talk, and others prefer not to. I laughed to myself. Me? Not talking?! Ha ha ha!

I did have some quiet time with the machine though. Sting was singing Fields of Gold in the background, and I lay there, visualising the tumour shrinking away. It was very good really. No pain. No needles sticking in me/fluids passing through me/fear and loathing. Just very peaceful.


And I wasn't sick on the way home either, which was a huge bonus. We had a lovely evening meal, got forgiveness from my mother for forgetting her birthday - genuine excuse this year - and then Nee came over and we sat and chatted into the early hours.

Actually had a day of feeling normal, rather than like a cancer patient, and it was wonderful.

P.S. AND I've kept on writing too! Way bloody hey!

Tuesday, 6 May 2008


I was supposed to start radiotherapy today, only I managed to catch a bug.

A bloody bug!

Can you believe it?! I've spent the long bank holiday weekend throwing up into friends' grids, and sinks. I thought it was the meds so carried on as usual, trying to ignore the sudden and frequent flashes of cold sweat followed by massive waves of nausea. And then the little one joined in and we realised it was more than an opiate induced fever.

Hospital were very understanding. Said come tomorrow instead. So I spent the day in the garden. The unkempt, deliciously wild garden. And it was so gorgeous and hot, even with a slight fever.I even found a hanging place
for a wedding present we got all those years ago!

And I wrote!

Not tons, by any means, but I wrote. I mean, like real fiction, man!

It feels good to have some paragraphs down on paper again!


Monday, 5 May 2008

Calling for a name

Any ideas?

I love the name Bramble so far but that has been used by at least two friends so other ideas needed. K suggested Shut Up, as a hint to the neighbours, and hubby, despite ideas such as Kebab, has also fallen for its innate charm and lovability.

Pussy kitten at 4 weeks old.


Went to see the horses yesterday too, mum and baby. Baby is now some 13 hh tall, and still as cute as ever. Anyway, the interesting thing was that I was reading about horses having an innate knowledge of reiki, and was surprised when the mare (as in the mare who loves me and wants to be my mare!) started slurping away at the area where my tumour is. Hubby, less convinced, said it's probably the lavender I have constantly oiled in to the skin via a hotty, but all the same, it was a neat little coincidence!


Have a lovely Bank Holiday!

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Hurrah! Blogger has finally let me in! I've been trying to post all week, to no avail, but here I am again!!

I had my Radiotherapy simulation on Thursday. Firstly I strip off to the waste and then a nive lady draws little crosses all over me with a felt-tip pen. Then, I get to lie on a bed with stirrups for my arms, topless, in a kind of porn-star pose, while a big machine moves around me. It's quite alarming at first, but I guess after 20 sessions I'll be more used to it. The hardest part is keeping still so as to burn out only this bits we want to burn out!

I haven't had the treatment itself yet so can't tell you what it feels like, but you know me - as soon as I know...

It's weird this whole tumour lark. Gives the most unexpected problems. Take my eyes for example. Yesterday I spent 2 hours in the opticians being tested because one of my pupils is now larger than the other. The wiring of the body is such, that the tumour pressing on the brachial plexus, is also affecting my optic nerve.
Great stuff. One wonders what else can go wrong - or rather maybe one shouldn't wonder at all?!

I also called into uni on Friday. It was lovely to see everyone, if a little odd - I've been off sick since October after all. I saw Debbie from the SCR and promptly burst into tears without any idea as to why. Weird.

Am also feeling quite crap today - although a bbq later on, and going to see little kitty will certainly cheer me up...

Wondering when I'm going to get cracking with the novel again. Gotta be done, methinks.

Yes. A novel race. So many of the racers have finished already, but I'm not out just yet.

Watch this space...