Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Its been a while.....but, by golly we've been feeling the Love!!

Im back, its been a while that's for sure.  This blog was supposed to be a weekly update - I didn't expect to fail quite so spectacularly quite so quickly!  But, I have and for a couple of reasons.  Firstly, ive been too busy having fun with my nearest and dearest and then secondly I succumbed to a sickness bug, projectile vomming at its very best!
So, the best bits first, since my last entry - boy, have we had some fun.  first of all was my works do, now ive not mentioned work too much yet, I work for a charity, a great charity, a charity that spends 365 days a year saving peoples lives and keeping families together.  I work for the Air Ambulance Service, we operate 2 helicopter emergency services (the type that turn up to road accidents, sports injuries, medical emergencies) and one Childrens Air Ambulance - dedicated to the fast and safe transfer of seriously sick children to the best dedicated hospital to treat their condition.  The many people who work within the charity are all ace and many of whom are very good friends. But, it makes me immensely proud to know that when I go to work, the work that I do, goes a little way to playing a part in saving lives. Im the office Services Co-ordinator, once when Prof Poole asked me to remind him what I did, for ease I told him that I was an office manager, concerned, he asked how many people I managed, and whether it was stressful, I assured him that it was fine, I don't manage people, just the facilities. Then not long after he was explaining my case to one of his registrars when he said, and I quote "she is an Office manager, but after investigation I am happy to report that she doesn't manage any people, luckily I think she is just in charge of counting paperclips!"  In my defence, we do have a very large amount of paperclips, donated by a company that was shutting down, so it is a big job!  So anyway, Christmas party, my responsibility to organise, a responsibility I think that is under estimated by so many, its the one night of the year when most of us can get together, so its got to be good.  I think I pulled it off - I had a good night anyway - and there was not a paperclip in sight!   The following night was Shaun's works do, talk about one extreme to another, obviously working for a charity, when organising anything, the first thing to consider is budget, and we keep that tight, always.  Shaun works for Mercedes - Benz HPP, the guys who make the engines for 4 F1 teams, where money can seemingly appear to be no object.  A Christmas party for 2000, attended by Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Nicki Lauder, Paddy Lowe the list goes on.  The entertainment amongst others was a live set by the Kaiser chiefs!  Again, a great (but late night was had by all!) But, the next day, I was broken, 2 late nights for me at the grand old age of 43 is enough anyway, but on chemo, well maybe 2am at the Mercedes do was just too late!  So 2 days on the sofa ensued.
Then it was back for chemo on Wednesday, all went well again.  todays buddy was Debbie, a friend of mine for oooh, 25 years.  She and Shaun go back even further they went all through school together, she is a great mate to have on board.  Silly as it sounds, it was great to have some "quality time" just to sit down and chat. So that's what we did, and we had a lovely time too!
Then onto the good times again, Lucy and I had managed to score tickets to the BBC radio awards at earls Court, what a night, what music.  We stayed in a hotel in Earls Court so I didn't have to worry about travelling home late at night. Friday morning we had a quick trip into Harrods and then home ion the train.  At Rugby station we met Shaun and my Cousin and his wife and got back on the train to Birmingham to the German Market, what a great place, a few beers were drank (not by me) and a good meal was eaten before returning home.
Then, then I woke up on Saturday feeling like I had been hit by 20 double decker buses, the projectile vomiting and rear end activity swiftly was upon me and that was my weekend.  For the first tome since chemo I had to have extra days off work, I just couldn't risk going in and being at risk of catching others germs.  I suppose though, after all my gallivanting of the last 10 days and the amount of people I had been in contact with something was inevitable.  But, you cant stop living can you? On the contrary, there's nothing like a cancer diagnosis or three to make you realise that you only get one go at life, its there for the bloody taking, you have to live it to the full or what's the point???
Since my last post, we have also had our most humbling experience.  On 4th December it was the 6th anniversary of my mastectomy and reconstruction.  I am a Facebook user, but had not really put anything this time round about my latest diagnosis, but on this day, I decided it was a good opportunity to thank our friends for their support.  So I updated my status, just to mark the anniversary and to thank friends for 6 years of support.  I was not expecting what happened next.....that post received over 70 comments of love and support and offers of help.  We were completely blown away, especially in a time where the news is all doom and gloom, to know that all of these people thought enough of us to take time out of their day to post us a message of support is just the most humbling thing ever.  I've taken screen grabs of all of the messages to print out.  I think, when we have our down days, and we do, they will be a great source of positivity and energy to pull us through.
I often wonder if people realise the positive impact they can have on people in my situation with a simple text or phone call? I have had a few people say to me recently, "oh I never know whether to text or call as I don't know how you are feeling" - well, my answer, always, is "you wont find out how I am until you try",  text me, if im feeling good, I will text back, if Im feeling  crap I will text you back when I feel good. The same if you call.  But what I can guarantee you is - if you do text, or you do call That will lift my spirits 100% whether im feeling good or bad. A bit like the Scream-o-meter on Monsters Inc I suppose.  Its a feel good  factor thing.  On a chemo day I can get up to 15 texts through the day, from my sister, my friends, my in-laws, my cousins, just letting me know that they are thinking of me and that they hope chemo goes well.  Those texts are worth the world to me.  Don't get me wrong, its not a popularity game or anything like that, its just nice to know that people care and people are thinking of me, just as I would return the gesture if god forbid anyone else is in this shit situation. We are all humans, no matter how tough we think we are, we still need the love of our nearest and dearest, we need to know they care, just as we care for them. After this week of watching the news, there definitely needs to be more caring in the world. Lets start that right now!  Well, maybe I will start in the morning, its 2am now, a typical chemo night of insomnia, but as my alarm is set for 6:30 I think I need to try to get some sleep. Its our department Christmas lunch tomorrow so I need to be up and bathed, hair washed and Christmas jumper on and I definitely don't want to fall asleep in my dinner!!!
Catch you all later dudes - enjoy the run up to Christmas, make the most of time with your families - its precious time that you will never get back. EVER.


Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Highs and lows

So its been over a week since ive updated and as there seems to be little sign of me sleeping so far tonight, I thought this could be the best place to be.
Its been a funny week, lots of highs and some lows, but I suppose that is only to be expected.  I had my third chemo last week, my chemo buddy for the day was Corinne, a very good friend of many years.  We actually first acquainted each other at anti natal classes when we were both pregnant with our precious firstborns, who actually came into this world on the very same day way back in July of 1997. We became more friendly when the girls became class mates in year 4, but only on the level of a quick chat when the girls visited each others houses for tea or sleepovers, it was pleasant conversation, but not a friendship. That was until the fateful week of my first diagnosis, I was expecting my results on the Thursday, and Lucy was  due to sleep over at Coz's on the Friday.  I called Coz and explained that I was expecting results and we would like to hopefully go out to celebrate good news on the Friday, but also were aware we could be digesting bad news- so would Lucy be bale to stop at hers? At this point, Coz could have held her hands up and thought "whoa, this is a bit deep for me and backed of from our fledgling friendship, but she did the polar opposite.  She picked me up, promised to help and has done so remarkably ever since. As good eggs go, Corinne is the best, I have never met anyone so giving in my life. My life is certainly much richer with her and her family in it. I am thankful for that every day. So, for chemo number 3 I was treated to private room in the chemo suite, im not entirely sure if that was for my benefit or that of the other patients.  Anyway we got all set up, name, address, postcode, date of birth, hospital number checked. my new super-duper portacath was entered and we were ready to go.  As the first lot of steroids and anti sickness drugs were slowly making their way into my body me lovely nurse entered and asked a favour.  There was a newly diagnosed patient, struggling slightly with how her life had suddenly changed and would I be willing to talk to her.  obviously I was honoured to be trusted so, yeah, bring her in.  "G" came in, dragging her drip behind with her sister, she was visibly upset and in need of some positivity. So Corinne and I went both barrels!  The first pointy to make, which I think is the very ost important, is that in my opinion, we are both in the very best place, with the very best team looking after us.  I wholeheartedly believe that prof Poole and his team are delivering me the best treatment that I could possibly have. I think I said that I would trust him with my life - which is quite handy as that is exactly what I am doing.  But, I will say over and over again, all of the staff at the Arden Centre at UHCW are just the best. I think by the time that part of the conversation finished, our visitors were under no illusion of my thought on that subject!  "G" then went onto explain that she felt like a burden on her friends and family, this of course I related to immediately.  I know I struggle to ask for help, I know how busy peoples lives are, theres work, kids, husbands, school runs etc etc.  As Shaun works nights, its good for him if someone else can take me to chemo, and I have had plenty of offers, but that doesn't make me feel guilty.  Annual leave from work is precious, especially this time of year, there are much better things to be done that sit in a bloody chemo suite. But I am lucky to have wonderful people that are willing to make sacrifices for me, and again,i will be eternally grateful.  Corinne stepped in here too, and although she was talking to G about how she liked to help, it was just amazing for me to listen too, to understand how much it meant to her to be able to help , also explaining that yes, not everyone would want to go to hospital, but those people may like to cook a meal, or come and clean the bathroom or walk the dog - anything, just to be able to help - food for thought indeed, for more tan one person in the room.  we chatted for a while, realkised we lived within 5 miles of each other and vowed to support each other.  We made contact on Facebook and the rest is history.  We were both at chemo today and coincidently in seats next to each other, so checked in had a good chat and arranged a meal out for after our next clashing chemo days. Support like this is invaluable, I desperately try not to burden my family or friends with my fears or doubts, its just not fair, but to be able to talk honestly with someone in the same boat is I suppose just reassuring, that no matter how positive we stay, there will always be niggles, theres no getting away from them, but its up to us to control them.  That nurse Sheila, she is a wise one, she new what she was doing!!  Another act to be thankful for.
Wow, sorry, im going on, its 1:21am  and im not sleepy, so on I go, let me know if this sends you to sleep and at least I will know its working for someone.  Friday was a day of treats for tea, A very wonderful friend/colleague/commute buddy Kate "are you F'ing kidding me" Sawyer  made us the bestest and biggest lasagne and a very old friend of mine and Shauns came round with her fella armed with chips and cream cakes ready for a feast.  the lasagne was the best, the chips were great, the company better and I even managed a beer!  So going into the weekend with so much to be thankful for.   Saturday Bought us breakfast with another couple we are so grateful to have in our lives and then a lovely walk along the canal with our Ralf.
Sunday was much more relaxed, due to the culmination of the Formula one Grand Prix season.  Shaun has worked for Mercedes Benz AMG HPP for 15 years and was not going to miss seeing Lewis Hamilton deservedly win the title, so he was going no where.  I, although willing on Lewis - or Nico to win was going nowhere for a very different reason.  Constipation - my oh my, there is not much else on this earth that feels worse than being bloody constipated. I couldn't sit down, I didn't want to stand up, I didn't know what to eat or drink - just awful, so bad in fact I resorted to doing the ironing (normally reserved for Shauns mum!) just to take my mind off things.  Its not a great subject, but sadly its all part of the deal, have chemo, get constipated.  To cut a very long and uncomfortable story short you will be as relieved as I was when nature took its course on Sunday evening, but not without a few tears - see not as tough as I thought.  But its one of those occasions when you can help thinking that cancer and chemo and all the crap that goes with it is bad enough without this shit (yes, pun intended).  Monday then was just Monday - or as known in this house CrapMonday.  All it can consist of is the sofa, the dog, a duvet and the TV and most importantly sleep. The only thing I need to remove from CrapMonday is the constant craving for a McDonalds (Oh why oh why do they not deliver???)  Then before you know it Crap Monday is over and we are welcoming BetterTuesday.
And so on to the highlights of the week, mainly based around Lucy, who sent in her UCAS form to apply for a university place for next September, and within 5 days my little start had received an offer from all 5 of her choices. How proud are we? The world of Events management will very soon be much richer.  Five years ago, I would have been dismayed at the the thought of her leaving home less than 3 months after her 18thy birthday, but now, though i know we will miss her ridiculously, but you only get one go at life and I will be so proud watching her spread her wings in the big wide world, spreading her infectious personality and zest for life, how could we not want that for her?  Then on Tuesday, she passed her driving theory test with flying colours at the first attempt - this worries me slightly more than going to uni, the theory is we will be sharing my car, a beautiful (nearly vintage) Corsa that's been in the family from new 14 years ago!!!! Go Girl just not too far, or too fast, please.
I think I better wrap up here - im sure you will be grateful for that, if anyone is still with me! I can share the rest of my lovely week at a later date, but I think this week has definitely been a lesson in grabbing hold of the positives and running with them, but also recognising the negatives, because you cant experience something like this without negatives, but I think we have to learn how to deal with them, possibly share them and then move on.
Coz showing true friendship - sharing her hair 2009!

Me and my boy. mad as a box of frogs, but you gotta love him.

Kates yummy lasagne!

The Ralfster

MY Husband, chef, domestic God, Soulmate, everything.

Lucy with a certain World Champion!

Friday, 14 November 2014

Week 3 - Friends

So, we get to week 3, that's one cycle done. Woohoo, and we got there without too much drama.  Well, I say not too much drama, but that doesn't include the slight incident in the hospital car park on Wednesday when I decided to leave my finger in the way when I shut the car door! Nor does it include me stopping 3 people in the car park in their tracks after I replied quite loudly to Shaun after he asked me if I was alright.  Did I look alright? Jumping up and down in the middle of the car park effing and jeffing!. through gritted teeth and fighting back the tears I took myself off to the toilets and very bravely put my bloodied finger under the cold tap and wrapped it in toilet tissue.  I calmly rejoined Shaun in the foyer and we quietly made our way to the coffee shop as we were early for our appointment with Professor Poole.  Shaun sat me down whilst he went to order the coffees.  That's when it hit me, straight between the eyes and the tears started, and boy did they flow. Sure, my finger bloody hurt, but not enough to warrant a meltdown in the middle of a coffee shop, but obviously the finger was the straw that broke the camels back, lets face it, its been quite a rollercoaster over the last few weeks.
Having cancer can be a very humbling experience.  I am very blessed in many areas of my life, and I am lucky to have several very special friends and many wonderful colleagues (a few of whom I class as very good friends).  The week started off on a high when I received a card through the post from my friends and colleagues from my old office up in Kegworth, just them letting me know that they were thinking of me.  Ive had old colleagues contacting me on social media to express their shock at my latest diagnosis, but offering best wishes and support for me.  My phone is constantly beeping with text messages from friends checking on how im doing, how im feeling, do I need anything doing or fetching. Some we have known for over 20 years, some we know through the kids at school or football training - all different areas of our lives, but all with the same kind intentions.
But there is one person missing. My dear Friend Julie sadly lost her battle with cancer on 29th September of this year, two days before I received my latest diagnosis. Julie put up such a brave and dignified fight and she will always hold a very special place in my heart.  We met when our boys played football together but our friendship really took off when we introduced our girls to each other -  our Lucys. Whilst I have lost someone who would most definitely been a friend for life, I know that the lucys have got just that with each other.  When I received my second diagnosis back in March 12, Julie was the first one round, with a box of maltesers and a bunch of flowers.  as i opened the door, she said to me "if you are looking for a rock, its not me, but I can bring you chocolates and flowers" well, she did all three, she was a rock, an incredible one, but sadly just four months later she was diagnosed with cancer of the mouth. 
Whilst on the phone today to a friend I was asked how I was feeling and it was said that it must be hard for me to sometimes talk about how I felt and thats when I suddenly realised just how much I missed Julie, how much I missed that rock.  Its probably considered very unlucky for two close friends to be going through cancer at the same time, but we both took comfort in that.  we could talk so honestly with each other, about our hopes, our fears, our kids, just anything and boy do I miss that. A lot.
Like I said, its a humbling experience, just knowing that people are taking time out form their day to send a text, a tweet, a message or a phone call, such a simple thing, but so gratefully received and a great boost on the rubbish days - or any day for that matter.
Ive had no treatment this week, I got up Tuesday and new it would be a write off, so went to the hospital to get my bloods done, came home, bought the duvet down and there Ralf and I stayed for the day. But Wednesday I got up feeling good and now I have a week of that before I go back for my next chemo on Wednesday. Then the cycle starts again and that merrygo round will continue until the end of March.
But im sat here watching Children in Need and it just hits home - who am I to moan? my life is blessed in so many ways.  Like my nan used to say, "theres always someone worse off than yourself" and aint that the truth.

Friday, 7 November 2014

I survived...

So, its Friday night and im sat snuggly ay home on the sofa with little Ralfy sat to my right, Lucy on the other sofa and Gogglebox on the box - and I feel good.
Its been a tough week, just for a change.  I got to the hospital on time on Wednesday to have my portacath fitted.  I got weighed and blood pressure done etc, then back to my seat to wait for a bit longer.  then I was invited into another room to get changed, the nurse asked where my slippers and dressing gown were!  What? Nobody mentioned them, nobody told me I had to bring them, should i have known? I suppose I should have really, but id spent the last week putting the whole thing out of my head, not planning it with military precision.  Oh well, too late now!  So, to cut a long story short, the op went well and I got home about 4ish, very tired and very sore.
Then it was up again on Thursday to be at the hospital again for 10am.  Today my chemo buddy is Jenny, we met when our boys went to pre school together and have been besties since.  We used to run together in our heyday! in one year we completed 3 half marathons together and look bloody fabulous! Chemo could not have gone smoother than it did, we went in on time, the nurses were very excited abut my Portacath, its a top of the range apparently, that I should be very honoured to have, which obviously I am! By the time we had had the discussion of whether we should do Nandos or Pizza hut for lunch, then the nurse shared with us all the best places in Coventry and Southport to get cheesecakes, chemo was done, just like that.  So easy, so comfortable and actually as pleasant as the whole thing could really be.  That chemo suite really does have something special.  Its nearly six years since I had my first chemo there and I think all the nurses that are there now, were there then, which to me speaks volumes.  In all of the appointments ive had at UHCW, I have never had a bad experience, never spoken to someone who doesn't want to help.  My oncologist is just amazing and my MacMillan Nurse Shelia as just great, so kind and compassionate and so helpful.  they really do make this awful experience manageable.  Oh, and by the way, Nandos and Pizza Hut both lost out to a lovely local tearooms in Dunchurch called The Nook.  if you've never been, you need to!
Weve not got much planned for the weekend, a nice quiet one, hopefully that way by Monday I will be back to normal energy levels etc ready for my chemo free week. These are the weeks we have to make the most of.
Well, im unsually short of words tonight, maybe my bed is calling. So I will enter the weekend knowing that I am one cycle down on this latest Chemo journey and hopefully only 5 to go...that will be done before we know it.
Have a good weekend all.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Week 2 - side effects and proudness!!

So, here we go again.  I had my first chemo last Wednesday. Eribulin its called, it comes in a nice clear rectangular pouch and only takes a wonderful 6 minutes to be infused into me.  6 minutes that will hopefully give me many more years on this planet.  Well, obviously a few more rounds of six minutes, but still, its not much to ask is it.  Though, its not six minutes, two weeks out of three, for 6 cycles is it?  the six minutes is the easy bit, sitting in the chemo ward, eating biscuits, drinking coffee, surrounded by the most wonderful, dedicated and hardworking nurses, supported by my ever supporting husband, or one of my truly amazing friends who has taken time out their busy life to come and support and even entertain me through the chemo suit hours.  The hard bit is the bit between the infusions- at home, at work, in the car, in the supermarket, with that nagging thought all of the time - is it working?  That's the mental part, theres also the physical part.  So what can Eribulin do to me?  Well, quite a lot apparently. It can cause constipation (It did!), it can cause diarrhoea (It certainly did!).  There is also tiredness, yep, I got that, but I have a comfy bed, so cope well with that one. There is also loss of appetite, ive never had a problem with that and don't intend to start now. Im built for comfort and that's the way I like it.  Anyhow, ive noticed the pattern of whenever I try to get fit and start a new regime, the cancer comes back, so maybe running isn't that good for you hey?? (I love running and have lost 2 precious stones this year running and getting fit and thank god I did!) Any way, I digress, back to side effects because they are a laugh a minute and I need all the laughs I can get right now...Feeling or being sick, yep, had that yesterday, at work, not great, so luckily just came home and went to bed. ( I have the most understanding employers who could not treat me better, so more on them beauties later).  Headaches, yep, that was yesterday too.  Plantar syndrome -ooh I had that with my first ever chemo, its nasty, and im sure will rear its ugly head further along this treatment plan, but will give me the best excuse to embarrass the kids by buying myself a pair of Nike Air Max - for the comfort obviously, not the street cred. So there's a fair bit there, and ive not even covered the dizziness, eye problems, taste changes, liver changes, sore mouth blah blah blah.
But, id go through all of that everyday if it keeps me on this planet as Im sure we all would. 
Tomorrow I have a new adventure to contend with.  I have to be at the Hospital at 7:30 to have a Portacath fitted as my veins are shot due to all the previous chemo ive had.  At the moment my veins retract as soon as they here the packaging rip on a cannula so it can take quiet a few attempts to get the needles in to be able to administer the saline, anti-sickness drugs, steroids and chemo, so the simple procedure tomorrow will take all of the added stress away on each chemo visit. But, its still another op, another little thing to stress about. Another day the kids have to go to school knowing that im at hospital having another procedure.  If there is one question that I have asked myself over and over again over the last 6 years its "what have these 2 ever done to deserve having to watch there mum go through this?" and obviously im under no illusion - I know im not the only one going through this.  James was 10 and Lucy 12 when I was first diagnosed, sometimes I wonder if they can remember life without cancer in it. The first time I was diagnosed, Lucy had just started her senior school, the second time was her GCSE year and now she is in her A level year, but she never fails to amaze me, her GCSE results were amazing and so were her AS levels and now we are looking at Unis and she takes it all in her stride.  I know she worries, she is older now, and shes not daft, but she is my girl, we have a great bond and we will continue for may years to do "our thing" - we go to concerts together.  Our first one was S Club 7 when she was 6 and our next one is The BBC Radio awards in December, with so many inbetween.  Weve seen McFly countless times, Mcbusted, Girls Aloud, Lady Gaga and so may more, its our thing and we love it.  Now James, James is a chip off the old block, my mini me. He has my wit and my sarcasm and uses them well!  He is the one to go to for cuddles and to get life into perspective.  He is a bright boy, so they told us today at school, but lazy, could try harder, could do better, just needs to apply himself - it all sounds a little to  familiar, but I have no worries, the boy will go far.  Then there is Shaun, poor Shaun, he is a quiet unassuming bloke, he doesn't say much, but bloody hell does he step up to the plate. He is my rock, my mate, my nurse, my cook, my cleaner, my chauffeur and many other things.  He rarely complains, he just does.  He is not great with words, he would be the first to admit that (not out loud obviously!), but he does everything else.  The guy deserves a medal, well probably a thousand medals - and one day I will get them for him (hopefully melted down and reformed into a campervan!!). I know for sure that he has looked after me soooo much better than I could have ever looked after him had the shoe been on the other foot and for that I will always be eternally grateful.  I think that has been my biggest bugbear with this whole cancer malarkey, so much is done for the patients, I have had nothing but first class treatment at UHCW, my friends and family, my work and colleagues have all been amazing, but I always feel sorry for Shaun.  He is the one picking up the pieces, making the drinks for visitors, getting the kids to school, work or football practice, ensuring homework is done, etc etc etc as well as still doing his own job.  The guy is a f@@king hero and I will shout it from the rooftops until he is recognised for it. (I did write to Surprise Surprise last year to do just that, and they even phoned me, but I never heard again, so I think on that occasion my wit and humour sadly let me down, maybe I should have asked them to talk to James!)
Holy crap, look at the time.  I have to be up in 7 hours to go get operated on and ive just remembered ive not introduced you to my other steady companion - my Ralfy. He is a golden cocker spaniel, the most handsome one ever and the best four legged friend ever, but you can hear more about him next time.  I need to get some kip so im looking my best for the anaesthetist tomo - see you all on the other side.

Here we go again...

So, today, 29th October 2014 is my son, James's 15th birthday.  But, instead of getting up early and waiting for him to get up out of his teenage stupor some time mid morning, my husband and I will be leaving home at 8.20 to get to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) for a 9am appointment.  Its a 9am appointment in the Arden Centre, the amazing chemotherapy suite at UHCW.  I cant quite believe that we are going back there - again. 
Its my third time into the world of chemotherapy and all the crap that comes with it.  I was first diagnosed in Oct 2008 and after a mastectomy and reconstruction I had 6 months of chemotherapy. I had 4 rounds of FEC and then 4 rounds of Taxatere.  From what I remember FEC made me feel incredibly sick and tired, but Taxatere made me feel about 95 - and tearful. That was followed by 5 solid weeks of radiotherapy, which I didn't think was too bad, I seemed to come away form that pretty unscathed. I then very happily was in remission for 2.5 years, and was happily ticking off the months. .  Then in March 2012, after complaining of shoulder pain, I was told that the cancer was back, and this time it meant business.  It had metastisised in my lungs, a lymph node in my neck and also one in my shoulder.  This was incredible bad news - the day before my 41st birthday I was told that my "situation could be managed for 2 years" at first I thought that meant 2 solid years of treatment, but the penny finally dropped. But, lady luck was on my side, with 12 rounds of Gem-Carb and something not short of a miracle a scan in January 2013 showed NED - no evidence of disease.  Im not sure how that happened, but I'll take that. I will take my life back with both hands a run with t thanks.  so that's what I did.  Shaun and I celebrated our 20th Wedding anniversary in May and life was good, we were making plans.
But then, in August this year, I didn't feel right, I cant put my finger on how I felt, but I knew I wasn't right.  So I called my wonderful nurse who got me an appointment with my Onc and the rest they say  - again, is history.  After a bone scan, a CT scan and a PET scan it was confirmed that the bloody cancer is back. In two places, not one, but two. Yippy-f'ing -do, my hat-trick of cancer diagnosis.
So in a nutshell, that's my story so far, jampacked and full of fun!!
Im hoping this blog will help those also affected by this shit disease - and maybe also me.  Its hard to sometimes say how you feel, some one asks how you are and the default is generally "yeah, Im ok".   Im fully aware of the worry I cause those close to me - why add to it? what good would it do any one? Would it help?  Who knows - who knows what is right and what is wrong. Indeed, what is right for one could be totally wrong for another.  As if life isn't hard enough without all this crap added in!  So over the next few months I will be here sharing my latest instalment, my thoughts, my fears, my hopes and dreams (I will try not to share too many constipation or sickness stories!) - and if it helps just one person that's great, if not, at least its kept me occupied.