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!
MY Husband, chef, domestic God, Soulmate, everything.
Lucy with a certain World Champion!