Thursday, 28 May 2015

Thats it -chemo is done!

What better day than today to update the blog? Today I had my 16th dose of chemo since starting this third lot on Oct 29th.  It been quite intense and has most definitely become harder as the time has gone on, but its done now. Thanks goodness. To be honest though, today is the easy bit of any chemo cycle, I had great company with me again, in the form of my great friend Emma Brown.  We had a great time nattering away, we actually didn't even notice the nurse coming along and starting the chemo off!!!  The day stated off great with Emma turning up at mine with a new tshirt for me to wear, declaring my a "chemo grad" so I proudly wore it all day.   I asked her if we could stop at Tesco on the way to the hospital as I wanted to get some cakes to take to the nurses, but she shocked me by already having an amazing cake made by JJS Cakes for the nurses, so we took it in and they were overjoyed by the gesture and even more so once they tasted the cake!!
So chemo is done, what next?  Well tomorrow I am having a visit form an old school friend ive not seen for a year or two, so that will be great, then tomorrow night we have James football presentation and hopefully over the weekend a visit form my cousin, who will help Shaun lay some new decking in the garden.  Then we have the FA cup, my team Aston Villa against James' team Arsenal.  To be honest I think the cup will be going back to London, I just hope the Villians put up a good fight.
Then Sunday, the fun begins, when I say fun, I suppose I really mean shit! I probably wont even have the energy to get out of bed on Sunday, my mouth with start to feel all slimy inside, my appetite will go, I will feel sick and repulsed at any foody smells that come up the stairs, but I think worst of all I become very intolerant of people!  its really quite horrible, I just want to be in my own bubble and left alone.  That includes my wonderful family, I just cant bare form them to see me in such a rubbish way and just don't like being bothered.  it just takes so much effort to answer questions, even if they are just asking how I am or if I want a drink, its just so much effort to reply, which is just horrible. This will go on until probably about Friday.  Monday and Tuesday will feel worse, my appetite will be non existent and even knowing what to drink is a struggle as my stomach feels so sensitive.  So all I can say now, is roll on next Saturday when hopefully I will start picking up and then I can get on with the rest of my life.
So, how do I feel about the rest of my life? Honestly? I cant bloody wait to get back to normal again, to get back to work, to get running again, to be bale to walk my lovely dog , every thing chemo has robbed me of.  But all for a good reason, the chemo has worked and is giving me the opportunity to keep living. so that's what I will do, but with more vigour, enthusiasm and zest than ever before. But I will always be doing it whilst glancing over my shoulder.  My medical team have left me in no doubt that the cancer will return, it just a matter of when, so I have to be extra vigilant and be checking my body all the time for new lumps or bumps and aches and pains.  So as much as we want life to carry on as normal, there will always be that niggle that cancer could be rearing its ugly head.  But I am sure that will my vigilance and the superb team I have behind me at the hospital and the good reaction to chemo I seem to have we will beat the bastard again.  Though secretly I am hoping that at 3-0 to me the little bugger may just take the hint and not bother coming back. fingers crossed on that one!!
So onto cheerier news, I mentioned at the end of my last blog that I was a finalist in the Rugby FM pride of Rugby awards and im very pleased to say that I won the "Citizen of the Year "award.  What an amazingly proud moment, and all of the family were there too, which was great.  So now I have to think of something - a fundraising event that I can do to commemorate the award.  Any suggestions gratefully received.
Well that's me knackered for the night, I will be back, once im over the hibernation period next week.
I would appreciate any feedback you could give me about this blog - is it ok? is it boring? does it help you understand chemo more? is there anything also you think I could pass on?  Please let me know.

Good health and happiness to you all.


Wednesday, 6 May 2015

So, its been a long time, but its been event full!
Well, what have I been up to in the long months since I last posted here?
Most importantly three weeks ago I had another PET scan, which showed, amazingly that there once again is NO EVIDENCE OF DISEASE in my body. ha, take that cancer, i've kicked your sorry ass again. 3-0 to me, please get the message now and don't come back.  If a hatrick in football wins you the match ball, then I think i've just won life. it doesn't get much better than that.
I wont lie, we had a turbulent time getting to this point, in Jan I was near the end of the chemo course started on Oct so had a scan, but that showed that the chemo wasn't really being effective, it had got rid of the cancer in my shoulder, but had had no effect on the cancer behind my chest wall and even more worrying a new nodule had appeared once again in my neck. this, to be honest was the worst I had ever felt, how could new cancer grow on chemo?  this was not part of the plan. Not at all.  The tears flowed, the protection of the nearest and dearest went into overdrive, not quite telling the truth, but enough o justify the change in drug that was imminent.  I hate to think of those around me worrying, just knowing that I have cancer is enough for some, so I try to spare the details and the scary stuff, especially with out parents and the children. I wan the kids to live as kids and have a worry free life and enjoy their time, they worry when they see me being sick and lying on the sofa for 4-5 days at a time, as parents we need to protect them form all the other crap.  same with the oldies too, they are banned from the house on my bad days, as are most people, I just couldn't bear for them to see me so low - and to be perfectly honest, I cant even be arsed to speak anyway.  Shaun has a hard time those days as do the kids, between them they must ask me fifty time in the day if im ok?, if I need anything? a hot drink? a cold drink? something to eat? anything?  I just about grunt at them, part of me just wants to scream -"I cant be arsed to answer you, I don't want anything, leave me alone" but I cant, they mean well and care so much, so I carry on grunting!!  So the change of drugs, I was within the finish line of the first drug, I should have finished it on Feb 17th, but instead at the end of Jan I started a new round of 6 cycles of a mixture of two drugs ive had before. 3 weeks per cycle so I finish in 28th May and it cant come soon enough now.  The day I have chemo is day one, I don't mind chemo days, I have good chemo buddies, all of whom I love dearly. We have a good time, the nurses are fab and its a day I know I have to do to stay on this beautiful planet. Days 2 and 3 I feel fine,then comes day 4, tiredness hits, I probably just stay in bed, the safest place as my tolerance levels nosedive, so its me and the dog in bed with regular check ups from my 3 carers. Then Days 5-8, well shit doesn't cover it. my mouth goes awful, a white film covering the inside, rendering me with no taste at all and struggling with what to eat and drink, hot Ribena and Mcdonalds milkshake often do the trick, but that's about it. my appetite is totally diminished which is very not me! I swing quickly from a day of constipation to days of diahorea and am basically a zombie on the sofa watching crap TV, I cant watch my favourite programs as I have no concentration and just keep nodding off. so basically its 4 or 5 days of not really being on the planet I so desperately want to be a part of. but its worth it, evry minute of it, to get that clear scan. I couldn't wish for more.  The tears of relief flowed when I got the call, I had to wake shaun from his night shift slumber, the relief for us both was just immense. I let him go back to sleep before I made the round of phone calls to tell the world once again I was cancer free. Again the love shown back to us was mind blowing and I will never forget it.  Obviously, we wnet to our local with friends to celebrate, first off with a pint on the house - thanks The Bell. then we got the news that a friend in Cambridge had called to the pub and put £20 behind the bar for us - this was a lady we have met once, on a trek last year for Breakthrough Breast Cancer but stayed in touch with on Facebook. Was an amazing, kind and thoughtful thing to do, people can just be so wonderful and amazing. Thank you Katie.
So what's next, well, top of the list, is obviously staying alive. Then Lucy has A levels and turns 18 in July, an event that one my first diagnosis in 2008, I honestly didn't think I would see, so that needs to be a big event culminating in a trip to Barcelona. If there's one regret in life I have, its not travelling enough, we live in a beautiful country that we have only seen a fraction of and on an intriguing planet that we have seen even less off, so we need to travel more, starting somehow by investing in a VW camper to investigate Britain and then see how much of the world we can see, but where to start. luckily, I just love making plans, so will be in my element!
I cant finish this post without referring to the amazing TV program from Sunday night "The C Word" the most compelling 90 minutes of Tv I have ever seen, so well written and brilliantly acted, a great mix of hard hitting truths and humour that had us howling. The relationship between Lisa and her brother was great. If you dint see it, its so worth watching on catch up, just such an inspiring bit of TV for once.
Well ive rabbited on again too much, I blame the steroids, why else would I be awake at 2:14am and on a chemo day, I will be the first one at the Polling station at his rate. 
Thanks for reading, I hope it gives you some sort of insight into my life at the moment, and thanks for all of the support shown to us, we honestly couldn't manage it without you all.
Big hugs and lots of love  Kerry. (thats Cancer-free-Kerry!!!)
Ooh, I also forgot to mention, I have been nominated by some very kind friends for Citizen of the Year at the Pride of Rugby awards and am a finalist. so fingers crossed for me please on 15th May. xx
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