Tuesday, 13 December 2016

That's round 2 done and dusted.
Before you start reading - I apologise for any typos, I like to just type and then post, no reading back, that way, you get to read how my brain works, a proper ramble as apposed to a finely honed one.

So I was reminded today that I hadn't updated my blog in a little while, so here I am doing as im told updating my blog.  We had time to chat today about said blog as my wonderful friend Emma took me to my 2b session of chemo today, so very kind of her, but she will do anything on the promis of a cheeky Nandos.  Anyhow, the day started by here picking me up at 8:30 am, negotiating all the bloody road works in and around Rugby and a very slow M6, we got into the car park of UHCW at about 9:10, plenty of time to park for a 9:30 appointment. Well it would be if they had anywhere near enough parking spaces at that place to facilitate all of the cars that need to use the bloody car park!  So in the end Emma had to let me out so I could register in the Arden Centre - the nice blue building for the cancer people, and I ahd to abandon my dear friend in the battle field of a carpark fighting with the other 20 drivers to get the one available space. That, my friends is the true dedication of a friend right there.  Anyway, I went to register, for my 9:30 appointment, only to be told that my chemo brain had obviously got the better of me this week as my appointment was actually at 12! oh, bugger, that cant be right, so I checked my diary on my phone, oh bugger, that says its ats 1:30, so to be perfectly honest, at this stage im just feeling lucky that im in the right place on the right day.  So as Emma walkied into the building proud that she has driven strong and musceled her Focus into some kind of space I had to tell her we had a bit of a wait - or we abandoned ship and headed to Frankie and Bennies for breakfast.  at this point you may notice that food plays a HUGE part in chemo day  - and quite rightly so, im going to be constipated for the next five days so I may as well be full of nice stuff! Anyway, we were rescued after a half hour wair by the outstandingly amazing staff in the Arden centre who found me a chair in the chemo suite ans swiftly got on with my treatment.  The nurse Lorraine has treated me many time before (well the odds are high as at a rough guess this was chemo number 49), so we had a chuckle at me chemo brain etc, but she crammed me into her already busy morning, for which we were very grateful.  So I was quickly plugged in, anti sickness and steroids pumped in and then in went the poison, jobs a good'un and we were out and in the car by 1 and back at rugby nandos by 1:20.  Not a bad way to spend a morning, noted, there are musgh better ways to spend quality time with a great friend, but like she pointed out, its better to be getting life saving drugs than shopping, and i raise my hat to that.  Im here to spend another Christmas with my family and friends and there is no better feeling.  Ho Ho Ho and all that schnizzle.
So as I said early tioday was chemo 2b, that means it was the second dose in the second cycle. for those of you not yet asleep, may be aware enough to know I should be further into this regime by now, but ive had a rocky road over the last month.  I had the foirst two chemos without any bother and felt ok after them intome for the second cycle to start. so I had my bloods taken the day before the second cycle should have started and then happily went to work. But shortly after lunch I got a call from the arden centre to say my white blood count was too low.  It was at a point that had they given me chemo ,my immune system would be heavily compromised and I would be open to all kinds of infection and then not have the ability to fight anything off, so just not safe for chemo. So the plan was to have a weeks break then to enable the count to increase in time for the following week. so I went back the following Monday, got my bloods done and went to work.  I left work at four, happy that the Arden centre had not called and confident that chemo would go ahead the following day. Pah, all good plans, as soon as I walked in the door at home, the phone went and sure enough, the news that my bloods had actually worsenened. Bugger, bugger, bugger. only one thing for it, take to the sofa, so I did for 4 days, I behaved impeccably but also had 5 days worth of injections to self administer to help increase my white count.  Self administering, I can do, ive done it before, and by a stroke of luck I have a scar strechong from hip to hip form my reconstruction that still has areas of numbness, so I pick the target carefully and don't feel a thing.  The injections help draw white blood cells from my bone marrow and circulate them into my blood stream, great mews for my blood stream, not so great for my bone marrow.  The only way I can describe how this makes my body feel is to compare myself to a cartoon character, one that gets hit my a baseball bat ans shatters like glass into a gazillion pieces.  Fragile is probably the most apt word, but the bootom of my spin acroos the top of my hips ans the tops of my arms feel like this, so sore and fragile. the strangest feeling ever.  Luckily, I am a model patient, so none of my family have yet felt the need to use said baseball bat on me!  But, as luck would have it, the injections worked a treat and I was goo do to for chemo, the following week (last week).  I saw the most wonderful Professor Poole before treatment started, and he was happy with ow things were going, my white blood count had risen very well, infact form 2.3 to a very impressive 27, with 3 being the norm, so I hopefully have quite a buffer now to carry me through the next few treatments. My CA-125 results were also showing good signs, with a good reduction, this count is used to moniter the level of cancer in my body and is reducing at a good rate, which is fab and definitely helps me sleep at night. 
As you may expect, ive not been100% good, ive still been working - well why wouldn't I? I don't want to stay home being billy no mates and eating myself silly.  Ive also had a couple of days out to London, taking in the Beautiful musical - the story of carole king, a must for any theatre lover,but take a good friend, these occasions are always more enjoyable spent with special people, and also a wonderful carol concert at a church in Sloane Square for the equally wonderful Childrens Air ambulance, followed two days later by one at Leicester catherdral for our local air ambulance services, I am always honoured to be involved with these types of events, im lucky to have a job I love.  as a family, we also managed a trip to the seaside to see family for a weekend, which was just fab. Lots of laughs and huge hugs and of course donuts on the sea front.  Ive also had an electronic drum kit bought me for Christmas and been brave enough to take my seventeen year old son out for driving lessons, and been very fortunate that our daughter thinks nothing of driving home from Sheffield to cheer me up on my bad days - though she did have a good incentive this weekend,  Shaun has worked for Mercedes AMG-HPP for nearly 18 years and they always give their staff the most amazing Christmas parties, and I missed my first one last Saturday,taking the sensible option of Donimoes and a a Christmas movie night on the sofa, but Shaun took the perfect replacement in Lucy.  As an events management student - what better event to give her incentive to succeed, a lavish, no expense spared venue, free food and drinks and the chance to mingle with the drivers and management of the greatest F1 team everand even a guest appearance by Dizzy rascal!!   This weekend we are going to see my sister, B-I-L and nephew for a Lancastrian Christmas again lots of hugs, probably as many tears, good food, good alcohol for the others, but at least a day on the sofa for me, but one spent with loving family never the less.  I have been given yet another shot at my life and whilst I appreciate the importance of looking after myself, I also have to live that life, make memories and have a bloody good time with those I love most and the ones who want to make memories with me. You only get one shot at life kids - we need to make the very most of it. 
So, chemo is back on track, the lovely Prof Poole is giving me Christmas off, so no more until 3rd Jan, freeing me up for a Christmas, Shauns birthday and New year of feeling good (and hopefully able to enjoy a rum or two!).  Thnaks once again for reading, just incase I don't update before the big day, I wish you all a very happy and healthy Christmas and New Year.
Lots of Love
PS. I have to confess to having some help with the writing of this blog, photographic evidence supplied..

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