Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Good News and This and That

Well I have got to the end of another chemo regime – a few hiccups this time but we made it. The hair loss and visual problems still persist but hopefully these will be resolved in time. I had a review with the consultant at Maidstone today who reported that my cancer was ‘stable’. This is the best news for me. Awaiting scan results is perhaps one of the most stressful situations imaginable. Your life can change in a matter of moments depending on what is reported. Planning your life between scans is so hard – for me while I am still on the drug trial involves 6 weeks at a time. So I was asked if I wished to stay on the trial or not. Of course I said yes – doing nothing when I have a choice is not an option. At some point I will not have any more choices. So we embark on the new phase of treatment – trial drug/placebo without backup chemo.  This will continue as a weekly infusion at good old Maidstone with a review every 3 weeks and a scan after 6 weeks. While the disease is not progressing treatment will continue.

We had a fun weekend with my brother & partner – lots of laughs. They are off to Australia on Thursday to visit Norma’s son Nick who now lives there. Have a great time my little possums!
Bernie brought a bottle of 1963 port to help celebrate Alan’s birthday which is on Thursday. Between them they finished it in one evening!

Yesterday I spent a very emotional hour or so watching my little 9 month old granddaughter on her first day at ‘college’  - Kinder College in Canada. They have a web cam set up for parents and grandparents only to look in at any time. Very secure. This is her ‘induction week’ before mum returns to work at the beginning of April. I must say little Lilah seems to be attracting the boys already! Silly old Nana has got through a box of tissues! Ain’t technology wonderful!

My darling grandson Ethan continues to grow and develop at an alarming rate – this week has seen him overseeing the planting of a vegetable plot and the painting of 2 Adirondack (Muskoka) chairs!

I am taking Alan to Winchester for his birthday and then a trip to France next week. While the weather is good and I am good we need to pack in what we can.

Listened to the Supremes and Dionne Warwick on the ipod travelling too and from Maidstone today – brilliant!

Onwards and Upwards. Tess x

Monday, 19 March 2012

A Good Week

It has  been a good week.
We had some friends visit last week from Enfield – great to see you Harry, Jacky and Ray. We visited the Turner Contemporary Gallery in Margate to see their current exhibition – Turner and the Elements. Turner is not my favourite artist – I have a theory that all his sploggy skies cover a multitude of mistakes! 
The flowers you brought Jacky are stunning now – all the buds have opened.
Tuesday’s and Thursday’s hospital trips to Maidstone were  fine – just the usual delays which we have learned to live with. I had the trial drug and Day 1 of  the last chemo session. I have Day 8’s chemo this Thursday and then it is finished.
Mother’s Day was just perfect. I opened an email from my granddaughter in Toronto wishing me a Happy NanaTess Day – such a clever girl for 9 months old.

I received a lovely bouquet from them later in the morning. The flowers are shown on the top of this blog entry. Then a Skype call in the evening – they were all looking so happy.
To complete my perfect day my son Jon and grandson Ethan came to visit. How gorgeous Ethan is now – running everywhere and great fun – I allowed him to splash the water in the birdbath and he loved it but got soaking wet (he doesn’t yet understand ‘gentle’). Anyway he had a change of clothes so no problem and I have found I can get away with anything now and no one tells me off! Received more pressies – a hand (or rather foot) painted pot from Ethan and some scrummy bath products from Jon – thanks guys.

Alan (just call him Masterchef) cooked a great roast pork lunch for us all – it was yummy!

Here is a photo of Jon, Ethan and myself.

Today was another gloriously sunny one so we decided to take a trip into Canterbury – some retail therapy and a fab lunch in Carluccio’s. It was lovely to see all the daffodils open and dancing in the breeze all around the city walls.
So yes it has been a very good week – lots of fun and lots of laughs.
Tomorrow sees the start of another busy few days medical wise – blood tests, CT scan, drug trial and the final chemo session.Onwards and Upwards!
Tess x

Thursday, 8 March 2012


Trial day today. Appointment 12.30 pm. Called on-time - no problems. Meds all in order.  Thank you Maidstone - what a difference when things go according to plan.
Sun is shining! Beach Boys on the ipod! Surf's up! Perfick! Tess x

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Maidstone Madness continues.

I resumed my treatment today – trial and chemo. On my computer printout list I have a 2pm appointment. Left home at 12.30 and arrived at hospital comfortably at 1.40pm. Checked in and sat down and waited and waited and .... We are accustomed to delays so we were not unduly concerned. At 3pm Alan asked at the desk how long was the delay (nothing is ever posted) and he was told they are running late and we would be called. At 3.45 Alan asked again – we were getting concerned that the trial drug would expire again as it did before (it is only active for 4 hours). The lady at the desk suggested that Alan went down to chemo unit and enquire there. Off he toddles only to return 5 minutes later ‘Houston we have a problem’! My printout reads 2pm appointment – their computer system reads 4 pm appointment! We went in search of Karen (research nurse) and although scheduling is not part of her role she went to investigate....
Yes they had changed the appointment yesterday.
No they do not know why it was changed.
No they had not informed me of the change.
They do not know why I was not informed.
They do not know who changed it.
Karen suggested we complain to PALS.
So treatment finally got underway and we arrived back home just before 7pm.
Please tune in for next week’s episode of ‘Maidstone Madness’.