Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Keep Calm and Carry On

Last Thursday’s visit to Maidstone went according to plan with the usual long delays of over an hour. My lovely nurse Jan was back from holiday so all was in order. Friday was another hospital visit – this time to St Barts in London. We had a good chat with doctor there and they are now going to communicate with the team at Maidstone. My next appointment at St Barts is at the end of May after my next scan has been done.

We stayed in London overnight. We met up with my brother & partner for a drink and a curry on Friday evening. Excellent food.  It was good to see them again and chat about their recent holiday in Australia.

We came home on Saturday – no retail therapy this time as I was not feeling too good and rather breathless.  

I had another visit to Maidstone Hospital on Tuesday for my 3 weekly review with the Dr in charge of the trial. Only 1 hour and 15 mins delay today. My blood pressure was sky high (I wonder why?) We had a chat and discussed my increasing breathlessness. I am also being referred to the MacMillan nurse team at my local hospice as I am now beginning to get more symptomatic. This will also be good for Alan to have a professional to give advice as and when needed. The Dr thought that things were on a fairly even keel at the moment. I will see him again in 3 weeks after my next scan. In his words ‘Keep Calm & Carry On’.

Today I had a Shiatsu massage at the supportive therapies unit in Canterbury. This was soooo relaxing I was almost dozing off  zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. I enjoyed it so much I have booked another 2 sessions. Following this we went for lunch at Michael Caines restaurant at the Abode, Canterbury. We enjoyed their lunchtime ‘Amazing Graze Menu’.  We popped into M&S to pick up a pizza for tea and then headed home – again my breathlessness prevented my usual shopping activities.

The grandies continue to keep us buoyed up. I (and I suspect Alan too) have been taking sneaky peeks of lovely Lilah at her Kinder College. She now has her bottom teeth and is attempting to stand unaided. What a little star she is. Gorgeous Ethan got his first ‘little ducklings’ swimming badge this week! He is the only one in his group of 8 who will jump in the pool from a standing position! Why does this worry me?  I love you both.

Tess x

Asbestos exemption to 'no-win, no-fee' changes

I have not gone for a compensation claim against my employer as yet. Something else to think about. However the ruling will help so many meso sufferers. Pleased to see teachers get a mention. Tess x

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Greg, Guitars and Good news.

I had my weekly trial treatment at Maidstone on Thursday . No delays but once again my pre-meds had not been prescribed - just as well I know what I should be having. 
We went up to London on Saturday to celebrate my cousin Greg’s 50th birthday.  It was so good to meet up with family again.  The Clarks and Parkers are special people. I was a bit emotional as I thought I might never see some of these lovely people again.  Thank you Greg & Julia for being such good hosts – the food and wine were top notch and Isaac & Ruben were brilliant.  Thank you Clare for the cake – there is a fair bit of alcohol in it! I love you all.
We stayed overnight with friends Tony & Roz - thanks for your hospitality too – two duvets were much appreciated.

On the way home we dropped in for coffee with the Enfield Classical Guitar Society – they were having a workshop day.  It was lovely to see them all again looking so fit and well. I have never kissed so many ‘gentlemen’ in such a short space of time!  Keep practicing my friends (the guitar not the kissing).   I have a little quote for you all:

‘Life is a journey – with strings attached’

I was very upset this week to find that I can no longer get medical insurance that will cover me for Canada. I was hoping to be at my granddaughter’s 1st birthday celebrations in June. I think we tried all the insurance companies that deal with terminal cancer. I am too a high a risk and only 4 weeks out of chemo. This is one target I really wanted to meet. Thanks to all my mesowarrier friends for help and advice.

UPDATE Tim, Anna & beautiful Lilah are coming to me!!!!! Watch this space.The dark clouds are lifting already.

I have my weekly trial at Maidstone tomorrow and an appointment with the consultant at St Barts hospital on Friday. I need to know what’s next  in terms of treatment – I like to keep ahead of the game if possible. Tess x

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

A mixed bag

Well the usual chaos at Maidstone and some... My appt was 2.30 but had a phone call around midday saying I needed a full blood test before the pharmacy will make the drug. I was told last week by research nurse that I did not a blood test as the chemo had now finished. So we had a quick bite to eat and dashed over to Maidstone - just over an hours drive. Had blood test and then had to wait almost 2 hours for results before pharmacy would release the drug. A case of right hand not knowing what left hand is doing! Then my pre-meds (piriton and hydrocortizone) had not arrived so they had to bleep a doctor to prescribe them. So after a 2 hour delay I received my treatment. Got caught up in rush hour traffic around Maidstone on our way out. Apart from that all is well. 

We visited Jon, Gaby and Ethan over the weekend.  Ethan made us a card which reduced me to tears – silly Nana! It was lovely to be with them as always. 

Arsenal won on Saturday so Alan & Jon both happy Easter bunnies.

Little Lilah  has been poorly  - some nasty virus picked up at ‘Kinder college’. Anna also caught it and was much worse than Lilah.  Hope both are now on the mend.  Happy Birthday for tomorrow Anna!

Went to the optician today – have been having mega visual problems since the last regime of chemo. Well the upshot is that I have cataracts in both eyes – thought to have been caused by chemo and steroids. There were no signs of this when I last went to the same optician in May 2011. Ain’t life grand!  So I don’t need my varifocals any more as my distance vision is now near perfect (after 50+years).  I have some new glasses for close work on order. The optician spoke of having an operation some time in the future. We’ll see.

So a bit of a mixed bag this week.  Thanks for popping by. Tess x

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Busy Week

It has been a busy week. As I have my hospital treatment on a Thursday we could not celebrate Alan’s birthday on the day. So on Friday we went to Winchester. The glorious weather meant that we could get out and about. We had a walk around the town, lunch in Weatherspoons and a fabulous evening meal in the Hotel du Vin where we stayed. Having topped up with a full English breakfast on Saturday we took the bus to Whitchurch Silk Mill – still working and very interesting to see all the different stages of making silk fabric. After lunch we headed back to Winchester and went to the City Mill –now a National Trust property, had a walk along the River Test, and a tour around the Cathedral. I was fairly tired by now so I returned to the hotel and left Alan to visit The Great Hall and Round Table. Another excellent evening meal was enjoyed in the Old Vine where Alan also got some good local ale. On Sunday we returned home via Tunbridge Wells – not too much of a detour but I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to see my darling Ethan (and his mum & dad). Having re-charged the batteries on Monday we headed over the Channel to France for the day on Tuesday. The vino had been pre-ordered which saved time and we enjoyed a good lunch in Le Blanc Nez Sangatte followed by a shop in Auchan for cheese and beer. So a few more targets met and Alan’s birthday celebrated.
Tomorrow is treatment day again – Thursdays come round very quickly.
Hope you all have a good Easter break and that the sun shines in  your world. Tess x

The blossom photos  at top of page were taken in Winchester.