Thursday, 25 April 2013

Out of hiberation

It has been brought to my attention by my trusty friend Raymond that I have been somewhat lax in updating the blog. The truth is that my current chemo regime has knocked the stuffing out me and I just couldn't summon up the energy!. I am doing OK and have just got through cycle 3. Today the sun is shining, the plants are sprouting and flowering and Spring has arrived here in Kent, and a visit from Ray and Jacky added a few more rays of sunshine! I still have 3 more chemo cycles to do. Cycle 4 is scheduled for next week. Thank you for all your thougthts, emails, cards, jokes and good wishes. I will try and update next week after my visit to oncologist. Keep walking with me.
Tess x

Monday, 1 April 2013

Regime 3 Cycle 2

14th March
I seem to have missed posting this blog entry so somewhat late and updated here it is!
Starting with the beautiful flowers I received for Mother's Day.

Had appt with oncologist on Monday in Canterbury. Did not see her but her registrar. A very nice young man and I mean young. I could have been his mum and at a push possibly his grandmother! He called me 'an old pro' which made me smile :) He was concerned about the side effects especially the fatigue going on for so long. The upshot is that cycle 2 will reduce the dosage of both drugs by 20%. He will see me again after cycle 2. I am happy with this as I thought maybe they would stop treatment. 
We stopped off for lunch  at Minnis Bay. Wild winds but I had a lovely lunch of roasted flounder. Alan had something called 'The humble pig' - not a very healthy option (sausages, belly of pork, pork chop etc and roast potatoes) but he did enjoy it! We watched the waves crashing over the prom and the poor seagulls trying to fly against the wind. I kind of empathised with them!
Thursday was chemo day. I did check that there was the 20% reduction in drug concentration! All went without hitch this time - hopefully i will be able to report less side effects this time.
Cycle 2 Day 17
So here we are now with the Easter holiday almost over.
I have found this cycle very difficult despite the reduction in chemo concentration. I have just been so lethargic and lacking in energy everything seems so much effort. My head had been clearer and I have not been so zombie like. The fierce Arctic winds have kept me house bound as it is so difficult to walk and breathe in those conditions.  I saw the consultant last Monday and we agreed to continue with chemo 3 next Friday and then to have a scan after that. Chemo 4 will be delayed until I have seen consultant again with scan results. A decision will be made then as to whether the chemo continues.
Good Friday was a good day - it was Alan's birthday. Jon, Gaby, Ethan, Bernie and Norma joined us for a celebratory meal. They all stayed overnight and judging by the number of empty bottles in the recycling box a good time was had by all. Ethan is great fun now full of mischief but so adorable - he likes to pat Alan's head and say 'No Hair'! Bless!

On Saturday we received some devastating news. My young cousin Tristan died suddenly at only 21. He suffered a blood clot after a 20+ hour flight home from New Zealand where he had been for the last 6 months on his gap year after Uni. I find it difficult to write about this as I cannot really understand or make sense of it. Such a waste of a young life. My thoughts and prayers go  to the immediate family I hope they will together find the strength to get through their darkest hour. RIP Tristan.
Easter Sunday. We had  to go to A&E   as I had a blocked valve on the chest drain. This was beyond the capbilities of charge nurse Alan!  I cannot fault the treatment I received in A & E. They sat me in quiet corner as I am on chemo and the waiting room was packed. I was called in very quickly and triage nurse said they would not have clue as they hadn't heard of a pleurx drain! She phoned the respiratory ward to see if the nurses there could help and was told only a doctor could flush the valve. What are the chances of finding a thoracic doctor on call on an Easter Sunday afternoon? Well only 5 mins! As luck would have it one such doc was just leaving the resus unit! Half an hour later drain was debunged and draining ok. So all is well but it does make me wonder how patients can be sent up to London for the op but locally no-one seems to know how to deal with it. More questions for my thoracic consultant when I see her next month. 
So more chemo this week - will try and update blog. Tess x