Monday, 21 October 2013

Spiderman, Mickey Mouse and a dentist.

I had my review with my oncologist and she gave me those words I had hoped to hear so much ...STABLE disease -no new growth since my previous scan last June. This is the best news for me and so I have a 3 month window to get on with life before my next scan in January. Planning 3 months at a time is something all meso sufferers and their carers have to do. It is something you get used to and Oh boy do some warriors pack so much in to that time window.

 My visit to the dentist last week resulted in me coming home minus 3 teeth and plus 6 stitches. To be perfectly honest the actual extractions were not painful just a sensation of a lot of pushing and shoving and at one point I did wonder if my jaw would break! I am still taking painkillers to ease the soreness and jaw ache and I have moved on from a diet of jelly and ice cream to lasagne and tonight I will try Alan’s fruity chicken curry. So I am getting there and now able to speak, yawn and laugh at Ray’s daily offering of humour without pain.

We managed to get to our grandson’s 3rd birthday party on the 19th. I was so proud of him, having so much fun, so confident and so happy. He had his face painted as Spiderman. I will admit to shedding a tear or two when he blew out the candle on his Mickey Mouse cake. It was just over 3 years ago in Sept. 2010 that I was diagnosed with this terminal cancer. The prognosis was dire ... ‘weeks, months possibly a year’... I decided then to delay any treatment until after Ethan was born and I had met and held him. The love story has gone on since then and both he and my lovely granddaughter really have kept Alan & I going over the years – something positive to focus on when things get bad. Now I want to see them both start school – oooh that’s a big target but we’ll go for it!
Birthday Boy

Micky cake made by Emma

Mum and Dad - coping well!

Another positive outcome from the last lot of chemo is that the fluid in my chest has gone and my lung has re-expanded quite a bit. The reason for this is still unclear. I have an appointment with my chest consultant/surgeon this week to discuss my options with regard to removing the drain. As it has been fitted for over 15 months now it will not be a case of just gently pulling it out but will involve some surgical procedure – we will so find out exactly what this entails – ho hum!

Always thinking of fellow mesowarriors and their carers, those in difficulties right now, those on chemo, those awaiting to start chemo, those awaiting results to see if they too get to plan for another 3 months. My thoughts and prayers with you all.

Tess x

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Time to set more targets

The weeks seem to fly by now. We have been getting out and about since my last posting.
My oldest friend Janice and husband Tony were down in London for a long weekend from their home in Yorkshire so they hopped on a train and met up with us in Canterbury. We had a good old chin wag over a drink in The Foundry and then a good lunch in The Olive Grove. I have known Janice since 1961 when we started secondary school together. I remember our teenage years clubbing in Klooks Kleek in Hampstead - now we are comparing photos of our grandchildren!

Another outing to Canterbury – this time to the Food and Drink Festival. It was so busy with lots of stalls selling their produce – most of it Kent produced or companies that have businesses in Kent. We came home loaded with cheeses, quince jelly, a variety of apple juices, meat puddings, pork pie, and pasties. It is great to be able to buy fresh produce. We had lunch in the newly opened Quex Barn restaurant which was lovely. We are very familiar with their other restaurant in Birchington so we were eager to try the new one.

Last weekend we were up in Leicester. The main reason for our visit was to attend the 8th Mesothelioma Patient and Carers conference. We arrived early Friday afternoon so were able to do a bit of sight-seeing. The clock tower and cathedral were worth a visit. I was impressed with the ‘flower’ arrangements in the cathedral – presumably done for a harvest service. 
I spy a cabbage

I don't think Alan's carrots would look quite so attractive!
We had a quick visit round the Richard III exhibition and found that very interesting. We were amused at some of the information displayed ‘Who was Richard III?’ ‘ he was called Richard III  because there were two previous Kings of England called Richard. Queen Elizabeth II is so called because there was a Queen Elizabeth before her! We have heard that they are dumbing down the history syllabus in schools but....!. Another fact which Alan took great delight in telling me was that after Richard was killed one of the ‘insult’ injuries he had given to him was a dagger up the anus! Ouch!
We walked round the famous market where it seemed everything was ‘4 for a pound’. A little known fact is that Gary Lineker used to work in this market on his father’s stall. Secretly I think Alan thought he might be doing a shift!
No visit to Leicester would be complete without a visit to a Curry house. We went to ‘Chutney Ivy’s' after a visit to a local hostelry which brewed its own Hoskins beer – Alan’s verdict was ‘delicious’!
The conference on the Saturday was a little disappointing with regard to speakers and information given. Sadly for ‘old timers’ like myself there does not seem to be any new trials or treatments on the horizon. So we just have to keep on keeping on. It was great to meet up with fellow warrior Steve and his lovely wife Linda. Steve is doing well at the moment and enjoying life which is great.
Steve and I sharing a joke

I want to share a couple of photos of the grandies. Thomas the tank engine paid a visit to Tunbridge Wells much to Ethan’s delight. Cannot believe my little man is 3 next week!
Gaby, Ethan & Thomas
Tim & Anna & Lilah went to Niagara-on-the-Lake for a weekend break. This picture is of Lilah looking out of the hotel window at ‘the big wah wah ‘ (translation – the big shower).
Room with a view

I have an appointment with my oncologist on Friday to discuss my recent scan. Next week I have my flu jab and 3 teeth extracted and hopefully some news on if/when my chest drain can be removed.

As always my thoughts and prayers are for my fellow mesowarriors. For Ernie and Ian who are suffering at the moment, for Beccy who has just lost her dad,  for Lou who is still going through chemo, Jan who is coming to terms with her cancer progressing and having to manage a stomach drain, Mavis who is anxiously awaiting scan results and Steve who should be packing for a trip to Budapest right now – enjoy! To you all and all others suffering I send you my love. Tess x