Thursday, 24 November 2011

Normal Service has Been Resumed

Trips to the doctors are always quite depressing! Yesterday really tipped the scales of harmony for me I can tell you! He just didn't listen to what I was saying, it was as though my feelings and opinions were irrelevant! Well..... hello....... this is MY body we are talking about and MY life!

Anyway...... I felt a bit blue, felt a bit sorry for myself but messages of support came thick and fast from the most wonderful friends and family - they make all of the difference you know!

However, this video of Fenton or Benton in Richmond Deer Park chasing deer really did cheer me up! I laughed until my sides ached and giggled alot afterwards too. I am still giggling now!

I also turned to my mentor Mike Peters, I listened to some of his music and watched some of his videos, I had another look at his web site for the Love Hope Strength Foundation and that gave me the strength and inspiration I needed to sort myself out. This particular song says it all.

The tablets the doctor prescribed to help my asthma seemed to have worked and for the first time in months I woke up feeling human. The pain killers have eased alot of the pain and I actually enjoyed walking the dogs today - yes I felt human!

What a difference a day makes but it just shows you that with the influence of your heroes and mentors, the love and support of your friends through whatever medium can pull you through the darkest of times.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Lifes a Bitch!

 Everyone is entitled to a bad day and my bad day is TODAY!

Everything has got on top of me, mainly the pain in my back which has been caused by tamoxifen and which has become almost unbearable lately.

I think that I was easing my way back into physical activity because of my energy levels which were still in recovery but getting that energy back has made me realise how physically damaged I am at the moment.

I saw the doctor today but he was a waste of time! He is referring me to the orthopedic section but I don't need that, I need to come off tamoxifen.

Why don't they listen to me?

This is MY body and MY life and the way I feel right now I don't want to go on for another 2, 3 or 4 decades feeling this crap.

I told him I am worried about my weight and he discounted that, f***k the fact that I am 2 stone over my usual weight, have diabetes in both sides of the family and am in an increased risk bracket. He waved that off as though it was nothing.

Why don't they listen to me?

I need to be positive, I need to keep fighting but at the moment the wounds of battle are still open and bleeding (metaphorically speaking of course).

I am tired of fighting, I am tired of feeling like crap, I am tired of putting on a front!

"Don't you look well" people say

"You look amazing!"

I smile politely and agree.........

But do you know what? I am not going to agree anymore because I feel like rubbish and I am sick of fighting pain and feeling ill every flippin day!

I don't feel like laughing or partying anymore, I don't feel as though there is anything left to party for.


Because I honestly thought that once I went through surgery, chemo, radio and herceptin, I would come out of the other side and resume service as normal!

Will service ever be resumed as normal? I very much doubt it where I am sitting right now.

Yeah! I pop the lanzoprazol to keep my chemo damaged digestion at bay, I pop the happy pills to get me through the day, I pop the tamoxifen because apparently although it makes me feel like crap its keeping the cancer from coming back, I pop the loratadine to stop my allergies, take my seretide and ventolin so that I can breathe without feeling someone is sitting on my chest and now I am popping painkillers just so that I can function normally.

Too right I am angry!!

I am bouncing!!

I am seething!!

Cancer pfftttttt

I really thought that 3 years on I would be me again. I have got hair now, still can't lose the weight and feel like crap but I look ok and yes the hair is there.
Bloody hell what a year!

What pain and loss I have had this year, physically and mentally.

Right now I want to find myself a cave and go into hybernation. Would anybody miss me if I did that?

I just want my life to get back to normal. I want my body back. I want to feel like ME again.

I didn't bargain for this, I didn't expect all of this, it wasn't part of the deal when they were selling me the treatment.

Sunday, 20 November 2011


This is Panda, our 3rd hamster. I bought her for myself really because I fell in love with her in the petshop. However, she soon became my sons hamster and the relationship was a really special one. I loved calling in on Joe and Panda, talk to her, pet her - she was adorable.

She was really good at escaping too, so much so that the portals on the roof of her house had to be sellotaped down because she could twist them open and escape.

Joe made her a special play ground out of his old toy box and she would spend hours of fun in there. She was a very lovely and calm hamster who we loved to bits.

 Just after we returned from holiday last August, we found that Panda had lost alot of hair. We took her to the vets, which, over the next few months became a regular fortnightly thing. The vet was treating her for mites but in the end it became obvious that something sinister was causing the hair loss and the vet could do no more for her.

The intense itching caused her to bite herself and these bites became badly infected. She was put onto a course of antibiotics and I washed her wounds twice a day with salt water.

I contacted Gorgeous Guineas and bought some special cream which was soothing, antisceptic and should have helped her skin condition but it didnt.

I bought some special Camrosa cream which was £16 for a small pot because it has been used on alsorts of animals for mite infestations and general skin complaints but this didnt work either.

Eventually one weekend I realised that we were fighting a losing battle. She cried when I picked her up which broke my heart. I had conflicting emotions..... I knew she needed to be put to sleep but at the same time her skin was so horrid that I knew the injection to kill her would hurt dreadfully. Thankfully before Monday came, Panda passed away in her sleep and her suffering was over.

Panda has left a huge gap in our lives because she had such a huge personality.

Today we decided to find a new addition to our family in Simon another Syrian hamster. This time we have a boy and we havent ever had a boy before. He is similar to Panda in colouring but he is a long haired hamster. Nathon, the boy who sold him to us commented on what a pleasant personality he had and he certainly does seem chilled.

Thing is, its like love or trusting people. You can say.... "I am never having a hamster again I cant cope with losing them...." but if you take that stance then you are missing out on so much more.

I think the old saying is "its better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all..." and thats the way it is with relationships, be it human or animal.

I hope we will have a long relationship with Simon x

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Statement Review

My ten year old son has a Statement of Educational Needs and is granted 15 hours per week with a one to one assistant. Every term, his Individual Education Plan (IEP) is reviewed by the teacher, the SENCO and myself and this sometimes includes input from outside sources who are involved with him.

Once a year the Statement is reviewed to make sure he is getting everything that he needs.

We have just had his statement review last week and this was quite an important one because it will include his transition into high school in September 2012.

The meeting has been arranged since the first week in September but despite this, his teacher told us he wasn't coming as we arrived because he had an after school welsh class to take, the SENCO had to be excused to go to another meeting half way through and the learning support teacher had not carried out scoring which will be required for the high school.

In addition to this the ICT SEN assessment I requested in the summer still has not been done and looks as though it wont be done until he is in high school.

I feel let down by the school, very let down.

I feel as though they haven't taken my sons situation seriously.

This is the fight I have had with the school since my son started there. First was the struggle for them to take him seriously and not write him off as a naughty boy, then there has been the constant struggle to get the school to understand and cope with him.

Its all very well having inclusion in mainstream schools for children with special needs but it cannot be done on a shoe string budget!

Monday, 7 November 2011

Eye Test

I went for my eye test today, good news is that my distance eye sight is great but the bad news is that yes I do need reading glasses and that damage has been caused by chemotherapy.

The optician was very, helpful and gave me lots of advice on how I should use my reading glasses to prevent further deterioration and I was quite pleased that he considered me a bit "young" for reading glasses!

My taid had glaucoma but sadly he died of a brain tumour before that progressed onto anything other than a diagnosis. He was 38 when he died.

I have a history of diabetes in both sides of my family which is why I am stressed over the effects of tamoxifen and me not being able to lose weight. I am not particularly fussed at getting back down to my old size 8, I just want a healthy waistline so that I don't develop this awful disease.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Running High

I have been running for a few years now and in that time I have completed three 5K Race for Life events and a 10K last year which I ran for the Love Hope Strength Foundation. I have done all of my training on my own.... through snow, freezing fog, ice.... I have been up and down and attacked by a dog but now I have entered a new phase of running. I am running with friends.

It started off with me posting on facebook, asking if there were any running clubs in our area. One friend replied saying she would run with me and we have been doing that for a couple of months now. Since then we have been joined by two other friends and its brilliant.

We keep each other going when we feel like giving up, we chat, we laugh - running is great fun.

So I finished my run this morning, only 2 miles, but on a runners high which is the best feeling in the world to have.

A few cups of tea later and I am off to ride my pony, walk my dogs and do a few jobs.

Looking forward to the curry my son is making at school later!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

I thought I was ok....

When you have almost 3 years under your belt having fought cancer, you are feeling good about yourself and you feel quite fit.... its easy to think "ha, I don't need to take those meds anymore......"

Thats exactly what I thought about my lanzoprazol.

You see, chemotherapy is still quite raw.... its job is to kill rapidly forming cells but because of its nature not only does it attack cancer cells, it also attacks and kills good cells which is why you get hair loss, nail problems etc.

One side effect I suffered with was my digestion. Chemo completely f***** it up for want of a better phrase. It has damaged the lining of my stomach, probably indefinately and as a result the acid from my stomach comes up into my chest resulting in a great deal of pain. The tablets limit the amount of acid your body makes so that you don't get these attacks.

I thought I was over it all and stopped taking the tablets which was a huge mistake.

At the weekend I was away in South Wales with friends at a 4th Street Traffik gig for Halloween. What a brilliant night but it was spoilt by the worst reflux attack I have experienced in my entire life. I couldn't keep anything down, my throat burned and I haven't been able to eat or drink for 3-4 days.

That will teach me won't it! I think I have finally accepted that I will never be the same person I was before 16th January 2009.

I looked up the effects that tamoxifen has on your body too mainly because I am suffering with severe back ache which gets worse the more active I am. Apparently its typically hormonal but it induces mild sciatica. The pain is almost unbearable at times only eased by pain killers, volturol gel and periods of rest. This is one of the side effects of the drug. In addition to this, it can cause damage to the eye which has settled a problem I have had with night driving. So my eye test is duly booked.

I won't give up though, the hell I will!!!!!

I will not give up horse riding, running or walking. I refuse to take things easy. I have stared my mortality right in the eye and come back fighting.

Life is precious, its for living and loving and appreciating every damned second you have in this life pain or not.