Sunday, 29 January 2012

Results of My Back Scan

I went to see the orthopedic assessment team last week. It seems that chemo has affected my bones and the drugs I am on to block oestrogen is causing my ligaments to loosen, similar to when you are pregnant. This fact along with muscle loss and the sacral bone fracture is why I am in so much pain.

They are referring me to a specialist physiotherapist for rehabilitiation.

Me??? Rehabilitated?????

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Update on Wilbur

Took Wilbur for his vet check yesterday. The vet suggested two options....

1. X-Ray which may or may not detect anything, he would then refer Wilbs to a specialist.

2. Give more time.

Wilbur is insured so cost is not a consideration but I asked my vet what he would do if Wilbur was his dog and he said "give more time but dont do what I do lol"

I decided to give Wilbur more time and googled ligament injuries in dogs. These injuries and subsequent rest can take months and months to heal so I am happy to continue treatment as it is.

Wilbur is making progress, he is no longer anxious, he seems to have accepted his limitations and doesnt attempt to jump on the sofa unless we are sitting there and can lift him on and off.

He still gets mega excited when I get the lead out but doesn't jump like he used to (this is a good thing). Walks I am keeping to 100 yards only.

He used to be my shadow, constantly at my side but now he is happy to watch from his bed.

I have ordered a dog pram for him so that if he is ok in it at least I can take him out and about without him hurting his back and keep his spirits up.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

My Own Worst Enemy!

I really am my own worst enemy!

I wear my heart on my sleeve.
I expect people to be just like me.
I give people second chances.
I look for the best in people and find it hard to see the bad.
I accept friends for what they are and I accept their bad points as well as their good because to me, thats what being a true friend is all about.

So because of these traits I have been accused of being two faced and fickle.

I make no apologies for giving anyone a second chance if I am able to and I have given many people in my life a second chance but never a third.

I seem to have "MUG" written all over my face! People who want to use me home in, suck me dry then cast me out.

2011 I learnt many lessons about people.

They are not who they tell you they are.
They won't give second chances to anyone.
They don't accept faults in their friends.

It was a shock I can tell you!
OK OK I am making a sweeping judgement here, not everyone is like that.

I think the point I am trying to make is that I have been hurt beyond belief by people over the last year. People have turned out not to be the people I thought they were.

What do I do? Well..... those people have been cut from my life and will never be accepted in again.

I have learnt to toughen up with people and not accept what they tell me with my previous innocence.

But I tell you one thing!!!!

These experiences won't change me as a person. I will not become bitter. I will not become nasty. I will use it to grow as a person but at the same time I will protect myself.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Wilburs Progress

Its almost two weeks since I took Wilbur to the vets with his injury and during that time I had to take him back to the vets on an emergency appointment and he has had two further relapses which have been distressing to witness. Both relapses have happened after he has "over done" things. I sadly put him on crate rest only coming out to toilet or have a potter around the garden with me and sitting on the sofa with me during the evening. This seems to have done the trick, he is alot happier in himself and just now I felt his spine and stomach and they are not tense. They have been like bricks previously. He is still taking his anti-inflammatory once a day and I only gave him one pain killer this afternoon because he was trembling after he had been outside for a session in the garden.

He is now settled by me on the sofa, quite relaxed and quite happy although I know that we are not out of the woods yet, this injury will take weeks to heal.

I have decided to use his crate rest as a way to re-educate him. When we go for walks he goes completely nuts. He jumps, pants, whines, cries - the whole kit kaboodle! I have tried every trick in the book to try and calm him down but nothing works.

I am using his crate time now to show him his headcollar. Once he can look and sniff at his headcollar without showing signs of excitement I will start to put it on him, walk away, wait until he is settled then take it off. I will carry on doing this until he stops showing a reaction, at this point I will introduce the lead into the equation and repeat.

When he is at the stage when he is ready to come out of the crate on his lead he will be allowed to do so but any signs of excitement and he is returned to the crate.

I know that this is going to take a long time to do but his rehabilitation is something which can't be rushed either.

Wilbur is a lovely dog, mad as a hatter but the most loving friend anyone could wish too. I have been so worried about him, dreading the fact that he might have to have operations or worse. Lets hope he is on the road to recovery even if it is going to be a long one!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

CT Scan Results

Went into hospital today for the results of the CT scan. Dr Soe was very happy, smiley, bouncy and told me that my bones were clear. However, there was a visible line on my sacram which is the triangular shaped bone at the bottom of your spine which slots into the pelvis.

He explained that cancer shows up as "spots" on the bones, or a cluster of spots and rarely in a line. The line indicates a fracture and he asked whether I had had an accident.

I have had a problem with that side of my back since I was young so anything could have caused it, indeed I have had many falls off horses in my time. Chemotherapy and hormone therapy plus my rush into exercise post treatment has probably aggrivated the problem.

Sadly, there is no treatment for a fracture in this part of the spine but at least I will be able to go to the orthopedic section fore armed and ask them for a plan for me to get back to my old activities such as running, horse riding and walking.

No wonder I have been in so much pain! So much for having a high pain threshold, certainly doesnt do you any favours. BUT its not cancer!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Poorly Wilbur!

Poor Wilbur has injured his back! Not sure how he has done it but then again he is such a lively dog, just running around the woods could have been enough! Silly boy!
I have never seen a dog in so much pain in my life and I never want to again! He was on the mend but the door was left open and he managed to escape up the stairs, in doing so he stressed his back out and he was back to square one again.

On Sunday night he was so bad I double dosed him on Metacam and put a hot water bottle on his back. By the next morning he seemed to be better but by lunch time he was in a dreadful state. He was quivering all over and gagging with pain. The vet could fit is in at 5.30pm but I couldn't stand seeing him in this state any longer and took him in earlier.

The vet gave me additional pain killers to give to Wilbur and ordered cage rest for at least a few days.

He was so miserable and didn't want to move so I couldn't see cage rest being a problem.

This morning he was perky enough but he has been in his crate all day apart from toilet breaks when he has been closely supervised.

He is happy enough in there, he has his Kong ball, a raw hide chew and a bone.

I have noticed a huge improvement in him this afternoon but I am trying desperately to keep him immobile. He has perked up alot now he is out of his crate but the curtains are closed now and there is less chance of him bouncing around barking at visiting vehicles.

Sunday, 8 January 2012


My darling Bobbi, my little wish come true
I have always had dogs in my life. Born at home, Victoria Road, Wrexham my dog Patch was already part of our family. My big brother Peter couldn't say her name, he called her Pa... He actually named her for the patch of white on her chest, pointing to it saying Pa Pa Pa..... nice memories.

Apparently a police man found Patch huddled in a shop door way as a puppy, she had obviously been dumped. It was cold and wet. He took her in.

In those days, they held onto dogs for seven days and then they were put to sleep.

Patch had gone over her 7 days but the kennel maids begged for her life because she was so sweet and so little. On the 8th day my mum enquired about a dog and thats how Patch came into our lives.

I remember being very protective of Patch as a child. She wasn't the prettiest of dogs and rather over weight but I loved her dearly. Apparently as a baby, she used to protect me in the pram and wouldn't let anyone near me.

When I was a toddler I remember distinctly how Patch nipped me! My mum asked me had I pulled her tail to which I guiltily replied "yes" so I was told that it was my own fault then. I have never pulled an animals tail since especially having read an Enid Blyton story about a boy who pulled cats tails!!!!!

Patch did have a set of puppies..... One funny thing I remember is the puppies getting lost. The whole house was up in arms looking for the pups...... My dad told everyone to stay quiet and watch Patch.... The little madam had taken the pups into the airing cupboard when it was ajar, a nice, safe and warm place for her babies.

Later on in life she used to "herd" my guineapigs into her basket and mother them!

Patch was over weight but she would always go begging where ever we went, she would sit there with big sad eyes pleading with who ever to give her some food. We always laughed over this.

Another funny thing was if there was a smell in the room, we would say "who did that?" and she would slink away guiltily to hide behind the sofa.

Such happy memories of a wonderful family member.

We were very lucky to have Patch in our lives for 15 years. She died when a tumour ruptured. We decided not to have it removed because of her age and she was happy and active until her last day.

The sad part was that I was at school when it happened and I didn't get to say goodbye.

Its funny isn't it how you love your friends so very much but you learn to put their loss in a special little box, you close the lid and leave it that way.

Writing this post about Patch has reduced me to tears, after 3 decades of her not being around anymore, I realise how much I still love and and miss her.

It has been nice to actually think of her and remember the funny things. She did enrich my life and she brought me so much fun as a child growing up.

I have included a photograph of my dog Bobbi, only because she looks a bit like Patch and shared the same start in life.

I will tell you about Bobbi in another post!

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Isotope CT Scan

Yesterday I went to hospital for an isotope CT full body scan. As a cancer patient, the NHS takes any ache or pain seriously. Since I started on Tamoxifen I have had the most incredible back pain. Lower back to be specific. When I rest the pain is insignificant but when I start to do anything "normal" the pain becomes unbearable at times.

My Oncologist had already ordered a lumber Xray and from that he was pretty sure that they pain wasn't related to cancer but wanted me to have a CT scan just to make sure.

The procedure is simple really and if you didn't have a back problem it could be quite a relaxing experience!

The first appointment a few hours prior to the scan is to have a small amount of radio-active stuff injected into you. My veins are still damaged by the chemo and herceptin and the radiographer told me it can take up to 5 years for them to recover. There are still signs of cording but I thought that because my hand grip was better that they had got better.

Anyway I digress.

My veins are small so she used a butterfly needle to get to the vein to which she attached a tube. She then pumped saline into my vein to make sure that there were no leaks and that the fluid was going into my vein and not out into my body. Once this was done, the isotope fluid was put in.

I nipped into Wrexham town for a sandwich and to kill some time (a very depressing place these days) and then back again. I sat in the foyer people watching for a some time (oh the sights you see), had a cuppa then took myself off to Xray.

You have to remove any metal objects from your person so thats money in your pocket, jewelry, belts and even boots with large eye lets.

They position you on the scanner bed, and use a velcro material thingy (all very technical) to keep your feet together and then for your arms.

The scanner comes over your body starting with your head, its so close you can actually feel the hairs on your body lifting up.

As I said, this could be a relaxing thing but for me my back was agony as I felt it locking. The scan took about 25 minutes and by the end of it I was ready to scream but was additionally worried about how I was actually going to get off the bed...... I had visions of flopping onto the floor!

The radiographer came in and asked if I had any pain "too right" I did! He then told me he wanted to take a more detailed scan of the affected area which would show up anything including arthritus etc. He was really kind though and gave me a triangular shaped cushion thingy to support my knees which took the pressure off my back.

This scan took 20 minutes and made my legs tickle!

After an hour on that scanner bed my back was in terrible shape I felt like an old lady getting up and off the flippin bed!

At least its done now and they can rule out cancer to the bone then when I see the orthopedic team they will have information at the ready to make any diagnosis and get me some help.

I do get a bit down with the side effects of treatment but then I give myself a good talking too because they are a small price to pay for the fact that I have my life.

I am forever indebted to the NHS, to surgeons, doctors, nurses, researchers, auxiliory staff - everyone who has made my treatment and ongoing life possible.

Thursday, 5 January 2012


Poor Wilbur, this year hasn't got off to a good start for him! He became ill on Christmas day but we couldn't work out the symptoms because he wasn't ill as such but wasn't quite himself.

I delayed taking him to the vet firstly because I was so ill myself, the entire Christmas was spent being housebound then when I did decid enough is enough I had to make up my mind as to which vet I took him too.


I won't go into the in's and out's of the matter but lets say I am no fool when it comes to my animals and I don't agree with some modern ideas.

I decided to take him to a new/old vet in the end and I am glad that I did. Not only did they get to the root of the problem (which ultimately seems why Wilbur was ill a couple of months ago) but I felt as though I was cared for and not being taken for a ride. The receptionists were lovely as were the nurses, nothing was too much trouble.

So the conclusion!

Wilbur is stiff and reluctant to use his right hind side so the vet suspects some sort of injury. He has been given an anti-inflammatory injection and a course of pain killers. We go back in a week to review his situation. In the meantime I have to keep him rested and no jumping or running around.

Poor Wilbur!

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Lets Get Back to Normal

I am glad 2011 has gone, what a horrid year thats been, not just for me but for those I care about too!

Once I have kicked off this germ I am going to start my diet again and now my pain is under control I will be running again too.

I am considering entering a 5k road race in Llandudno on 7th April, just to give me something to focus on. I find I work better when I have something to aim for. Also, apparently you get and Easter egg when you cross the line so I can't think of a better incentive.

I am feeling alot more positive the last day or so, I have several things to look forward to and to aim for.

I have also accepted that its going to take some time to get the "old" me back and maybe I will never ever be that size 8 again but who cares? Its only a number, I just want to be fit and healthy again and I will do it!

Apart from the bugs Joe and I had, Christmas has been good. Very strange but good.