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Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Catch Up

It’s been a while (I apologise), and I thought that over the last couple of weeks its been quite normal, however on reflection its been a bit of a roller coaster. I really didn’t think that people would be that interested either in my normal everyday day life, but after speaking to people they have questioned why I stopped writing. Its not that I have stopped, its just I haven’t had much to say but, I now have plenty to say so here goes. Towards the end of my last cycle of Chemo I felt fantastic, in the last week the Monday and Tuesday were great. I went to work as normal and in the evenings Leonie I just watched Breaking Bad, I love the show, but don’t worry the similarity stops at cancer (I won’t be cooking meth!). I also started tweeting a bit. I had an account for DC Fitness Planning, a sideline that I started and never followed through with due to the obvious circumstances that happened. The twitter handle is @DCFitPlan. I have been tweeting quite a lot and will continue to do so, so follow if you want. On Tuesday evening Emma and I were texting and she told me about a friend who she had made that had quickly gone down hill in her condition and had sadly passed away, she was younger than me and that scared me a little. Wednesday I was again back to work and it was busy too, the team have been fantastic throughout and I owe them a lot. I finished Chemo on the Thursday and I felt excited, no more tablets for a while. We were busy at work planning for the Gluten Free Friday, I left early in the afternoon to go and visit Emma at Rosemere, she was having a full day of chemo so I went at 3pm and stayed a couple of hours. When I arrived she was playing board games with Ian, her husband and Carl and his wife. We talked about everyday things, it was good to see her happy. Friday was Gluten Free day at work as it was National Gluten Free week so we had Gluten Free treats (Haribo and Crunchies) and we made a trip to a Gluten Free bakery to get some pies for lunch. There was also a Gluten Free bake off and the cakes were later sold to raise funds for Rosemere. In the afternoon Luke and I did some presentations and that ended a busy week. At the weekend, Leonie was working on the Saturday so I took the boys to a birthday party and then we played in the local park, it was a warm and sunny day. In the early evening Ema, Dan, Gemma, Sam and the family came over, the kids all had fun and then we had fun drinking and laughing (a good medicine). Perhaps we drank a little too much, but when we get together we all have so much fun. Sam and Dan even had an “Egg Roulette” competition which Dan won. On the Sunday morning Gemma wanted to go for a run so we did a 7 mile route. What inspired me was that Gemma may go slow, but she doesn’t give up, she is one determined runner. It was a hot day so we took it easy. In the afternoon we were joined by Laura and tried out the new BBQ; with a few tweaks it works well. Then we just relaxed in the garden for the afternoon. The following week was just another week as normal. On Monday morning I went back to Cop Lane School to watch Oscar in his first School Sports day. I even got to join in and it brought back so many memories of being there myself as a kid. Oscar’s team won the day (but I’m not competitive). In the afternoon, I went back to hospital for another CT Scan to see how the Cancer had reacted to the Chemo treatment. I wouldn’t get the results straight away and they would call me later in the week to let me know. In the evening I noticed I had a small lump under my right nipple and I began to worry about it. I spoke to Leonie about it and we decided that I would call the oncology team tomorrow and book an appointment with my GP. I worked on Tuesday and Wednesday. During Tuesday I rang my GP, Dr Ravi and booked an appointment for the next day. I also called the oncology team and they told me that there was probably nothing to worry about but they would refer me to the Breast Clinic. Wednesday morning I attended the appointment with Dr Ravi and he had a look and a good feel, he told me that it was probably a blocked duct that had been caused by the Chemo drugs but he also advised that I should get it checked out with the Breast clinic. I then went to work and in the evening was parents evening at Cop Lane for Sidney, We chatted to the teachers who mainly discussed how good Oscar was, but it was meant to be a info evening for new parents. We also spoke to Chris Teague (School Governor) and Miss Carter (Head Teacher) who both asked how I was and it was nice for them to take time out to speak to us. On the Friday we travelled down south to stay overnight at Leonie’s sisters. Normally the drive would be easy for me to do, but now it really tired me out driving the distance. On Saturday we had a slow morning before leaving the kids with Amanda and Paul and went to Becca and Ian’s wedding. Becca is a really good friend of Leonie and I get on really well with Ian. We met with another Becca and Ian and enjoyed the wedding. During the photo’s I went to congratulate the newlyweds and Becca broke down saying that she was happy for me to be able to make it to the wedding. I had to reassure her that I was fine and that I wouldn’t have missed her big day. The meal was fantastic and mine was all Gluten Free (specially made for me, I am privileged!) We checked into the hotel as we were staying overnight (without kids) meaning we could let our hair down and enjoy the evening. Everybody I spoke to only had good wishes for me, some complained that I hadn’t written the blog for a while. The first dance was awesome; they had prepared a medley of songs and a full dance routine. The evening was full of dancing (to the live band) and drinking and we were the last one’s to go to bed. In the morning we got up the same time as normal, it’s hard to get up at any other time, and we made our way down to breakfast and I had two cooked breakfasts as I was so hungry. We made our way back to Amanda and Pauls and in the afternoon we went to the park as it was another sunny day. We get looked after at Amanda and Pauls and they can’t do enough for you but on Monday we had to tear ourselves away, but we were due to visit my twin sister in Wiltshire. We had both booked the week off so were going to do as much as possible, getting a visit to my sisters was long overdue. I hadn’t seen her for a while so it was good to catch up and talk. The kids again all played together and they all went for a walk while I had a nap to catch up on sleep. Janette is always good to talk to (although sometimes she can talk for the both of us) and it is a shame she lives so far away and we don’t see each other as often as I would like. Although it seems like a busy weekend it was good to have a few more days at Janette’s to not only break up the journey home but to let the kids play and to relax a little more. Unfortunately it was only a flying visit overnight; we spent the morning at Janette’s before we had to return home as we were due to have a sleep over for the boys and have their cousins, Amelia, Lottie and Evie. They all stayed up past their bedtime but they all had fun, although Amelia had a bad cough. On Wednesday we spent the day at home with all the kids. I popped out for my dietician’s appointment at the hospital. The doctor was really pleased with my progress with the Gluten Free diet. Since I first saw her I had put on a full stone and now weighed more than ever before, coming in at 9 stone 7 pounds. We talked about what would happen after my surgery and she told me not to worry too much and more information would be offered to me at the time while I was recovering in hospital. I also spoke to the upper GI nurses about the results from my CT scan, but they couldn’t offer much info, just that the tumour had reacted well to Chemo. They did tell me that the surgery had been provisionally booked for the 19th June and it would all be confirmed in the next few days. In the evening I went out with Rob to the Ferret to watch some bands, a bit too Emo for me, but we had a few drinks so it was a good night out. Thursday was a lazy day due to the weather so we played indoors with the boys and watched a film. I got a letter to confirm my pre-op assessment on the 12th; it’s a bike test some I’m looking forward to it. Leonie started her driving lessons in the evening. She said that she did well and I hope that she gains confidence and gets herself passed soon. Friday was a good day as were able to get in the garden; it was a sunny day. I wanted to finish the BBQ and tidy up a bit. I mowed the lawn after breakfast and the boys were playing both inside and out, its good to have them running around and listen to the stories and worlds they make up. Leonie cleaned the house and I did some bricklaying. It was a really productive day and the boys were good playing and enjoying themselves. In the evening Bobby visited and we watched England’s warm up game against Peru, they won 3-0. We don’t get to see Bobby much as he now has little Hayden who is 6 months old. On Saturday we pottered around in the morning, I had gotten my letter to confirm the Surgery on the 19th but I would need to be admitted on the18th, but that’s all it said really. After making a few calls to my mum and bother in law, Dave, we got ready to visit Stacy in Leeds. Leonie took Sid to a party before we set off. It only took an hour to drive over and I always shock myself by actually how close it is. Stacy is always a good laugh. She had bought loads of Gluten free food; I came home with a bagful. We had a few drinks and I always laugh so hard with Stacy as she is so surreal and quick witted. In the morning it was nice outdoors so we sat in the sun and played Britain’s got Talent with the boys, they perform an act and we pretend to be judges (don’t worry, we got to all do an act … several times!). On our way home we dropped Stacy at the station; she was off to see 1D, and treated the boys to a MacDonald’s. We got home and relaxed. Monday Leonie went to playgroup with both boys as a parent helper. I picked up my mum and we went to Chorley to see the Dr Saidan at the Breast Clinic. He checked them out and said he thought it may be a reaction to a drug I was taking during Chemo but it wasn’t anything to worry about; he advised us that an ultrasound would confirm it. He had seen my CT scan results already. I waited for the ultrasound which was about 5 minutes. I looked at the screen but I didn’t see much, I didn’t know what I was looking for to be honest. I went back in to see the doctor and he confirmed it was a build up of tissue, he said that if it continues there were drugs, or I could have the tissue growth removed, but he wouldn’t do anything at the moment. That left me pretty pleased and relieved. In the afternoon I called the Upper GI Unit to ask about the operation as I wanted a bit more detail. They told me they were arranging a meeting with the surgeon and me but I was going to have the whole stomach removed and that the tumour had shrunk but they didn’t say by how much. They told me about the pre-op and said they hoped I would be in hospital for 10-14 days. I would have a dietician at hospital and they would help with the diet afterwards. I called work and took the afternoon off. Laura and Lee popped over for a brew as they had booked the week off. I am feeling great but a little nervous; the operation is now a little over two weeks away. I keep joking that I hope they know which organ to remove. I would like to know how long the operation will be and am anxious to have it over and done with. This will be the worst part but after it the tumour will be gone and all that remains is the recovery (I’m not worried about that, I can be lazy for a while!) and a few more sessions of Chemo. Then its remission and I can get on with my life. This operation will be the biggest hurdle as far as I’m looking at it, then once it’s over that I can get back to normal, it may take me a while but I have the rest of my life to do it.

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