Tuesday, 14 May 2013

The end of one the start of another

As I write this I am gradually returning to being Wendie. Very slowly my hair is growing on my head, I have a couple of eyelashes, a few eyebrows and hairy knees!
My weight is slowly going down and next week I am - hopefully - having my PICC line removed. In the meantime I've had a long chat with my oncologist who has told me about the next stage in my treatment - radiotherapy. Last week I went along to Addenbrooks to be "tattooed" and scanned, and as promised within 5 day of this, a letter arrived telling me my treatment would start at the end of this month.  Its going to be every day for 3 weeks.
 However as I type I am still experiencing the aftermath of chemotherapy, still my taste buds have not returned and my mouth is extremely dry. Still I am bloated, and still I tire very easy. In fact the week I had my last session - I should have been over the moon, but unfortunately it was two days before our friend's Karen's hen night. I sat on the sofa and try to muster up the energy to go and two things came to mind. One I would just be having hot flushes all night - in between worrying if I was going to be sick and two I would probably ruin it for everyone else because they would feel they had to babysit me - you know - lets look out for the fat bird in the wig because she has cancer! No I decided that I didn't want to spoil anyone's night out especially the Hen's. Besides the thought of dancing, eating and drinking in a hot place just filled me with dread. Anyone that knows me, will know that normally I would have jumped at the chance and would have been up on the table with the girls dancing the night away! Again another night of fun robbed because of chemo!

So even though it was expected  the letter arriving to tell me about the next stage shocked me - so far my treatment has been consistent, well planned and completely on the ball. Why would the next stage be any different? No I think it was the fact that I haven't had chance to catch my breath. So as soon as I opened the letter, I though " here we go again", unfortunately there is no pause button when it comes to fighting cancer.

In addition on the 23rd of this month I start hormone therapy - again another letter was given to me regarding the side effects - and guess what, weight gain is in there again along with lethargy. So a week before I go for my radiotherapy I start these tablets which I continue to take for 5 years. In this time they should mop up any cancer cells that may possibly be left after treatment. So even though there is a price- they are important in curing me.

As I already mentioned there's been no let up for me and last week I felt a wee bit sorry for myself - that was until we booked a mini cruise. Yes I felt a little break was needed to pick me up before I start the next battle. Hubby and I discussed the fact that we would - at the end of all this - like to renew our vows. Andrew stated that he'd like to do this on a cruise ship. In fact he often mentions how he'd love to go on cruise regardless. I've always said its something on the bucket list that we can do when the kids are older. However in the grand scheme of things I am very much in the here and now.
 No we can't afford to go on a full blown cruise, and no our son is not old enough to be left for more than a night with his sister - to be fair, she may kill him knowing her like I do.  If he annoys her she is quite happy to pick up a large object - like a chair and threaten him with it! So one night is as much as she can take of him and to be fair,  I don't want anything broken!

The idea came to mind after I looked around for a mini break - something different to do for me and hubby before the next stage in cancer busting. I came across the Marco Polo. Mini party cruise overnight to Scotland full board ( steerage obviously ) for the May Bank Holiday the week before Radiotherapy starts.
 A little adventure, which would in my mind kill a few birds with one stone. One it would be something for me and hubby to look forward to. Two it would give us both an idea of what to expect. Three - and most importantly, should I fail to mention, I have absolutely no spacial awareness on a boat  - as in I am unable to stand up. Unfortunately, the minute I get on a boat I cannot walk properly. Let me explain I've been on a ferry and some large boats on holiday trips and every time I feel the need to hold on to everything in my way that's nailed down or not as the case may be ( I have grabbed strange men before - obviously to aid my walking) No I don't need a drink, because I sway with every step I take. Also I think its important to mention that when my son was younger we watched Titanic far to many times. This ship we are going on has around 11 floors and we are deep inside the bowels of it  - cabin wise so anything could happen.
To say this will be an adventure is an understatement. It could also mean that in 5 years when we come to renew our vows I may have to be held upright in a hoist or be as far away from a cruise ship as possible.  It just depends how I get on with this overnighter.

 Since I have mentioned this to family and friends. My son has talked about the Poseidon Adventure and would I like to watch it - again? Hubby however just keeps putting the Love Boat on the i pod and dancing and singing in the kitchen he's that excited - bless him.
However, last night after having friends round the conversation ranged from underwater portholes- to the theme tune of Titanic being hummed in my ear. So I am planning on taking the following, earplugs, sea bands and I may just pack some tenor ladies in case I feel the need to wee a lot with all that water around me.

As I type another letter has just turned up from the hospital - I need to have a bone scan DEXA on Monday the 3rd June. This is to measure my bone density now.  After all my treatment it will be measured again to make sure I don't get the onset of osteopenia which if left unchecked can lead to osteoporosis.  See - well planned, consistent and completely on the ball, that's the NHS. As for my body, well only time will tell I don't have a crystal ball. However what I do have is faith that all this treatment will allow me to have a good dance the next time we have a " do" on dry land!