Friday, 27 August 2010

Guess who's back..

Well... I am back in the Beatson and obviously (as per), things have not gone to plan. They found out, after taking my blood at the Aepherisis on Monday, that I have an infection in my blood. It's nothing serious but has to be treated with antibiotics. The antibiotics they prescribed has to be given at 12 hour intervals, the bag lasts for two hours and will take three days (which will delay my chemo starting and also mean I can't get the scans done on Thursday). They didn't start the antibiotics until about 7ish and halfway through I started to get really red and scratchy... Oh yes, an allergic reaction. So we stopped the bag, called the doc and I took a piriton. Things seemed to calm down but I now have to wait until tomorrow to find out what antibiotics they'll try next. It also means I can't go home as I'd hoped or be treated as an outpatient over the weekend. I'm hoping they'll let me out tomorrow (as my old flatmates are up visiting, looking for bridesmaid dresses for Jemma's wedding next summer). Fingers crossed...

I've been feeling incredibly fed up and annoyed at being back in but I know it has to be done. I'm just not good with change! I am getting very frustrated that nothing is going to plan but I just have to deal with it I guess. I'm planning to have an early night and hopefully get a good sleep. Night night!

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

I had a dream..

Yes, I had a dream. My dream was that I could tie my hair in a ponytail... How lame is that dream?! It's the only part I could remember and I woke up thinking I had really long hair. I was gutted when I realised I had been asleep! I still have a bit of hair but I am definitely looking forward to it growing back.

I was given a double dose of GCSF (the horrid injections I get, which meant two every day) over the weekend to try and kick my stem cells into action. Well, it definitely did that! I went to the Beatson yesterday and my count was through the roof! They were all really pleased and said I would only have to be hooked to the machine for two and a half hours when I thought it would be four hours. I successfully managed to work my way through four episodes of Little Dorrit so definitely time well spent. This is what the machine looks like.. Yeah I took a snap.

It kind of works like dialysis, there is one line coming from my Hickman Line and then they also have to put a venflon in my hand to put the blood back in. It is very confusing! I found the machine fascinating. I just think it's amazing they can do this. Hopefully I won't need to use the cells but it's good to have them as a precaution. They phoned later on to say they hoped to gather 6 million cells but they managed to get 14 million - the GCSF clearly did it's job!

I feel so much better than I did last week. I'm still really tired but I feel ok. James, Mum and me went to see Salt (that Angelina Jolie film) this afternoon which I really didn't want to see until I read a really good review which made me REALLY want to see it. I actually thought it was pretty good. Hopefully going to see Scott Pilgrim with James tomorrow.. I CANNOT WAIT! It looks great.

Dad and Teenie are currently in Inverness visiting my Granny and Grandpa. Grandpa is in Raigmore Hospital t the moment but is hopefully getting out tomorrow. He is still managing to text from his hospital bed though!

Ruth and co are coming out for dinner tonight so Mum is busy peeling potatoes. I said I would help but I've not made it through yet... I have loads of headscarves that I still haven't tried so I'm going to get Ruth and Amy to help me work my way through them and try them out! Maybe we could test them on Ally?! If so, I will get photographic evidence.

I'm back in the hospital on Friday which I am dreading as I know I will feel crap after it again. The scans have been rebooked for next Thursday and I know I will be completely drained and most likely go to the hospital in pyjama's. I think I'm past the point of caring about that though.

Right I'm off, gooooodbye.

Friday, 20 August 2010

I miss Britney Spears

Now, people might think this is a joke but I really do! I love Britney Spears. You know people say they remember where they were at big points throughout history like, The Fall of the Berlin Wall (well, I don't, I was 3) or John Lennon being shot (hmmm I wasn't born, ok bad examples), well I remember where I was the day Britney Spears shaved her head. It was huge news. I was standing in the QM Board flat with Ruth and Jashley told me. She still looked amazing with her bald head though! Actually, I didn't think about this til now.. If I do go bald maybe I should just channel Britney?! Not crazy bald Britney but the earlier one - I'm not gonna start wearing belly tops and holding snakes mind. Here's a picture of her to jog your memories...

I have Britney on the mind as last night Teenie and myself watched Crossroads - the film Britney made about 10 years ago. Now, I know I will be royally slagged for this film choice but honestly we had no other option! My DVD player isn't working so Teenie brought through a selection of video's that she found. This selection included Ewoks (the cartoon version, about 20 years old), Rat Race (that awful film with the Mr Bean guy) and A Simple Wish (some film with the girl who was in Matilda). So obviously it had to be Crossroads! So yes, that is, in brief, my love for Britney.

I've had a really busy couple of days, just going to and fro from the Beatson. I was back in at the Aepherisis Unit (Stem Cell guys) on Wednesday and Thursday but I still don't have any. We had to come back in yesterday for clinic so came in a bit early to speak to one of the Aepherisis docs. He said that as I've had no stem cells, it's possible they might not get any after this round of chemo. However, he's doubled my GCSF injections for over the weekend (they stimulate the stem cells) so hopefully there should be some there on Monday. He didn't sound too hopeful about this but he did say it's not the last resort. They're only doing this as a precaution so I don't desperately need it done but they would be good to have as a back up. As of this, my scans are being cancelled and re-scheduled for after my next round of chemo.

We also went to clinic to see my doc and were told that my HCG from yesterday was 5! It's amazing how effective the TIP chemo has been. My doc said that under 5 is normal so at the next reading we'll be looking for that! She wants me to have at least another two rounds of TIP but maybe have my surgery between the two. That will be dependent on the scans after the next round. So, everything is still a bit uncertain but it's great we have the HCG to monitor so we know that the tumour is reducing. I'm still worried that the HCG isn't directly related to the tumour as it has behaved in very odd ways but I know I must remain positive about it!

An amazing thing happened last night... I had my first Chinese meal since May! Oh my, it was amazing. As I am not allowed carry outs, me and the family went to a Chinese in Hamilton and it was great. This is Teenie after Rona told her that you pour chilli sauce on the Dim Sum before eating it...

Teenie can't cope with sour sweets, let alone anything spicy so this was definitely the highlight of my night.

Ok, my internet is going funny so I am going to go.. Laters!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010


Yes. I have toothache. Which I am not happy about. Mum called the dentist yesterday morning to see if we could make an appointment (case of the para's) and it turns out I've not been since 2004... Whoops. The dentist ALWAYS gives us into trouble so I have clearly been avoiding him. Apparently it's just my wisdom teeth growing in but it's really sore! Hopefully it will go away soon.. I'm currently using baby teething gel on it (amongst other things), I have a very low pain threshold when it comes to my teeth. I also had hardly any sleep last night due to it. Very irritating.

Yesterday was the first day I left the house since I got out of hospital - hurrah! I was supposed to be going to the Look Good, Feel Better class at the Maggie's (I heard you get a free bag of make up) but it was cancelled so me, Mum and Teenie just went to the fort to have a wander round the shops. I didn't realise how high up my chest this Hickman Line is and now whatever I wear, Mr Hick is on show. I've knicked all Rona and Teenie's high necked tops (of which there aren't many) and looked for ones of my own (pretty much none). Who would've thought this would be such an issue?! So, I bought a couple of plain tops - yawn. Also, we went to Nando's... What is all the fuss about?! Everyone goes on about it but to be honest, I thought it was decidedly average. Or, as some might say, no great shakes.

Today I was supposed to be starting my stem cell treatment but due to my White Count being so low (0.69)  they've asked me to come back tomorrow. Basically, you show up at 9am, they take your blood, you come back at 11am and then they tell you if you can get it or not. The nurse said if I take my GCSF injection earlier in the morning (to stimulate my bone marrow cells) then we may be able to start tomorrow. I hope so, just so I can get it over and done with. It's going to be pretty boring - hooked up to a machine for about 4 hours while it collects cells.. YAWN.

Have I mentioned that myself and a group of friends are running the 10k in October? Well, we are. I'm hoping to do it even though I have no idea where I'll be in my treatment. In an ideal world I'd be finished but who knows! We've started up a just giving page to raise the money and have already doubled the target! Amazing! You've probably already seen it from various facebook status' but here it is again... Thank you so much to everyone who has donated, everyone has been so generous. 

This is not related to anything at all, but for the past couple of years Ruth, Louise and myself have been huge fans of the World Pipe Band Championship (it's not sad, honest). This years was held on Saturday and unfortunately we missed it - it is now a tradition for us so we were GUTTED. I had a look at the pictures the other day and it mad me really sad we're missing it. It is an absolute lol and here are two of my favourite pics from last year..

Well, that's all for now. Goodbyeeeee.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Oh Mel..

Mel Gibson, what an idiot. James and myself are currently watching a crappy programme on the E channel and Mel Gibson and his recent issues keep on appearing. Apparently, he was planning on making a Viking film with Leo D which has now (obvs) been cancelled. Think James is a bit gutted about this. I love Vikings so I will encourage another director to make this - maybe James should?! Dad can be the historical expert, Teenie can be the choreographer (for all the dance scenes ya know) and I will be the costume designer. Maybe we could turn it into Vikings! The Musical! Ok, I'm getting carried away now, probably not a good idea.

Still not feeling great today, I was sick again last night which wasn't nice. I'm scared this is now going to become a pattern and happen every day. I really hope not. The main side effects I've had the past few days are the nausea, tiredness, taste-buds going crazy, eyes going weird and not being able to concentrate on anything. These seem to stick around for most of the time after the chemo, I can't wait til I have energy again and I am able to do more than one thing a day!

Today my piano teacher came round for cakes and a blether. It was great to see her and we had a chat about me taking up the piano again, it would probably just be a few pieces that I have heard recently that I would enjoy playing. I'm quite looking forward to picking them and I think it will be good to have something to work towards. I feel so useless at the moment, so it will be a nice feeling to achieve something. Nothing too difficult though so a piece with hardly any modulations and no crazy key signatures! Any suggestions, let me know. Think I'll start with Clair De Lune, I can already play it a bit but I think I'm a bit off with the timing. Mrs Simpson will keep me right though.

Yesterday James taught me some tunes on his ukulele. I was rubbish! I've got such a bad memory and can never remember the chords, I need them right in front of me. How annoying.

Also, James was on facebook and one of his old profile pictures is this beauty... Someone suggested he looks like an owl which I kind of agree with. However, now that my face has become very fat and square I think I look rather similar to James' younger self... Seriously though, my face is now the shape of a cube.

So, maybe this is a face shape that runs in the family?! If my cheeks get any chubbier they will start to droop and I will end up looking like this..

I can't remember what this dog is called but it could be my next Hallowe'en costume. What with the random tuft of ginger hair, the grumpy face AND the droopy cheeks I won't really have much to do. I'll make the sign and wear all white. Done. Sorry Ruth, that's our year of going as Misteeq postponed again. I promise I'll make it up to you.

As I currently have no appetite and my tastebuds are being crap, I'm not sure what I'll do tonight. Probably eat the sour sweets James brought me and then be sick... Great Friday evening... Oh well, I'm sure it will get better.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

The girl with kaleidoscope eyes

This is currently who I am... I think I've mentioned before that my eyes sometimes go a bit funny from the chemo - it's been doing the weird kaleidoscope thing this morning. That's the only way I can describe it, I look up to the left of my eye and it looks all weird and sparkly. Bizarre. 

I got out of hospital yesterday morning which I was very pleased about. I've not been feeling great though. I've been told constantly that the more chemo I get, the worse I'll feel. This thought really frustrates me and I know it will most likely get worse after the next cycle. I've got a horrible taste in my mouth all the time and yesterday I was eating anything to get rid of it. I was again on the pickled onions! So many things have lost flavour - mum brought me biscuits and cheese with chutney and I couldn't taste anything.. I normally love cheese! Last night I was also a bit sick, it's the first time I've been sick at home which wasn't nice. I've been given more anti sickness medication to take so hopefully that will do the job. 

I found it tougher in hospital this time. I was hooked up to the machine for five days and I only get unhooked to have a ten minute shower every day. It's been easier with the Hickman line in place but it's still quite uncomfortable. It's weird to think I'll have this thing on the side of my chest until my treatment is over.. None of my tops cover it so I will look rather strange! All the fluids they gave me made me go to the bathroom constantly so really disturbed my sleep. I can't remember what it's like to sleep the whole night through - the dream! I'm rubbish at napping during the day too so I definitely struggled with the lack of sleep. 

I again had some lovely visitors and I'm so thankful for everyone coming to see me! James, Teenie and ML were around on Sunday and then Dad and Jamie showed up. We taught Dad how to play the After Eight Game... It's safe to say he was rubbish. On Tuesday the comedian Kevin Bridges came to the ward to have a look round. I asked Cat and ML if they wanted to come and Jamie came too. It was an odd situation.. We went into the TCT room late cos I was getting hooked up to chemo and by the time we entered they had already done the introductions so we just sat and blethered to each other! ML also taught us the 'awkward turtle' move - it really captured the situation we were in.. I chatted to him for a bit though and he was really nice. He is planning on becoming a patron for TCT so wanted to chat to some of the patients. The other folk there were past patients or out patients who I hadn't met before. 

I don't have any plans for the rest of the week which I'm happy about! The next few weeks are filled with appointments and scans so it will be nice to be home for a bit.

Yesterday we only took an HCG reading from the Beatson and Julie text to say it was at 11 so that's great. I'm always too nervous to get too optimistic. It is definitely good news though. 

Also, my hair is still here... It has definitely thinned but it's still about! Anywho, I'm off now, goodbye.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

My weird crush on John Torode

Isn't he just dreamy?! Ruth and I have decided that he is our now weird crush. I feel bad calling him a 'weird crush' though. I think it's his cardigans. As I'm at the Beatson I can't copy a picture onto this (bummer) but google him. He's the dark haired guy on Masterchef. Maybe it's just because I love Masterchef that I love him? Hmmm.

Anywho, yes I am back in the Beatson for a five day stint. This was the first time I didn't have to come in early for a fever - hurrah! So far I have been absolutely knackered though. On friday night I go no sleep at all due to the chemo/fluid bags being changed every half hour/hour. I fell asleep at 7am and woke up at 10am.. Not good for my mood. The family then came in and I was being a grumpy cow to everyone - that's my prerogative though yeah?! Clare came in yesterday, bless her, when I had just woken up and I was no chat at all - sorry Clarabell! To repay her I have promised to take her for Tortolano's ice cream. Everyones favourite treat!

Later on in the afternoon (after a cup of coffee) I perked up and the crew came along for Mr Ally Meek's 26th birthday! Who'd have thought he was 26 eh?! We had a multitude of snacks and a birthday cake (but we weren't allowed to light candles) and it was very nice. Teenie made Ally an Olly Murs T-shirt which looked pretty fly. I hope he wore it and the Spiderman badge to dinner...

Oh I forgot to say I got my hickman line put in - it was not good. I felt ok before it but my roommate's Cheryl's didn't go as well so I was a bit more nervous after talking to her. The ladies who did it were so nice and tried so hard to put me at ease but I was so psyched out about it. They gave me loads of local anaesthetic, which made my neck feel huge, and even though I couldn't feel the incisions the bit where they applied all the pressure was horrid. I'm glad it's over but it still hurts a bit, particularly at my neck. The definite pro to having it put in is that I won't need to be jagged anymore (yay!) but one of the cons is that I currently have three tubes coming out from my chest that keep on getting caught on things like my leg, the toilet seat, chairs, and it really hurts when I don't notice! In short, I am a tube for not looking at them.

The past few HCG results have also been good. My doc came to see me on Friday and says she wants to re-scan me after this round of chemo to see what the change is. I'm pretty pleased about this - hopefully it will give us a clearer picture of how much it has reduced. She also said we may bring the surgery forward as she thinks the HCG might plateaux (sp?!) again. To be fair, saying this is all redundant as everything could be all change (as it seems to be) later on in the week.

I presume this week will be another write off. After the first round of TIP I was so tired and didn't want to do anything so apologies if I am uncontactable (is that even a word?!) for the next week.

I am now able to read so I'm working my way through a couple of books. One that mum bought me is 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'. It's really short so I've been reading it in little snippets. It is so similar to the film and I can't imagine anyone else playing Holly Golightly other than Audrey Hepburn. She is such a frustrating chatacter and I get annoyed with myself for sympathising with her at times. I think I've got about 10 pages to go so will finish that at some point today.

I got a much better sleep last night so feeling a bit more awake today. Teenie and James are coming in after church and think we're going to watch a film. Also, I think I'm the only 'teen' currently in the TCT ward so I have the whole place to myself! Pretty swanky. This has now gotten rather long, goodbye!

Monday, 2 August 2010

What did the giraffe say to the elephant?

This is the question to a joke my cousin Rory told at dinner... The answer is 'We are long'. He is at the stage where he tells jokes that are awful but his delivery is hilarious. My cousins from Ellon were down today and we had a really nice time. We went to the West End for lunch and then they all came out to Uddy. We just sat about blethering and then watched Takeshi's Castle - har har!

I had a really good weekend, the wedding was amazing. Tasha looked beautiful, absolutely stunning. The wedding was in a town called Little Crosby and the venue was a barn which was so cool! This is it here...

This was where the wedding was, then it changed for the meal and reception. I took my mum as my 'date', don't really think Jamie minded! Mum kept on checking my temperature, total para in case I got a temperature when we were away. Everything was fine though! On Saturday I felt fine all day. We arrived quite early and then left about 7ish before the evening guests arrived. It was such a good day, Tasha and Butch looked so happy. Also, the weather stayed nice for whenever we were outside, it was perfect. Oh it was just lovely, a great day. Here's some more snaps...

Mum and myself before heading off..

This is me, Tasha and Jemma (my old flatmates) - we used to call ourselves 'The Sunsilk Girls'... Now we really look like them because my hair is so bright! Also, how beautiful is Tasha's dress?! I don't think I've got a good one of her dress full length but it was lovely. It looked amazing on her. Also, Tasha and me are going to be two of Jemma's bridesmaids next summer. Jemma bought her wedding dress a few weeks ago - I am so excited to see it!

This is all the folk from uni that were at the wedding - I am the only one there without a boyf so I looked like a bit of a loser. Oh well, I dealt with it.

This is a snap of mum and me just before we left. I was so para about the wig falling, it was ok apart from one slip which mum noticed - thanks maw! Tasha also gave me some scarves which are lovely, it was so kind of her. Well, it was a lovely day and it was great to see everyone. I'm so glad I can go. Jemma has arranged a weekend for the girls to come to Glasgow at the end of August so I'll see them soon - yay!

Yesterday we didn't do much, my cousin Grace was down for the weekend which was nice. I went to church in the morning and was told twice that my cheeks have gotten chubby... Oh thanks. One lady told me it's the medication I'm taking but will have to work hard when I'm better to get rid of them. Great! So, basically I'll have chubby cheeks til I can be arsed to work out and get them away. What exercises do you do to get rid of chubby cheeks?! Any suggestions let me know...