Monday, 27 September 2010

Looking for fun and feeling groooovy

This song (Simon and Garfunkel's 59th Street Bridge Song) really makes me think about years gone by. There was a time when it was all Teenie played on the piano and we also found Dad's Simon and Garfunkel CD so listened to it constantly (well that and our PJ and Duncan, Psyche CD). After dinner the other night, Dad, Teenie and James burst into song randomly and it has been stuck in my head ever since. I still seem to know all the words. If only it was something a bit 'cooler' eh?!

So, I finished the antibiotics last Wednesday and left the hospital saying, 'this might be my last time in the Beatson'. I should know by now not to say things like that. I don't believe in 'jinxes' but I do seem to 'jinx' myself whenever I say that. On Thursday I went to Wishaw to get my blood taken and it was decided that as my blood count was so low, I should get a blood transfusion. Mum and I then had to drive to the Beatson to get a cross match and I was told to come back for 9am the next morning. Teenie took me in on Friday and we were there from 8.30am til 7pm.. It felt like a marathon. Three bags of blood, 4 episodes of the Gilmore Girls and (what felt like) thousands of card games. Randomly, my nail polish matched the blood. I am a creep so I took a picture.

After the hospital we went round to Ruth, Jamie, Ally and Amy's and had an 'Italian Feast' for dinner. We had a lovely time mucking about, taking photo's and generally being daft. On Saturday Will, Alice and Sarah came over for the X Factor. All I have to say is... Bang. I went to church on Sunday morning and it was lovely seeing everyone. Rowan and Janice always give us amazing cakes from Christie's the bakers in Coatbridge, they are very kind.

Today Mum, Granny, Teenie and myself went for a wander around Chatelherault. It was nice to be out but I did get tired very quickly. I just think I'm not used to walking far - I clearly need to build up my strength.

Today I also bought a nail polish I've been eyeing up for a while (yes it was Chanel Paradoxal) and I am very pleased. I do sound like a loser saying that but I don't care. Jamie came round for dinner and Granny made a lovely strawberry cake. Yum.

I don't have much else to report really. As my blood was rubbish last week, the scope has been changed to next Monday and I have my PET scan on Thursday. After the scope on Monday we should find out when the operation will be. I still get quite nervous when I think about it but I am looking forward to going down to London and quizzing the surgeons. I'm getting quite agitated now as I just want it over with. Hopefully that will be soon! Anywho, I best be off to bed. Goodnight one and all.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Bruise like a peach

The past few days have been filled with trips to the Beatson and constant needles (ie a lot of bruises). I am feeling like a bit of a pin cushion, today was a record - four needles in three hours. My veins are totally rubbish and the first couple of attempts were not successful. I went to desperate measures to take my mind off the needles - I asked Teenie to tell me stories. I think it was the first time her mind went blank and she couldn't think of anything to say. We then played card games for (what felt like) hours and I managed to make the one successful venflon go squinty. It seemed to work OK though! Today was my last antibiotics which I am very pleased about. The nurses in the day ward were all really nice though. I'm again feeling totally knackered and my eyes went kinda funny too - the same kaleidoscope feeling. It seems to have passed now - phew.

There was another muck up with my blood on Friday night, not entirely sure what happened but it meant we had to go back into the Beatson on Saturday night. Luckily this did not interfere with my Avatar Imax plans! I quite enjoyed it but could not shake off the comparisons with Pocohontas. Also, Ruth fancies a Navi (is that what they're called?). 

I went for my first piano lesson in years last week. It was great to be back and I felt really comfortable in Mrs Simpson's house - took me back to when I was at school. My fingers are still tingly but I'm used to it now. It's just like constant pins and needles. It also doesn't seem to be affecting my piano playing skills - I think I'm just rusty and that's why I'm now rubbish. Mum bought me the piano music from the film Up! so I intend on taking that to my next lesson. 

Granny took us (Mum, Rona, Teenie and I) out for dinner tonight which was nice. We had a glance around the shops after and I got myself a new head scarf. I do have some hair but it is very thin so I think I'd feel a bit daft if I didn't wear one. Also, I didn't realise how cold your head would be with no hair! How do bald/skinhead folk cope?! Furthermore, now that I have short hair I seem to get shampoo in my eyes every time I'm in the shower. I'm unsure if this is due to my inability to wash my hair or if it's because my hair is so short. I'm looking forward to my hair growing back. I quite liked it short but I think I'm over it now. My eyelashes are still about but they have definitely thinned (I am very protective over my eyelashes). My Auntie Winnie bought me this amazing eyelash strengthening stuff that I've been using. It takes a few weeks to kick in so I'll keep you all posted.. I am now very into coloured eye-liner to try and hide the fact my eyelashes aren't great. I didn't realise how many I owned until now. OK, eyelash chat over. 

My brother James was home at the weekend from Edinburgh and it was great to have him in the house again. We went out for dinner on Friday night to celebrate my good news and that he was home. Here are some snaps..

Oh, this is Teenie and I before we left. This sums up our relationship

Dad has mentioned recently (well, moaned) that he is not in any of the pictures on my wall. Firstly, this is a lie as I have a picture of him and Mum holding hands with Rona pretending to throw up behind them. Secondly, when pictures are taken of him, they turn out like this... No offence Dad, but you should really go to the 'Teenie School of Posing' for a few lessons.

Also, it is near impossible to get a picture of Mum opening her eyes. 

Here's a photo of the four of us on Sunday before lunch. Lunch was gooood on Sunday. James was definitely enjoying being back to eating proper meals.

To end this rambling post, I am going to show you all a picture of my delightful sisters after a shaving foam fight. As you do.

I've been watching Gossip Girl so will end this post with, 'you know I love you xoxo'

Friday, 17 September 2010

Good News

This has been a good couple of days! Yesterday on my way to the McMillan Day Ward (to get my antibiotics) I bumped into my Doctor and she said she had my scan results and wanted to see me asap. I got quite nervous about this as it sounded urgent! Julie came along with Dr Waterston and we managed to get a room sorted to have a chat. She showed me the scans and the reports and had some great news. The tumour in my bowel has almost resolved, both the MRI and CT radiologists said that they could hardly see it! The lesion on my liver has also reduced and so have the lymph nodes. It shows that the TIP chemotherapy has definitely done its job and that my tumour is behaving like a typical chorio (even though it is in a different area and not of the typical nature). I still don't quite believe it, I don't think it has sunk in! I do still need to have my operation but it means the surgery won't be as major as the tumour isn't as large as first thought. It just shows that even though it was horrid going through the chemo it was totally worth it. I might not need another round so after the operation I will just be in recovery. It's crazy to think that could be it. Dr Waterston wants to see me at least once a month to get my bloods done and I will have regular check ups but this could all be over by the end of the year... AHHHHHH!

Anywho, I know I'm not at the end of the road yet and I have a lot to go through with the operation but I'm just remaining positive that everything is going to go well. I have had so much support from family and friends and I really can't thank them enough for being so amazing throughout this. I'm not looking forward to going to London but I know that everyone will look after me (everyone being Mum).

James is home for the weekend and as a celebration of this and my good news we all went out for dinner. We went to a wee restaurant round the corner from my old flat and it was delish (I had the red snapper in case anyone is wondering). We had to be out by 7.30 as I had to be up at the Beatson to get blood checked. I have had three separate needles today - my veins were slowly healing and are now being attacked again. I have to get blood checked an hour before my antibiotics, then get a venflon in for the antibiotics and on some days I need my blood checked again 6 hours later... It can be a very long day.

Tomorrow I am again due at the Beatson and then James, Teenie, Ruth and I are planning to go and see Avatar at the Imax. I didn't see it first time round so I'm looking forward to it. I'm knackered so going to bed now. Night all!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Goodbye Mr Hick...

Today has been a rather odd day. I was told yesterday that I have yet another infection and they seem to think that the root of these infections is the Hickman Line. So, they decided the Hickman Line had to go. I was pleased in a way, as I will no longer have two dangly things from my chest but it now means I'll need to get needles again... Hopefully my veins have picked up a bit so it won't be too bad. When we went in this morning, I found out that they want to give me the antibiotics for a week and that I might have to stay in... I was NOT happy with this and managed to come to an arrangement where I can get the antibiotics as an out-patient so that's quite good. I was pretty nervous about getting the Hickman Line removed but it actually went really smoothly. The nurses are so lovely and really put you at ease. I didn't even notice her taking it out! The most painful part was the anaesthetic! They're hoping I won't need another round of chemo but if I do, I might need to get another Hickman Line put in. Oh well, wait and see I guess! 

Mum has kept me under house arrest for the past few days but she allowed me to leave the house last night. Rona, Teenie and I went over to our friend Cat's new flat which was fun. It was good to be out! We made fajita's and had a good blether. Cat also took some pictures... None of which are flattering.

I had to go in to get blood taken this afternoon and Teenie took me in. We decided last minute to go out for dinner so picked Ruth up from work and went to Cafe Andaluz which was ACE. I am knackered now though so I'm just lazing about and going to have an early night. Laters.

Monday, 13 September 2010

What a fun day..


So, today was my 're-scanning' day. I had to wake up pretty early to drink this horrible mixture (for the CT scan) and then myself and Mum headed to Wishaw. I had to get swabs taken and then just hang about waiting for the CT and MRI. For the CT they need to put a venflon (needle) into your arm so they can put the contrast in (the dye). Since I've had the hickman line, I've not needed many needles and I forgot how uncomfortable it is to have them in your arm all the time. I think it was the first time I was pleased I had the hickman line. After the CT, we had some hanging about waiting for the MRI. They wanted to scan my leg too so I was in the machine for nearly an hour. It is so loud too! They put the radio on to try and distract from the noise but it doesn't really help. Fearne Cotton was on at the time so the sound of the machine was probably better than her.

The big news of the day is that I actually made myself lunch. Yes, I picked up a pan and made myself... Super noodles. Not my finest culinary moment but they were fabulous (if I do say so myself). As I am so knackered today (not entirely sure why), Mum, Granny and myself sat down to watch the Australian Masterchef Final. I LOVED IT.

I don't have many plans for the rest of the week. I'm still not really allowed out of the house so I feel like I'm under house arrest. I am incredibly bored but the tiredness seems to be stopping me from doing anything. I want to take Granny out somewhere for lunch so I'll see if we can go into the West End one day this week. I think she would like that. I found this picture on Teenie's facebook, how glam does Granny look?!

I love this picture, not sure why. I don't even know where or when it was taken! I'll go and ask her later on. It's been two years since Grandpa died and I was thinking about him today. Spearmint polo's will forever remind me of him! Also, he had an amazing head of hair. Maybe that's who I've inherited my resilient hair from?! Enough of my rambling, I'm going to go downstairs and eat chocolates with Granny. Nighty night.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

I got no strings

I can't remember any more words... This is the song from Pinocchio, I know it's called 'I got no strings' but have no idea what follows.. Anyway there is a relevance to this song title. I went to see my Doctor on Thursday to check in and had a chat with Julie too. She was asking about what side effects I've been suffering from this time and I've realised this has definitely been the worst. One thing that has been really annoying me is that my arms are really limp and lifeless - like a puppet (aaaaaaaaaaand this brings in my Pinocchio reference, thank you very much), which only adds to the fact I feel so weak all the time. I asked about the tingly fingers/toes and Dr Waterston said that this is probably accumulative due to all the chemo I've had and could take a while to go away. I presumed it would be a couple of days but she said it could be a good few months. It's strange to think this weird feeling won't go away any time soon. It's kind of like having constant pins and needles at the tips of your fingers. Very odd. I tested myself with playing the piano the other day and it definitely felt different. Hopefully I'll still be able to play it.

I had to get blood taken on Thursday before we left and there was again a mix up with them taking my HCG. I ALWAYS explain what is to happen (it's a bit confusing as it gets sent to the lab and then to London but there's a specific tube it has to go into) and they NEVER listen to the instructions! So, I had a bit of a run in with the nurses there.. It's just frustrating when I know which way to do it and they don't pay attention. Sorry, rant over. It's just this has happened so many times now it get's quite irritating. Dr Waterston also looked at the X Ray of my leg (it had been sore last week) and it turns out my spine is a bit bent too. I think she said it's called Scoliopsis (or something similar to a Dinosaur name) but doesn't seem too bad. It sounds like I've started to walk a bit differently since the stoma and that has put pressure on my spine/leg. Oh well, that's another thing eh!

Julie called yesterday morning to say that I am again neutropenic and I am not allowed to leave the house... My count is 0.07 so I have to do NOTHING until my immune system picks up. She also said my potassium levels are quite low so I plan on eating bananas today (I presume that helps...?!). Would banana loaf count?

Today was my last day of my GCSF injection and could potentially be my last one ever (this is if I don't need more chemo) - how exciting! I hate those injections so I'm glad to say goodbye.

Ruth and Alice are coming over for the X Factor and a Sleepover tonight OH YES! We plan on doing face masks, eating popcorn, playing Fluffy Bunnies, reading magazines, painting our nails and watching rom coms. It will transport me back to my 12 year old self and I cannot wait!

Thursday, 9 September 2010

All I want is Goats Cheese and a bath

Why is it when you're told you're not allowed something, that's all you want?! I'm not allowed to have a bath because of the Hickman Line and there is a wide variety of cheese I've to steer clear from as they are unpasteurised. I have cheese on my mind as I went out for dinner with Clare last night (to a yummy Italian) and every good thing on the menu had cheese on it I wasn't allowed, boo. What I had was nice but it wasn't goats cheese ya know. When I'm better I think I want to have a cheese party.

So I still have that weird tingly feeling in my fingers, I really hope it goes away soon as it is rather annoying. The nauseous feeling is still here too and I am still very tired. I feel like I'm being so self indulgent with all these symptoms but whenever I try to shake myself to do something I just can't muster the energy to do it. I cannot wait to have energy again. It feels like a long way away though. 

My Grandpa seems to be doing a lot better and I am still getting regular 'Lol Gpa' texts. I really hope I can go up and visit soon. Granny Fearn is coming down this weekend to stay for a while so I am putting in my order for coconut tarts and chicken soup now. The house feels very quiet this week (Dad away with work, Teenie in Belfast, James in Edinburgh and Rona at work during the day) so it will be nice to have someone else here. I'm not used to James being away at all, it sounds like he's having fun though. I wish I could go back to being a Fresher! 

I have clinic this afternoon so need to start getting ready soon and then going round to Ruth & Co's for dinner. Good day y'all!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

I feel it in my (tingly) fingers

I've been told after every chemo that I might had the side effect of 'tingly fingers' from the drug Cisplattin. So far I haven't had this but this time I defo do! I noticed it the other night when I was cutting my fingernails - it is a very odd sensation. It feels very strange typing - not painful or anything, just weird. It makes it quite hard picking things up too so people have to run around me, which I don't mind! Had a big adventure out today... Dad took me to the sandwich shop on the Main Street... And I was exhausted! I've barely done nothing since I got out of hospital on Sat and I know I have to take it easy but I was desperate to get out of the house. I still can't get over how breathless I get on such short trips. It was weird actually walking through the Avenue too, it had been a while.

I'm still feeling really sick but haven't actually thrown up since yesterday morning. I'm taking so much of the anti sickness medication it seems to be keeping it at bay... I still have this horrid watery chest thing, I can't really describe it but it's really uncomfortable. Mum thinks it's from the steroids I've been taking, they finish in a few days so hopefully it will go away then. Rona, Teenie and myself are planning on going to William's for dinner tonight, I really hope I feel ok for it. It's so hit or miss how I'm going to feel, I just can't predict it.

There have been more e-mails going back and forth from the prof and the other docs and it looks like the operation is going to be on 31st September. It's terrifying that it is so soon but also great that a plan is in motion. I have scans, clinics, blood tests and appointments for the next few weeks but hopefully everything will go to plan and the operation can go ahead. I really want to meet the surgeons and ask them loads of questions but I know I can't do that until I get to London. I'm starting to freak out about stupid things like, 'will the visiting hours be crap and I'll be stuck in a room with loads of randoms all day by myself?' or 'what if things go terribly and mum isn't there?' or 'will the recovery be dreadful and I'll be in London for weeks?' etc. I just read that back and they don't make much sense but anywho. That's just scraping the barrel! To sum it up, I am petrified and will be an absolute mess before it. But I know it has to be done and I have to remain positive that after this operation, this whole mess might be over. It feels like I can't remember a time when this wasn't my life. I cannot wait for things to get back to normal.

Oh I thought I saved this earlier... Clearly I didn't! Whoops. So yes we made it to William's and he cooked a feast, very nice. I am knackered now though. Going to bed very soon and my fingers are still tingly so goodbye!

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Bored. Tired. Fed up.

These are the three words that sum up my time in the hospital last week. I got out yesterday and it couldn't come soon enough! I was so happy to leave. I'm not sure why it was so much harder this time, I think the chemo really hit me and I couldn't shake off the tiredness. I've been feeling really sick and nauseous for the past few days too, its horrid. I've been given so many anti sickness tablets but I am finding them hard to keep down. I hope it wears off in a few days.

I had some lovely visitors during the week though and that always perks me up! It was very kind of everyone to visit. I didn't have much chat though! On Friday night my doctor came round and said she feels the HCG has now plateaued and it probably won't go much lower (Charing Cross result was 10, Beatson 8). As of this, she wants to take the surgery forward and not have the last round of TIP. So, basically there is now a schedule! I am having my scans on 13th September, seeing my doc that week to review them, planning a PET Scan and then I'll be sent to London again for the op. I'm finding the idea of the operation very scary but I've always known it's going to come to this. I'm just happy that there's now some sort of plan which will hopefully be stuck to! It's crazy to think this could all be over in a couple of months.

James left for Uni yesterday which is mental! I was so annoyed I was stuck in the hospital on his last night. The family came in though and we all watched Up. It was nice! The house feels weird without him being here.. Teenie will just have to make more noise than normal now! I'm going to miss his cardigans, omelettes, DVD collection and general chat. You better visit a lot James!

Right I need to go, back to bed!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010


So, I am still in the Beatson. I was allowed out during the day on Saturday and Sunday which was good. On Saturday I met up with Jemma, Tasha and co to discuss wedding details for Jemma's big day next summer. They tried on bridesmaid dresses throughout the day and I have a request to try on a dress.. Let's hope it fits! Tasha also brought me a bag FILLED with sour sweets, which have so far been great. My tastebuds have gone a bit wonky again so they are helping! On Sunday, Alice came over for lunch and a blether so that was nice too.

Since then I've not done anything at all. I was so tired yesterday as I had hardly any sleep on Monday night. I'm on the chemo again that is constant hourly bags (mainly) and when they run through the night I can't get to sleep. I've timed it that I should be getting out on Friday night.. We'll see! I'm really looking forward to get home so the earlier the better. Right I best be off, Guten Tag!