Tuesday, 29 June 2010

As Maria Von Trapp said...

Let's start at the very beginning! For some reason this song (Do-Re-Mi) has been in my head for the past few days and I've been thinking about the day I found out I wasn't well. I still don't think it has really sunk in, everything still feels incredibly surreal. Even yesterday, I went to Wishaw Hospital to see one of the nurses and on the walk to the ward I got breathless. I've not had shortness of breath yet which is why it was very odd. I'd like to think I'm pretty fit and healthy but my mum was saying it's probably because I'm a bit anaemic and I might have to get a blood transfusion. Great! Anyway, that's just one of the things that's frustrating me.

The build up to finding out what was going on was pretty quick. I'd been off work for a few weeks due to stomach pains and not eating but had just been fobbed off by my GP with some medication. Things only started moving when my mum (who's a GP) got involved. I was in and out of Wishaw for about two weeks when a surgeon called Ms Goldberg got involved and really put things in motion. I'd stayed in overnight on the Thursday night and Ruth (my BFF) and Jamie (the boyf) came to visit. At this point we only thought I had an ovarian cist (as I have this unusually high HCG level which is telling my body it's pregnant, it's not) but they still weren't totally sure. Ms Goldberg got a CT, MRI and some other scans carried out on me and also did a biopsy on a part of my bowel. I knew she was doing a biopsy but didn't really think about it. So, a wee while later Ms Goldberg called me and mum through. From looking at her face (and the other four people in the room) we knew the news wasn't going to great. She basically said I have a tumour in my bowel and two spots on my liver. She was unsure if it was bowel cancer or if it was a different type of cancer. When she fist told me, I was obviously shocked but didn't seem to have any reaction at all. I didn't look at mum and just stared at Ms Goldberg. Everyone in the room was looking at me with such sympathetic glances but I knew if I looked at any of them I would burst into tears. So, Ms Goldberg continued on with what she thought was going on and after her spiel asked if I had any questions. For some reason, everything she said sounded so bleak and the only question I had was "Am I going to die?". She answered, "I don't know". Even then I still hadn't cried and I was even thinking "Why are you not crying?!". I didn't really have any other questions for her as I didn't know where to begin. After this a nurse called Eleanor took me away to talk and I think that's when it started to hit me what Ms Goldberg had said. One thing that we spoke about was how different people were going to react to the news. She said that it will make me realise who my true friends are and who is important to me. It's amazing how quickly I have realised this!

After all this, Ms Goldberg told me I would be allowed to go home for the weekend but would need to come in on Monday for a small operation. There was no definite plan for treatment at this point as they didn't know what was going on so the weekend was pretty much going to be in limbo. Also, my sister Rona was away in Ireland until the Monday so I didn't particularly want to say to anyone before she found out. Weirdly, when me and mum were walking to the car all I could think about was how lucky I am to have such an amazing family and friends behind me. Even though only mum knew at this moment, I knew that she would be amazing (as would the rest of my immediate and extended family) and my friends. I kept on thinking, 'What if I had to do this myself?' but already felt positive as I knew how much support I was going to have.

So, me and mum got to the car, had a cry and drove home. When we got home only Teenie was in but I think she was asleep. So, mum woke her up and told her. That wasn't very nice. That's when I realised how many people are going to be upset by the news and that I didn't want to tell anyone. The thought of Granny Fearn finding out by herself really upset me and I didn't want her to find out alone. Anyway, I left all this up to mum and she dealt with everyone (to my relief). The next day Ruth and Jamie came out as I didn't want to tell them over the phone. I got mum to tell them as well. It was a very strange afternoon. We were all sitting in the living room on such a lovely day but none of us wanted to go outside. The only word that can describe it is odd. We kept the news on the downlow over the weekend as Rona still wasn't back but I think mum and dad told a few folk.

Rona came back on the Monday and mum picked her up from the airport and drove her straight to the hospital. Rona NEVER cries so it was weird seeing her upset. You know it's serious when Rona's upset! I think that made me more upset. So, we were sitting about in the hospital all day waiting for my operation.. I couldn't eat or drink anything the entire day! All I had was one gulp of water when I had to take a tablet, not nearly enough. I think we spent most of the day playing Connect 4 and card games. Fun times! Rona and Teenie also took some time out to call some other close friends which I was really thankful for. I called and told my boss from work (the first person I had told) and she was great.

I'm not sure why I was thinking about that weekend today but there you go. I just realised how long it is too... apologies. I do like to ramble. In other news, I watched Sabrina Fair the other night. I adore Audrey Hepburn, I love this dress she wears in the film...

Isn't it beautiful?! I'm loving watching old films at the moment. Mum's wanting us all to sit down and watch High Society - that will be this week at some point!

Not been up to much today, some friends from church came round and Ruth's coming round for dinner and a film later. Toodles!

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Fizzy Cola Bottles

All day I have been craving fizzy cola bottles. My tastebuds have gone absolutely mental. It's these ones I really want though... You know the REALLY sour ones?

But now because I've eaten so many sweeties of a similar nature today my tongue feels dead weird. You know when you eat too many haribo your tongue feels kinda fuzzy? Yeah, I definitely overdid the fizzy sweets today. I've also been drinking really bitter drinks - mainly sparkling mineral water with lemon juice.. Yes, I know that sounds absolutely revolting but it's literally one of the only things I can drink! Actually, I did try watermelon juice today that was quite nice too. Basically, my tastebuds are changing drastically every day and there seems to be no pattern to it. Bet I hate fizzy sweets tomorrow and I'm craving pickles or something random.

I've not done very much today at all, just chillaxed in the house. The Moroke's from St Vincent Street came out to visit and it was really nice to see them. We were blethering about camp and I'm so gutted that I can't go! This will be the first time since I was 12 that I've not gone to camp. Sad times.

I had a great day yesterday too, the bbq was ace. I don't know why we've not had a bbq before! Here are some lovely pics of the day...

Today is also my little brother James' 18th birthday. He's currently working at the Edinburgh Film Festival so has not spent his birthday in Uddingston. Instead he went to see Toy Story 3 and is going to some fancy wrap party. No idea why you would choose that over Uddy. Tomorrow he is being taken out shopping and then we are all going to Khublai Khans for dinner. Yeah! Ok, I've just seen a bug in my room. Bye.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

My Red Hair

So, one of my life ambitions is to marry someone with the surname Hair. My little brother and his friends used to call me Mai-Red-Hair to annoy me (which worked when I was a sensitive, ginger, short, 12 year old) but when I decided to man up about being ginger I thought the nickname was rather cool. Unfortunately, the only man I have come across with the surname Hair was a Lecturer in the Music Department who was rather portly and balding. Not that I'm shallow or anything,  but he wasn't really my type. I'll obviously need to search further in this quest.

In relation to the topic of hair, one of the annoying things about chemotherapy is the fact I'm going to lose it. I actually feel ok about loosing it, I'm more annoyed about the fact I'm going to loose my eyelashes. I think my face is going to look weird without them. Well, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it!

I was told that one of most distressing things while going through chemotherapy was when your hair falls out in chunks and is all over your pillow. Most ladies I spoke to in London had got their hair cut before it fell out. So, I decided to do this too. I shall talk you through this epic adventure...

This is a picture of my hair before the first haircut... Basically, the way it has been for years. I won't be offended if you think it's dull. It is.

Aaaaaaand this is a picture of how it turned out after...

I was a little bit nervous before going in but it was actually great fun and I was so happy with the result. I was surprised at how much I liked it! The following Thursday I went into the Beatson to begin my treatment in Glasgow and my fantastic nurse Julie managed to get me an appointment at the Alan Edwards Salon in Merchant City about a wig. He was amazing and cut my hair even shorter for me...

This was again a huge change but it was great of him, so easy to manage!

And now we have the wig... This is before it was dyed and we had so much fun in the Salon playing with it.

We popped back to the Salon on Tuesday night and here are pictures of my finished wig... Doesn't it look ace?!

Well, that's the 'This is my Life' story regarding my hair. I have not lost it all yet but it's getting all wispy and thinning out. I'm going to have to start rocking the headscarf look!

I had a great day today, some chums came over for a bbq and I plan on sorting through the pictures tomorrow and posting the good ones (ie the ones of me with no double chin). Over and out.

My First Blog..

Well hello there! I am unsure how to start this as I have never 'blogged' before. It's a weird thing really. You're kind of talking to yourself but it's open for other people to read. Hmmm.. Anywho, I wanted to start this so we'll see what happens.

So, it is pretty much five weeks since I found out I had cancer. Since then it's been a bit crazy! I found out on the Friday afternoon there was something up, the Monday I was operated on and then the Tuesday I was carted down to London. The type they think I have is called a non-gestational choriocarsinoma (unsure of the spelling... I should know this) and I was sent to London as the experts in this type work there. So, we were in London for two LONG weeks getting treatment and the whole time I was desperate to come back! I was so happy when we got home.

Since then, it's been really busy with appointments, visitors, chemo, more appointments etc but it's keeping me going! Mum is off work so is able to chauffeur me around to wherever I need to be.

Last night I had a great surprise though - we were just sitting in the Living Room watching the football (yawn) when the doorbell rang... It was Auntie Rosemary and Grace! I got such a shock! They had travelled all the way from Skye for the night and it was so good to see them. They also came bearing beautiful gifts, one being this gorgeous bag from Italy (you know a bag is fancy when it comes in a separate bag to carry it in) and some amazing Skye Soap treats. There's tablet too which I must remember to hide from Dad.

Today I am hoping for a nice day. Not because I like hot weather (actually the opposite, I HATE the heat) but because some chums are coming over for a bbq. We have never hosted a bbq in Uddy before so I think Mum is a bit paranoid. I'm sure it will be swell though! I really hope I have an appetite..

Well, this first post is a bit scattered and all over the place but you're allowed to do that for the first one eh? Laters!