Monday, 22 November 2010

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner.

It may come as a shock to some people, but I was actually born down here (in Chertsey). Most folk are normally pretty surprised when they find out myself and my sisters had English accents until 1990 when we moved to Wick. Apparently we moved for Dad's work... My bet is that we moved to get rid of our London accents. We then had Caithness accents until 1993 and we moved to Uddingston. I don't know what's better... A weegie accent or a Caithness one? Hmmm.

Anyway, Mum and I have been in London now for a week so I thought it was time for an update. I was admitted into hospital last Tuesday and the first thing they had to do was put in another Hickman Line... If you have spoken to me in the last few weeks then you will know I was terrified about it. I really don't know why.. The last one was quite uncomfortable but I think the build up was actually worse than the procedure. This time round I was really nervous the whole morning but strangely, I started to calm down before I actually went in. It went quite well and the doctor said he was surprised as I was chatting the whole way through. The radiographer was really nice and we spent most of the time blethering about musicals. It was over before I realised! It was pretty sore after but nothing worse than I'd already had so it was ok. It's just strange having wires come out of my chest again. They weren't going to start the chemo til the next day so I had to stay in overnight. I was on the same ward (Ward 6 South) that I was on when I was whisked down to London back in May and this time the experience felt very different. Quite a few of the nurses remembered me (one in particular because of my Mulberry bag!) and the other ladies on my ward were great. It was the first time I had met people who have been going through similar experiences to me so it was good to have people to talk about it with.

The next day seemed to drag in as I was waiting for the chemo to be hooked up. I knew I was having a round of chemo called Etopiside but did not realise it was a high dose. The first time I was made aware of this was when I was signing the consent form - I was NOT happy about that. Anywho, the etopiside was given over 24 hours with lots of fluids. However, due to the timing of it, it meant that my machine would constantly beep throughout the night (the chemo every 2 1/2 hours, the fluids seemed to go off constantly). The way they administered it was through some sort of syringe that had to be plugged in at all times. This was not good when I needed to go to the bathroom (which was LOADS due to all the fluid). Once the machine was unplugged it would make a really loud high pitched beeping noise which gave me an awful headache. The next day I was hooked up to fluids until about 4pm and then had to wait around for ages for the prescription. My friend Gordon came down for a couple of days to keep me company in the hospital which was nice. Mum wasn't well when I was discharged on Thursday so Gordon had the fun task of carrying all my bags. He also helped me decide what I will call my yacht (The P Diddy, in case anyone wants to know). This round of chemo has made me feel a lot more nausceous than any other. To prove my point, Gordon showed up with a bag filled with M&S food and I felt so ill I couldn't touch any of it.. Clearly not like me.

On Friday I felt much the same as Thursday and did nothing the whole day. We went to stay with some friends in Ottershaw for the weekend and they were very kind. I barely moved the whole weekend (as whenever I moved, I would feel sick) but I did manage to watch The X Factor. I clearly couldn't have been that bad. We came back to Daphne's last night and today I've just sat about, listened to the radio, read a bit and watched Grey's Anatomy. Clearly I've been very busy. I still feel pretty ropey but I suppose it's given me a taste of what the next round of chemo will be like... I'm dreading it.

The weekend before we came to London was great. On Friday night, it was the Wedding Reception for one of my best friends Louise. She got married in New York in the summer and it was lovely to see her and Kenny so happy. She wore a gorgeous green dress and looked absolutely stunning. Obviously many pictures were taken..

My wig was doing my head in throughout it and I was so tempted to just whip it off. Here's some pictures of me and the fam when I got home... You can see that my hair has grown in a wee bit!

On Saturday my Auntie Sheana and cousin Emily came for the night and it was so good to see them. Emily is such a lovely girl and we all get on so well. In the evening, Ruth, Jamie and co came round for dinner and to watch The X Factor. We had such a nice night but as the night continued I started to get quite sad as I knew I wouldn't see them for quite a few weeks. My Dad has commented several times on how amazing my close friends have been throughout all of this. They have remained very loyal, caring and considerate. It is cliched to say, but I really couldn't ask for anything better. I am not one to be mushy about this kind of thing but I just hope they all know how much they are appreciated.

This week I don't have any great plans at all. I have some good friends in London I would like to see but that is all dependent on how I'm feeling! Also, my cousin Kate is studying down here so I'm looking forward to seeing her. Well, I best be off. I feel I have blabbed enough tonight. Au revoir!

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Bah Humbug

Yes I know it's early and yes I know it's probably predictable, but I have absolutely ZERO Christmas spirit this year. Why do shops have Christmas decorations already? We saw our first Christmas decorations up outside Ruth's flat last Thursday - ehhh what?! We were never allowed to put up our tree until like, 10 days before Christmas or something. I can't remember precisely but along those lines. Today Mum and I went to Garrion Bridge (a shop/antique place - Granny likes it as it's sometimes on Bargain Hunt) after clinic. I normally love it as it features three of my favourite things... Jewellery, scented candles and sweets. However, today was a different story. Christmas was EVERYWHERE. I was most annoyed to find that in my beloved candle section, it reeked of Christmas. There was cinnamon, fig, mistletoe, Silent Night (I have no idea how you make a Christmas Carol into a scent) etc. So I went for Lavender and Lime. I figured it was very un-Christmassy. Fab. Mum also bought me a Mango candle so I am bringing in the Winter with my bedroom smelling like fruit. The realisation that I will be away for Christmas has really hit this week. Dad was saying they're looking for hotels in London to stay in over that period. How depressing is that?! I think my favourite thing is Christmas Dinner and I can't get out of my head that I will probably be fed through a tube on Christmas Day. I'm guessing it won't be turkey flavoured.

Ok, enough of my moaning. The past week has been quite busy. I definitely have more energy now and my wounds have healed up quite a bit. Mum has booked our flights to London for Monday and I have done no preparation.. I guess I just need to pack PJ's and DVDs?

Last weekend was great. My friend Dawn has an annual fireworks display at her house and it was great fun this year. It's always nice to see my school chums and it just feels like old times! On Saturday night, we had a few people round to watch the X Factor and Dad also attempted some fireworks.. The highlight of Dad's firework display was probably the torch attached to his head. The funniest part was when one of the rockets flew in the air and then went directly down onto our neighbours garden... Good thing they were indoors. Here's some snaps of the weekend...

I went to church on Sunday and it was great to see everyone again. As always, Janice was incredibly kind and gave us loads of cakes to take home! I spent a lot of the service playing Where's Wally (a book which I loved as a child) and colouring in Power Rangers.

My hair is growing slowly but surely. Every day I feel like it's getting a bit longer. Also, today was the first day since I got back from London that I put mascara on. My eyelashes are still pretty stumpy but they're definitely growing in. Here's a few pictures to show my hair progress... The first one is the night after Ruth shaved it (I think).

This one was taken earlier on this week...

And this one was taken today (self take - cringe).

It might not look like much, but it even feels a bit longer. Anyway, according to the magazines the 'Military Look' is in. Maybe I should just work the G.I. Jane hair? It's not really the season for it though. My head is even cold indoors.

I can't really remember what else I was going to say (if anything) so I will end with a picture of Dad posing as a ned (didn't have to try hard... Ha).

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Ho Hum

I am currently feeling a bit glum. We spoke to the prof last week to discuss the timings of my further treatment and chemo. We're travelling down to London on the 17th November to get all the stem cells and will be down for about two weeks. I'll then be back home for a wee while (not sure how long, anything from two days to two weeks, have to check availability) and then back down to London to start the high dose chemotherapy. The way the dates work out, I will most likely be in hospital for Christmas and New Year which I am gutted about. I was really looking forward to having a quiet, relaxing Christmas with my family which I now know won't happen. We normally go to Skye for New Year and because of this horrible chemo, that will fall through as well. It really feels like nothing is going right at the moment. I'm not superstitious at all, but the phrase 'the way you bring in the New Year, dictates how you'll spend the rest' (or whatever it is) has really been playing on my mind. I do NOT want to be hooked up to chemo bringing in the New Year myself. So, I am not in a good mood at all!

The past week feels like it's been really busy but the grand scheme of things, I've done hardly anything! I managed to make it to Alice's birthday on Friday which was really nice. It was great to see everyone and it jut felt like normal. We got some lovely snaps of the occasion...

After getting home from Alice's, Ruth, Teenie and myself stayed up for a while blethering and watching The OC. We've got Teenie hooked on it! I don't know if I've said, but Teenie recently had an operation on her nose.. At one point when we were messing about, Ruth pinched Teenie's nose forgetting it was sore! Luckily, Teenie saw the funny side of it (when the pain died down..).

I look like a huge cone-head in this picture but I'm starting to get used to being bald. My hair is growing in slightly and Dad keeps on saying it's coming in darker.. I can't really tell. I need to start buying hats too. I tried on a couple last night and I looked like a total goon. I've never worn hats before, and I think they only look good if you have hair underneath them. Maybe I'll just stick to headscarves?!

Ruth stayed over on Friday night and we had quite a few visitors on Saturday. My Uncle James and co popped in with some cakes and a pumpkin for hallowe'en! It made me remember when my Dad grew pumpkins one year... We all HATE the taste of pumpkins and it led to few weeks of pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, pumpkin everything. I really do not have good memories of pumpkins. Anyway, we haven't eaten it so all is well. My friends Jemma and Phil were also passing through so came over for a wee while. I'm going to be one of Jemma's bridesmaids next year so it was nice to catch up on news about her wedding. Very exciting! My Dad's cousin John also came over for the weekend as he is currently visiting from Australia. He came bearing gifts of Champagne and chocolates from Paris - yum. It was great to see everyone but by Saturday night I was completely wiped. I've not really done much the past couple of days, Jamie was round yesterday (for some West Wing) and Rona, Teenie and I went to the cinema in the evening.

I got an amazing package in the post today from my Mum's friend Janice (thank you!). She's sent a whole array of eyebrow/eyelash things for me to experiment with and I'm very excited about them! Ruth is a make up queen so when she's round tomorrow she will test them all out on me. I wore fake eyelashes on Friday and I LOVED having eyelashes again. It sounds quite pathetic but I don't care.

It feels like this week is going to be quite busy so I've taken it easy today. Grace is coming round to watch Mean Girls and I'm supposed to be wearing something pink... Unfortunately I own nothing pink so I'll wear a lot of blusher. Or something like that.

I will finish with my favourite picture from the last week... Oh Dad, you're crazy.