Tuesday, 19 April 2011

I hate chipped nail polish

I am rather obsessive over my nails and cannot stand it when my nail polish chips. I have also never been one to 'pick' at my nail polish. Since the high dose my nails have been in a terrible state - very brittle and sore - my solution is to COVER them in nail polish! While I was waiting to be scanned on Monday morning I was pick, pick, picking at my nail polish.. I didn't realise I was doing this until about ten minutes in and five of my nails were completely demolished. As I am not a nail polish 'picker' this shows how nervous I was yesterday! I had my MRI at 8.15 and my CT about 9ish. After this we headed up to get my blood checked then went for a coffee (and a slice of carrot cake for me - nice healthy breakfast). At about 10.45 we returned and went in to see the Prof. We chatted about how I have been feeling since the high dose and how long recovery will take. He then popped my scans up on the screen so we could have a look at them. He pointed out every part of my body and was very clear and concise when talking to me. He paused over the pictures of my liver as there looked like a slight mark there, however, he said this is a haemangioma (explained to me as a birth mark). He said there was no sign of tumour growth in my body and the scans look to be clear. This is obviously very good news yet he was very sure to say this is not the all clear. He stressed that I will have to be closely monitored for two years (blood tests every two weeks and regular scans) to be sure the cancer has gone. I asked him what the likelihood was of it returning and he said with normal germ cell patients its quite a small percentage (less than 10%), however with me it is a different story.. He said as my tumour was so unique I can't compare myself with others and he really doesn't know if it could return. He continued by discussing my recovery and that I can't expect too much, too soon. He was very positive regarding recovery and feels that I am progressing well.

Overall, it was a good meeting and he was very happy with how I'm doing. I left feeling happy (obviously) but also there was a sense of anti climax. I am well aware this news is good but I know I still have a lot more to go through regarding my operation (hopefully mid June) and I don't think I will feel this is over until then. There is also the constant worry that this isn't the end and that the cancer could return. I've been told there is no point worrying about this but the life of a cancer patient is constant worry! Even though there is technically no sign of the cancer in my body at the moment, I don't feel secure in this at all. I don't think I really ever will. Even though I was nervous about the meeting (OK, terrified), I think I knew he was going to say this - my HCG has been below 5 since November and all recent scans have been good. We've been lucky having the HCG as a tumour marker but I know I can't become too hung up about it.

I don't mean the above to sound like I'm feeling bleak about this news, I'm not. I am pleased I don't need more chemo, I think I'm just so aware that I still have so far to go. The after effects of the chemo are not nice and still here. As mentioned above, my nails are horrid! Hopefully they'll get better soon. My hearing is dreadful and I am planning on going to see someone about this soon. I also have constant tinnitis which is incredibly frustrating and the numbness in my hands and feet is still here. These are just a few and of all these things, for me, the worst side effect has been my energy levels. I know I have mentioned this constantly but I really can't stress enough how rubbish this is. I find it hard to explain how tired I am and have absolutely no sympathy for anyone who says they're 'tired' as I'm convinced I have it so much worse (petty and daft, I know)! So, if you do feel tired, don't mention it to me as I will hit you.

I was rather busy last week (for me busy is going out for lunch, then the rest of the day is a write off) and have been feeling knackered every day! I was in the Beatson all day on Friday for Magnesium and forgot how rubbish it was to have to get a venflon in your hand - not that I miss my Hickman Line though. The day passed by rather quickly with visits from Julie and May and reading a lot of magazines. On Saturday it was my friend Eilidh's wedding in St Andrews which was lovely. Mum and I flew to London on Sunday evening and arrived back this afternoon.

In brief, the above is positive but I'm keeping in mind that I'm not out of the water yet! Thanks for your messages, you have all been so kind.


  1. Hi Mairead - thinking of you

    Best wishes


  2. There are roads still to travel, but you have come so far already. we will all be here to keep you company on the rest of the way pie pie.


  3. Thank you for keeping us posted! There is quite a way to go, but I am sure you will manage! With Gods help and the love of your family and friends!

  4. Though there will be more of the tricky stuff ahead at times, you've accomplished so much in such a short time. Can't believe it's almost a year!
    With every bit of luck and faith, the hardest parts of this are behind you and it's all about getting better from here!
    And we'll all be with you until you're cartwheeling all over the place (and afterwards blovs)

  5. I don't blame you one bit for being hesitantly relieved. It's totally normal and I guess all I can offer is just try to take one day at a time...clearly you are because despite having some very difficult times you've stayed the course, spent tons of time w/fam and friends and kept up with as many fun activities as possible.

    Keep on living Mairead!! You've come so far and the finish line is in sight :)