Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Lovely weather for a picnic

Total drama on the ward yesterday.. THERE WAS A SPIDER IN MY ROOM. Now, I absolutely detest spiders. It really doesn't help when someone says, "they're more scared of you" - worst response ever. Luckily, the nurses understood my fear (ie they were also terrified). One lovely nurse managed to trap the spider and release it out into the surroundings of Monklands. Panic over. This was the first spider I have ever seen in a hospital (and this year I have been in many hospitals, many times). So that is my big story of the day!

In other news, I am now home. After a week in hospital it felt good to leave today. The nurses at Monklands were so lovely and really looked after me. Every nurse commented on how nice my blanket is (thanks Granny) and they were all up for a blether (which I am also partial to). The rash has gone down quite a lot and I have not had much pain which is great!

The next week or so is rather busy so I'm just having a quiet day today. James has come home for the Summer and Granny is also here for a visit. It's nice to have the house busy again! James is getting rather good on the ukulele so I'm expecting a few lessons. Mum made a brilliant dinner tonight, I was getting so sick of sandwiches so I ate a lot! Teenie took me to Boots this evening and I may have bought some Chanel make up.. Whoops.

Finally, here is a picture of some of the cousins who were at Teenie's show on Saturday. She did amazingly well and we are all so proud of her.

I'm hoping the weather clears up.. I want to wear flip flops!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

One year.. And still in hospitals.

Well this has NOT been a fun week. My blood was taken on Tuesday and it turned out my neutrophils had dropped. As per usual, I was not told this until 6pm and was told to go into Wishaw General. The next few days were filled with contradictory information about whether I should be given my drugs IV or in tablet form. On Thursday they eventually decided to send me to Monklands Infectious Diseases Ward. Thursday was a really awful day and I was so angry that it took them so long to decide this. It was completely sprung up upon me. I was determined not to be in hospital on Saturday for two reasons.. Firstly, it was Teenie's show at the Exhibition Centre that a lot of us were going to and had been planned for months. Secondly, it is exactly one year since I was diagnosed and I really didn't want to be in hospital on that day. Typically though, I was. I made it clear to my Doctors that I needed to be out on Saturday and it was arranged that I could be. It was a great day but it was rather annoying having to go back to the hospital.

My rash is over my back and has spread to my stomach. I have to be given IV drugs three times a day and each infusion lasts about an hour. I asked if I could come home this afternoon and the doctor reluctantly said yes (I pointed out that my neutrophils have risen, I don't have a temperature, I don't need another IV infusion until the evening and I would get a proper feed at home!). As I have mentioned before, hospital food is RANK. I am literally just eating sandwiches. I still don't understand why there is never anything remotely healthy. It doesn't really make sense..

I really hate being in the hospital. I am in a room like I was for the high dose and it is so restricting. It is even more isolating being in there as it is more difficult for people to visit. There is internet access on the TV thing in my room but it is rather annoying (the mouse doesn't really work) so I've not been using it. I've managed to read quite a bit and going through some new stuff on my Ipod. I have also rekindled my love for Dawson's Creek so that is keeping me entertained. Teenie and I have played a lot of Spit but that's even difficult because I have a venflon in my hand! My veins are totally crap due to the battering they've had from the chemo. It normally takes a few tries to get blood which is rather painful. My arms have quite a number of bruises. I'm due back at the hospital this evening but don't know how long I'll be in for. I really hope it's not too much longer.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Sh Sh Shingles

Why hi there! I have not written on here for a wee while. I guess that's because I thought I had nothing interesting to say. I'm not sure if you can call Shingles interesting but that's what I now have! HOW ANNOYING. I was scratching my back yesterday and Mum had a look at it about 11pm and straight away said, 'Yup, it's Shingles'. My medical knowledge is still pretty sketchy and all I know about Shingles is that it's similar to chickenpox and some of my friends at Uni had it.. Anywho, we phoned NHS 24 who told us we had to go to Monklands for an appointment at 1.15am. Unfortunately, I had just taken my sleeping tablet so forcing myself to stay awake was rather difficult.. My speech was slurring, I was talking nonsense (more so than usual) and I nearly tripped up quite a few times. When we arrived at Monklands, the waiting room was full of drunk football fans covered in mud so I wasn't overly enthralled to be there. We were taken through quite quickly and the doctor confirmed it was shingles. I needed to have my blood checked to make sure I wasn't neutropenic before they gave me anti-viral medication (basically if my neutrophils were below 1.5 they would need to give me an IV, if it was above 1.5 I could get tablets). However, the doctor said it would be TWO HOURS to get a blood test - ehhhh what?! After phoning two other hospitals, the A&E doctor said she would see me right away. The blood came back within 15 minutes and my neutrophils were... 1.6! Hurrah! At this point it was after 3am and we were not in the best mood. I had also eaten a lot of sour fruit pastilles so I felt a bit sick.. Whoops. So, that's last nights drama! I had three separate appointments at Wishaw and the Beatson tomorrow which now have to be cancelled which is rather irritating. It also means I'm pretty much under house arrest until this clears up. If you have had chickenpox come and visit me - I AM SOOOOO BORED. I have tried to nap this afternoon and failed. Why can't I ever nap?!

The past week was nice - my Grandparents were down and looking after me very well. We also had Teenie's dancing show on Friday which was very good - they were all awesome. One of my highlights is always the tuck shock (and the dancing obvs) and this year they even had candy floss! Fab. Here's a pic of Alice, Ruth and myself (pre-Candy floss)

On Saturday Alice and I did a spot of shopping and met our chum Gavin for lunch. On Saturday night I forced Jamie to watch Eurovision and it was great. At the time of Eurovision last year, I had just been sent to London and I remember feeling very down in the dumps in hospital, being unable to watch it! The year before, Ruth, Amy and I held a party in the flat which was so much fun. We had planned to do one again last year but obviously this silly cancer got in the way of it - how rude.

I had hoped by now I would have more energy and would be able to do more. The house has felt very quiet these past few weeks as everyone else has been so busy. I think I have only just realised how isolating my situation at the moment actually is. I was asked why I don't just get the train into town one day, if I'm bored and sitting about doing nothing. I actually wish I could and for some reason it really bothers me that nobody really 'gets' that I physically cannot do that. I struggle speeding up to cross a road and I am too scared to go anywhere myself in case my legs give way and I fall (sounds lame but my legs are very weak). I know the above sounds rather glum and defeatist, I don't mean it to be, I just wish I was able to convey how tiring everyday things make me feel. Also, having shingles how doesn't really help the situation! I appreciate that you never know these things until you're in the situation but I feel like I'm banging on about it all the time! I don't even know if any of that makes sense, I hope it does.

I'm going to go back to my book so I hope everyone has a lovely Monday.

Friday, 6 May 2011

I love voting

Well that was a pretty dramatic night for Scotland eh?! This blog is not the place for me to spout out my political views but it was very exciting (in a good way or bad way - you decide). I'm annoyed I didn't stay up and watch it all! So far, 59 constituencies have been announced and we're still awaiting the result of the Referendum (sometime this afternoon I think?!) so it should be an interesting day. I have never understood why somebody wouldn't use their vote, it really baffles me.

For some reason I am feeling incredibly reflective at the moment and it is constantly in my head that it is nearly a year since I was diagnosed (21st May). I still can't quite believe how much things can change in a year and the election last year really sticks out in my mind as a memorable night. As you probably know, I lived in a mouse infested flat with my friends Ruth and Amy. At the election last year, the mice were going for gold in Ruth's room (even running up her bed.. We couldn't cope) so she came through to my room knowing I'd be awake (I wasn't sleeping much at this point). As my stomach was so sore, I was constantly using Ruth's step machine (the motion seemed to help my stomach) which, on a side-note, actually toned my legs quite a bit! I was feeling pretty sick that night so we stayed up most of the night watching the election results. Ruth (being a trooper) made it into work the next day but I was busy throwing up.. Not nice. At this point I knew something must be up (never for one second thought it'd lead to this though) and it was pretty soon after Mum told me to come home. It's weird I've not been at work in a year too, it feels like an incredibly long time to not be working.

Here is a picture of myself, Rona, James and Teenie from last year. I can't wait for my hair to be that length again (think I've got a while to wait).

My TCT nurse, got me some free tickets to an event at the Exhibition Centre today then going out for dinner with Ruth and my sisters - should be good! I'm going to go downstairs, get my breakfast and turn on BBC to see what the haps are!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

I have something in common with Prince William

My sister Teenie commented the other day that my hair is growing back in - hurrah! However, she then noticed that it is not growing in at both sides of my head.. I.E. like a receding hairline. There is a definite bit of 'fluff' over my head but at the two sides it is still rather smooth... As we all saw last Friday, Prince William did not resort to hair plugs but maybe I'll have to? How do they even work?! Jokes obvs. This obviously leads me on to the Royal Wedding... Ahhhhhh it was just lovely. We had a party to celebrate Ruth's birthday so the day was flowing with Pimms, Champagne and Cakes! We also had a bbq which was fab (even though I only ate half a roll.. Not sure why).

These are just some of the snaps, we had such a great day. It was so good to see everyone too. Ruth is also now 25... We're ancient! The weekend before was Jem's hen weekend and it was ace to see the girls - lots of wedding chat! I'm actually so excited! I need to get something to heal up the scars on my chest (as my dress is strapless) - does anyone know of anything? Is Bio Oil the best bet?! Here's some pics of the weekend..

Granny and Grandpa are visiting at the moment and have been looking after me very well! This means the house is fully supplied with cakes. I'm not complaining about this.

Yesterday Mum and I went to Wishaw to discuss dates for my operation. I had it in my head it would be the middle of June (three months after the High Dose) but they want to wait until September (six months after). Initially I was very disappointed about this - in my head, this all won't be over until the operation and the sooner that is done the better. I also don't want another Summer full of dread and waiting about/hospital appointments. However, they explained to me that if I went ahead with the operation in June my body will not be fully recovered from the chemo and it might take longer to recover from the operation. They feel if I wait until September, the recovery will most likely be smoother and I will hopefully not be in hospital for as long. They were being realistic with me which I appreciated. I hoped I would be fully recovered by Jem's wedding (end of July) but they said if I went ahead with the op in June there is no guarantee I'd be able to go to the wedding. I'm not exactly happy about this but I don't want to go against their recommendations. They're obviously the experts in this and I think I have to listen to their advice. It's frustrating that this is yet another thing that's changed but I think I'm used to it now.

I don't have much planned for today so I'm going to give my room a tidy up and listen to some music. It's such a lovely day so I should really go outside at some point! Later's!