The tale of a toddler and a 24-hour urine sample

I am going to preface this by saying this post is about wee. If you don’t like wee then don’t read, ok pissy pants?

Mornings always start early in this house and today was no different.

Today I had to carry out a 24 hour urine sample (basically peeing into a 5 litre container) as part of my kidney test before starting chemo on the 6th.

It has to start with your first wee of the day and continues for 24 hours, pretty much self explanatory.

So I get my peeing jug I used when I was pregnant and sterilised it because this was the easiest way to get it in the frigging jug.
If you had or have a toddler, you will already be aware that going to the toilet on your own is quite the sacred act and its a rare occurrence to be able to enjoy a poo on your own, let alone trying to carry out a fiddly specimen test.

At 6.40am I set about doing my first wee. I’ll try not to give you a visual because it already bad enough that you know my fanny is up the creek without you visualising me squatting over a jug.

Oops. Sorry.

Where was I…oh yes, so I’m doing my…business and James plods along towards the loo and opens the door.

Mum-mum
Yes James,
Wee wee?
Yes, Mummy is having a wee
Poo?
No, no poo.
Juss wee wee?
Yes, just wee wee

He then proceeds to sit down in our very small, awkward toilet and give a commentary of me pouring in my urine into the frightening sized container.

Mum-Mum issa wee wee. Heee hee wee weeeeeeee.
Weeely. Poooo.

I really feel I need to clarify that I didn’t do a poo.

I put down the oil drum and usher James out and then we proceed to wash our hands for 5 minutes and he continues playing in the bathroom (which is entirely safe before anyone calls SS) and I go to do the washing up.

All is quiet and I think nothing of it until I hear…

Oh nooo

*Lots of clattering*

Bye Byeee weee-weee

I run to the bathroom just in time to see the last of my piss go down the drain. Bye bye wee wee indeed.

Cue a frantic call at 7am to the research nurse who, once she stopped laughing said that it wasn’t entirely uncommon event and that it shouldn’t hinder the test too much.

Clever bugger that toddler…I would have been upset if I wasn’t so impressed at his cap opening skills.

I’ve got trouble on my hands with that one.

Advertisements

Niggling

So, your sitting there one day and you think to yourself ‘I feel a bit weird’ and then you think back to the last couple of days and you realise that you had a late night, maybe had one too many wines the night before, baby was FAR. TOO. ENERGETIC, and you think ‘Ahh it’s probably catching up with me’

The weeks whizz by and you feel a ‘bit weird’ again. This time you put it down to stress with trying to find a job and think nothing of it.

A couple of months go by and your body starts reacting. Again, you think nothing at first, but now things in your life are calming down, this ‘reaction’ starts praying on your mind.

You pick up the courage to visit your doctor, expecting to be waved off with a script of antibiotics.
Which is exactly what happens.

But in your head, something starts niggling. Niggle, niggle, niggle.

You KNOW your own body, but you start questioning what is your ‘normal’.

Niggle, niggle, niggle.

You go to the Doctors again because the antibiotics didn’t do shit. You know something is up.

This time bloods are taken, an ultrasound scheduled. Bloods are normal, a little low on iron but nothing major. An agonising 6 week wait for an ultrasound.

You lose 16 pounds. You’re still eating, maybe absentmindedly, but still trying to be healthy. You know something is up.

Niggle, niggle, niggle.

Your ‘reaction’ is getting worse. It makes you self conscious, you wonder if people know, like you know something is up.

It’s remarked that you’re losing weight, your running around after a toddler you say.

Niggle, niggle, niggle.

All of a sudden its the date of your scan. Legs are jittery, a nurse has to hold you still. She holds your hand too.

And before your eyes, in the same room you saw your little baby on the screen, is something else with a bloodline.

Niggle, niggle, fucking mass, niggle.

You are then rushed through on the ‘2 week wait’ list and important people are starting to fuss over you.

You KNOW something isn’t right.

Niggle, niggle, fucking fibroid, fucking cancer, niggle.

You are surrounded by doctors, specialists nurse, a fucking biopsy pot.

Niggle, niggle, niggle.

All of a sudden its as if someone has turned off the volume in the world and all your hear is Mr Hollingworth’s words.

Yes, it is cervical cancer.

Nig…no more niggling. This is what it is.

This post is important. I hope that if you are reading this, man or woman, old or young, if you have something niggling you, you act on it. Go see your Doctor. Not one thing is a petty complaint.

I should have acted sooner, but at least I didn’t put it off altogether.

If me having cancer is to make just one person take a look at themselves and think ‘Actually, that’s not quite right’ then I know this shit hasn’t been in vain.

Oh baby.

I’ve really struggled with this post, but I need to write it to because I need to get it out of my head and to let myself grieve for this particular element and try and move on.

When I was first diagnosed with cervical cancer, one of the main things that came into consideration was my fertility. I have always had questionable fertility and when I miscarried and had a PCOS diagnosis, it was apparently so severe that, I was told to think about a partial hysterectomy.
I obviously never went through with it and after a radical change in diet and lifestyle, I was lucky enough to not suffer too much with the symptoms of PCOS.
We were always told that it could be difficult to conceive and that we might need assistance (this phrase always made me laugh – were they going to watch us do it?).
When we decided to start ‘trying’ for a baby, we were remarkably lucky. In fact we were so lucky that I fell pregnant on our first ‘go’, so to speak.

I count my blessings everyday, even on those bad tantrum days, that we have an amazing little boy. He defied odds, he very nearly wasn’t here at all if I had followed that doctors advice.
I had a very good pregnancy (I am one of those annoying ones who enjoyed being pregnant) and the birth was just how I wanted it.

Pete and I (knowing full well that we might not be as lucky if we were to try again) always spoke about ‘Well when we have a girl…’ or ‘For baby number 2…’. We had even chosen a few names. I was determined to have a girl next time round.

But now, now it all seems so surreal. We had ALWAYS talked about having another child. A little sister for Jim Jam, or would I be destined to have a houseful of boys?

With the course of radiotherapy I will receive, I will go through an early menopause. In my Macmillan book it describes it as having hot flushes and no periods, therefore you will not fall pregnant.

Mr Hollingworth discussed with us about the prospect of ovum collection before starting treatment in the hope that some day we would be able to have another child of our own, via IVF.

I think what really makes you realise how connected you are in a relationship, and how you know exactly what the other person is thinking, is not necessarily the words that come out of your mouth, but rather the things that are not said.

I looked at my Husband and he at me and with a knowing smile, we decided in silence that we were not going to go through with egg collection. We both knew we would be pushing my luck if we were to halt treatment by 6 weeks. We are so truly blessed to have our boy.

In some ways it was the easiest decision to make but it doesn’t make it any less heartbreaking.

And, I know it technically doesn’t mean the end of our baby days. I know there is fostering or adoption, but….that is such an overwhelming option that I can’t even think about it, yet.

Of course, we have spoken about it at length, but we always end the conversation the same way. We are so lucky to have our Son and each other.

So, I am grieving. I am grieving for the fact that my body will not carry a child again. My body did so well to give me my baby, and now I have to pay it back.

I just wish I could pay it back another way.

Plan, Planning, Planned.

Meeting with your radiotherapy team is very weird. For one thing, they are all really nice. They refer to you by your first name and insist you do the same. Apart from Dr.Powell, you will ALWAYS call her doctor because she is SCARY.

They are all on the same page, they all have the same goal for you and they all bend over backwards. Not literally because that would be strange, a load of crab walking radiotherapists.

The people I met today are the people who will be doing the treatment, so its not like you are meeting different people everyday and I think that is great, consistency in this situation is such a comfort.

There are comfy sofa’s, chilled water to make sure you have your three cups before you’re beamed (this is an important part of your measurements for external beam) and importantly everything is calm.

You can see the regulars, there the ones which walk in saying ‘Good Morning’ to everyone. I will be one of those regulars soon.

Today I went with my Mum as I wanted her to have a better understanding what was happening to her baby. I’ve found it really difficult to be open with her as I know if it was my baby going through this (at any age) I would be heartbroken. It just doesn’t bare thinking about.
So this helped her see what I would be doing everyday for 6 weeks.

The next step is to do a dummy run on the 29th November so we can run this operation without a hitch.

I now know that Thursday’s will be my ‘long day’ with my weekly appointment with Dr Powell in the morning then my Chemotherapy taking 3-4 hours then finally my shot of radiation. I am already prepared with my kindle and my mascots on hand.

But I will start going to these by myself, because even though I have everyone around me, pushing me along, being there on my low days, it is me alone having to go through this, physically.

Today I realised that it is OK to do this without someone beside me waiting, because all those people in the comfy sofa area are doing it and doing it well.

I’m just another person to say ‘Good Morning’ to.

But I am also awesome.

I’ll leave you with something that will always be with me….the cross will fade away to a tiny dot.

Excuse the disposable knickers….

A dot that I will look at one day and remember….I beat this.

Is she totally out?

Yesterday saw me have an examination under general anaesthetic, which basically meant that my oncologist could take a good look at my foof and make a route to the cervix for the radiation beam.
I totally forgot to ‘tidy’ up that general area so the poor doctor probably didn’t appreciate that.

Ahem.

Anyway, I had a panic attack about not waking up and dying in theatre, so the night before, I thought it best to let Pete know who my pension was with and what to do with the money and the three songs I wanted at my funeral.

Dramatic much?

Once I had some reassurance from some very amazing people, I knew I would be ok.

Plus I was in the very capable hands of John the Irish anaesetists nurse.
He was loooovely. In fact he was so lovely that when he said ‘I’m gonna make sure you have a lovely dream’ my response was ‘Ooo I will have a dream about a lovely Irish man now’
Crimson. I went crimson.
Seriously, even having Cancer doesn’t stop me being inappropriate.

So they got me talking about James and where I went on my last holiday and when I said it was to Quebec, they asked me to ask for a beer in French and then my legs when fuzzy and I was asleep.

Not sure If i did get passed ‘Je vou….’.

The next thing I knew, I was waking up with the tube still down my throat and me motioning to the nurse to take it out. That was weird.

So it all went well and they did what they had to do and I had to wait eleventy billions hours to be discharged and they gave me Tramadol. WIN!

It’s just another box ticked in the fight against Fuckwit and I bloody came out with a wound which makes my bloody hand look like a Michelin man’s.
But still soldiers get wounded everyday and keep on fighting.

Fucking hurts though.

Anyway, whilst waiting for Pete to come back with the best tasting sandwich in the whole world, I had this little skit running around my head….I really hope they acted like this in theatre…

Just another day.

Today we lazed around, we pottered, we eventually got dressed and went to the park.

Today was a normal day.

No hospital appointments.

No dashing off in a panic.

No sloping off to cry, so that James can’t see.

In a time when our normal day to day lives will need to adjust and change, having today meant that I finally took a breath and appreciate what is in front of me.

One step at a time.

Love

I made him.

Appreciating the little things.

With all the changes and upheaval and just plain grief, today was just what we all needed.

Maybe today wasn’t just a normal day afterall.

Hair today, gone tomorrow

When I was diagnosed just one short week ago, one of the main things that sprung to my mind was ‘Shit, I am going to lose my hair’. Vain I know but hair, whether you maintain it or not, is apart of who you are. You are often referred by your hair colour or you could be the one with the really long hair. 

Since having James, my hair has done that normal post pregnancy trauma of falling out by the handful. 

It was unsettling at first and then all of a sudden I was growing back this wispy fluff where my fringe should have been. My hair line receded (oh so attractive), but it was all part of my body getting back to normal. 

But my body didn’t get back to normal, it has been trying to repel this cancer for a long time. 

So, when they said I might have to have Chemotherapy, I just despaired at all my hair falling out. And my eyebrows and my fanny hair. Actually, I was quite pleased at the prospect of losing that, fanny hair is such a faff. 

I decided there and then in that consulting room that I was going to cut it short because in my mind, it would be easier to lose it short than to lose it long. 

When we found out that the Chemo I would need would not make me lose my hair, I literally jumped off my chair. Again, I know how vain that sounds, but I really don’t give a shit. 

With this in mind, I decided to stay put with my decision to cut my hair short. New hair for the new direction my life is taking me. 

Today I took the plunge…

Image

 

I am such a knob. 

Anyway, I bloody love it. 

And I bloody love this:

Image

 

You wouldn’t think we were going through the worst week of our lives. That little boy there is the reason for our smiles. Our wonderful Son. 

Onwards and upwards.