And a Happy New Year…

So here we are on the cusp of a New Year.

Safe to say that I am not sad to see 2012 go. It has been a shit year for many, many reasons. I am not going to list them, you know it all anyway.

I always get nostalgic when New Year comes round, and try to find the positive in tough times. I’ve struggled to see the light this time, but I made myself think of 5 things that were wonderful about this year.

1. Celebrating my Son’s 1st Birthday with his many friends
2. Welcoming 3 new babies to the family
3. Holding the Olympic torch
4. Having my love grow for the people around me
5. Getting perspective on life

That last one is pretty deep huh? Pretty standard I think once you’ve been diagnosed with Cancer. I’ve learnt not to sweat the small stuff; Let go of some deep seated issues which have been holding me back. Silly things like the clothes I wear, the way I am about what I love to do, like writing.

I am not happy I have Cancer, but I am happy that it’s made me realise that I am person who matters and being comfortable with myself, is just another step in my recovery.

In a way, I am sad to see this year go. I lost two wonderful people this year. Both at opposite ends of the age spectrum. A friends little girl who was snatched from life and a Father In Law who was released from his struggle. I weep that this year ends with them both in it forever, but I hope that wherever they are in the world, they are at peace.

I wish you all an amazing New Year, make of it what you will and most of all….be happy.

I love you all.

Right, now indulge me, give me your 5 wonderful things about 2012.


Counting down

So I have nearly completed week 3 in my Cancer treatment, and I have to say, that this week has been a vast improvement on last week by eleventy billion percent.

I have actually accomplished things this week. Little tasks like cooking dinner or doing the washing and tonight, I managed to get James to bed, which is such a major thing and he was very happy about that too….lets hope that transpires to a long sleep.

Never. Gonna. Happen.

To me this is amazing. I am very tired now, it’s really hitting me, but I have to say that I am counting myself very lucky as the other possible side effects have been bearable. I have spoken up and got my anti-sickness tablets changed (if you don’t tell your oncologist what your feeling, how can they make you better) and although I am eating 16 meals a day due to the steroids giving me an appetite a weight lifter would be proud of, at least I can do that now without the underlining nausea.

Me and the Duchess of Cambridge have loads in common init. Except she’ll birth a future Monarch and I’ll birth a 2lb tumour. Swings and roundabouts, huh.

Talking of tumours, my oncologist I saw today was very pleased with my progress, there are lots of positive signs but I just need to keep an eye on my tiredness. If it gets too extreme (cannot get out of bed, tired) then my treatment will be scaled back, which I really don’t want to happen as it is going so well. Little cat naps and loads of water and letting people take charge will help this…I of course still need to make tea, just to dip my toe in. Damn it.

You’ll have seen on Facebook and Twitter about my lovely surprises that I received this week, and I still am in a state of shock. To have relative strangers (I have been talking to most of these people for over 2 years and have met several of them) go out of there way to donate money, just to make me smile is something that I just cannot comprehend. As someone who loves to give gifts for the smile it gives to a person, I want you to know that I went to bed beaming that 21 people wanted that same buzz.
I am truly honoured to call you ALL friends.

*wipes dirt that seems to have been caught in my eye*

So now the countdown starts..tomorrow I am officially over half way through. Christmas is a few days away and I get to spend it with my lovely family.

Except, if the fucking Mayans have got it right, I am going to be so pissed that I had fucking chemo today. Stupid life saving emo-chemo (only kidding, I love you chemotherapy, mwah).

See, I am doing so much better.

Oh to be just me

I had good intentions to carry on a video blog at least once a week to keep people updated on my treatment progress, as it turns out, having cancer is bloody time consuming. Travelling everyday for treatment, trying to keep working, trying to maintain a somewhat normal homestead, it’s all that you do.

But Sunday came and instead of having a relaxing movie day with my boys to set me up for the week, I was smack bang in the middle of an anxiety ridden steroid rage (still can’t decide which it was).
It was the most horrendous feeling ever. Even the unnaturally calm emotion I had at being told I had cancer was nothing compared to this.

I was literally climbing walls, punching walls, talking to fucking walls. Too much energy in my head which was atop a very weary body.

I ball of frantic lava in my stomach making me simultaneously starving but unable to eat.
A heart desperate to get out of my chest, beating as fast as a spaniels tail, yet it felt like aforementioned spaniel was sitting on my chest.

The worst part was not being able to hold James. My listless, restlessness was unbearable. For the first time, in his tiny life, he witnessed his mother go crazy.
I will never forget that sad pout at me not being able to pick him up. It’s what is keeping me up tonight.

Sunday, I could take no more. I called the chemo nurses as I was sure it was some kind of reaction to the steroid or anti-emetics. They were pretty sure it wasn’t and alluded that it was maybe more anxiety and that if I could get hold of some Diazepam then maybe I should, even if it was to get some sleep (at this point I should mention I hadn’t slept since Friday afternoon and this was Sunday evening)

As a previous user of anti-depressants I know there is no shame in asking for help and asking for it is actually the very first step in knowing you need assistance. I knew something was up and that I needed someone to step in.

Enter, possibly the best GP I have ever had. I know she will appreciate this as she reads this blog (Hi!).
I literally couldn’t wait to see her on Monday morning. I already felt a tiny bit better knowing she would be able to help me. Dr.S described steroid rage to me (its a real thing, people) and promptly prescribed diazepam and citalopram, to build me up to deal with this shit storm that’s building up.

Monday was possibly the worst day. I don’t actually know how I made it to treatment. I certainly wasn’t with it. I don’t actually know if I was even coherent.
I burst into tears on the radiotherapy table, knickers to my knees being hugged by the radiotherapist.
They were amazing. They made sure I was seen the next day by a nurse just to have a cry with her.

Monday I did my cry for help. I text my sister and said I was struggling. Big time. She was round in bed with me, kissing my forehead telling me all the lovely things we’ve got to look forward to.
She also told me something that really stuck with me.
Someone she knows had cervical cancer but for one thing and another (details are not to be disclosed) she wasn’t told the type of side effects she would encounter. And you know what she didn’t have a single side effect. No nausea, no loose bowels, no psychotic fucking rage. She is now in remission.

I really do think ignorance is bliss.

We live in a world where we can get information in milliseconds and its there if we want it or not. I’m an over-sharer (have you guessed?) and although awareness is key and we do need to be informed, but maybe knowing too much does us more harm than good.

I need to be more relaxed now and I need to focus on me. A step back from work and worrying about the washing, can wait for the next 8 or so weeks.

Relapses are not a good look.

I know James is being well looked after and I can weight on Pete once I’m fighting fit. I need to let some of this guilt go. James needs his Mum Mum around for a long, long time and Pete needs me nagging him until the end of time.

So really these next few weeks of upheaval are nothing in the grand scheme of things.

Now, to get my head to co-operate with my heart.