Powell-erful Words

Picture the scene.
I am sitting in bed, languishing from post-theatre sleepiness. I’m holding my arm because the canula has just been removed and blood has basically pissed up the side of the wall.

Pete is sat beside me, eyeing up my chocolate crispy flakes.

All of a sudden Dr Powell appears.

Dr.P: Hello you, er, you ok?
Fran: Yea, I like to be dramatic. It’s a momentous day.
Dr.P: Look, it all went really well today. You finished your last 1/3 of this. A major chunk.
We’ve had a look and, well it’s shrunk. It’s shrunk massively. It’s looks really good.
Fran: *wibbly lip*
Dr.P: It’s responded so well to treatment.
Fran: *massive tears start to fall, more wibbly lip*
Dr.P: You’ve done so well.
Fran: Oh god, you’re not lying. It’s gone really well hasn’t it. *sobs*
Dr.P: *looks away* Now stop it or I’ll cry
Fran: *full on floods of tears* Thank you, thank you so so much
Peter: *Fat ugly tears* Thank you Dr. Powell
Dr.P: You are so welcome. Now, we’ll see you in 4 weeks, it’ll probably show abnormality still, but the radiotherapy is still working. We’ll scan you in three months and take it from there. *wipes tear*. Ok, get home now.
Fran: I can’t thank you enough.

So there we are. Fuckwit is really going.

I can hardly believe it.

I am beating this. I am physical proof that it’s going.

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*wibbly lip*

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So what now…

I have scheduled this post to publish when I am hopefully in that post surgery fog, where it’s half drunk nap, half trying to convince them that you’re perfectly fine to go home.

So while that is occurring, I’d like to take this blog to remind you that….I AM FINISHED. DONE. NO MORE CANCER TREATMENT (Well, for now at least)

What am I going to do now? What am I going to write about now? Well, you lot can help me out with this.

Ages and ages ago I asked my loyal readers to ask me anything, I answered a few questions, so I am going to hand the reins over to you lot again.

Is there anything you want to know about me? I’ve got lots of new readers, so are you curious about anything about me?
Do you want to know more about the cancer I have?
Do you want to know about the banana cheesecake I have made?
Do you want to know things that seem embarrassing…take a look around, its takes a lot to embarrass me.
Do you want to know why I am so awesome….well, somethings have to remain a mystery.

So come on, do your worst…if anything it will help me get out of my post morphine induced coma.

Look forward to your responses…..

For now….

Dear James,

Tomorrow Mama finishes her cancer treatment. I am both elated and scared by this fact.
Tomorrow, I have my last general anesethic for my last brachytherapy treatment. It will be 3 in total and three times I have done the same thing the night before. I have held you before you go to bed and I have sobbed into your hair. I tell you that no matter what, I am your Mama and that I love you more than you could ever know. You look at me with your chocolate button eyes and say ‘Na’niiight’.

Throughout this whole experience I have tried to shield you from my crying or my anger. I think I have done a good job of protecting you, but I never worry about crying in front of you at these times because, it just shows you how much I love you. If I never woke up tomorrow, I hope on some level you knew how much I love you.

You have been my little star these past 8 weeks. You have dealt with this upheaval so well, it makes you far older than the tiny 20 months you are.

You are saying so many words now, some with a northern inflection and even some sentences. Caaakes and Haats are my favourite words of yours.
You just love to be part of the crowd. Centre of attention if you like. You tickle and do the tickling noises too.
And you are tantruming like a gooden. You’ve definitely kept me grounded these last few weeks.

We’ve had such fun these last couple of days in the snow, you’re so independent, it hurts.

You have curls and curls and curls. You could almost be a girl, if it wasn’t for the fact you look so much like a boy.

Now were venturing to the next step. Its a bit uncertain and i’m not afraid to say i’m worried, but please stay as you are, my darling. Your amazing love has got me through.

I am so proud of the little gentleman you are becoming. I hope that one day, when you sit down to read these letters, you can say you are proud of your dear old Mum. Its been far from easy, but you make it a smoother journey.

I love you with everything I have.

Snowy Boy

Snowy Boy

Keep growing strong,
Mama
xxx

Wizard Sleeve

Wednesday was probably one of the most bizarre experiences in my life. Even more bizarre than my friend in primary school telling me how babies are made. Apparently babies are made cuddling tightly and then the man touching your bum. True story.

If you are a lady who has had radiotherapy to the pelvic region, and if you then have brachytherapy, it is likely that after the cumulative effects have subsided that you will get adhesions in the vaginal wall which, can be usually broken by fingers but if left, can harden and then only be removed by surgery. Grim.
In order to prevent this happening, you have to administer dilation to keep you, er, ahem, stretchy.

Below is the conversation I had with Gloria about post brachytherapy maintenance. Prepare to be weirded out.

Gloria: Right, now, this chat is the same with any woman who has had this treatment, any age and any amount of sexual activity-ness.
Fran: *bites tongue at sexual activity-ness*
G: *Gets green bag of tricks out*
F: Ooo do I get a little bag?
G: Ooo yes, well actually you get a case, but you can keep it with your other vibrators if you want, just wash it etc.
F: *eyes widen* oh, ok.
G: Right, I see you’ve had a baby so this is gonna be dead easy for you to do. *proceeds to get out 4 tubes of varying sizes, they all twist on to one another to make a dilator and handle* Ok so as you can see, we’ve got varying thickness most women, feel nothing with this one *holds up rounded tip which is about 1-2cm wide* so you can use this one first but you might as well use this one *holds up rounded tip which is about 5-6cm wide*
F: *gulp*
G: Dead easy, you need to do this 3 times a week. Put some nice music on, relax, maybe do it after a bath. Just slather on the lube and pop it in (she actually said pop it in, i’m wincing just remembering) then turn it anti-clockwise for 2.5 mins then turn it clockwise for another 2.5 mins then bobs your Uncle, you’re all done. Now, there are alternatives.
F: Oh yea, I think I might try that. Never been a big fan of shoving things *up*
G: Really, oh you don’t know what you’re missing. You could get your Husband involved.
F: Erm
G: Actually the alternative is to use your Husband. If you have sexual intercourse (yes, she said sexual intercourse) twice a week you won’t need to use the dilator.
F: TWICE A WEEK?!!
G: Yep
F: *tumbleweed* Anything else?
G: Well, to avoid RSI, we get loads of complaints about wrist injuries from using the dilators too much, we can provide a vibrator which does the turning for you. *Produces THE RABBIT*
F: Oh, so when you said vibrator, you actually meant a proper one, not like a hospital grade one
G: Yes, of course, do you have this one at home?
F: Me? Oh erm, well…
G: These are fabulous, they really work well plus they do all the hard work for you, you can use your own one or we can provide it for you for £17.50. Don’t worry you don’t have to “hide the rabbit”, that’s just for clitoral stimulation.
F: *crimson* Right, I think i’ll stick to the dilators you give me.
G: Good choice. Right, now, lube. You can get it on prescription and seeing as you get your scripts for free, you might as well go to your GP and stock up now. Make sure you get the Sylk lube, its the best one.
F: Right.
G: Now, I suggest you wait 4 weeks after treatment before starting this which will probably be about the 21st Feb.
F: *Laughs* Oh that’s my birthday. Happy dilating birthday to me!
G: Oh that’s perfect, get a baby sitter, get your Husband to make you a lovely birthday meal then have lovely birthday sex, then you’ll only need to dilate one more time that week.
F: Was hoping for some Ikea vouchers, but I guess this could work too.
G: Vouchers won’t make your vagina stretchy. Here’s a leaflet and a DVD on how to use the dilators.
F: I think you have explained it more than enough, Gloria.
G: Oh good, I love these chats, vagina’s are fascinating.
F: Huh, My Husband says the same thing.

I got home later and read the leaflet which informs me that I have to do this for 5 years. FIVE YEARS. My poor foof. I’ll have the wrists of a pubescent boy.

I’ve not watched the DVD yet. I’m not allowed to get drunk enough to get through that…

At least my vagina won’t be like a Wizards sleeve *Punches air*

Final Countdown

Der ner ner, de ner, ner neerr, erm I think that’s how it goes.

Anyway, tomorrow sees the start of my final week of external radiotherapy. 4 fractions left.
No chemotherapy left either. Dr Powell decided on Thursday that chemo should stop on account of me being anaemic and my white blood cell count being 1.0, which apparently is very low.
She’s happy with the 4 cycles I’ve had and radiotherapy is my main treatment. Dr. P wants me as healthy as possible for my brachytherapy so booked me in for a blood transfusion the past Saturday.

I wasn’t pleased about this at first but after some friends who had received blood told me that I would feel great, I wasn’t as dubious.

In fact, it only took 62mls of the wondrous burgundy bag to make me start feeling human again.

FREE TRANSFUSIONS FOR ALL!

But after my two pints, I realised just how shit I felt. I thought I was getting away lightly with just the constant nausea, but I was obviously feeling a lot worse.

I feel like I can think clearly again. Anaemia is awful, I have actually felt like this for years.

Thank god for blood donors. As I donor myself, I’m glad that I might have give a person a boost or maybe even a lifeline.

I am forever in debt to my donor. You gave me the energy to finish this fight off. Thank you.

If you are thinking about giving blood, you can find all the information you need here here

It takes 15 minutes and its worth it to get a cuppa, a biscuit and a sticker at the end. Ok, the stickers are for the kids but, what the hell.

Where does the time go….

As I sit here in Starbucks abusing the free wi-fi on my Big Mac, nursing a peppermint tea and trying desperately not to get indigestion from the fruit toast I have just inhaled (yes, I am still eating like a sumo wrestler), I am drawn to the fact that it is the 2nd of January.

THE 2ND OF JANUARY.

How on the actual earth we live in, is it already the 2nd of Jan???

It is exactly 2 months since I was diagnosed.

In those two months I have had:

A PET scan
My 1st general anesthetic
My hair chopped off
5 oncology appointments
1 kidney test
One toddler pour my wee away for aforementioned kidney test
3 tiny tattoos
22 fractions of radiotherapy
4 cycles of chemotherapy
10 blood tests
22 pounds lost
One Superhero cape made

I am 3 weeks off completion of my cancer treatment.

What will I do with my time then?