Friday, 31 August 2012

All done for 4 weeks

Chemo all done, not too many things went wrong today. I got my cannula put in by the anesthetist. I had my tablet, can't remember what it is called but will look it up tomorrow, an hour before the treatment. Treatment stated late, about 1:15pm.
When I had the chemo my wrist I had a rash come up. It only went to my wrist and then faded away, Strange. My wrist went completely cold, when the chemo had stopped, this was the carboplatin, the rash appeared again and faded away as quickly as it had came.
All was noted by the staff. I eventually got home at about 4pm.
My wrist has been painful since I got home. It was painful when the cannula was taken out, the nurse seems to think that the saline drip was too quick and next time it will be slowed down.
I went straight to bed, slept for a couple of hours and feel I could sleep a lot longer.
Thank you all you lovely people for your good wishes, I really appreciate the messages of love and strength.

Number 5 today and a cuppa for Dad.

I am off to the hospital for my 5th chemo today.
anesthetist first, as usual, for the cannula to be put in. Last time he got it very close to the valve in the vein so it didn't go in fully but the chemo was done with no problems, apart from trying to use my right hand.
The dose today will be less than before as Dr D feels I have had a really good result and we can afford to lower it.
I am hoping that it will mean the symptoms will be less but I won't count my lil old chicks yet.

I went to Endsleigh yesterday with my friend, Mandy. It was lovely to see her, she is such a brave lady, doing her own dialysis. I have many amazing friends who are on their own personal journeys. They are strong spirits and I think between us we spur each other on not to give up.
I bought a huge cup and saucer for the garden. I am going to put a fushia in it as my dad loved them. It will be his remembrance pot and will stay in my garden where I can see it and remember him every day, It's not like I will ever for get him and I will continue with the remembrance garden.

At the moment it is not raining here, makes a change, it has been torrential over the past week.

Oh well, up and at'em. Must get dressed and ready myself for me needle......YIKES!!!!!

                                                           Cuppa for Dad    : )

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Meso from the heart

My friend and fellow warrior, Jan Egerton, wrote an ode to mesothelioma.
I think she captured every image I have in my head of this dreadful disease. Jan is an 8 year survivor, an inspiration to so many around the world and a beacon for others to follow.
I am adding her ode to mesothelioma to my blog today, It puts this disease into perspective.
Thank you Jan for allowing me to share this x

To celebrate 8 years today being diagnosed.

My friend has stayed with me since I was a child
I didn't know it then as it slept quietly inside.
Once awake it never sleeps
No matter what I do
Taunting me with false hope
it still stays consuming my life

It isn't only just my friend
it has attached itself to so many others
ruining once charmed and happy homes,
destroying relationships, bringing tears
striking fear into our very souls.

It has created some thing it didn't expect
a unity of many, an army of warriors.
It's once fickle friendship is not mine alone
many it has befriended, I now know

It didn't introduce us how a friend would do
It didn't want to be named
concealed deep within
Once known, its name can never be forgotten
Nor will those it cast it's eye upon and claimed

Our mutual friendships have developed
We all share the need of Hope
Some comrades have fallen
Our Friend claiming them for its own.

Beware my unwanted friend
United we stand until you fall
That day will bring such Joy
Your days of friendship will come to an end
Until then Meso, take the hint 
and go to H***.

Written by Jan Egerton (2012)

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Chemo week again.

I went to the hospital today to get a blood test done, up and out of the house by 8:30 am.
Home again and then off out again at 1:40 pm for my appointment with Dr D.
All systems go for Friday, chemo therapy day, this is number 5, Bloods were fine which is good.
I picked up my steroids which I start tomorrow and finish on Friday.
The chemo drug will not be as potent as the last ones as Dr D has said that as I have done so well with the 4 treatments he can afford to lessen the dose.
I hope this makes a difference to how I feel.
I am banking on being out of action for the weekend.
I have booked the hotel for October 6th, mesothelioma UK's 7th patient and carer day.
Can't believe I went to the 2nd back in 2007.
So much has happened since then, October is my target month, it is the month where I reach all my milestones, the month I pass the line that ends and starts another year of living with Theo.

Monday, 27 August 2012

A tribute to Bill.

It is with great sadness that I heard that Bill had fallen asleep.
I have had the pleasure of meeting Bill and his family at our mesothelioma support group in the South West. He was blessed with a lovely wife, Sandra, and 2 beautiful daughters, Joanne and Angela, who fought hard to help Bill fight his illness. Such a very courageous warrior who will be missed by many.

His daughter, Joanne, wrote a beautiful piece which I would like to share on here.

Your battle is now over, no more tears flowing down your cheek,
no more pain, no more suffering, now you are no longer weak.
I still do not understand why this had to happen to you,
but I am proud to say you are my dad, the greatest man I ever knew.
You were always there for me and never once made me cry,

until the day you closed your eyes and had to say goodbye.
Now you are my Angel, so spread your wings out wide,
please wrap them around me whenever you see me cry.
Our time together was memorable and God took you way too fast,
But the most precious thing to me was you being there for my first breath,
and me being there for your last.

Goodbye dad.xxxx

I am sending love and strength to Bill's family as they start their journey without him.
Condolences to Sandra, Joanne and Angela, there will be a bright star in the sky shining brightly and watching you every day x x

Sunday, 26 August 2012

6 years without my dad.

Today is the 6th anniversary of my dad's passing.
A day I hate most in the world, the day my life stopped and the day first experienced real loss. I have never lost anyone this close before, I was heart broken when my grandmother, my dad's mum, died. This was so diffferent, this was my dad, the man who had always had time for me, time to chat, time for advice, time for a hug or a gentle peice of advice about life.
I learnt so much from my dad, how to treat people, to leave those behind who are cruel and spiteful, those who wouldn't help you at your lowest moment, to pick yourself up when you had been knocked down and fight back again, to give to others and help as much as possible.
I miss that, especially now when I need as much support as possible to fight my biggest battle, to live.
I feel him with me every day, I know he is around. My heart will be breaking today as it has done for every year on this day.

I miss you so much.
I have days when I need you more that others.
I can feel you around me, supporting me and loving me.
My fight is for you as well, you should still be with us.
You will always be a part of my life, where ever I go.
No one can take my memories of you, they are locked away in my mind and heart.
I hope you stay with me forever.
                                                                          My dad in 1987.

My dad with his girls in 1963.
 x x x x x

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Catching up with friends.

A bit of catch up on the blog today. Tuesday Richard (National Asbestos Helpline) Came to Plymouth, we went to see George, our friend from the support group. He is in St Lukes at the moment, he is recuperating after having fluid removed from around his heart. George looked tired and was in good spirits, it was lovely to see him. Richard and I then went off to eat, we went to the Waterfront which is on the Hoe sea front.
We discussed the charity we are setting up. It is getting closer and closer. Every time we get together there are more ideas for what we can do. We are going to be very busy : )

 Outside the Waterfront.
 Mr Clarke with his meal, a macho steak : )


I had a little parcel which came through yesterday, it was from Angela and Tracey, 2 of my meso warrior sister's. They had sent some Angel dust and a coffee. So sweet of them. Thank you girls x
I went out with my friend Carolyn for lunch at the mission. She treated me to an un-birthday meal. It was lovely there, such a beautiful building, it is in the style of a church.

The puppet (Below) was in the city centre on Wednesday, he was really creepy, The voice sounded like a dirty old man. Very un-nerving for children I think. Very clever how is was done and strange how the guy working the puppet came out from inside and looked very like him : )

Today Kieran and I are going to the cinema, We are going to see The three stooges. Not sure it is going to be anything like the old style stooges who were so funny but we are going to watch it. Slap stick comedy is the best

Just got back from the cinema, lovely to spend time with my little Bean, not so little Bean I should say really. The film wasn't bad, very violent for children under the age of 10 I think due to the chain saw being used on one of their heads (?). The warning about the fake tools (not the stooges) was at the end of the film where I think it should have been at the beginning. Story was a bit weak but the guys playing the stooges looked authentic, A few giggles from Kieran who enjoyed it. I still prefer the old style stooges.


Theo has been on his best behaviour. I am feeling so much better for having the transfusion. I thought I should include this next little bit as it may help any ladies having chemo who are still having periods. I am on HRT and still get periods, since I started this 2nd line chemo, they have stopped, that is until today when I have had a little spotting.
I am feeling tired today, most of that due to be woken up by a teenager and 2 kitties at 7:30 am this morning, How wonderful is that : )
Life is great, I am very happy.
I am due for my next chemo on Friday 31st August. This break has given me a little more strength. I am so glad that it wasn't done last time as I don't think I would have been well enough for the 6th one.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Halo car is back up again.

I rang Darren, the mechanic who looks after Halo, my little car. I made an appointment to take Halo to his garage at 2 this afternoon.
I also rang my Dr's surgery about my thyroid test. My thyroid in underactive and I need to have the thyroxin adjusted. Another 25mg to take every day. That would account for the tiredness on top on the chemo.
First I went to Darren's garage, all the way there the battery light was flickering, I was hoping Halo wouldn't break down on the way. Phew.... got to the garage without having to call Darren out. He told me to pop over to Homebase which isn't very far from his garage and have a look around for 20 minutes while he fixed Halo. His little lad, Tyler was there helping as well, he looked so cute in his overalls, very much the mechanic.
The Sophie sofa and sofa bed we are getting in October : )

I had a slow walk around Homebase, stopped at the furniture part of the store. We had a sofa and chair from the Heart foundation charity shop when we moved into the house as the furniture we had I didn't think would fit into the house.
I was browsing around when the salesman came over. He explained there was a 20% off offer if you spend over £150 but that offer was finishing today. I had a think about it and decided that it was worth going for it. I ordered a 3 seater sofa and a 2 seater sofa bed. Whoops..... done it now!!!
I went back to the garage after my expensive look around. Darren had fixed Halo, He is a gem.
She has got a new fan belt now, her old one had snapped and was stopping the alternator from charging the battery. She is a good car, she has been good to me. I want her to last me till January and then I will get another one, I am sure she will, she has lasted me 8 years already.
After Halo was fixed, I thanked Darren and Tyler, what a great job they have done.
I left the garage and made my way to the Dr's surgery to pick up my prescription, all sorted, back home again and get some more washing hung out as it is a lovely sunny day. Brilliant : )

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Day out with Chrissy.

I am feeling so much better after having 2 bags of the Count's best claret.

I went out this morning with Chrissy, she picked me up because my Halo car had been such a pain last night. We headed off towards Totnes, ending up in Dartington. We went to Dartington Crystal and was surprised at how much was in this place. Lots of shops, very expensive of course. Some lovely walks into Totnes. We had a scone and a cuppa there and then went onto Dartmouth, I haven't been there for years. It hasn't changed at all. We had chip butty for lunch and had an amble around the place. It is so lovely, such a lovely sunny Sunday afternoon, Plymouth was wet when we left but here it's like a summers day, at last, some sun shine!!

After Dartington we drove back to Plymouth and had an ice cream on Plymouth Hoe. We had a wander down to the water front, I booked a table for Mr Clarke and myself for Tuesday, it looks a lovely place. We posed for photos by a Ferrari, it had to be done, we were in a queue, a young couple were there posing before us. That car got a lot of attention.

 Chip butty!!! not a patch on Jayne's though.

 The wedding cake on Plymouth Hoe, it was built to commemorate the wedding of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The design is based on their wedding cake, hence the name.

 Chrissy's new jalopy : )

It has been a long and wonderful day, spending it with one of my most precious of friends is the best. I am so lucky having these people in my life. Thank you so much Chrissy, I have really enjoyed today x

Tea at Chrissy's

I had a quiet morning yesterday, I wasn't back too late from Caroline's party.
I got dressed and did the shopping in the morning. I am feeling so much better today, same can't be said for my car. When it rains, she moans. She has been grumbling all day, the fan belt gets moist and squeaks. She has been alright with the petrol injector, I have put Redex in the tank when I fill her up, that seems to help.
The weather is so damp, I went out to see Chrissy, had a saffron bun and a cup of tea, lovely : )
Chrissy was going to a spiritulist church with her friend, Hazel and asked if I wanted to go. I have never been before, not sure if I believe or not. I don't like the fact that some people are charlatans and take advantage of vulnerable people but I have an open mind.
Chrissy made me a pasty for my tea, we washed up her dishes and then she did her ironing while I had 40 winks on her sofa.
We went to meet Hazel at the church, it was pretty full. There were quite a few people there who say they can communicate with loved ones.
I must have been the second person to be told that someone had come through, a woman with a goiter (a swelling of the thyroid gland) She was unhappy apparently, I couldn't place who it was and I had to ask Chrissy and Hazel what a goiter was.
Later on I was picked on again, a man had come through, no hair, walking stick, arthritis, I couldn't place him either, the message was he was celebrating me with water. He was very happy with what I was doing.
There were things there that I could have made fit, one of the "messengers" said she could here a piano playing and got the image of a ship heard, she was talking to a man behind him. I did say I could take it but she was having none of it, it was all for the man behind me ..... : )
My dad played the piano and organ, he also worked in the ship yard but I suppose that could be the majority of people in Plymouth. All in all a very interesting evening, I am still not convinced about it though as I think if loved ones have a message, why would they go to a stranger, why not direct to their loved ones.
I went back to Chrissy's for another cuppa and then home, that was an experience!
Halo, my car, decided that she didn't like the rain and damp weather at all. I left Chrissy's place, Halo started the squealing again with the fan belt, she only does it when it is wet. I got half way home and the battery light came on, oh no!!! I was panicking as I didn't want to break down in a stupid place. I did manage to get to my street, the battery light flickering the whole time. I got to my garage, switched the lights off to save the battery and opened my garage door, all the time saying "don't conk out, don't conk out" ........ I got back in the car and managed to get her in the garage..... phew!!
I am going to speak to my lovely mechanic, Darren, on Monday. I am on the verge of having a new car but I did want to wait a while. I will be so sad to lose Halo, She is my first and only car, I passed my test in 2004. She has been with me through so much. Why do I feel so disloyal?

I was thinking a lot about Ronny yesterday, she died last year, her daughter got married yesterday. I hope she was watching over her family and walking beside her beautiful daughter x

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Blood transfusion and party!!

I was up at around 8:00am yesterday to get ready for my blood transfusion. 2 units today, I don't think I have any of my blood left, it is all a pick and mix of the wonderful people in this country who donate their blood. I wish I could return it, I only ever did 1 pint and that was when there was an appeal for blood for the troops in Iraq.
I drove to the hospital and parked up, I got there for 10:00am. I went into my room, the one I would have for the day. I eventually saw an anesthetist at 11:00am, he put a cannula in my hand, hitting a valve so it was only part way in but enough for the transfusion. All done, it's back to the room to start the transfusion, 2 bags of the Count's best blood please Vlad .....   : )

It was started at 11:30, I had lunch, a salad sandwich and a yogurt, first bag finished at 2:30pm, 2nd bag started at 2:45pm and finished at 5pm. I restful day today, stuck to the bed, I did fall asleep at one point. After it was all done, I drove home, my little car is not happy with the rain, I either need a new one or need to get her fixed. I got home, got myself changed and went off to my Neice in laws 21st birthday party, I didn't stay long as I was feeling tired. I stayed long enough though to see my sister, Wendy and her daughter, Rochelle and to say happy birthday to the birthday girl, Caroline. It was a lovely night, I want a party to go to when I am feeling on tip top form. I am sure there will be others.
Kieran was going, then he wasn't, then he was, he didn't in the end. Tday I am catching up on shopping and see what happens with the day.

 My sister Wendy with 2 of her grand daughters.
 Me with my lovely sis : ) She always makes me look short, even as children.
 Rochelle, my neice, Wendy and I.
 3 generations of lovely girls, Rochelle, her mum Wendy and Rochelle's daughter, Lacey.
 Wendy moving like jagger!!!!
 The birthday girl, Caroline, Wendy and Rochelle.
 Rochelle, my lovely neice and I.
 No papping, get that camera outa my face..... hehehehe x x
 Caroline's birthday cake.
 Wendy, Lacey and Rochelle.
Wendy with her grand daughter, Lacey.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Thyroid test today.

I was awake at 5:45 am thanks to the kitties. I think I fed them....I can't remember.... oh dear.
I fell back to sleep waking at 10:25 am. A mad rush to have breakfast and get dressed before racing to my Dr's surgery for a blood test to check my thyroid. I have an under active thyroid which I have been taking thyroxine for, I have reduced the dose but it looks like it may need reducing again.

I took omeprazole this morning to help with the reflux, it has worked a treat, no acid today. My appetite is huge, I am so pleased. Looks like I am getting back on track now.

I got home to the mail, a card from the guys at Orange for my birthday with a Boots voucher. I do miss them, and a pressie from Mr Clarke. Richard (National Asbestos Helpline) had addressed the parcel to Dangerous Debbie Brewer..... It contained garden lights in the style of dragonflies. It is lovely and looks great with my pansies. I put up my dragonfly from my friends Tina and Lee up on the wall next to the one they bought me one Christmas, it looks fabulous.
I went out to eat with Tina last night, we had a fun night. We got to the Beef eater restaurant at 7:00 pm and left at 9:30pm, we were kept waiting so many times, we did think we would be ordering breakfast at one point as we had been left for so long. It was a great night though and we had a good catch up and a laugh about things.

Kieran has been on about dying his hair for weeks now. Tonight I did it, he wanted to bleach it, he is following in the footsteps of his brother and sister. Siobhan had hers done Jet black at 15, so dod Rich. He is so pleased with it, at least has has time before going back to school if he changes his mind.

Tomorrow I am off for another transfusion. I hope my donatee has a good tot of Morgan's spiced Rum while giving blood, that would suit me perfectly : )

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

No chemo for 2 weeks.

I knew my instinct was right again, I had my bloods done this morning, got to the hospital about 8:45 am for that. Went home and had some lunch, out again at 1:30pm to see Dr D.
I didn't have to say a word, he took one look at me and said no chemo. I was so pleased. He was saying one week and I said would you mind if I made it 2? No problem, 2 weeks reprieve....woo hoo.
My bloods were low, platelets were at 66 and bloods were 9.3. I am being booked in for another transfusion, I have got some omeprazole for my acid reflux, I also told Dr D about my watery eyes.
He looked in his little book of magic and saw that Alimta causes watery eyes, conjunctivitis in fact, He said he had learnt something today as he didn't know this could happen. Because the results of the chemo have been so good, Dr D has said he will reduce the strength of the next chemo.
He said he didn't want to give me the next lot of chemo on Friday because it would really bash my system and I may end up in hospital. He also mentioned my thyroid, he seems to think I am on too much thyroxine so a bllod test tomorrow for that.... yikes...... more needles!!!

I am so lucky having such a good oncologist, he is lovely.

After the appointment I went to see the chemo nurse who sorted out the cannula fixing for Friday, 10:00am. I will have the anesthetist do it again. All sorted there, off to pharmacy for my pills, left my prescription there and went down to pathology for more bloods to be taken, more needles....yuk..... this is for the cross match for Friday. That done, I went back to pharmacy to get my pills. All sorted, a very good appointment me thinks.
My next chemo will be on 31st August. I am going to enjoy this little break and do all I can to get myself back on top.

After the appointment, I took a trip in town to get Kieran some new clothes, the Bean is growing up so fast. I also got some aloe vera and veggie omega oils to take. Dr D said I was alright taking that with my chemo but not multi vitamins.

I am out to eat with my friend Tina this evening. I haven't seen her for a few weeks so am looking forward to catching up. It is a bad month for us, she lost her wonderful husband, Darryl on 10th August 6 years ago and I lost my dad on 26th August same year. 6 years, where has it gone, at least the memories haven't gone. While watching the Olympic closing ceremony we both had an emotional moment, Tina with wish you were here sang by Ed Sheeran, it is a pink floyd song and me with Eric Idle singing always look on the bright side of life, my dad loved Monty Python and that songs always reminds me of him. There is a message in there for both of us, we are being watched over every day by our wonderful angels x x


I woke up early this morning to the miserable rain again, first things first, check me pots. Whoopee..... I am so pleased, a slug was moving away from my pot, it was huge. When I first looked out the window I did wonder what was on the pot, It was a huge slug, it was much paler than the others I have seen.
I am so pleased that it hadn't touched my pots. The copper tape works, Victory is mine!!! .... (insert evil laugh here)
After I had checked all my pots, I had breakfast, got dressed and went off to the hospital. It is blood test day today and Dr D this afternoon. I am still very tired, I need to build myself up a little more before the next chemo. I am going to speak to Dr D about this this afternoon. I want 2 weeks, I have 2 cycles of chemo left and want to make sure I feel well enough and happy having it.

Back home after the blood test, my little car hates the wet weather. As soon as it starts, she starts groaning. Her fan belt gets moist and screeches. She also needs a new fuel injector. I want to get a new car but am so attached to her. I don't want her to go for scrap as I feel like I am being disloyal to her as she has been my car since I passed my test in 2004. Dilemmas, I hate them.

 Slug Patrol, I think they are getting the message.
 Bye bye Slugster.... don't hurry back!!!
The copper tape I have used to deter the slugs from eating my pansies and petunias.