Friday, 30 November 2012

Article in the paper today.

My little Bean (Have to say it, I am running out of days!!!) Kieran, went off to London yesterday with his dad to see his family in London.
He is off to Madam Tussauds today with his dad, he has been looking forward to that so much. I am sure he will have a lovely day.

The article about our support group calendar is in the paper today.  More publicity about Mesothelioma and the dangers of asbestos. The iPlymouth camera group has joined forces with our group to produce the calendar. All the pictures were taken by local photographers and are scenes from around the city. The calendars are £8 each. They are selling very fast. They can be purchased through Jamie Quinn, his email is James.quinn@plymouth.ac.uk. All the proceeds will go to the South West Mesothelioma Support Group.
The group has grown so much, we are now become a firmly established charity in Plymouth. It all started with our little tree being planted in Saltram on action mesothelioma day February 2008 which was the idea of Jackie Lowe, she and her family organised it as a tribute in memory mesothelioma patients and families past, present and future.
Jackie lost her dad, Roger to mesothelioma and since then the tree has grown just like the group. A symbol of hope for so many people and a place to meet and remember those lost to this awful disease.
The South West Mesothelioma Support Group was launched in 2010 and we now have a new logo and a calendar, well done everyone.



I have to catch up on my Christmas presents, I haven't done much. As long as the children are catered for, I am happy. I love seeing their faces Christmas morning when they open their gifts. Since I have been diagnosed my priorities have changed. I am so very grateful to have another Christmas to look forward to and to be here with my children. With that comes the pain of missing my wonderful dad who loved Christmas, making mince pies, karaoke and having a few drinks. He loved it. I have a wonderful video of him which I need to get on disk. It is him, how he was, smiling and jolly, he loved this time of year. It was also his birthday the week before Christmas.

The years come round so quickly, every year I am grateful that I am still here. Thank you dad, I know you are watching over me, little things that happen tell me your are still around, I love you and miss you but know you are close x x xx x

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

George's Celebration Day.

 Richard from the National Asbestos Helpline and his friend picked me up at 10 this morning. We were on our way to say farewell to George, The Colonel, our lovely warrior from our local support group.
The chapel was standing room only, no surprises there, George touched a lot of hearts.
We all entered the chapel to the sounds of "I'm forever blowing bubbles" A tribute to George as he was a great West Ham fan.
The pastor said a few words, we sang Morning has broken, such a beautiful song. We had a moments silence to remember this wonderful warrior, then the lords prayer. Such a lovely service. It finished with  Always look on the bright side of life by Eric Idle. This one affected me the most as I have great memories of my dad and how much he loved Monty Python. Great advice to everyone who was listening and my dad would be saying exactly the same thing.
We all went onto Argyle, George's wake was being help in Club house.
What a lovely wake, very relaxed, Ann told Richard Le and I all about George and his adventures in London. She was so very proud of him and loved him very much. Such a sad loss for all the family but great memories of a wonderful man.
Well done George, you gave us a beautiful sunny day and smiles today, watch over your family today and every day x x x


 I got back from George's wake, Thank you Richard and Le for the lift. There was a van parked outside my garage. I said I wanted to get my car out, it took them about 5 minutes to move. i was due at Derriford for some media work at 1:30pm and it is 1:10pm.
Eventually they moved on, I got to the hospital in time to see Ann, Bill, Jamie, Angela, Marilyn and Kate. Hello to Marilyn's husband, Phil, who was having his chemo today, we hope all goes well.
 The calendar is produced by iPlymouth camera club. All the shots are by local people. It is £8 with all proceeds going to the South West Mesothelioma Support Group. I am not sure when the article will be published in the paper. I will do a follow up when I know more.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Janet

How upset was I yesterday when I heard that another warrior had got their angel wings.
I looked on FB yesterday and was so shocked to see she had fallen asleep. Janet was 53 years old. Far too young to leave her family.
Such a beautiful lady who I had the pleasure of meeting in Germany in 2008 although, as always, I wish it was under different circumstances.
My friend Jeanette and I were in the hotel foyer when I heard someone say "Debbie". I looked around and there were 2 very handsome boys with their mum. A frail, frightened lady who was about to have her first treatment in Germany.
Jeanette and I went over to meet her, she was wonderful. All she wanted was to live and the fear mesothelioma had created was in her eyes.
After that day, we kept in touch. Janet's husband, Roger, would often call and say how she was doing.
So it was a great shock to hear that she has passed.

Roger called yesterday and said she would want the fight to continue, she wouldn't want anyone giving up. She was such a brave and courageous lady, such great strength from the tiniest of beings.
Our condolences are sent to Roger, Ben and Mathew and Janet's beautiful grand children who she adored.



The fight will go on in her memory, love and strength to all of Janet's family as they start their next journey with out her x x x x

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Updates

I haven't written a blog for a few days as it has been such a sad week. Losing so many warriors affects everyone, especially the families. My heart goes out to all those left behind. I often wonder if it is the weather and the coughs and colds that are around that don't help this time of year or is it the time of year that makes it seem like more are falling asleep?

 For all Meso warriors and their families x x x
My sister, Wendy, and I at my Nieces party yesterday

Just to update what has been happening. I am now picking up after starting the steroids. My energy levels are coming back up. I went out to see my friends on Friday evening for a couple of hours. The cold weather has really got to me. When I got out I had another coughing fit. I should wear a scarf, Aunty Mavis and Aunty Jan keep telling me too, I need to start listening. I sat in my car coughing up in a carrier bag until I settled and then headed home. I was very careful yesterday, it was so wet, rained all day and floods everywhere. I managed to get to my nieces 3rd birthday party, she had Peppa pig come and celebrate with her, her little face lit up, she loved it. These moments are so precious. I miss this as mine are all grown up, I love being a mum. It is the most rewarding job in the world. Talking about children, Kieran has informed me that as from the 19th December 2012, his 16th birthday, I can no longer call him Bean. This is very sad, Siobhan also told me that it has to stop because he will me a man and it's embarrassing. So, from now until 19th December Kieran will be known as the Bean : )

I had a coffee in M&S with another friend this week. We got our drinks and looked for a table, they were all full. We saw a lady reading a paper and sat on her own, I asked her if anyone was coming back to sit in the seats at her table, she said no so we asked if we could sit there, She was happy with that. We sat down and started chatting and then the lady said "I know you, I have seen you in the paper and on the TV" I though here we go again, I get this a lot and usually say I look like a lot of people, and she continued with telling us that her brother had mesothelioma and had died. We had a chat about that. She was such a lovely lady, she said her goodbyes and left us to our coffees. 

Tomorrow i will need another sick note from the GP. I will be discussing treatment, probably radio therapy, in January. I am still immunocompromised and don't want to risk picking something up at work and then being too ill for treatment. I have to get my weight up so I have bought some scales to weigh myself, at the orders of my oncologist as he wants me to bulk up for treatment.


Peppa pig at my nieces party, the birthday girl was not happy having her picture taken so isn't in the picture. I can say that she has a fabulous time. One casualty, a little lad barfed up on the floor, Eating and then bouncing on the bouncy castle probably did it.. I hastily retreated as my chemo urges would be in full throttle if I smelt or tried to clean it up, there would have been more than his there!!!

I have had a quiet day today. Not much happening, managed to change my bedding today with not too much hassle. The energy levels are definitely getting better..... yipppeeee!!!!



Saturday, 24 November 2012

Dennis


 Dennis with his Grandson.

I have been following their journey for a while now since becoming friends with Janell on facebook and like many others, I was hoping that Dennis would pull through.
Dennis fell asleep on 22nd November.
Janelle wrote a short tribute on her face book page. "My Husband lost his brave fight for life with his peritoneal mesothelioma. But the good thing is he is having a grand feast with our lord, dad and his family. Dennis, fight and suffering is over and today I am thankful. I will love you, Dennis, forever"

Condolences to Janell, Jeff and all the family on the loss of your valiant warrior. Love and strength are sent to you all as you begin your next chapter without Dennis x x x




Peter

Sadly another warrior has fallen asleep leaving behind a loving wife and family.
This is heart breaking, love and strength are sent to Elaine and her family as the start their next chapter without their hero.
I only got to know Peter and Elaine through Mavis as she visited them quite often and got to know them through her blog.



Such a sad time again. Condolences to all the family. The warriors will continue to fight in Peter's memory and that of others who have fallen asleep. x x x

Friday, 23 November 2012

George, the Colonel.

George and I at the Christmas SWMSG event last year x x

It is with great sadness that I have to add our lovely Colonel to the blog. This page is dedicated to him. He was such a wonderful spirit, always a smile and a little chat about apricot kernels which is how he got his name. George was one of the first people to attend our local support group. The South West Mesothelioma Support Group was formed a year ago if my memory serves me right. George was there every week, supporting other patients and lifting the spirits of any new members. He made a great friend in Richard Clarke from the national asbestos helpline who supported George with phone calls when he didn't get to the meetings.

Richard paid tribute to our wonderful George, "My friend, a true gentleman, a mans man, honest, kind and valiant. Centre Forward Harris will be sadly missed but not forgotten".

My heart goes out to Ann, George's wife and their family. He will be greatly missed at our groups.
George will be celebrated on Wednesday 28th November at 10:30, Weston Mill cemetery, Plymouth.

Love and strength are sent to the family from all the warriors.  x x x

DENISE x x

Thoughts and love are with Denise's family today as they celebrated her life. Love and strength are sent to them too, such a hard day for them.  Goodnight beautiful lady x x

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Scans and schools

I had my scan results yeaterday and I am happy with them. I will be discussing treatment options in January.
Kieran and I went to see a scholl last night. There was an open evening at Tor Bridge school. They do have an inclusion unit. after taking a look around, we were both satisfied that it wasn't for Kieran.
I did make an appointment to discuss Kieran's options at the scholl but as it is all A level work, it will be too much. His curriculum is for a special needs school and not main stream.
I think we have decided to settle with Saltash college.
Today I went out for a coffee with my friend, Carolyn. What a day, it was so windy, thankfully it wasn't raining. The car park in town now has barriers. There were no disabled spaces so I had to park on level 5. After our coffee I went back to the car, I was breatless as I had to make my way up 3 flights of stairs, stopping and starting all the way. I got back to the car, looked for the new machine.... there isn't one on this level.... Great. It is on level 2!!! I got in my car and drove down to level 2 as I couldn't manage the walk down and back again. Other people had the same idea. Ooohh...this is going to be good. Cars were lining up to pay their ticket. one car was inpatient, she wantsed to go, dozy woman drove to the ramp and then realised she would have to wait for the cars lining up to move as she couldn't turn.

I got home, had a banana and a complan drink and went out again, this time to the hospital. I was meeting Kate, our lung nurse, to discuss the website for the support group and take in some stickers. All is good with that and Kate explained my CT report in more detail. After leaving Kate, I went to the breast cancer unit. I had some money from my surgery, the girls had raised £48 for breast cancer and I was taking it in for them. The breast cancer unit gave me contacts for who cellects donations. I went round to the surgery and explained that they don't take it in the hospital. Have I got idiot tattooed on my head???? I was spoken to like I was a fool by one of the staff. She was so rude, Telling me that the unit is run by the NHS and of course they won't take donations, She told me it was for McMillan. I queried this as the event had been raised for breast cancer and McMillan is all cancers. Nope, she was right, I had it all wrong, it should have gone to McMillan, she screwed up the contact details in front of me, don't want that, and then made a phone call to someone and started discussing me like I wasn't there. She then moved away from the desk and went in behind the help desk and carried on chatting to her mate???? What is going on, I am left standing and am furious by this time. I told the receptionist that I would leave the money with the rude woman as I had things to do and I walked out. I put myself out for them today, I was so angry, I didn't have to go from level 2 to level 7 in the hospital, walking along, breathless and tired. I really can't believe some people.
I am home now, the weather is terrible, it rained so hard, I was just about to call Kieran to see if he wanted to be picked up from the bus stop when he walked in. My poor little Bean was soaked.
A nice hot bath is in order me thinks.



I am starting omeprozole again as my reflux gets bad. I am also back on steroids again, I have to get some weight on. Dr D wants me to weigh myself as he wants me to have a good bit of weight for treatment that will be done in January. I bought some bathroom scales with a £10 token I had from my friends in work. Bring on the calories!!!!

CT imaging report

CT CHEST and ADOMEN
Clinical indications
Mesothelioma Chemotherapy ? Response

Findings
Comparison made with the previous CT scan dated 11/07/2012. The left apical mass has not significantly changed in size, measuring 45 x 22 mm on the current examination (46 x 22 mm previously). the left supraclavicular lymph node has slightly reduced now measuring 5 mm , previously measuring 7 mm. The left internal mammary lymphadenopathy has slightly reduced, for reference now measuring 8 mm in short axis (Series 2 image 82) previously 10 mm at the same level. The aortopulmonary window adenopathy has also slightly reduced. The disease at the left lung base has not significantly changed. The left paracardiac lymph node (series 2 image 233) has slightmy reduced from 7 mm to 5 mmin short axis. The metastatic disease within the right lung base posterior to the suprahepatic IVC has not significantly changed. The metastatic deposit related to the oblique fissure on series 4 image 147 has reduced from 12 mm to 10 mm. The more cranial pleural deposits within the right oblique fissure (e.g. series 4 image 132) Have however significantly increased in size and now appear confluent (merging together) The appearance in the right hemithorax are otherwise unchanged. The inflammatory changes with in the left lung base has improved. The Tracheo Oesophageal Fistula remains patent (open) The liver and adrenal glands remain clear. The small gastrohepatic lymph nodes are unchanged. Cholecystectomy noted normal pancreas, spleen and kidneys. No suspicious bone lesions.

Comment
Overall mixed appearances with some evidence of response to treatment, but unfortunately progression of some of the pleural metastases within the right oblique fissure. Otherwise stable appearances.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Scan results.

I went to lunch with my friend Jeanette today, it is her birthday, I also had my scan results this afternoon.
I picked Siobhan up after we had had lunch and made our way to the hospital to see Dr D.
Dr D is growing a goatie for Mo-vember. He is raising money for Prostate cancer. His nurses say he is cheating because he trims it. It did look very smart though.
The scan is really good, there has been reductions which Dr D was surprised with as usually, he said, it slows down. There is one bit that has advanced. He said it will still grow and as it is slow growing, we can sort out a plan next year. He wants me to have Christmas with the family first and go back, have another scan in January to decide what we do next.
I am happy with the results. What a relief to get it out of the way.
I will add the report later.



This evening Kieran and I will be going out to look at another school/college.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Kieran's annual review.

I met Kieran and his dad at school today. Kieran had his annual review today, this was to make sure that his statement stays in place and that he gets support when he goes to college.
I was doing quite well until I started seeing the comments made that concerned how Kieran would be supported in the future. FURURE... what a word, it broke me, especially when my little boy wrote that he would try and cope with what would happen. I cried....AGAIN!!!! It has been painful these past few days, I can't remember being so low before. I want to be here to make sure that my lovely boys future is all he wants it to be, I want to be here to support him and help him through college.
I should be proud to even be at this point, so why don't I feel happy? I just want tomorrow out of the way, I am wishing my life away and I shouldn't be doing that. I should be happy I am still here 6 years on. We lost another warrior last night and another who has had a rotten diagnosis. I should be grateful for being here and hopefully, conquering this damn disease again.
I am so proud of Kieran and how he was at the review today.



I left the school and went into town just to pick up a couple of bits. When I was walking back, I felt so weak and felt like I was going to throw up. Maybe it is the stress of tomorrow that is doing it? I nearly called one of my friends because I felt so unwell. I got myself to my car, had a sit down for a few minutes and then made my way home. At home I laid on the sofa and fell asleep. I might just give myself a swift kick up the rear and get myself kicked into touch.


I don't like feeling this low. Roll on tomorrow when I get the results, I am hoping that this black mood will lift.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Lows and highs.

I have had a few low days lately. Lots to do with the scan and the results. I have been a little more breathless than normal, this could be the stress or could be to due with the cold weather, or both.
I have to try not to moan as there are people who aren't here who would probably love the have a good moan, thoughts and love are sent to those families.

This made me smile this morning. Kieran went off to get his bus this morning and sent me a text.

"YUK, Just got off the 28 and it was a skanky student link old double decker probably one that was around when you took the bus"

Thank you Kieran, I feel really old and decrepit now : )














Saturday, 17 November 2012

A letter to Asbestos


A LETTER TO ASBESTOS.

Asbestos, 

I am not going to say dear because you are not dear to me. I HATE YOU!!!!!
I hate you for what you have done to my life,
I hate you for making my dad ill,
I hate you for making me ill,
I hate you for taking my future away,
I hate you because you have turned my family against me,
I hate you because I am so frightened to die,
I hate you because I have to have chemotherapy to keep MESOTHELIOMA at bay,
I hate you because you are something that should never be yet you are here, tormenting people,
I hate you because all you create is misery and heart break,
I hate the fact that you make some people very rich who don't give a Stuff about anyone who is harmed along the way.
I am not a racist, I hate all your colours, you are all BASTARDS, WHITE, BLUE, BROWN, it doesn't matter, you all cause the same havoc.
I would not wish MESOTHELIOMA on anyone, any cancer for that matter but YOU, I would be quite happy for you to have a very large dose of it and kill you off so you would never bother anyone again.
Get the message asbestos, stop destroying people's lives, stop ripping them away from their families, breaking their hearts and wishing their loves ones home again.
That is my message to you, I hope you listening, I HATE YOU!!!!!

Friday, 16 November 2012

What a day.

It has been one of those days today, my head is somewhere else. I am so frightened and worried about the results on Wednesday. I had a bath this morning and relaxed, while relaxing, the tears just flowed, I was reciting how much I hate asbestos and how it has destroyed my life and my dad's life.
I got out of the bath, went down stairs and wrote it all down on the rage page on FB.
I have just been feeling so tearful today. I went to the shop as I needed a few bits. Kieran is having a friend round for a sleep over today, I wasn't sure as I felt so miserable but that is no excuse to make him suffer for it. If it wasn't for my children, I would have got in my car and kept driving. I had a call from my warrior friend Tracey, who had rang me while I was in the shop. I called her back when I got in my car, she had a blast, poor thing, she is my lil sis, her and Angela are a great support to me.
I had to go to the shop again because Kieran had pulled his HDMI lead out of his XBOX and broke it, brilliant. I was looking to see which one I needed when I heard some guys around the other aisle talking about XBOX. I went around to them and asked them if they could help me find the correct lead, they were really helpful. I paid for it, got out of the shop and then realised I still had the security tag on it... Nothing went off at the exit to alert the staff when I went out or came back in. Successfully removed, I got in my car and drove home.
I was still feeling really low but forced myself to get back in my car and drive to Jayne's for tea.
I nearly cancelled my egg and chips. I did go and just burst into tears when I got there. Jayne, Chrissy and Viki were very patient with me. I got it out of my system. I didn't spend long at Jayne's.
This is the depressed part of cancer, everyone I talk to seems to got through it, it is called scanxiety or the CT blues. I felt so miserable,
I have the most fabulous friends, so helpful and comforting. I appreciate every one of them.

THANK YOU ROSE

I got a lovely angel from Rose, my lovely warrior friend, she has called him Norm after her wonderful husband. Thank you so much Rose, he really cheered me up. He maybe a little tired when he comes back to you : )


Getting back to normal.

I think I must be getting rid of the chemo as I have my first period for months. I am not sure why the radiologists ask about periods, on the tick sheet it asks when the last period was, I didn't know as I hadn't seen much since starting the chemo in May.
I haven't been too good since the scan, not sure if it was the contrast dye and the period combined.
So now I know my body is getting back to normal, that is a good sign. Next step is work, I am looking forward to going back the end of the month.

Thoughts are with my friend, Mavis and her husband Ray. They lost their daughter many years ago, she would be 51 years old today. I cannot imagine losing one of my children, it has to be the worst feeling in the world. I know I would feel lie my heart had been ripped out and how does someone recover from that and go on to live a life? Mavis and Ray are special people, they are always smiling, always supportive and are there for everyone in our meso community.

Life dishes out some rotten stuff at times and I think you have to deal with it in your own way, everyone is different. Love sent to Mavis and Ray, you are Meso gems, thank you for all you do and the joy you bring to peoples lives and I hope that today you use the joy from others who support you on this difficult day x x x

Gigging tonight

I went to see my cousin Dan play at a gig last night. I went with my friends Tina and Lee. It was the Vaccines after show party. I was disappointed that I didn't get to see Dan's band as he wasn't on stage till 11:45pm and I had to get up for Kieran the next day. It was good to catch up with him though and my niece, Rochelle. I am definitely going to catch him at another gig though. The bands that we saw were good, we really liked the first ones we saw, I don't know who they were but the music was brilliant, right up my street. I missed seeing my other cousins, Joe and Isaac.
The lads have done so well, Isaac is a rapper and doing well with his act, Dan is in a band called the Fifty Shilling Tailors and has been very successful. They were the headliners at the after show party.
Well done guys, so proud of you, don't give up your dream.


Thursday, 15 November 2012

Scan yesterday

Yesterday I had my scan, I was late to the hospital, my mind was elsewhere.
I had to wait until 9:30 for the radiologist to come in as my creatinine levels were low.
The radiographer was happy with the levels so it was all systems go.
I got the cannula done up on the ward, the anesthetist put it in, he said he had a bit of pressure against the needle as there is something that builds up in the veins after chemo. I have a raised spot on my wrist, it is on a vein and he seems to think that is the same thing.
Cannula all done, I went off to the screening room. The lovely girls were there again, it's like visiting friends now. I filled in all the forms, All about allergies and if I had eaten game bird. The game bird question is because the birds are shot with lead pellets and some of these pellets can be in the bird when it is cooked and eaten so will show up on the screen. Being a veggie, I didn't have to worry about that.




I laid on the bed and got ready, my dad looking down on me (Philips) the name of the machine manufacturers, all this madness helps me get through the scan.
Kirsten, one of the radiographers kindly took a picture for me. She is getting good at it : )
I laid down and listened to the commands, when it was done I could feel the reflux building up, here we go, silly me, I haven't got any omeprozole so I have been getting reflux again. Not sure if it is to do with the chemo or the TOF. Scan all done, I left and went home.
After a few minutes I left to pick up my warrior friends, we were meeting for lunch at Saltram park and going to see the tree.

 Pam, Angela, Sandra and Shirley.
 Pam left some beautiful roses in memory of her husband, Pete.
 Sandra, myself, Angela and Shirley and below, the mesothelioma tree which is has to be 7ft tall now and looking very healthy. A great tribute to all warriors x x

 It was a lovely day, we saw the cows come down to graze, they are so beautiful. When we left it was lovely to wait and watch them cross the road.

I met with Rita today, she lost her husband, Peter, to Mesothelioma. She arrived at my house with her daughter, Lorraine. It was lovely to meet Lorraine as well. We went out to Saltram Park and had a coffee before visiting the tree. Lorraine spotted a little Robim in the tree. He stayed there for quite a while before flying off, I was so pleased I got this shot of him.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Can't sleep

Here I am, sat in bed at 12:30am and wide awake. My mind is buzzing, all I can think about is that damn scan tomorrow. I am trying so hard to think of something else. I hate this art of the journey, not as much as I hate mesothelioma though, I will alway hate that.
I feel like my silent stalker has caught up with me. I have been dodging him for weeks but he has got ahead of me and is blocking my way. I don't want to talk to him, I know he won't leave me till Thursday or Friday next week. I close my eyes and try to sleep and all I see is that damn scanner,I always concentrate on the manufacturers name when I am laying there, waiting to be holograph end from the inside. It is made by Phillips,when I see that I think of my dad, he is watching over me as I have the scan, his name was Philip. I feel protected when I am there,he watches over me every day, my angel, my protector. I suppose I should try and get some sleep now. Good night dad, I love you and know you are always there for me. I will look at that name tomorrow and remember that your not very far away at all x x x x x

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Brilliant day.

What a day, I started off feeling very tearful, the CT blues are on their way. I felt that if someone said anything negative or gave me a hug, I would have crumbled there and then. I got some tears out of the way before I met my friend, Mandy, and her husband, Dave.
Not only is it the CT blues but it is also my 6th anniversary of having my diagnosis. CT scans and results are notorious for making me face up to my demon when I am trying so hard to turn the other way.
Mandy and Dave picked me up about 10:45am and took me to the car show room. I was off to test drive the new 2012 Fiesta. Yesterday I drove the Peugeot. I was a bit shaky with that one.
Today it's the turn of the Fiesta, the car I have had my heart set on. We had a look around the show room and met the man who would be doing all the paper work. He said I could take the car out on my own, I said no as I was a little nervous. Mandy and Dave stayed at the show room while we went for a drive, the salesman drove to Fort Austin Avenue where we changed seats and I took over. Wow.... what a difference, I fell in love right away. It was so much easier to drive than the Peugeot and I felt more at ease with it.
We returned to the show room with me driving all the way back and talked about the cars. I had decided, yes, it would be a Fiesta for me. I was so happy, what a great car. We talked about colour choices, white, Silver and black were on offer with one ink blue one. I decided on ink blue as the others didn't appeal to me.
Mandy and Dave had been so good, I don't know much about cars apart from how pretty they look and the different colours available, Dave knows everything else which is why I asked them to come with me when they offered.
They dropped me back home, I had to wait for a phone call from the salesman to tell me that the ink blue was avaialable. I got the call with even better news. I was offered a 2013 Fiesta with a better range of colours at no extra cost. I have chosen red.
 This is the Ink Blue Fiesta. Beautiful car : )

 All Mine!!!!

It will be with me sometime in December. What an exciting day : ) Thank you so much Mandy and Dave for cheering me up, I didn't feel like crying once, I was sure I was going to. Special friends are so hard to find but I have so many, Mandy and Dave being 2 of them : )

6 years of Theo.

On this day 6 years ago I was diagnosed with mesothelioma. I was given 6-9 months to live, such a shock. My life stopped on that day, I had many questions, why? What about the children? I had too much going on and I didn't want to die.
I hadn't really grieved over losing my dad, this is when I needed him the most and he wasn't there. For that I am grateful as none of this is his fault. the last thing I would do is blame him, he is a victim too and was taken far too soon.
I have felt alone and crushed with the disease. I don't have the support of those who should be there for me and I know I never will.

Since my diagnosis,  a lot has happened. I have grown stronger and learnt to ignore the bitter, nasty comments that come my way. Fighting Theo has to be one of the worst things I will ever have to go through, I have found who is genuine and who isn't and removed the negative from my life, I am much happier for doing that.
My focus is and always will be my children and next to that is fighting to live.
The negative comments give me the fuel to live, it is in my nature to fight back, I am a stubborn and obstinate person. I can't be pulled down any more than the disease does, it can bring me to my knees.
I have the biggest beast to fight so anything else is small fry.

I hope I continue on and get Theo to his teenage years. That is my aim and then there will be another target. For now I am going to enjoy my day and the joy of still being here with my children.


I know my dad was never there in the physical for me when I was diagnosed but I am sure he is around in the spiritual. I feel looked after, blessed and happy with the way things have turned out. I have a good life with people in it who I love the most and love me back. Thats all I need, and all I will ever need x x x

Monday, 12 November 2012


I had a test drive in this car today, so different to my little Halo. My friend Mandy and her husband came with me.
We had a look at Nissan's and Fiesta's. I am going back tomorrow to test drive the fiesta, that is what I have my heart set on. Not many colours to choose from but I will find one I like.

It was so good to go in and look at brand new cars. When I did the test drive I was a little nervous. I have never driven anything but my Halo. I am a bit heavy on the pedals with her and realised that new cars you don't need as much pressure. It was lovely to drive, The sales lady drove the car out of the show room and I drove her back. I felt a little better after I had had a drive.

Exciting day today.

I am meeting a friend for a coffee this morning. It will be good to have a catch up.

This afternoon I am going to look at some cars... I have had my little Halo car for 8 years now and know it is time to move on. I am excited about seeing the cars but not looking forward to the day that I say good bye to her.

This week is the beggining of the CT blues. I have my scan on Wednesday and will get my results the week after. I am hoping that Theo has a great Christmas gift for my family and I. After the 21st, we will be looking forward to Christmas and new year with no meso haniging over our heads.

Talking of Theo, it will be his 6th birthday tomorrow. 6 years together, working as a team. I hope he continues to look after me.

This is the time I miss my wonderful dad the most, I know he will be around me. I hope he never thinks any of this was his fault because it isn't. This is my life, my path, my battle. Nothing to do with him. I would hate to think that he would blame himself for this. I love him so much and miss him even more.  x x x x

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Denise

 

It is with great sadness that I add Denise to the very long list of warriors who have gained their angel wings. I had the pleasure of meeting Denise at the Mesothelioma UK meeting in October. She was such a lovely lady with a great sense of humour. She gave me a tea towel which was a little risky.
Such a special gift from a beautiful lady.
Love and thoughts go out to Sid, Louise and Kelly and the rest of her family who are going through such a painful time.
Denise, watch over your family, they need you the most now. Help them through what is going to be one of the most difficult and painful time they will have to go through.




This is a lovely tribute from Linda Reinstein and her team in the USA.  Candles will be lit in Denise's memory. Love and strength are sent to her family x x x x x x

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Great meeting yesterday.

The South West Mesothelioma Support Group meeting went very well yesterday.
The new calendar was launched. Bill and Ann had worked hard organising it. Many thanks to angela and Jamie from iPlymouth for all the photos and the design. Thank you so much for supporting the group and taking them on as your charity of the year.
Angela has a personal interest as she lost her dad, Bill, not long ago so her picture, August, is dedicated to him.

Siobhan's logo design has been added ant it looks great. I will add more photos of it.
The calendar is £8, anyone who would like to purchase one can do through Bill Searle at William.searle@sky.com or contact myself at Phu_phita@hotmail.com.

We have a lot of projects coming up with the group. We have a Christmas event at Saltram, 
all are welcome.
It is on Thursday 13th December 2012 at the Filmore Room which is next to the cafe.
It will be £3 for a coffee and mince pie. Please contact Kate Lansdell on 01752 763665 for
more informatiom.


Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Support group meeting today.


The Mustard Tree,
Derriford Hospital,
Plymouth,

South West Mesothelioma Support Group Meeting
At 11:30 am.

Kieran has had his second day of getting up at 6 am and getting drinks at the shop, coming home and having breakfast before going off to get his bus for 8 am.
This is his latest routine.

Yesterday afternoon I went to school to talk about Kieran doing GCSE history and English. This was supposed to be a meeting for parents, I was the only one who turned up, apparently. Kieran's form teacher explained every thing to us. He will be doing the foundation level. He has to squeeze 2 years of studying into 7 months. He says he can do it and I think he can.
I feel very let down by the school. I have asked about Kieran accessing mainstream as well as special needs school as others are doing it. I was told he would have to choose which one he would want. I still don't understand why some get to have all this help when others don't.
I have still got no answer to this question.
Kieran was offered a place at a main stream school for 2 years which would mean him doing another year 10 and 11. This would be a ridiculous thing to expect a special needs child to do, he would be a target from the start. Not only that he has to do 2 years but that he will be 16 when others in the class are 14. He would leave when he is 18 and they would be 16.
His peers would be at college, he would be an even bigger focus for bullying.
This is just so cruel. We have discussed it and decided that this is not for Kieran.

I have my CT scan next week, I dear say the CT blues will start soon. I have to go in for 9 and get the cannula done by the anesthetist again as my veins are so small. I will see Dr D the week after and I am hoping the chemotherapy has given Theo a real bashing. I don't need a blood test, just blood results to the radiographers to make sure my kidneys are holding up as the chemo and contrast dye for the scan can affect them.
I will also find out if I can go back to work, I hope I can as I miss my colleagues. I think Dr D will say it is fine to go back. Here's hoping I don't pick up any bugs and be off sick again : )





Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Lovely evening with Siobhan x x x

Last night we all went out to eat to celebrate Siobhan's 26th birthday. She has enjoyed her day and to finish it off it was lovely to have a meal out with her and her boyfriend.
 Siobhan's Sylvanian Birthday cake.

 Kieran's dessert, before the massacre.........
.....And after the event......YUK!!!!

Kieran enjoyed it too, he surprised me as I didn't think he would eat all his meal. I was partly right, he had cheesy garlic bread for starters, chips and nuggets for his meal and an ice cream explosion for his dessert. He ate all the chocolate off the dessert and left the rest.... what a mess : )

After the meal, I dropped Siobhan and her boyfriend home and took Kieran to his dads as he had left some things behind at the weekend. As we were driving there, the air was getting very smokey due to the fireworks and bonfires in the area. It was like a thick fog. Kieran got his things and we set off for home. I didn't get far before I started coughing. I pulled over and had to get out of the car, got a carrier bag from the boot and used it to remove all the muck that was building up. Kieran was worried and called his dad. Once I had cleared it I felt a little better.
I managed to get us home and settled down in my bed.. a few minutes alter it was building up again. So I did the same again and got rid of it. Hard to believe that smoke would do that much, I suppose because I have a weakness that it makes it worse. Kieran was so sweet, he told me to wake him up in the night if I wanted anything. He said he would get me a drink of water. I went in his room this morning and saw there was one ready and waiting. Not sure if it was for me but no matter, it was a very thoughtful thing to say.
Another thing that has been happening and I think it could be the chemo is the "stuff" I have had over the last 3 days. My "Stuff" monitor will know what I mean. It has been very loose, I liken it to the poison coming out of the body and the coughing and removing of muck is a good sign that maybe some of Theo is being expelled.
Another thing that has been happening is slightly blurred vision. I wear my glasses for driving. I have noticed over the last week or 2 how blurred it gets. When I had my eyes tested the opthamologist said that my vision had changed and I wasn't so short sighted anymore but more long sighted. Maybe that is the reason.
Kieran was impressive this morning, he got up and had a bath at 6 am. He got dressed, went up the shop to get a drink, came back home, got his school bag ready and then off to school. I don't think this will be happening every day but it was great to see him so on the ball. Well done Kieran x

Monday, 5 November 2012

Happy Birthday Siobhan : )

At 8:51am on 5th November 1986, my baby girl was born. I have a C section because she was breech, I opted for the general as I was very frightened, especially being a first baby. I think I saw my little bundle of love at around 10am. I remember laying in the recovery room feeling like I had been ripped apart. I then realised I had had a baby, I asked the nurse "what did i have, a boy or a girl?" She told me it was a little girl. After a few minutes I was taken to the ward and saw my beautiful little girl. She had mittens on her hands and her feet to keep her warm. I couldn't take my eyes off her. She was a part of me, she had lived under my heart for the past 9 months and now she had taken a part of it that will always be hers.
Today she is 26 years old, I will never forget that day, a day that changed my life for the better.


Happy Birthday Siobhan, I love you so very much. Enjoy your day baby. x x x x x

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Wonderful memories.

My lovely nan, with Richard as a baby and Siobhan who was coming up to 3 years old.

On this day, 26 years ago, I went into hospital. I wasn't in labour, I was 38 weeks pregnant and my baby was breach.
I was so excited, I couldn't wait for the baby to be born. It was before all the choices that women have now. Nothing or no one would tell me if the baby was a boy or a girl.
This would be my first baby, tomorrow I would be a mum.
This was a magica; time, I was on cloud nine, so happy. Tomorrow I would have a little bundle to take care of. My life would change forever. 26 years has gone by so fast.
Siobhan, I hope you have a fabulous day tomorrow. I am so very proud of you and I know Granddad was, he loved your art work.