Winter is coming!

Omg it’s bloody freezing outside! It’s Sunday afternoon and I am feeling very thankful for a warm and cosy house!  We had the chimney sweep man aka Dick van Dyke come over in the week and hubby has just lit our first fire of the season. Nothing beats a real fire 😊

fireplace

Winter is definitely here, although my 4 year old keeps correcting me and saying “winter is on its way, it’s not winter yet Mummy”! Ffs he is his father’s son, “technically” he is correct, bloody perfectionist, always correcting me!

So thankful tomorrow I am seeing the Prof, I have been trying hard not to “think” too much and have been a good girl and stayed away from my enemy google!

We’ve had a lovely family weekend, we had breakfast out yesterday and little man managed to not “create” which always makes things so much more enjoyable when you don’t have to deal with a 4 year old having a strop in public!  He even behaved having his hair cut and we seem to have got over the phobia of visiting the hairdressers – hats off to my amazing hairdresser, Fatu!

I even managed to gather some energy to play a game of monopoly with little man. I think I shocked him when he asked if I could play a game with him and I said “go on then”.  I have however discovered though he is a cheat and makes up what the dice says so he can land on “Community chest” or “Chance”! He also reckons you can just add a hotel and not have to buy it. I think not little man and if you want to play again then there will be no cheating!!!! Mummy does not like a cheat!!

I did have to make a call to the Chemo line, not bowel movements this time but a fricking rash on my cannula hand!

It started as something that resembled a burn but seems to be travelling up my vein. After “consultation “with my hubby that I wasn’t imagining it, we decided the best option was to call the chemo line.

“Oh I think I have spoken to you before, aren’t you the one with all the December birthdays”

Ffs I can’t call anywhere these days without getting recognised 😉

I explain the situation and she says she’ll get the sister to call me back.

I was actually in the middle of cooking dinner and have already got my tactics sorted to avoid going down the hospital!  I could do without a Saturday evening visit there, it’s an hour to get there and Strictly starts in an hour!

I do put a “plan b” in place though and my friend has already said it’s ok for little man to go for a sleepover if we need to go to the hospital , it’s at times like these you realise who those special people are in your life!

Thankfully when the nurse calls back she agrees to accept a photo rather than us make the 60 mile round trip and after reviewing the rash decides I can just keep an eye on it.  How technology has hanged the world eh? And saved my sat night tv watching!!

I’ve decided I will “plan” for my Prof visit in the morning.  I’ve got a stew waiting for me and cuddles to have after that with the boys.`

Credit card battering

It’s Black Friday which could be very dangerous especially with these recent spending habits! I’ve had a good week side effect wise and apart from fatigue which is expected I have felt “normal”. No throat infections this time but I still have these 2 neck lumps, yes they are still bloody there and unfortunately still “messing” with my head although failing to produce a big wobble on the wobble-o-meter but enough to be messing with my sleep!

Thankfully the voice of reason Nanny Noble is here and we agreed I would call the chemo ward to let them now my anxieties and see if I could get in with the Prof at his next clinic.

Once I made the call I felt a lot better, like I could “park” itup and enjoy our girlie day, all booked in for Monday.   I tell you nothing is gonna stop us having some Black Friday retail therapy!

creditcard

I really don’t need any encouragement these days! By 7am I had already spent a small fortune online at John Lewis. I was only supposed to be buying a soup-maker with vouchers, I really don’t know how 2 dresses and 2 pairs of shoes “magically” ended up in my basket!!

I’d decided to have a sneaky “peek” at dresses, it is actually well over a year since I purchased my last dress. We are also going for the last (chemo) supper on sat night and of course I need a new dress, obviously!!!

I have even allocated funds from the birthday / Christmas money pot do it’s all been budgeted for, see the accountant in me is still there!!!

I was so distracted and slightly ocd about needing to place the order before they ran out that I failed to notice that my 4 year old had snuck 2 “snacks” into the bed. ffs I hope they were “crumbless” snacks and not biscuits otherwise hubby is not gonna be happy when he gets in bed later!!!

In my defence, I seem to use that so much lately,  I’m not even in court and there is no lawyer in sight to protect me, actually I take that back my 4 year old is the world’s best negotiator, mostly down to the fact that he asks for what he wants and doesn’t give a shit about hurting anyone feelings or offending them with his requests !

……Where was I? Oh yes in my defence I ordered 2 sizes of each, need to edger my bets that one of them fit so half the order will be going back!

This is all before Mum and I have even got out the door, infact Mum is still in the Land of zzzzzzz !!!

Mum and I visit our favourite shop, a little boutique type shop which is so reasonably priced in the next village. We come out with quite a few bags, best thing of all they are hot pink bags, you know me and my pinkness.  On the down side, they are not the easiest thing to hide from the hubby 😉

I don’t know why I say that, in reality he doesn’t mind what I spend, I think it’s the Yorkshire “tight with money” in me I am certainly not right with money I just like value for money!

Mum and I then head to the garden centre for a spot of  “ladies that lunch” and grab a few festive pressies before she heads back for the train.  We’ve had a lovely 24 hours and as drop her to the station I can see she has tears in her eyes. I’m fighting hard to keep them back, instead I phone Rosie as she needs radiator advice, multi-talented I am, accountant by day, plumber by night!! Hopefully the call will distract me (for now)

That evening hubby brings home fish and chips, I’ve been dreaming of them all week and he’s even brought me a can of shandy. It is the law in this house with fish and chips to have a can of bitter shandy!!

Mine also come with mushy peas, unfortunately my hubby does not share the same tastes ( bloody southerners) and the little man is following suit . “Yuk mushy leaves” he says!!!!

Omg that felt good, I am stuffed and I’m fading, fading fast, hubby prompts me to go to bed, by 8pm I’m in the world of zzzzz, Black Friday has worn me out!

Time to forget about the neck lump and focus on getting some energy for a family fun weekend!

Never smile at a Crocodile!

Well Little Miss Sleepy hung around into Sunday but was joined by Little Miss Snappy, the snappiest crocodile in town!  They say sleep deprivation does crazy things to you and I sure have been snappy especially with the boys!

crocodile

Little man really wound me up at the weekend and it wasn’t his fault ☹ The excitement of having Auntie J stay made him turn into a one hyper 4 year old which normally I would “take control” over but I was so exhausted that I had so little energy and zero patience.

I can’t help but feel guilty, guilty for shouting and guilty for not being able to be the mum I usually am.  I know the “logical” Gem would tell me to not be so stupid and as Rosie reminded me the other day “Gem, most people are in bed in the first week of Chemo”

I know she is right, it’s just some days are so emotionally hard especially the weekend when you want to do “fun stuff”.

I really hope little man doesn’t remember me being like this and all the times he asked “Mummy, will you play with me” to which I have had to reply “Mummy is too tired right now” ☹

I have to remember that this is short term, I’ve only got 1 more round of chemo, 1 more round of this shitty poison in my body then I am done!

I’ve also snapped at my “Rock”.  I did apologise straight away and I know deep down he knows it is the fatigue talking and not me.

I was determined though not to over-do it and if I felt sleepy that I would “Nanna Nap”.  I only had 3 things to do on my priority list on Sunday.

  1. Sleep
  2. Iron Little Man’s school uniform (yes still determined he will not go to school scruffy as the Governor’s son)
  3. Go to the Pharmacy

Yep, another  bloody trip to the pharmacy for constipation remedies!  Honestly these days I think I have the body of an 80 year old – Just call me Nanny Davie!  The side effects are worse this time as far as that is concerned and I had to call the Chemo line for advice.  OMG it is soooooo bloody embarrassing having to talk about your bloody bowel movements!

I thought I was done with talking about sleep and poo when little man got potty trained but this takes it to a new level!

Cancer, you are the gift that keeps on giving!

I really can’t complain though, things could be so much worse!

I know I owe my “Rock” big time for putting up with me over the last few months and once Chemo is over he has the joy of dealing with me being “slam dunked” into a menopausal woman!  Poor guy, he didn’t sign up for that when he married his “younger” lady!.  But as our marriage vows say “For better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health”

This cancer journey certainly is a traumatic event and it does put a lot of strain on relationships.  Over the years we have had ours “tested” which thankfully has made us so much stronger dealing with this.  The one thing I have learnt is the importance of communication, communication, communication!

This rollercoaster is so bloody hard, for both of you.  I know it is hard for hubby especially balancing me, work and all the other stuff that we deal with in our life.

Thankfully I know that my Rock recognises Little Miss Snappy is only here for the short term and the Yorkshire brunette he fell in love with will be back soon.

Little Miss Sleepy

It’s 5am and Woohoo – guess who slept last night??? Oh yes, I have cracked the sleep code!!!

So far Gemsy 1 – 0 Steroids

A few hours later though and I must admit the “spring” I had in my step at 5am has now warn off and by 8am I am fading fast 😦

Step in my “Rock” to “take over” the situation.  I have been “ordered” to rest whilst he takes little man swimming and then to his best friend’s superhero party.  As I wave goodbye to “Flash” the superhero, I am holding back the tears.   I really wanted to take him to his party, he has been planning his outfit for weeks but my friends are coming over later and I really need to try and get some energy together!

2 hours later I am awake and refreshed, just in time for J to arrive.  I must confess I am a little apprehensive about her seeing me with no hair, she is a very tough cookie but you never know how those closest to you will react.

I was being silly of course and when she arrives she is un-phased!  We quickly head out to the local farm shop for lunch, I don’t know how long this energy “burst” will last but I am desperate for some “proper” food.  It’s great to have a natter and put the worlds to right and my jacket spud never tasted so good!

However today I do seem to feel sleepy “drunk”, the fuzzy chemo head is kicking in and I swear I have not had a drop of gin!

“Do you mind if we head back?” I say to J.  I know I need to be in my own 4 walls and “chill” a bit before my other friend L arrives.

The 3 of us were together all the way through Uni, we haven’t been together for a couple of years and I was so looking forward to seeing them.  We were planning on a proper afternoon tea out but Davie Tea Rooms will have to do!  We have a fab afternoon but I can see myself fading again and as L leaves, I resort to my pjs and my “Nanna Blanket”

My “Rock” calls us in for homemade lasagne and it tastes soooo good, I eat far too much and I know I am gonna bloody regret this when my sensitive chemo  stomach kicks in later!

By 7pm though I am back on the sofa and in the world of zzzzzzz, thankfully when I woke at 10pm J and hubby were having a G and T.  Apparently, she had a Gin lesson and has been sampling a few!  It makes me feel less guilty for being little miss sleepy!  We then decide to have an impromptu cheese board, well if I am not drinking I am gonna have some good food – sod the bloody weight watcher points tonight and I will have to deal with the consequences of whappy cheese dreams!

sleepy head

I’ve loved my girlie afternoon but I know I have over done it today in more ways than 1 and I only have myself to blame!  It was worth it though to see the ladies but note to self and after a severe telling off from hubby, remember this for last Chemo cycle and TAKE IT EASY!!!!

I promise to take it easy now, brownie promise!

Pudsey Bear

It’s Friday, it’s Chemo day 5 but most importantly it’s Pudsey Bear day!!!

For the last few days, I’ve been “buzzing” from the steroids! Still no sickness or feeling rubbish which I am very thankful for but I have been literally bouncing off the walls day and night, definitely the closest I have ever got to what it feels like to be a “junkie”!!!

Yesterday I took my last steroid so like a junkie then come the steroid “slumps” as I call them. I am praying that tonight I will “crack” the sleep code, after days of insomnia, I will beat the basta%d steroids to some sleep! Positive Mental Attitude!!

But today although still sleep deprived, nothing was going to get in my way of Pudsey Bear! For those reading from outside the UK, Pudsey is the iconic teddy behind a huge fundraising event in the UK called Children in Need.  It is massive annual event and most schools and organisations get involved in some way or another.

So, I slapped on some makeup and took the little man to school, WE have both been so excited since I bought him his Pudsey outfit last week!  It really is the little things that lift you from the shitty poison going through your body.  I am not sure which one of us had the biggest smile when we went through the school gates!

pudsey

At lunch, I went to see my oil lady to pick up some “essentials”, I have been reading that “Rosemary” is good for hair growth so I desperately need to get my hands on some, will give anything a go to get my locks back ASAP, hopefully people won’t think I smell like a roast lamb joint!

I spend a couple of hours there, she made me the most amazing homemade pea and mint soup and we have a lovely chat and catch up.

I must admit by the afternoon I am fading fast and by the time Pudsey officially starts at 7:30pm I am in the land of zzzzz on the sofa. I do wake up for a bit, enough to have a laugh from the comedy sketches and long enough to have tears in my eyes at the “real” stories of the children in need.  It’s at times like this, things are put into perspective.  Yes, I have a Serious Illness but there is always someone worse off than ourselves.  It may not seem like it at times, sometimes our own problems overwhelm us and we are all guilty of being a bit “self-absorbed” in our lives but if we STOP…..take a look and reflect, there are always so many things to be thankful for.

With that I go and give my beautiful little man a special kiss on his head, I am so thankful to have been blessed with such a healthy boy.

Night night Pudsey bear, see you in a year’s time for more fun!

 

The forbidden fruit

Blood test passed!!!! Chemo 3 went ahead – over 75% done now – woohooo!!! 1 more to go, I repeat 1 more to go!!!!

It’s such a relief, my throat infection is still lingering and I wasn’t sure how it would effect the bloods.

There was only one thing that tried to get in the way of a good weekend before Chemo and that was my bloody enemy goo$le!!! Why do I do it? WHY DO I DO IT??? it’s like the forbidden fruit. Must resist, MUST resist, can’t resist, CAN’T RESIST…Bad Gem, BAD GEM!!!

forbidden fruit

Let me explain…

It was 7am on Saturday morning, the sore throat was still there but turning into a cold and I had another cough again. Not as bad as last time but I am just so very aware of everything single fricking thing at the moment.  Then I coughed something came up and there was the tiniest bit of stringy blood in it. Guess what google gives you for that – secondary lung cancer per chance????

I really must not go in to overdrive wobble today, I have 2 kids asleep upstairs and I can’t be upset in front of my 13 year old step daughter.  I try and reassure myself that it’s probably from my nose. Everything is connected and I have had a lot of nose bleeds this last chemo. Nose bleeds are normal during Chemo, your ability to clot does decrease.  I know I am probably over reacting but it’s still niggling me.  Not on the scale of last week but enough for the tears to fill up.  Some days it just gets too much!

I have to remember the facts here, small tumour, only 1 node positive, remember the blood facts Gem!

I go upstairs and Hubby’s getting out the shower as he will be taking the kids out for little man’s swimming lesson in 15 mins.  FFS I really don’t want him to see me having 2 wobbles in 8 days, he’s gonna be wanting to trade me in for a non-wobble wife!!!! I can see the divorce papers now – Unreasonable behaviour… wobble after wobble!!

I confess my worries, he tells me straight that it’s probably just the side effects of the radiotherapy and the chemo but as I am still unsettled I say I am gonna give mum a call. I need a “mum” chat.

I don’t do bottling up, it is the advantage of being an extrovert.  The disadvantage is it is 7:30am, but I know she will understand me needing to call so early.

After a 10 minute chat with her I am feeling so much better, I just needed a cry and to talk things through, sometimes you think you are going crazy.  You are so aware of every tiny thing in your body and obviously in your head everything is a met.  Then you have to stop……be logical…. Not google!!!

I’m seeing her in a few hours anyway, we have a lovely family weekend planned.  I am determined to not let it spoil things.  I get a long shower, slap some makeup on and one of my 3 wigs.  I decide on some smart clothes as I am meeting my little bro later and I wanna look my best.  In 30 mins I am ready for the weekend, I have scrubbed up well and when Hubby returns with the kids from swimming, the wobble has gone and “happy, positive” wife has returned.

Thank fu$k for that!

So that was to wobble, it didn’t last long. I mentioned to Prof and he agreed he thought it was from my nose.  The cough has actually subsided now and not had any more blood. Now to rest up for a few days.  Surprisingly my white blood cells and neuts were better than last time, must be those Oils I popped the other day – thank you Oil lady for the emergency advice 😉

Right – time for the Waitrose man to arrive, he best come soon, I am bloody starving from these steroids!!

And as for Goo$le – please pi$$ off out my life, unless I am looking to buy shoes, clothes, makeup that is….. then you can come back!

 

 

 

 

and relax…..

I can’t tell you how much it meant to hear those words from the Prof, I really had not had a wobble like that since I was first diagnosed.  In fact in some ways this wobble was bigger!

It’s a couple of days since we returned from our mini break – you will be glad to hear it was bloody brilliant – just what the Prof ordered!

We were well and truly spoilt and I actually felt rso confident in my dress and killer heels for the evening meal.

There is a little story behind the dress.  I bought it about a year ago when I was part the way through my weight loss journey.  At the time it didn’t fit me, it was a gamble especially as it wasn’t cheap but the truth is I was determined to get in it.  I even bought the heels to match, well shoes are everything to an outfit!

So to be able to wear it months later, especially after this shitty boob journey is a massive “non scale” victory as we say in the weight loss world!  I was so worried the weight would creep back on after not being able to exercise for 3 months but I have really tried hard to keep on track the majority of the time.

dress

We often talk in our meetings about life getting in the way , it’s through these times  when you really have to “dig” hard and remember why you are doing it.  I remember thinking a few times “what is the point in losing weight?, I have got bloody cancer now, it didn’t stop me getting it?” but then I have to remind myself that I am the healthiest I have been in my life going into this and it will help me even more so coming out of this.  I know if I was 3 stone heavier right now, being the size 16 I was, I would be feeling pretty crap about myself and I guarantee you that my knees would be aching and I would be a miserable cow!

I did “indulge” whilst we were away especially on the homemade bread but it was sooooo worth it!  I have noticed though that my attitude to the booze has changed.  I decided to have some mocktails in the day whilst hubby was trying out the local gin, yes you did read that correct, I refused the gin although I did have a sneaky sip!

I decided I only wanted a couple of “proper” drinks so I used them to have with my meal. We even got the somellier to give me half portion on the paring wine and I didn’t even need to play the “C” card – get in!!!

It was a bloody great 24 hours away !

The Prof was definitely right about my throat, it has got worse and I feel pretty ropey at the moment.  You know I have never wanted to be ill before but this time it makes me feel so settled that the lymph node is just “reacting” and it actually hurts like a swollen gland!

By 7pm in the evenings though, I am absolutely shattered and I even fell asleep watching Holby City which is unheard of.  I called my Oil lady yesterday for recommendations on getting myself fit for Chemo 3 on Monday.  There is no way I am failing that blood test!

Oh and I picked up my human hair wig yesterday from my hairdresser.  It’s all chopped, coloured and looks so similar to how my hair was before that basta$d Lenny turned up!

She is one talented lady, I still can’t believe she made it!  I may have also been talked into her making me a pixie cut!  I will have one for each day of the week at this rate 😉

Oh well, I’ll blame Lenny!  Not sure how long I can keep using him as an excuse though?  Anyone know when the C card expires??