Back to green!

Wig – check

Wig brush – check

Beanie – check

Oil – check

1 lemon – check

Yes, this is in fact my overnight bag checklist!  It’s worse than when we used to pack to take my little boy anywhere when he was a baby!

I may have gone slightly over board with the lemon but I am determined to keep up my daily routine and if I am gonna be having a drink then I need all the help I can get to detox it out of my system!  Hubby did remind me that we are staying in a “nice” hotel and he is sure they will bring me a lemon if I ask!

It’s 4:30am, in T minus 5 hours I should have seen the Prof.  I’m feeling so much more positive today 🙂

Yesterday morning I had another wobble, probably between mini and big on the Wobble-o-meter.  I was on my own in the house when the wobble started to “rear” its head.

The boys were out in the garden building a box. Tears ran down my face as I saw the little man helping Daddy with the screws. Love my boys so much.  They are so close and although little man is a mummy’s boy he loves, and looks up to, his Daddy so much.

At wobble times I know it’s best to keep busy, so I decide to iron and tidy the house!  It’s amazing what goes off in your head even when ironing.  After I lost my aunt and uncle I started to re find my faith again. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t go to church regularly but I do talk to the man up there every so often.

Today I spoke to him again, mid ironing I said a little prayer. Right there in the middle of the dining room for all the walkers by to see. Who cares??!!

I decided I needed to do something about these thoughts so I posted out to the support network on Facebook. I needed to know if anyone else had similar “things” happen to them.  It’s not long before I get messaged back from the girls. Some messages of support, which although give me no answers do still really help me but a couple come through with their experiences. The consensus is they think it is a reactive node. I want to believe them so much, I really do.

I also reached out to C. I am not sure why I left it 48 hours, I guess I didn’t want to bother her…

That afternoon I get a text from C. Here it is:

C: I know … 

But Chemo is very likely to be putting you in the menopause.  When you are slammed dunked in (as opposed to a gradual natural menopause) you are going to get bad hot flushes and night sweats.

Gemma… this is your first ‘is cancer back?” Episode. 

It’s a huge huge wobble. 

After my first basta$d meeting with breast cancer .. I developed a lump in my neck… a lymph node. 

It was my first shit a fu$king brick moment. 

They of course got me in asap and did a scan. 

My tears were filling my ears and they did it.  But it wasn’t. It was just a swollen lymph. 

People without cancer get them too.   But guess what … they don’t notice .. because we are looking for it.

It’s fuc$ing hard .. very hard… but I am 99% sure you are fine. 

Xxxxx

Also 

When you have had cancer .. if you have symptoms etc..as a diagnosis docs will work back from cancer.

i.e you have a cough .. they will rule out cancer first and work down .. anybody else would get a prescription for antibiotics.

It’s a new normal.. but you are royalty now…you will be looked after! Every medical person you meet will make it their mission to see you right. That’s not medical ethics .. that’s humanity.  You will bring that out in people you didn’t even know about.

 

C is a legend, a bloody legend, she could make a lot of money from her advice!  It’s amazing how her text has “ lifted me” and given me hope.

That night I find another lump, it’s below the the first one. Instead of “shitting a brick” as C says, I feel calm. A cancer node wouldn’t just come up like that, hello world I’m here isn’t its style.

I think it is reactive.

 


 

It’s 9:30 and I’ve just seen the Prof.  I am skipping out his office, yes it was good news!!!!

He believes the lumps are being caused by a Respiratory Tract infection as my tonsils are up same side and I do have a sore throat.

Why didn’t the bloody GP check my throat?

My dad thinks I scared him to death with my “give me a fricking referral”

I questioned the Prof about the Hodgkins ( well I need to understand) and he said those lumps feel very different to what I have.  He doesn’t think it is secondaries either as it is on other side of my body and doesn’t follow the normal route of nodes.  He does believe the nightsweats are my sensitivity to hormones so he is going to do lots of hormone tests ready for me starting my hormone therapy as I am likely to have more side effects which we need to manage.  I will be monitored now and will have an ultra sound if it doesn’t settle.

I trust him, he’s the Prof and he has earned his stripes for good reason.  Now off for our little break. Wobble-o- meter bawobbleover2ck to green 🙂 xx

Wobble Alert!

Wobble Alert, I repeat Wobble Alert!!!!!

Ok, you can’t say I haven’t warned you now!

You know I was just thinking a couple of days ago it had been a while since I had a wobble, bloody jinxed myself haven’t I!

It started on Thursday night, I was sitting on the sofa and whilst fidgeting I felt a little lump on my neck.  I wasn’t in a panic, as I am finding out we all have lumps and bumps all over a body, bloody hell I have enough on my “mummy tummy” even after losing 3 stone!

I went off to the land of zzzzzzzz and woke up drenched from a night sweat.  Not sure if I have mentioned them before but I have been having night sweats since Jan.  Way before Lenny was found, I’d gone to the docs and demanded bloods tests but nothing came back conclusive.

So Friday morning and the night sweat plus lump on neck together resulted in me going from “ok” to the biggest bast$ard of a wobble I have had in months.  I was in tears, floods of tears.  It was 6am and I was downstairs alone with my old enemy google! WTF was I doing???!!!

wobbleometer

All I could think about was “have I got ANOTHER big C to deal with now??!”  I started to feel so angry.  Angry like I was when I found Lenny…. “Why me?, is someone out there just sending Lenny and his army troops out to get me?”

Shit, hubby was gonna be down any sec to go to work. Now anger turned into guilt.  The last thing I wanted was for him to see me like this.  His job is full on and I didn’t want him to worry about the state I was in.

Reluctantly, I decided to be honest and took myself back upstairs.  He was still in bed, but awake.  I couldn’t hold back the tears.

“Why don’t you get to the doctors this morning”?

The last time he said this was the day I found Lenny.

He was right, I need answers to this, I know I won’t get answers today but I knew sat on my ar$e crying wasn’t going to achieve anything.  Right then all I could do was weep.

Then in walked little man, he knew something was wrong.

“Mummy feels sad today” I said.  I felt so guilty for the tears, the last thing I wanted was to make him feel sad.

“I am not sad a lot am I?” I added

He shook his head, you could tell he was concerned as he handed me his bear to cuddle.

Usually he is full of beans, but on Friday he knew, he knew something was wrong … kids are so tuned in…scarily so bloody tuned in.

 

We decided that is what I would do.  I would call the GP and I would also make an appointment to see the Prof.  I need to go at this at all angles, I need to rule this shit out as quickly as possible.

We are supposed to be going away on Monday for a night, just hubby and I to get away from everything. This can’t spoil it.  I won’t let it.  I need the night away so much, and so does hubby.

I also got myself wound up as I was supposed to have a call at 9am with my new business partner.  I know, I know, I am off sick but I have been doing some behind the scenes work to help my brain again. How was I going to get to the GP and be on the call?  I decided I needed my right hand lady to step in and rescue me so sent her a “favour text.”  I really hoped she’d get it, I didn’t want to land her in it.

At 8:30 I called the docs, 4th in the queue, 4th in the bloody queue.  I rang on the dot, I have never been 4th in the queue – they best have loads of emergency appointments otherwise I was going to have to stalk them until I saw a GP.  I’d handcuff myself to the bloody reception desk!!

“Do you believe it is an emergency?” I get asked…..

Ffs, would I really be phoning and asking for an emergency appointment for nothing… I took a deep breath and answered very politely!

“11:50 today”

Thank fu$k for that! Already I was starting to feel better, more in control.

I gave my right hand lady a call, I was all geared up for doing the 9am call.  Well I thought I was until she asked how I was and I just burst into tears.

We are so close, I just couldn’t lie to her so I explained the situation.  We made a deal, she would do the call if I called my mum.

No one understands me more than my mum, she just knows what to say.  I had a cry.   A big cry and I can see myself starting to feel stronger.  Even the strongest of us cry, I know crying is not a weakness and for me it’s about getting it all out.

Next I called the Prof’s secretary and explain the situation.  I also explained we are supposed to be going away on Monday and she managed to squeeze me in first thing.  The wobble is moving down the wobble-o-meter, all I needed to do now was have a plan of attack at the GP.

As my old dad said, failing to plan is planning to fail so decided to make some notes.  There is no way I am coming out of that GP without being referred, no bloody way!

I get called in, it’s a GP I hadn’t met before, he looked like a trainee but I wasn’t going to hold it against him. I went through my notes…. He started looking at my blood history.

I could tell he isn’t “comfortable” with the situation.  He tried to “fob me off” with an ultrasound scan but I wasn’t buying it and he knew it.  I wasn’t rude but I wasn’t taking any shit that day.  Enough is enough, I needed to find out what the fu$k this is so I can move on with my life.  I’ve got too much to do to have this “niggle” in the back of my head and I know I am not being paranoid.

So he agreed to refer me on the 2 week “urgent” NHS route, I walked out like a weight has been lifted.  I have a plan now and there isn’t anything else I can do about it.  I will see what the Prof has to say on Monday.

It’s amazing how only a few hours ago I was in such a state and now I felt so much stronger and ready to tackle the world.

That evening I take the little man to his first school disco.  I walk in so proud, probably freaking out half the parents and kids with yet another hairstyle but tonight I don’t give a crap!

I found out later on Friday afternoon that one of my colleagues in Oz had lost his battle.   I had never met him but he was an amazing character. He was my age, diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer a couple of years ago.  He fought and fought to the very end, although I never meet him, hearing his story has given me so much inspiration.  It’s stories like this that make your own problems seem so immaterial.

So on Friday night whilst eating my fish and chips with my can of “Shandy Bass” – my version of Fosters (sorry but I don’t do lager!) I raised a glass to Rob Dowling.  A true inspiration, who will never be forgotten.

RIP Rob

Fetch the Nanny

So the last couple of days I’ve had a very special lady staying – the one and only Nanny Noble aka my Mum.  It wasn’t a planned stay but hubby hurt his back on Sunday and ended up bed bound for a couple of days.

A bit rude if you ask – how dare he get injured – he is supposed to be the one looking after me!!

Thankfully Super Nurse / Nanny came to the rescue, the truth be known it was a bit of an excuse for us both to have some time together, we rarely get proper 1:1 time these days and although we speak every day it’s not the same as having a “mammy cuddle”

I even got her to give me one of her “healing” massages.  She has been saying she would give me a head massage for 10 years but always has an excuse which usually involves her having had too many “spritzers”.

nannynoble

I must admit she does have super powers, I could have toasted marshmallows off the heat of those healing hands…… unfortunately it meant by 7:30pm, I was ready for the land of zzzzzzz

I decided to kip in with her in the spare room so hubby could be more comfy but I did leave the “patient” with a bell if he needed anything!

It was like our own pj party, girlie chats in the night and best of all, loads of cuddles.  The last time we spent so much time together was when she stayed with me before and after I had little man. I needed her so much back then, many a night she spent rocking and singing her grandson to sleep.

The best decision we ever made was to move closer to family, I can’t bear to imagine not seeing them weekly. She has been there to share so many of the little man’s milestones and I have never seen anyone so close to her children and grandchild.

I know this isn’t easy for her right now, I know some days are really tough for her but I know my positivity is helping her.  She is my number 1 blogger fan!.  She asked me the other day where do I get my strength from through this…….I wasn’t sure if it was a rhetorical question but I answered her anyway!

The fact is I get my strength from people. Starting with the 2 people who brought me into this world.  I am a complete hybrid of them both but thank goodness I get my looks from Mum!

From my dad I get my determination, making things happen, not taking any shit! but from Mum I get my emotions, my emphathy, my caring nature.  They are my biggest strengths and biggest weaknesses at times!

One thing I have really struggled with in the past is putting myself first.  It is definitely a trait I get from my mum.  It is a trait I have been really working on over the last few months to be more aware of and I know although it doesn’t come natural to me, I am putting myself first a lot more.

I had a flashback the other day to a baby clinic visit when little man was a few weeks old.  The health visitor told me that a healthy baby needed a healthly mum and that meant taking care of ourselves.  Yes she was indirectly having a go at me!!

Life is so fast paced nowadays and how many times do we find ourselves saying “I’m too busy, not had the time”.

Yes, time is limited but then we need to make sure we spend our time doing the “right” things. Sorting out our priorities. Oh, forgot prioritisation – definitely get that from the old man!

For me health had become a priority before Lenny became a squatter but if I am completely open, there was a lot of things I was still not putting myself first.

Since Chemo has started, it is like a “on” switch has been pressed. The “put yourself first” switch.  Yeah, some days I have felt crap but there are some things in my daily life now that are non-negotiable. P1 as we say at work!  The other shit can wait!

“Super Gran” lemon water

2.5 litres fluid

Daily Oil  / Skinroutine

Boob and arm stretches

“Fresh” air

Loads of cuddles with my boys!

I tell you, so far through Chemo it has worked wonders, yeah things can get worse side effect wise but I honestly know it is having  a really positive effect on me and I don’t think I have ever “glowed” so much 😉

Ok, went slightly off tangent then but there is a link.  I know my Mum is reading this post right now.

“Mammy, we’ve had a wonderful couple of days together, full of so much love, “healing”, slightly lower bank balance and a touch of pinkness!!

You go take that “energy” and from today start putting yourself first.  You have seen for yourself what it has done for me, there are gonna be so many more girlie times ahead. Let’s be the best version of us!”