Showing posts with label cancer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cancer. Show all posts

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Onwards and upwards

I thought I’d better write a little post today because sometimes, if I don’t, people get worried and think that I must be very unwell.

Often that is the case. However, in this instance it’s more that I have nothing much to report. The muscle spasms and pain are subsiding. It’s not gone but it’s more general weakness in the limbs. I stood at the sink for 10 minutes earlier but then had to sit down because my legs were too tired to finish the washing up. That’s my excuse, anyway ...

It’s not as debilitating as the last three treatments though and I have managed to see people this week. On Monday night I managed to drive and had a hilarious dinner with some friends and yesterday Lorna came round to see me.

I’ve known Lorna since about 1985 and bizarrely, despite growing up in Staffordshire and over 10 years of us not being in touch, we now live round the corner from each other in Ealing. Lorna’s had her own cancer journey, having survived ovarian cancer (10 years all clear) and losing her Dad a year after I lost mine. Her Mum has survived breast cancer too – twice!

In fact, it’s through our parents that we know each other. That and the legendary Lichfield Youth Theatre; children of the local am-dram fraternity thrust together to pen sketches, perform musicals and generally lark about every Wednesday and Sunday at Lichfield Arts Centre. Golden halcyon days.

We’re hoping to recapture some of that youthful exuberance this weekend. My sister is coming from Hereford and another of our number, the infamous ‘Quinny’, will be travelling from south London, for a one-night-only Ealing performance. I’m really looking forward to seeing them.

Fortunately Mr P. is quite a formidable force in his own right otherwise this could have been a daunting prospect for him. However, he has already been thoroughly vetted and awarded ‘honorary LYT girl’ status. And that’s quite an achievement, let me tell you ...

Monday, 30 April 2012

Living the high life!

Oh yes, I’ve plumbed new depths of dullness this morning and at 10.30am found myself – alone – in Tesco’s cafe with a cup of tea and a piece of shortbread.  My life really is that exciting these days.

This solitary caffeine and sugar-fix however, was very much needed.  If I let myself get dehydrated, or hungry, then the nausea starts to kick in.  So it was just me, nursing my brew, and a few (very) random pensioners eating fry-ups.

I’d set out early to drop Mr P. at the station and then run a few errands to try and get things done before the fatigue kicks in or the pain gets too much.

It really is excruciating: like every tiny bone in my body is shrieking at me. My feet and ankles are particularly bad but, to be fair, I can’t think of a bit of me that doesn’t hurt right now. Oh, apart from my head ... I don’t have a headache!  Hurrah!

I had been taking warm mineral baths to try and alleviate things but now I think they make it worse. Last night was particularly upsetting. We’d had a lovely evening with our friend Amy, who came round to see us, and then I decided to have a soak before bed.   Anyway, to cut a long story short, I’d only been in the warm water about five minutes and the pain in my feet and the back of my ankles became so extreme that I couldn’t move. I certainly couldn’t stand to get out of the bath, so the situation just got worse.

In the end, poor Mr P. had to lift me out like a little bald baby covered in bubbles – then swaddle me in towels to stop me shaking uncontrollably from the cold and shock. It really was distressing for both of us. There really is no room left for pride or dignity with some of these treatments!

And that’s why I want to just say again, how completely and utterly grateful I am to have someone like Mr P. to love and support me. People often forget what an enormous emotional and physical burden is carried day-to-day by our loved ones. In fact, many carers end up feeling guilty and think that their feelings are inconsequential in comparison to the patient’s – but that’s simply not true, you’re all incredibly important and special.

In the case of my lovely Mr. P, I can’t think of many 31-year old guys who would have embraced the challenge of this situation so strongly and readily.  I know he’s found it extremely hard at times but I really couldn’t have wished for a better travelling companion on this journey ...