Monday, November 30, 2009
Nearly the end (treatment not me!)
Treatment is going really well, I have a little burning in my throat which means swallowing can be uncomfortable, burping is weird and a hot cuppa is a bit of a no no at the moment. I feel a bit tired but then my body is being blasted by a multi thousand pound sunbed every day so a I guess it's going to take a bit out of me.
I had a bit of a hiccup on the first Sunday though, we'd had a chilled morning taking the girls climbing and going to a local farm shop for stewing steak. A headache had started to kick in when we were trawling round Sainsbury's which wasn't unusual, thank goodness for internet shopping (even though Wendy does it all!). As we got home I had become very sensitive to light and the headache was localised over my left eye, it kind of felt like the front of my head wanted to blow off. Normally if this happens a couple of paracetamol and a darkened room sort me out. Two hours later and I was scared, there was no position that felt comfortable. Wend came to check on me and we decided that as the tears running down my face weren't of happiness we'd phone Weston Park.
Whether it was the radiotherapy or just a migraine I have no idea but I've never thrown up with a migraine before. Weston park wanted me to go to Northern General A and E department so they could scan my head........the thought had gone through my mind as it had Wendy's. It's one thing having a headache from hell but to think that there's an extra lump somewhere just piled pressure on that I couldn't explain, other than I was in need of some different underwear.
Northern General is a huge hospital with thousands of people there at any one time. A and E was quiet and my time in the waiting room short as I was shown through to a little private room. I have no complaints with the NHS! The doctor who saw me was a nice young man, how old do I sound, who spent quite a bit of time on his hair and plenty of money on his watch but he had an easy manner about him. He went through various questions, some over and over, others a bit daft (any foreign holidays this year), having been told what this year consisted of! He also tested my physical ability and compared both sides of my body. His hands on my arms and I had to push him away, well he must have been all of 11 stone wet through so he got pushed.....Then he wanted me to lift my legs when he pressed down, he got lifted..... Then he asked me to squeeze his fingers but he'd learnt something as he didn't want me to squeeze as hard as possible! I apologised when his knuckles clicked!
As time passed and the industrial pain killers the nurse gave me kicked in the pain wore off, as more time passed I was moved to the CDU, Clinical Decision Unit, how the flipping heck are the going to make a decision if they haven't scanned me yet! About 45 minutes later I'd had a scan and they'd found nothing unusual but they had found a brain so I now have proof!!!! Ten minutes later I could go home. Physically and emotionally drained but well. The roller coaster had scared me and Wendy and mum and dad. The fact is I wouldn't have gone to the hospital if I'd had migraine before having cancer. The damn thing's messing with my head and I won't let it. Perhaps it caught me off guard and the radiotherapy had lowered that guard but my head's better now so bring on whatever as I'm ready.
Look at them thar hills!
(click the picture for a bigger version)
Part of the reason for being ready is walking home from the hospital, I take it steady and I only do it if I feel up to it but I look at the hills and think about riding my bike in the woods and over the moors and through the boggy bits.
The other reason is my amazing support network. My amazing wife without whom I have no idea where I'd be, mum and dad for being great parents, my close friends and the wonderful friends I have made at work.
I called in today to see the Boss and drop off a sick note, to me it's only right that I keep work up to date with where I am. They have been brilliant with me so far and to me it's a two way street. It's always a bit of a lottery calling at school as people may be teaching or on courses but I got to see some of the most important people today. I was blessed with hugs galore and kind words, sincere words too. It was a real lift but the icing on the cake was the number of kids who welcomed me and asked when I was back. I felt like I belonged, I no longer look weird (well comparatively speaking), I want to be back teaching. I want this to be over for me but also for my family and friends, it's tiring for them and I am so lucky to have so many wonderful people putting so much energy into helping me.