Monday, January 25, 2010

Good advice

Is easy to give but not always so easy to heed. The put up and shut up is hard at the moment, I wanted to go back to work but didn't want to mess people around so I talked to my family and friends about their views on the subject. The general consensus was going back would be hard but it'd probably be good for my head, that I agreed with so off to the GP's I went to ask for a bit of an extension to my sick note and five minutes later I came out having been signed off for 4 more months. B*gger.

Not quite the result I'd hoped for but I have quite a bit of respect for the GP that I saw and when all's said and done I could get myself signed back to work early anyway. I spent the next two hours at work chatting to folk and drinking tea and passing on the news of my less imminent return which most people seemed to be disappointed with which I'll take as a compliment, either that or they're short staffed.......

Over the rest of the week though the GP has proved to be more right than I would have been. It took me a day of sleeping and doing very little to get over the visit to school. The slightest little thing can make me cry, every ache and pain be it from sleeping funny or dad dancing on the wii is blown out of all proportion. I have to be careful not to snap at the kids and Wend when I'm tired and it's very evident that if I'd gone back to school it would have taken very little for me to either have been in tears or ripping someone's head off, kids or staff alike. So my head's probably not in the best place for a return to work!

All this stems from not knowing. The radio therapy consultant was happy to say that I'm in remission, but without any proof. I like the optimism but I need proof, I need a fat lady singing with pom poms and a big fat ct/pet scan showing that the little bar steward is dead. Why they have to be fat I don't know but they just do.

In a bid to sort my head I visited the Cavendish Centre which is a charity based in Sheffield to help the families of and the sufferers of cancer. I wanted a fix, a magic wand waving and there we go your head is now as normal as it ever was........

I didn't get a fix, no magic wand and no normal head but to be honest I think I was a little unrealistic with my requirements! What I do have is a course of acupuncture starting in a week or so's time which I'm hoping will help my energy levels and possibly my breathing, I think it's unfair to ask if they can cure cancer, it may already be dead.

As ever it's my loved ones that are suffering the most. They suffer my moods, which aren't really anything new but at least I have something to be moody about now! On top of which they have their own worries and fears. They, as do I, worry what the scans will bring. Good news or bad, no more treatment or treatment which is probably more invasive and longer lasting. Who knows.

The only thing I know is that I couldn't have made it this far without my wonderful family and friends and the amazing strength that Wendy gives me every day. Every day the girls are well dressed and smart and ready for school, their bags packed with whatever they need and their dinner money in little envelopes. Any letter from school has been read and filed in the appropriate place, forms signed and returned. The milk man has been paid and the washing machine is full again. The house is clean and tidy and the food is fabulous. Top it all off with being a very professional nurse in a specialist hospital. It's this determination and strength to keep things normal that has helped me the most, it inspires me and stops me from being too much of a mardy arse. I love you Wend.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Put up and shut up.

It's been odd writing about Christmas and the New Year, it took about four goes before it flowed. I don't read this stuff back it just comes out of my fingers and through the keyboard. I know when it flows and when it doesn't and don't bother trying if it's not flowing.

It was hard because it's a weird emotional time at the moment, waiting for the scans and a consultation which will hopefully give us the news that we want to hear. It became harder today, because of the radiotherapy I can't have a PET scan until the end of February, making my appointment on the 29th of January less than useful!

I don't know where I stand, I feel ok but I get tired quickly, I have been out on my bike and enjoyed it but get breathless easily and my head is great ninety percent of the time. Pants for the other ten percent but hey I'll take 90:10. My breathing is weird, most of the time it's brill but when I lay on my right side when I'm going to sleep it sounds either like I've a clarinet reed stuck in my throat or a kitten up my backside! So I don't lay on my right, it's not the end of the world.

How do I work the next two and half months, I want to go back to work and it'll be a conversation I'll have with work this week. I'm scared of going back to work as I haven't been for ages, I haven't used any skills I'd built up. I'm not sure where all my files are, are the kids going to respond to me, are the staff going to respond to me. Will I remember peoples names, staff and kids, will I be able to shout (if needed!), will I be physically capable of doing a full day, will I be mentally capable of doing the job that I love?

Or do I sit at home and get myself fitter, physically, get my files in order and plan for my return to work?

I wish it was simple, but it's not. I wish in a way that the cancer had been operable and some hot shot with some of Sheffield's finest steel in his hand could have chopped the little furball out. That would suit my head, problem, solution, sorted. But it wasn't to be like that so it's a case of deal with what's in front of us and live our life to the full until something tells us not to. Put up and shut up.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

O! So wots occuring?

Happy new year.

We had a great Christmas with Ma and Pa and Viv and Dave and all the girls, Georgia, Carys, Daisy and Lola. It was always going to be an emotional day and it was but there was no walking out or me being odd, no more than usual anyhow!

Wend and I woke up first on Christmas day morning, age and the male bladder is not a good mix. Wendy was just excited, a few loud coughs and some giggling (from us) and down the girls came. A bit bleary eyed but the eyes told the story of excitement and anticipation. Has he been? Did he leave anything......?

It's been the same since George could walk, I'd go downstairs and check and then call them down. An embarrassment of riches awaited them, no coal for either of them, they're excellent kids and enjoy the little things that santa brings. There's as much excitement about a journal or a note pad as they are about their one big present. Georgia had a micro Scalextric and Carys, true to form a Barbie house.

We had a lovely time at mum and dad's, family and food, gifts and gratitude.

Food and family

For new years we traveled to Wales. Due to the weather forecast being snow and more snow we used the motorways. I have a deep felt gratitude that I'm not driving up and down the country day in day out like some poor fools.

The next couple of days were spent eating, drinking, watching Gavin and Stacey and being merry. Last year on new years day Jacob and I survived the sea for charity, this year I wanted to do it again. Standing on the beach surrounded by like minded nutters was an experience I'll not forget and I will one day do again. This year was not to be, I wanted to but I heeded the words of Belinda, don't put Wendy through more stress than she's already going through. When you're fit and healthy yes, do it again but your body has to repair itself after the treatment's it's been through.

She was right, I live my life the way I want to and that includes not causing pain or suffering to my loved ones, except for the odd noxious gas that may escape sometimes.

It was an emotional time, Jason's dad has just started chemo for a Hodgkins Lymphoma and so it was with mixed emotions that we went round to see them. It's a weird situation to be in, you don't want to raise or dash hopes but I never want to gloss over something. All the way through MY journey it's been MY journey and I told Val and Geoff that this had to be Geoff's journey but my experiences were this that and the other. That way I felt true to myself but I could answer their questions, Wend remembered more than me and so was able to answer some questions. She also helped Val as Wend was my carer Val would be caring for Geoff so it's a far different perspective to look at.

It was also tiring, I did more and slept less than I have for months and it took it out of me by the end I was knackered. But that's not how I remember it, below is how I remember it, with the exception of the beer and curry that aren't shown!

Beautiful start number 1. Bring on 2010.

A beautiful start number 2.

Not quite a sponsored swim, it was warmer this year too!

When you get a surf board for Christmas it'd be rude no to use it!
1st Jan 2010......

What a difference 24hours makes!

George going forwards for once!

It's a style thing!

Anita laughing at Carys, Carys laughing at falling off, again.

An oofing big snowman and my first bike ride of 2010