Getting the New Year off to a good start the Rambling Potters did their 3rd annual walk for the NET Patient Foundation on Saturday 6th January. We had a great turn out, the weather was cold and bright if a little muddy thanks to rain on the previous two days, but for us it stayed away. For a change this year we walked around Tittesworth Reservoir which is just on the edge of the Peak District on the Staffordshire/Derbyshire border. Our new dog Buddy joined us too and certainly enjoyed himself with his new doggy friends Dude and Binky. Our grandson Arthur gave everybody a laugh too as he was pushed around in a wheelchair from the visitor centre, we didn’t have his pushchair. It caused great excitement for him and he chattered all the way, usually a great little walker, he decided he was far to comfortable where he was, thank you very much!! A big thank you to everybody who sponsored us and helped us reach our target. Also, a special mention for Tracy and family who couldn’t make it, but did their own walk anyway. Next years is already in the diary, and we are going to ‘Walk around the Wrekin’
I was fit for nothing on the Sunday though, which I put down to my post jab lag kicking in, combined with a couple of steep bits. I have tackled these before without any fall out, but doing anything to strenuous just after my jab does tend to wipe me out. So next years walk will be on the second Saturday in January rather than the first to avoid a clash.
Following on from my last blog there has definitely been an improvement in my state of mind as well as my discomfort. I doubt that as far as my guts are concerned I will ever be truly pain free, but it has been nice to have fewer days and nights hugging the hot water bottle and taking painkillers in various forms. Hopefully this is in part due to my new regime with my Creon tablets, instead of taking the lot before my meal I have now got used to spacing them out during my meal. I do not take the first one now until I have started to eat, and my last one is taken after my last mouthful to better mimic how our natural enzymes work when we eat. Needless to say my consumption of said tablets has gone up, but my bloating has gone down and pain in general is less severe when it surfaces. I am just waiting now to hear if my malabsorbtion levels have improved.
Luckily for me my specialist nurse has developed a special interest in this area and is supporting me with regular reviews. I have been on it for 2 years now, and at times you really have to think about how many you should take, especially if you are eating a meal with more than one course (not a regular occurrence for me), or if it has a high fat content. Thankfully, as I think I mentioned in my last post it is practically impossible to take to many, that is not a challenge by the way to any of my Creon compatriots! I am also building up a nice collection of lipstick holders as I find that they are the perfect size for holding enough capsules to see me through the day when I am out and about, and take up less room in my bag than the massive bottle they come in.
Also, I didn’t mention in my last blog that at Christmas I had had a fitness tracker. I had been toying with the idea for a while to see if it would help me to move around a bit more. I had started up my yoga again to help with my back and manage to do some most days, sometimes with company. I walk the dog most afternoons, and get myself back in the pool when I can. I must admit I am surprised by how competitive I have become with myself, and it even tells me when I have been sedentary for to long. I also liked that it monitored my sleep confirming what I have known for years. In that as I wake up a lot during the night I am often low on quality sleep. So as my birthday was approaching I decided I would like to upgrade it to a better model which I could also swim with, and my hubby could adopt the other one.
Buddy picked up his training classes in the New Year, and I am happy to report that both he and hubby have gone up a class, they are no longer beginners. We are also coming up to our 6 month anniversary with him and he will be 2 in a couple of weeks, he is such a lovely boy, a big softy and very laid back, your typical lab. When we are out he is every bodies best friend, although he can be a bit of a wimp if he hears a strange noise, but we feel like we have had him forever. He has his mad moments (don’t they all), and continues to be a slipper and sock thief, but at least now he will hand them back when he gets caught…
I had Arthur to myself the other Friday too, whenever he comes in the first thing he will ask for is a flapjack. So as we had the day together I decided to let him help me make them. We had great fun, and he did a very good job, although I think for him eating the end result was the best bit.
I did have a few more bad days mid-January, but it all calmed down by my birthday, my 3rd one since I was diagnosed. I was truly spoilt, as well as getting money towards my new tracker, I got lots of flowers, some wine and chocolates and a DNA testing kit for ancestry purposes, not health. I had participated in the National Geographic project in 2001, but things got lost along the way and this data is no longer accessible so I decided it was time to do it again. This time though I should also be able to link it up to my family tree. The kids have also treated me to a spa day, and the spa they have picked does a package for cancer patients. So I am really looking forward to that, especially after the reports in the news about spa’s refusing treatments to those have or have had cancer. There seems to be a lot of misunderstandings and myths surrounding this area, but if cancer centres offer massage therapies and things such as reflexology to patients I don’t see it as a problem.
There has been lots of birthday eating too, hubby took me out for a lovely meal on the day, then last Friday my youngest daughter and grandson treated me to lunch. This was followed on Saturday night by a meal with friends, the only downside of which was that we couldn’t all sit together, but we did have a good night and the food was tasty.
I finish this month with a stinking cold though and sore throat, and yesterday I made a rookie mistake of taking cold & flu capsules. Boy was I mad with myself, and I paid the price pretty quickly. My stomach rebelled within the hour and I spent a lot of time in the loo. I also had a breast screening appointment, never a pleasant experience at the best of times, mercifully I didn’t have a long wait and it was over fairly quickly, and at least at the hospital there is no shortage of toilets. In fact I am still a bit mad with myself now, I haven’t touched that stuff for years due to unpleasant side effects, I have now moved them to the other side of the cupboard away from the paracetamol.
“I’m not afraid of dying, it’s time I’m afraid of…” Interstellar 2014