First of all an apology for leaving it so long to write this. To be honest though I just haven’t been in the mood to write, in fact I haven’t been very sociable at all either personally or on social media. In some ways it has been a very busy couple of months; I have been to see ELO (Jeff Lynne’s Electric Light Orchestra) in concert, had a new car, hosted a NETs Coffee morning, had my 3rd PRRT treatment, celebrated my mother-in-laws 80th birthday, and had the date for my 4th PRRT treatment confirmed for the new year. In other ways though it has been very quiet, as my head has been all over the place, together with my energy levels.
The weekend after publishing my last blog we went into Birmingham with our friends Shelle & Greg to see ELO live in concert, we were also celebrating Greg’s birthday. Never having seen them the first time around in the late 70’s early 80’s we were all super excited, and we were not disappointed. I can honestly say that I think it is one of the best live music concerts I’ve seen, they were on top form. Unfortunately for Ade though, his back went, so it was a bit of a painful/uncomfortable weekend for him. Thankfully though it was nothing serious and the pain gradually calmed down over a matter of days.
Following my 2ndPRRT treatment I was also starting to feel more normal again, I was sleeping better and the gaps between pain and low energy were getting longer. Although I was and am still experiencing the on/off energy bursts, I’ll be going great guns and then its just like a switch being flicked and puff it’s gone. I so was glad that things behaved themselves whilst we were in Birmingham, as it can be extremely annoying when there is no indicator that the switch off is coming. I could really do with one of those pop up warnings like I get on my phone!
After the concert I had my regular scans, and these confirmed that everything was stable following my first two treatments and that I was good to go for my third. I did all the paperwork the week before, and the nuclear consultant who is responsible for the PRRT warned me that the 3rdand 4thtreatments can be harder as the body recognizes that it is now truly under attack. I glad to have been warned about that before hand, but more of that later. I told him about my hair loss, and that my finger nails were also very weak, but he assured my that once the treatment was finished things will return to normal. The loss seems to be worse about a week after treatment and then slows down again about 4 weeks after. My hairdresser though has assured me that it is not as bad as I think it is.
Following my scans, I took delivery of my new car. I have stuck with a mini but had a countryman this time, or as I call it the Buddy mobile. The dog fits in the back very nicely, although he is still a bit unsure. It is a lot bigger that my old mini, and nowhere near as nippy, but then again it is more like a small SUV, has bags of room and is very comfy. I do miss my little mini though, but she has gone to a good home, and I do love my new one too. I liken it to my little red mini having gone to the spa, had a bleach job and been pumped up on steroids. If also definitely makes the shopping easier as I can get everything in the boot now, and its very easy to drive.
No sooner had I got used to the new car, than it was time for the NETs coffee morning. I had had to move it forward a week due to a treatment clash, but we had a great turn out and raised £280. Thank you to everybody who helped and came along to support us, I couldn’t have done it without you. It was lovely to catch up with friends I hadn’t seen for a very long time, and I consider myself very lucky to have you all in my life.
Then it was time for PRRT number 3, which this time I did as an outpatient. Ade dropped my off at the Christie at about 8am, and this time they were able to get all the cannula’s in without any fuss. Everything went according plan and followed the same path as the last two treatments. We had a bit of a blood bath whilst I was having my scan as one of the cannulas got knocked, but it was nothing major, although it did take a while to clean up. I was home for 5pm and confined to the front bedroom. After we had something to eat, Ade went out to play poker, but just before he came home I started to feel very ill. My stomach bloated up and started to cramp very badly, I threw-up, and then continued to felt nauseous for hours afterwards. I took my morphine and anti-nausea tablets, filled up my hot water bottle and rolled around on the bed moaning and trying not to scream, I just couldn’t get away from it. So that was what he came home to, but there was nothing he could do, it was as hard for him as it was for me. I finally got to sleep about 4am in the morning, and it was hard dragging myself out bed the next day to go back up to the Christie for my scan. Boy was I a wreck, as a result it has been agreed that I will stay in overnight following my 4thtreatment.
It was no surprise that I slept well that night, in fact the next few days were a bit of a blur as my stomach continued to complain, I was feeling sick all the time and I was super tired. Apart from going for my scans, I spent most of the time in my pj’s either on the settee or in bed. The Tuesday following my treatment was our wedding anniversary, but as I was still under house arrest we weren’t able to go away, which is what we usually do. But we did have a very nice meal at home and I managed a glass of wine too. By the middle of the week I was feeling a bit better, and Ade went away for a rock music weekend with his mates, so it was just me and Buddy. My friend Diane who is a dog walker, came in walked Buddy for me, as even if I was allowed out my energy levels were not yet up to dog walking standards.
We also received some great and long awaited news, our son Derek and his partner Lee got engaged whilst they were away on holiday. We are over the moon, as they are such a great couple and have been together for 9 years, and who doesn’t love a good wedding:-) It also happened on NET cancer day, so I have no excuse for forgetting that date;-)
Over the next few weeks though I was very emotional, and I could feel myself withdrawing. My energy has been very slow to return, even going out for a walk was hard work. I have now finally got myself up to a distance of 2 miles in one go, but it has been hard work, and my speed is still not cutting it. I know I need to be patient but it’s hard. My stomach pain is pretty consistent and I can get quite light headed, sometimes worse than others, and if I get 2-3 days without any form of pain relief including heat-packs I am doing well. I have had to cancel quite a few social events, some of which have been in the diary for ages due to symptoms, and to top it all I got a stinking cold too. So I think that is part of the reason I have been so quiet and finding it difficult to socialize and do stuff. It is playing with my head big time at the moment, to the outside world I am my usual happy self, but for a good few weeks I have been more than happy with just the company of Ade & Buddy.
At the end of November we went out for a big family meal for my mother-in-laws 80thbirthday, she said she didn’t want a cake or any fuss. So we snuck in some balloons principle, and I made her a cake. I am not known for my cake decorating skills, but I think the mini fireworks made up for it. We had a lovely night, she is a great lady, I am very lucky to have her as my mother-in-law.
By the beginning of December I was beginning to slowly come out of my fog, and got round to making the Christmas cake. Then the second weekend of December was very busy, I had a Christmas get together with the girls at mine, and my daughter Judith did a Tropics party. Then on the Saturday it was into Birmingham for Christmas lunch with my work colleagues. We had a great afternoon, and a good catch up, as we are a bit scattered and half of us are no longer working, it is quite an achievement to get us all in one place at the same time. The planning starts months in advance!!
Then on the Sunday we went down to Cambridge for a couple days as dropping Buddy off with his Gran & Grandad, our delayed anniversary short break. The hotel was lovely and ideally placed for the town centre, so on Sunday afternoon we had a wander to get our bearings. On the Monday after breakfast we planned to hit the museums, the only problem was that the ones we wanted to visit were closed on a Monday. We did manage to see one, the Museum Cambridge which is based in the former ‘White Horse Inn’, a public house that closed in 1934 and covers the lives of the people of Cambridge and its surrounding area from 1700 onwards. As you start the tour there is a picture of the last landlord, who is the image of one of our favourite comedians, Bill Bailey, Ade tweeting the picture and was over the moon to get a response from the man himself. The tweet also got 60 retweets and 1504 likes:-)
We did a lot of walking that day, and decided to get one of the museums in on Tuesday before we went home. After all the walking on Monday though I was feeling the after affects. So before breakfast, I topped up on the painkillers and I was able to manage the smaller of the two museums, which was on “Archeology and Anthropology”. The next couple of days after we got back I was very tired, but managed to get the Christmas tree up, and the Christmas cards written. Then last Sunday we took Arthur to see Santa Claus on the steam train again, he was super excited and loved every minute of it. Last year was fun, but this year was better as he now gets what Christmas is all about.
Then on Tuesday of this week I got to see him in his first Nativity, it was lovely. He played a cow, and looked super cute. They all did very well, I have never seen so many Angel Gabriel’s in one place, or little stars of Bethlehem. It was great that everybody had a part, they all behaved very well, and best of all it was a traditional nativity.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy Christmas, and a happy, healthy and prosperous 2019. My 4thand final PRRT will be on the 3rdJanuary, and I will try not to leave it to long before my next blog this time.
“I’m not afraid of dying, it’s time I’m afraid of…” Interstellar 2014