Thursday, 28 June 2012

Full up

Guardian of the dung heap

It’s been all go since I last posted.  I’m now all full of another lot of swamp juice, herceptin and I’m all freshly CT scanned (results next week). 

Chemo day wasn’t particularly inspiring as my white blood count was initially deemed too low for me to receive treatment (this would have meant a week’s delay).  Before every chemo session I have to go to the GP the day before for a blood test.  In this case as chemo took place on Monday the blood test had been done on Friday.  So the chemo nurse took another blood test on Monday morning and thankfully my white blood count had recovered over the weekend.  Hurrah for the steroids which I’d started taking on Sunday and which the nurse thinks did the trick.  Have I mentioned that I love steroids?

Also, while I’m whinging, my veins have started to rebel.  There was a bit of a struggle with the blood test and getting the needle-y thing in for the chemo.  The nurse reckons the blood count palaver and the vein mutiny are part of the chemo taking its toll.

On a more positive note my heart scan was OK so I was able to have herceptin and I didn’t have an allergic reaction.  However, my blood pressure dropped after treatment and I had to stay at the hospital until they were happy that it had reached an acceptable level.  This was not helped by a dopey health care assistant who kept forgetting to take my blood pressure at the required intervals.  The nurse was not impressed.  Neither was I.  That’s the medical moaning over with.

The other-half has now started working like fury on the front garden, lowering the wall to incorporate railings.  In between dismantling the wall, during the frequent rain showers (which cause more inventive swearing on behalf of his nibs), he is pouring over salvage yard websites for railings in case the ones he’s got don’t fit the bill.  It all makes my brain hurt.  We have stacks of smelly compost in the back garden ready to go round the front of the house when the Great Wall of Spa Street is finished.  The compost pongs.  Cyril loves it, the little stinker.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Domestic woes

Trapped in a tower of woe

Discombobulated Towers is a place of woe – and, as a baldy, I can’t even do a Rapunzel and  let my hair down out of the window so that a passing prince can rescue me.

Firstly we are enduring an Invasion of the Ants.  The creepy little gits are emerging from the skirting board and scurrying all over the place.  Bait stations (poison that the cat can’t get to) have been placed in strategic places but we seem to have super ants that are, so far, resistant to our attempts at extermination.  

The other-half and I have had words.  Or rather he has.  He’s used his skill at creating swear words (usually restricted to football players) on me.  Yesterday he made lunch.  Big brownie points for him you might think.  But he asked a million irritating questions about it while I was trying to watch telly.  The questions were along the lines of ‘shall I cut the sandwiches into triangles or squares?’, ‘should I spread the butter from left to right or right to left?’, ‘do you want your tea stirred clockwise or counter-clockwise?’.  Now, you may find this hard to imagine, but I might have been just a tad terse and maybe just slightly shouty when I said ‘will stop asking so many bloody stupid questions’.  The other-half’s first response was to stop speaking to me.  Strangely he seemed to think that I would find this a terrible punishment.  Once he realised I was relishing the silence he changed tactics started speaking to me and called me a ‘bog pond’.  Charming.

Other that being infested by creepy-crawlies and having a verbally abusive other-half things here have been fine.  I had a lovely lunch out with my pal C, popped into my old work place for a good chin wag, had a yummy dinner at sis-in-law no. 5, had a visit from sis-in-law nos 4 and 6 and went out for a meal with J and M.  So I’ve been making the most of feeling full of beans. 

Its chemo day tomorrow with added herceptin (heart scan permitting) so in a couple of days I’ll probably be back to moaning about being tired but in the meantime it’s steroids time – which means double energy.  Yippee!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

In which order is restored

Sadly not a picture of the front garden, which is still a work in progress

Hurrah, at last I’ve started feeling much better.  I am making hay while the sun shines, as I know next week, after another lot of swamp juice on Monday, I’ll be feeling grotty again.  But that’s ages away, so I’m sticking my fingers in my ears, singing tra-la-la and pretending it's not going to happen.

I’ve been out and about a bit seeing friends and yesterday my old mucker M came up all the way from Hertfordshire to see me.  Ta M.  She also made me eat too much lunch but I forgive her. 

The other-half has been watching football and getting so het up in the process that he’s been inventing new swear words and also using combinations of old swear words that are incredibly imaginative but sadly unrepeatable here.  Anyway I’m impressed.  All this swearing is much more interesting than the yawn-fest which is any sport at all in my opinion.  Given my loathing of all things sporty, and that after Euro 2012 we've got Wimbledon followed by the Olympics, this could be a very long summer for me.  I think I might start competitive swearing too.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Flopsy bunny

That's me, in the middle

A couple of Easters ago we had a family get-together in Wales and, unbelievably, had unseasonably warm weather.  Sis no 2 had bought us all chocolate bunnies.  Sadly we went out for the day leaving two of them near a window.  The picture above shows what we found on our return.  It also demonstrates how I’ve been feeling recently – a very flopsy bunny. 

The last lot of chemo has banished my bounce and made my ears droop.  It’s only a week and a half until I have another load of swamp juice and although I’m not looking forward to it, it isn’t all bad news as at least I’ll get another three days worth of steroids and so, hopefully, will be rushing around like a maniac for a few days.  This will be a welcome change.

Acutally, I have been feeling a bit more lively over the past couple of days and got out and about yesterday with Sis No 3 and Nephew No 2.  Neph No 2 caused some distress to his father while watching Euro 2012 by referring to goals as ‘points’ and then some distress to me by referring to football as ‘soccer’.  This is what comes from being born and bought up in Australia.  However, I have graciously forgiven him as he presented me with some very fancy tea from Fortnum and Mason, the sort of tea that requires respect in its serving.  I will be trying it in the next few days using a teacup and saucer, wearing a floral dress and possibly employing the services of a butler.  A tea-tasting report will be posted here.  Stay tuned for more excitement.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Fat cats

The glorious Nelly.  She was just a bit BIG BONED, alright?
There is talk of a distressing nature at Discombobulated Towers.  Talk of restraint, self-discipline and fortitude.  Talk of, wait for it, … putting the cat on a diet.  When we got Cyril (the three-legged monster cat) from the rescue centre last autumn he was sleek and slinky.  Now after nearly a year’s worth of pampering he’s got a paunch.  The vet commented on it a couple of weeks ago and I have to say it was quite noticeable yesterday lunch time when he was rolling around on the sofa sharing my ham sandwich.  I can’t think where I’m going wrong.  I don’t have a particularly good track record with this sort of thing.  My previous cat, Nelly, was ginormous (see above).  In my defence I have had other cats of normal build but they tended to have other problems of the type illustrated below.  

So it may be time to grasp the nettle before Cyril becomes a proper little porker.   Stand by for much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Talking of wailing and gnashing of teeth this latest lot of chemo has been truly knackering.  I’m feeling better than I was a few days ago but the ‘bounce back’ from this type of chemo is much slower than from the previous type.  It is so frustrating to not be able to do anything without needing to lie down for ages afterwards.  Yesterday I was whinging so much about it that the other-half hoovered the house from top to bottom simply because he’d rather listen to the drone of the vacuum cleaner than the drone of my moaning.  Result!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Chemo blues

Stuck in the chemo dungeon
Oh for the happy days of last week when I was off my trolley on steroids, rattling around the countryside and talking the hind leg off a donkey.  Now I'm on day two of lying in bed feeling like I've been trampled by said donkey wearing hobnailed boots. 

Flu-like symptoms are par for the course with the chemo I had on Friday so this isn't a massive surprise, but it's still not much fun.  I'm limited to the type of pain-killers I can take as I musn't take anything which can mask a temperature rise - so nothing containing paracetamol.  I am keeping sales of ibuprofen bouyant so there's an investment tip for you.  My temperature has been troublesome over the past few days, spending a fair amount of time just below the point where the instructions are to ring the hospital.  Not good for a natural born panicker like me.  So far today my temperature has been a bit lower, also I've started a ten day course of antibiotics - so fingers crossed this will keep the gremlins away.

So there you have it a bit of a whinge-fest of a blog post.  But I don't like to suffer alone, so thought I'd share, I'm good like that.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Dimbo Del

I’m on the naughty step.  In my last post I said I had to take steroids for three days prior to my latest chemo treatment on Friday.  I took them and whizzed around like a over-wound clockwork toy.  I should’ve realised something was wrong when I started ironing sheets (this is most unlike me).  It turned out I’d misread the instructions on the steroids packet and should have taken them for only one day before chemo, then on the day of chemo itself and also the day after.  I confessed all to the chemo nurse who was mightily relaxed about it I’m glad to say.  I still have to continue taking the tablets (in fact just had the last load) so I’m still a bit of a whizzy head as well as a scatty head.  I cannot even be trusted to follow simple written instructions any more.  If any work pals are reading this you should thank your lucky stars I’ve been signed off, I’d be even more of a hindrance than usual at the office.

Chemo went OK yesterday, no allergic reaction to the new treatment thankfully.  The side-effects (flu-like symptoms apparently) usually start around 3 – 4 days after treatment so if I go all quiet you’ll know why, that and going cold turkey from the steroids.  I’ve also been given a week’s worth of antibiotics as I’m even more susceptible to infections.  I’m getting to be a bit of a quick draw McGraw with my thermometers now so I’ll be keeping an eye on things.  Next week I have a heart test and if I pass that I will also start on herceptin.  Here endeth the medical report.

The other-half is off today for a huge family wedding which I'm mightily miffed to miss but it really wouldn’t be a good idea at the moment (I’d either be manic or asleep).  Many, many congratulations to the canoodling love birds T and J.  I’m sure everyone will have a fantastic time and I’m looking forward to the stories and photos the other-half brings home with him.

My chum T is coming over to baby-sit me for the day.  He’s the one who disapproved of me going to watch the Olympic torch.  Goodness knows what he’s going to make of the plastic solar-powered waving queen now stationed in the front window of the house in honour of the Jubilee.