Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Thwarted and sorted

This is what proper sewing type bloggers do, isn't it?  Put pictures of their latest creations on their blogs.  That is the only way in which I am in anyway similar to those bloggers.  Big sigh.  

Remember me saying I was attempting to make my first ever dress and doubting that I'd get further than this stage?

Well I did.  With bullying help and motivation from sis no 3, I tackled darts, battled with interfacing and did things with a zip I never thought possible.  I was pretty chuffed with myself and the finished item.  Then I tried it on.  It was too small to accommodate my enormous arse.  To add insult to injury there wasn't enough fabric in the seams to let it out.  There was wailing and gnashing of teeth, followed by some internet shopping to make up for the trauma.  I actually quite enjoyed the sewing process but I haven't quite got the heart to attempt another, much wider, dress just yet.

On a more successful note the other-half has decorated our sitting room.  The finished result is fine but there were moments of argh during the process, including finding some damp (which we thought we had, expensively, eradicated some time ago).  As you can see, Cyril (the three-legged monster cat) 'helped' when we were drying out the damp.

In health news the erratic side-effects of my current chemo, capecitabine, continue.  Some days I feel fine, others really tired and others unable to stray too far from the bathroom.  I whinge but, so far, the side-effects have been bearable and as long as the chemo continues to work I'm happy with the treatment.

I'm not so happy though with the chemo nurse who booked my next two dates for attending the Chemo Unit to collect my drugs (this happens every three weeks to fit in with the chemo cycles).  I, stupidly, just accepted the dates she offered without double checking.  I realised today that the nurse had mistakenly booked my appointments at four weekly intervals instead of three weekly.  To make matters worse I had used the exisiting dates to work out when to book a couple of holidays.  So now everthing has gone pear-shaped (much like me).  The next appointment has been rearranged to, just about, fit in with my plans and taking the drugs at the right time, but the appointment after that could cause problems.  The Chemo Unit assured me today that they'd sort it all out when I go in next week.  Here's hoping!

All this is very minor stuff though compared to what some are going through.  On the online forum, which is my life line, a number of women have died over the past couple of weeks.  Of course, this is going to happen on a forum for people with metatstatic cancer but it's tough.  One of the women who died recently, Jo, (at just 32 years of age) had an excellent blog which brings home the impact of this vile disease.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Relief and shame

I got my latest scan results yesterday and, considering what I was half-expecting, they were a mighty relief.  

The scan of my head revealed nothing.  Oh shut up.  I do have a brain in there but, hurrah, there was no sign of cancer.  My bones although showing a couple of iffy bits on my ribs (which have been there for at least two years) are OK, in fact the iffy bits have improved so the oncologist still doesn't reckon it's cancer.  My liver (cancer detected there last year) has improved and my lungs (which have had cancer ever since I was first diagnosed just over three years ago) are stable.  The onc reckons my dizziness is due to low blood pressure and my back ache to old age.  Never have I been so happy to have someone tell me I'm an old crock.

This means I carry on with my current chemo, which although causing me fatigue and sometimes an exciting dash in the direction of the bathroom, hasn't caused hair loss or major sickness.

As I was very concerned about the outcome of the latest scans I haven't been planning ahead massively, but that's now changed and already today I've been out and bought some summer clothes and, now I know I'm not going to lose my hair in the near future, have booked a haircut.  My thoughts are now turning towards summer holidays.  Watch out world, I'm on the rampage.

In order to distract me from chewing my non-existent finger nails, the other-half, sis no 3 and I headed out to Cheshire on the day before I got my results to visit Bluebell Cottage Gardens and Nursery.   It was glorious, look

However it's not all joy and bluebells at Discombobulated Towers I'm afraid.  On Wednesday evening Cyril (the three-legged monster cat) caught his first bird.  Thankfully I don't have any pictures as Cyril took his prey next door to give it a good munch there.  He made a quick exit from our garden due to the other-half yelling 'drop it' at him as if he was some kind of obedient dog.  So, I have raised a bully and a murderer.  Where did I go wrong?

Monday, 11 May 2015

Reasons to be grumpy

Scuppered plans

Because of the delights of chemo side-effects my plans for a mega sewing day have been abandoned.  If I tell you that it is 10 steps to my bathroom from my bed and that, in recent days, I've really needed it to be 8 steps I think you'll get my drift.  Further lurid details available on request. Sis no 3 was going to come round and help me attack my dress-making project but that's a real no-go today.  Sigh.  I am hoping, at some stage, to get a bit further than this:

Thunderous Thursday

On Thursday I go to see my oncologist to get the results of my latest scans.  I am not at all confident that the current chemo is working so I'm pretty apprehensive about it, especially as the scans included bone and brain this time.  If chemo hadn't already destroyed my fingernails I'd be biting them to the quick.  I've written about the delights of scanxiety a million times before but, of course, the process doesn't get any easier so I'm going to continue whinging about it.  So there.

Cantankerous cats

Cyril, the three-legged monster cat is continuing his reign of terror in the neighbourhood.  As well as regularly attacking all the local mogs he comes home with his fair share of scratches.  I despair.  Added to all this is the added horror that is Snooky.  Snooky (a black and white cat with the added bonus of four legs) lives down the street.  He was rehoused there by sis no 1 in her capacity as a volunteer at the local cat rescue centre.  She has a lot to answer for as Snooky and Cyril have become arch enemies.  Snooky is just as rufty-tufty as Cyril and neither of them are prepared to admit defeat.  In fact we drove past Snooky the other day.  I actually should say drove round, as he was sitting in the middle of the road refusing to budge an inch.  That cat is a tough cookie.  If the current state of affairs persists, I think Cyril may take a contract out on him. 

Yeah, yeah OK it isn't all doom and gloom, on the plus side

Cantankerous cats go soft

Look what happened yesterday

The three-legged monster cat decided to get all smoochy and we had a major love-in.  I was honoured (and sleepy).

Out and about

I'd be a big fat fibber if I said I felt grotty every day so I've been out and about a bit including a trip back to Wollerton Old Hall.  Even though the gardens aren't at their best yet it's still lovely, look

And I leave you with a photo of the loveliest bloom in the garden

Ha, ha, ha.  I am very funny.

PS.  If you haven't had enough of me already my latest post for Vita (online breast cancer magazine) is available here