Friday, 29 January 2010

Jolly Hockey Sticks!

Bumped into a hockey pal today.

Well, I say hockey - its not REAL hockey - its uni-hoc. A game played in a sports hall with a plastic puck and plastic sticks. I'm not sure if anywhere else in the world takes the game as seriously as we do in our little town, but we have a summer league that is incredibly competitive. 3 boys and 3 girls on each team - all bashing hell out of each other on the pitch, with the objective of getting the little puck into the opponant's goal.

The physio gave me my exercise sheet after my 1st operation. It said the following -

Week 1 - Do nothing
Week 2 - Light Dusting
Week 3 - Ironing
Week 4 - Hoovering

'When can I play hockey?' I asked.

'Next season,' she smiled kindly.

I suppose one of the advantages of getting breast cancer is that your house will become spotless and everyone in the family will wear beautifully pressed clothes.

Maybe the physio wouldn't mind if I set up a couple of hoovers as goalposts and used a feather duster to whack an iron about the house. The house would stay a tip, but it'd be much more fun!

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Little Red Book

Had my pre-treatment visit to the hospital.

Felt like a total imposter. There was a lady having her chemo in a nice lounge area. She had bruises all the way up her arm and she was watching 'Doctors' on a big telly.

The lady and her husband were lovely, really chatty, but I felt like saying 'I'm not really supposed to be here you know. I'm not poorly.'

The nice chemo nurse took me into a private room to tell me all about what would be happening in the next few months. She took some blood, temperature, blood pressure etc. and asked a few questions. She reminded me of one of the receptionists at work. Kind, wise, caring. In a way, I wish people would be rude and horrible. When people are kind and nice it makes me want to cry.

I've come away with a little red chemotherapy record book, a car park pass and a wig voucher.
I know they're mine, but only because they have my name on them.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

The Nuclear Mother

The day began with a big 'radgie.'

My 8 year old doesn't bother with the insignificant little push buttons. He always goes straight for my big red nuclear launch button.

I can't even remember what the row was about, but he does a 'face' which says 'oh for Goodness sake mum, you're so tiresome.'

Its that face that sends me into nuclear mode, so we parted as enemies at the bus stop which set me up for a bad day.

I'm pretty sure he'll have sat on the bus and chatted happily with his pals, forgetting all about his radgie mother. Meanwhile, I had a good cry, and stomped 3 miles around our village muttering madly to myself.

By lunchtime, I had become a little calmer - thanks to a visit from our local vicar.
He had heard about my situation and wanted to pop in to see if everything was ok. He's a really lovely guy, and he did make me feel better.
Not sure if God sent him to my rescue, maybe my 8 year old had rang him up and sent him over in a moment of guilt. You never know!

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Hard Hats and Wheelbarrows

Went to the very fancy new cancer place yesterday to see Dr. B, the chemo man.

What a mare of a place. Its a lovely new building - open, airy, light etc. But when you're in the waiting room with all those worried faces its bloomin awful. There was a young lad in his 20's who looked like a skeleton. It really hit home to me sitting there.

Anyway - Dr B was a lovely man. He basically said 'the cancer's out, but we want to prevent it from coming back, so I would lean very heavily on you to have radiotherapy.'

He then said: 'there are other treatments which I wouldn't lean quite so heavily on you to have...' and then he started going on about wearing hard hats in the street just in case something fell from a building and hit you on the head and that you'd look an idiot but you'd be pleased if something did hit you on the head unless it was a wheelbarrow...

I stopped him and said - 'I think what you mean is that if I had chemo, it would stop the risk of the cancer coming back even though I might look funny with a bald head.'


'I don't mind looking like a prat if it means the cancer won't come back.'

'Fine. Good. Sign here then.'

So that was it, and he booked me in there and then for a week on Thursday (4th Feb) to begin treatment. It'll be 6 treatments with 3 weeks between each one. (I think he said 6 - I was too busy still trying to work out the hard hats and wheelbarrows story to be listening properly!)

When the chemo finishes, I'll get a month off, then radiotherapy for 3 weeks.
Its highly likely that I'll be a baldy coot for a while, so I'll probably go and get my lovely locks chopped short in the next few days.

Monday, 25 January 2010

The Calm Before the Storm

Have you ever had a 'calm before the storm' moment?

Everything is fine, safe, normal. But somehow, you just know that the calm won't last...

All the GP had to say was, 'Its probably nothing, but I'll refer you - just in case.'

But this was a newly qualified young lad, who could barely contain his excitement.
'I need to refer you urgently,' he said, 'you're going to have a difficult few months ahead but you can get some counselling...'

You can imagine what a week that was, leading up to the first appointment with the consultant!

This was a few weeks ago now, 7 to be precise. The young lad with the magic fingertips was right, but he needn't have been quite so excited really.

The cancer was only a grade 1, it had only spread to one lymph node, and it has been sucessfully removed with two rounds of surgery.

So I guess this is the storm!

I'm an ordinary young woman. Husband. Two kids. Top scorer in the local hockey league.
Breast cancer affects so many people like me and I'm fully aware that I'm one of the lucky ones with my prognosis.

I'll be using this blog to ramble on about the next few months. Cancer was never on my list of things to do before I die
, but its on there now whether I like it or not - so here goes!