Wednesday, January 10, 2018

First Chemo Done !

My first chemo session was yesterday (Tuesday)

I had to be there, by 09.00 so I caught the early 07.30 train out of  MK, 

Brother Russ kindly gave me a lift to the station.

The train was pretty empty so it was a nice easy trip to Euston.

The tube to Hammer smith was packed, usually its deserted , but this was my first rush hour trip.

The usual 15 minute stroll to Charing Cross hospital, then the express lift to the 15th floor Thames view private suite it was job done.

I checked into the oncology  day suite, I was the only patient today !!

They are lovely nurses, and with just me to deal with there is loads of time to chat etc, everything is done slowly with bloods being taken, and  plenty of tea and coffee etc, its a quite surreal experience from the normal front line pace of nursing. 

There was a hold up getting started as my liver blood test was a bit out of kilter.

The oncologist had picked it up on a blood test from last week and rang me Friday night to tell me to stop taking the anti-seizure drug Kepra. I have been on this drug for nearly 2 months. Now the tumour has gone they reckon there is no chance I will have one. Interestingly a seizure is one of the first signs of a brain tumour, I never had one!

I wont go into all the details of the different drugs , as I dont want it to turn into a medical blog,and they are far too difficult to spell. I do know that two were the poisonous shit. One was a bone strengthener plus flushes, saline, anti emetics and anti biotics.

They started the drip at about 09.30 and it was all done by 18.30.

I was talking to a friend earlier in the day and she said you are going to be so bored, In all honesty I didn't get time to get bored.

I am incredibly positive about the whole scenario but  also know that I am not going to live to a ripe old age, so I have plans to make.

My treatment card reads palliative care.....Fck That!

Also they bring  around nice food for me to graze on !

My lovely niece Josie visited me so we spent a quality few hours chatting away. 

My plans at the moment are just clearing up Australia, as I will definitely will not be going back there to live but it is where I have a property, pension, and bank accounts.

The property is the main thing, its sorted now and will go on the real estate market in two weeks. Im pretty confident it will sell quickly.

I went a bit off track there which Im doing a lot because of the tumour removal!

Some people reckon I seem smarter!

Right........ Brother Russ had driven down from MK to pick me up from the hospital as I didn't know how I was going to be after the chemo , and I certainly didn't fancy the packed tube etc.

We had an easy drive back home.

I had a lovely dinner at night with no after effects from the chemo.

I had a great nights sleep which was wonderful.

I was up early this morning and have spent all day chillin, listening to music and inter dispersed with chatting on FB and lots of nodding off sleeping.

No sickness whatsoever which is very much like Elaine's first chemo sessions, she breezed through them until Boom!

So one out of the way.

Sunday I am chauffeured to Mojacar, my Nephew is coming on the trip as well.  Im so looking forward to getting down there to catch up with the boaters and mojacar friends.

Once again sorry about the mistakes, it takes me ages now to write up and I still know its wrong!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Meeting With Oncologist

Had a meeting today at Charing Cross hospital with Dr Danielle Power, specialist lung oncologist.

Tracy accompanied me to take down relevant notes, observations etc. Basically without going into lots of detail its the non-small cell cancer 'Adeno Carcinoma', which is a form of lung cancer where it has originated from. It is incurable but hopefully controllable with treatment, she showed us all the scans which showed a 3x4cm width and 5cm long tumour on the lung, and various legions on the spine, liver and pelvis area.  Primary treatment is Chemotherapy which is to commence on Tuesday 9th January and will continue with further sessions every 3 weeks. This gives me a good excuse to go catch some sun in Mojacar.  Brother Russ and I are heading back in the Shaguar on Sunday 14th Jan going via the Portsmouth to Bilbao ferry, all going to plan should see us back in Mojacar on Tuesday 16th evening.

 Russell will be doing all the driving as I am not allowed at the moment, Russell will spend a few days with me chauffeuring, cooking and cleaning for me and fly back to the UK on Sunday 21st. This gives me a few days break to catch up with friends in Mojacar before flying back to the UK for more chemo on Saturday 27th Jan.  In the words of the oncologist when asked about looking after myself she replied "Eat, drink and be merry!"

 I feel absolutely fantastic but they are now weaning me off the steroids as I have been on quite a high dosage for a long period of time. So from my perspective it's all good news and life carries on....

The doggies will be staying  in Milton Keynes which they love, plus it makes it so much easier for me knowing that they are being loved and looked after.

Nearly forgot.....

Yesterday I had an appointment with Professor Nandi the neurosurgeon who removed the stitches and showed me the post op brain scan, which showed a void where the tumour was and no swelling whatsoever.  As he promised he had completely removed all the cancerous tumour.  He was on crutches and told me had badly twisted his knee before he operated on my head and did most of the op propped up on one leg!! There are still two small brain tumours, which they will look at removing with a cyber knife at a later date depending on how the cancer reacts to chemo.

Im still having a few brain fade moments, but hey its only been just over two weeks since the surgery.


Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy 2018

 Wishing you all a very Happy and prosperous 2018.

I dont intend going anywhere so I will carry on carrying on the blog as long as I can still  find  something to drivel on about.The brain is going to take a while to be fully functional again but its not too bad, I can see the errors,  but I know Im not correcting them all the time. The blog has never been edited well since Elaine died, she was a medical secretary and her command of English and grammar was superb. I was a motor mechanic ....say no more.

Just one  photo today, its the one Elaine led her life by.   She did indeed live by these daily Reiki  precepts and at her wish were read at her funeral.. Im trying to live by them apart from the work bit that is....that finished back in Feb 2012, but the meaning is still there.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Glimmer Arrives.

 Christmas is over and what a cracker it was, as I mentioned in an earlier post how I wish Elaine had been here to share it with us, it was the traditional Christmas that we had always fancy doing but never quite got round to it, Im sure she watching and was very happy to see me and especially her two doggies so looked after.  

I have felt absolutely  brilliant, the only small downside is that the steroids have given me such a massive appetite, and I am eating for Africa. Also and I dont know if its  the steroids, the anti seizure medication or the brain tumour removal but my taste buds are a bit out of kilter. Its not too bad and is getting better day by day. I bought some lovely French red wine for Christmas, and couldn't wait to try it,  basically I just didn't get anything out of it, never mind it will go well in the next spag bol.

I'm still struggling with time issues, time just seems to go so slow, which is quite nice. 

Iam having to think a lot more carefully when filling out forms and banking online etc, I am making mistakes. But one week ago I had pretty major brain surgery so Im not beating myself up about it. 

I was booking flights and a hotel for holiday a couple of days ago and it all went well until my sister in law checked it and said that I had booked the wrong hotel. I couldn't change it on line, so had to call BA direct the next day. I wrote down all the details of the correct hotel which did have a similar name and location. The girl was lovely and I spoke to her for ages and still managed to book the wrong hotel on the phone!! When I told her about the brain op she was just so lovely and made sure we got it all done and dusted with no problem. All sorted, no loss of deposit, no additional fees just good service. Kudos to BA.

I will go to Macclesfield by train next Wednesday to catch up with Elaine's dad and brother Trev, plus catch up with a couple of friends. I will just go on the virgin train its one hour 20 mins each way so it makes a nice easy day trip. 

Next Thursday I meet up with Prof Nandi the Neurosurgeon at Charing Cross hospital, it will be just a quick check and removal of stitches. I presume he will also talk about the other two small brain tumours and what they will or will not do with them. 

Friday is the big one as its back to Charing Cross to met up with the lung consultant oncologist who will hopefully give me the full rundown of the disease. I spoke to her yesterday, and that was the glimmer I had been looking for. She said there are loads more info they are still getting from the tumour that has been removed from my brain, but basically its not the super aggressive cell, so  I have longer than weeks!!

Sister in law Tracy will come with me as this is going to be an important meeting, I have already decided that I want quality and as much as possible treatment is going to be around me trying to enjoy life as much as possible.

I have also checked with Bupa, about any limits to treatment and costs, there are none, it will all be done on the private system. I feel incredibly privileged to be going private and a little bit lucky that about 20 years ago BUPA took over my Australian medical insurance, so including Spain I have been under the BUPA umbrella for 22 years. Oh there are two conditions  where they stop paying. one is that I dont pay the monthly fee, and the other is that I die. I reckon that I  will keep on paying the monthly fee!!

So at he moment life is very good, still no pain, I  haven't had one pain killer since coming out of hospital one week ago today.

I am going to catch up with more family and friends before next weeks hospital visits.

Yesterday my lovely niece and chauffeur/carer took me to the three locks pub for a very very long lunch with a mate who is off back to Mojacar next week. 

A one hour lunch went for three!

Once again massive thanks to my family who are looking after me in 5 star fashion, they dont realise what a difference it makes for me not to have to worry about anything, especially my precious doggies who have always been my biggest concern, they are both very very happy with their present house, they are unbelievably happy little boys

Big thanks to the boaters who are in Mojacar who check up on the villa and my stuff down there, I'm seriously hoping to get down there even for a few weeks sooner than later...I have plans!!

Lastly big thanks to the readers of this drivel that send me lovely messages etc, it is appreciated. 


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

What a lovely Christmas and brain Thoughts.

I had the most fantastic Christmas with my brother Russell his wife Tracy and daughter, Kimberley, not forgetting Elsa the dog.

It was just so perfect and simple and I loved every minute of it from when I got up at about 05.30 until I hit the sack about midnight.

Kimberley and Russell went up to sort the horses mid morning, then came home and changed into casual attire for Christmas present opening.
The presents were scattered everywhere.

Then the opening began in earnest.

On my Christmas day wishlist was a walk through a forest, I really dont know why but I just needed to do  it!

Kimberly who is now my personal driver took me, obviously with the brain op I cant drive at the moment.

It was fun, not to cold, but bloody muddy! 

The dogs loved it and got covered in mud.

They have a nice new car so we stuck a load of towels down in the back for the trip back home.

My chauffeur does a great job, we are off shopping later for a hat gloves, coat etc, there is going to be a lot more driving me around in the next few weeks, months!!!!

Whist we had been out playing in the woods. Russell and Tracy had been at home sorting the Traditional dinner etc. They had actually been doing it all day, I spent most of the day apart from the forest walk just lounging around on the sofa .....Neuro surgeons orders were to rest well!!

As soon as we got back the three dogs were taken to the bathroom to be cleaned and shampooed. They soon ended up nice little white doggies again.

The rest of the day, was pure traditional Christmas, a Brilliant dinner with all the trimmings, then just sitting down chatting, drinking  and eating more and more. We did put a Christmas film on but we never watched it we were too busy just chatting.

Elaine would have absolutely loved it, but Im sure she was with us  watching !

As I said it was just the most perfect Christmas day, and just what I needed. It is without a doubt the most  I have ever appreciated close family. I could never have done this in Australia, or Spain etc.

Brain Thoughts!!

I have only been out of hospital For three days, and feel absolutely fantastic.

Im on steroids to reduce swelling and some anti seizure drug to obviously prevent seizures, which I  have never had anyway leading up to the op. I haven't taken one aspirin or anything as there is just no pain.

I can walk and talk fine,Im walking slowly only for the fear of falling over and knocking the plate out of my head!

I am making mistakes typing up this drivel and can see the mistakes  hopefully I'm correcting them but maybe I m not! 

I will get to the point now!!

My senses have become so heightened, everything is just so wonderful, a Gin and tonic takes me an hour to drink and is the best thing ever! A roast spud was an absolute taste sensation! 

Everything is heightened and im 100% sure its not the drugs.

My theory is they have taken a big lump of poisonous crap out of my brain and the rest of it is firing out a massive amount of endorphin's to compensate.

Another  strange happening is time, I know what time it is, but as an example we were out for dinner a couple of nights ago , I forgot my drugs, Tracy drove home to get them , she was gone ten minutes, I m sure she was gone at least an hour! 

Im not fussed, they are very minor problems, but I will ask the prof when I meet up with him in a couple of weeks. 

Friday, December 22, 2017

After The Op and Merry Christmas xx

I have had the brain tumour removed and feel pretty bloody good to be honest. There really isn't much to say about the op I re member being wheeled into-the theatre staring at the bright lights, it was like I was in a movie. The knock out man had a chat, we spoke about Rugby as he was a South African, the next thing I Knew was his face again saying hello, can you move all your bits as instructed, which I did. Next thing I was holding hands with a lovely Philippines nurse called Layla who was singing   Whams Next Christmas, I belted out a couple of verses Of Layla by Clapton, that stopped her. This was in the recovery ward.

I spent the night in an intensive care ward with about 5 other patients . I really havent a clue what happened in there, just monitoring and asking questions every now and again, but I felt absolutely fine.

I am now back in my own little suite being pampered by nursing staff and hospitality staff.

Lots of visitors yesterday, which was most appreciated.

Im being loved to death x

The room and food is 5 star all the way, and Im making the most of it.

So the good news is that the brain Tumour is gone, but of course  I Knew it wasn't going to be all good news.

The lung oncologist came for a chat as they have being doing lots of scans and tests whilst in here.

On the 5th Jan Im back down to Charing Cross under Lung cancer team. By then we should know what exactly was in the brain tumour and what grade they are up against.  This is when Im hoping for the one bit of good news and it may be low grade, its just a hope and will be what will be.

the cancer is also on my spine and pelvis. The good part is that im in no pain in back or lungs, etc Im walking fine etc and feel really really good. The optimistic 2-3 years is shrinking rapidly but they have treatments so I will wait until early Jan to see what the treatment entails. It will all be done at Charing Cross hospital.

The next part is the biggie As I will need help in getting to chemo, radio appts etc. Obviously I spent loads of time with Elaine doing this, which was my pleasure, now I have to rely on getting people to run me around, but I have had loads of time to think about it and I have plans.

Im not going to wobble on about medical stuff anymore.

I would love to wish you all a most Merry Christmas and a very very happy New Year.

Amazingly the Blog continues XXXXX