Hope at last

Last night

We were expecting photos for the calendar to come in tonight from the Juddy’s but nothing had arrived. I was excited to see them. I know that this is Steve’s project but I have been amazed at the effort that has been put into the photos so far and I think it’s going to be a real success. We don’t have perfect bodies and we aren’t professional photographers but that’s actually what I love about the photos so far, they are real. Real people showing their real bodies, not airbrushed or altered in anyway.

Steve announces that he has received an email from Teresa. Now I’m super excited and also a little worried as what do we do if theirs or anyone else’s that comes through isn’t good enough? I need not have worried OMG the photos are fantastic and now I just can’t wait for it to be finished so that we can show the world. The effort that the Juddy’s and others have put to in these photos is just amazing. I am overwhelmed at the effort, passion and commitment to producing these photos for me. I love that people that are becoming part of my journey, the video first and now the calendar. I’ll have to come up with another wacky idea just to keep the fun going. I also enjoy a long chat with Teresa, which wasn’t really allowed as it was curfew time but after seeing the photos I had to talk to both her and Ian to say a massive thank you to them both.

Now I don’t want this blog to turn into my sleeping post but I have to share the good the bad and the ugly with you all as I’ve always promised it’s ‘warts and all’ so last night the pain in my back started to increase from around 10 pm, I took painkillers and knowing the signs I was now dreading the night ahead.

Steve was on the early shift today so he wanted to go to bed before midnight. Mom and I stayed up to watch the XFactor but unlike other Sunday’s episodes it was 2 hours long so we only watched ½ an hour and then mom went to bed.

I stayed up to play my favourite game of ‘wack a comment’ and to take the last drugs of the day.

Drugs taken I always like to give them at least ½ an hour to work before I try to sleep. Now the plan was for me to take 5ml of oral morphine before bed so that I can sleep. I’m not sure about this amount so I wimp out and take 3 ml so that I have 2 ml in reserve. Morphine taken I head off to bed at 1.15 am.

As soon as I lie down the pain starts to build and build, I toss and turn and toss and turn. I even try to sleep on my front, which was something that my mom suggested I try. Nothing worked at all, I gave it ½ an hour and was back downstairs at 1.45.

I could have taken the other 2 ml of oral morphine but I wasn’t feeling well. I had a headache and it felt like I had a hangover but of course I hadn’t had the fun of drinking first.

At 2.30 as I can’t now get comfy on the sofa in the kitchen I go into the chemo gazebo and although there is a cool breeze it’s refreshing and lovely to be outside.

Between 2 am and 7 am I think I got about 2 hours sleep as once the intense pain starts it won’t stop. I didn’t call Ian Rennie nurses as I didn’t want to take any more morphine. The pain is not as bad as the previous night so I just wait it out.

Rebecca, mom and then Steve wake up and they are all disappointed that yet again I have had no sleep really. I reassure them that the pain is better in the day and therefore we have to give the new drugs a chance, plus if the tumours are pressing on a nerve then the pain will be worse when lying down.

I checked the BBC news this morning and I was encouraged to read that Cancer Research UK has been a driving force behind a trial to test for bowel cancer in different areas in Britain from 55 years of age. As I read the article I’m sad. The take up rate for the test was poor and even less people did the test from deprived areas. 41,000 people each year are diagnosed with bowel cancer and of those 16,000 die. Mark Flannagan, the CEO of Beating Bowel Cancer has previously said:

“it’s unacceptable that there are CCGs in England that diagnose less than one in three patients at an early stage.

“If they all performed as well as the best, thousands of lives could be saved and millions of pounds could be freed up to be used for other bowel cancer treatments, which patients are frequently told are unaffordable.

Every penny that we’ve raised and others like me go towards keeping him and others in their positions in order to raise awareness, assist research and for Mark to influence central government.

Day one of Daisy Den
Day one of Daisy Den

Now I’m excited this morning as the builders are due to start the foundation work on Daisy Den. As promised they arrive at 9 am and once builders tea has been supplied the ground is marked out and I sadly have to leave them all to go for chemo.

Mom drops me off and I head to the Sunrise Ward. I struggle walking to the lift as I’m carrying my bag. The lift took ages to come and the dragging pain in my leg is hurting as is my back. The usual nurses are there and they all greet me with smiles and as I get to know them the conversations have gone from poo to how was your weekend, the latter being a much nicer topic I think. I select a window seat in bay 1 and the chair worries me, as I know I have to sit in it for over 4 hours. I ask about my CEA levels (cancer markers in the blood) previously they were 4.4 and then they increased to 6.6 and the results from Friday are that they have reduced to 2.7. OMG I text Steve straight away with the good news and as these levels are the same as a non smoker he questions my smoking levels and clearly I need to increase my fags, lol only joking, but finally some good news. Dare I dream that this chemo is working and may extend my prognosis?

I get myself settled and start today’s post as the treatment is given, as the time goes by as with the first cycle the pain starts to ease. Just over 2 hours into the treatment Mary from the High Wycombe BHS team comes to sit with me, she arrives with Costa coffee and a chocolate muffin. We sit and talk for about another hour and I then need a wee. Without thinking I stand up and walk normally, I’m so excited at this, I just can’t believe the difference in me. I return to Mary and ‘wiggy woman’ arrives and we go through to her salon (which is not a salon at all it’s just a treatment room). Mary comes with me. The first wig I try is fantastic if I was on the game, it’s full and long and very sexy. We agree that its lovely but slightly wig like. The second one is amazing and I have fallen in love with it. I joke that I’m excited to lose my hair now. I confess to ‘wiggy woman’ that it’s her nickname and the nurses all know about the nickname I have given her. She loves it and laughs. She also remarks on the difference in me from just two weeks ago when she said that I looked ill and she remembers that I was relying on my walking stick, as today I walked in there without it although I was still connected to the drip wheelie thing. Mary even tried on the wigs and we all had girlie fun with the different looks. I hug ‘wiggy woman’ as I just have to, she has just made cancer and the possible side effects fun and I appreciate it so much.

Mary and I returned to the ward with me wearing the wig, I love it so much that I’m going to wear it to go home in to see what their reaction to it is. The nurses love the look and I pose and pout to make them all laugh. Treatment over I text Steve to tell my mom to come and get me. I walk out of the ward holding my stick not using it, I’m smiling and happy. Mary carries my bag and we stand at the front doors wIMG_4503aiting for mom. It’s actually Steve who picks me up, I say goodbye to Mary with a hug too and get into the car. We chat on the way home but Steve says nothing about my hair. I walk into the house and my mom takes one look at me and says ‘wow’ that’s amazing. Steve then finally notices and we all spend the next hour just happy, happy about the CEA levels, happy that I’m feeling so much better, happy with the wig look and happy that the work has finally started on Daisy Den. Here is the progress they have made in just one day.

So it’s been a good day, whatever tonight brings I have had a great day and I’m confident that the new pain regime will work and that I have hope of being able to live again soon, do normal stuff like driving, walking the dog, hugging my hubby, lying flat in bed without pain, visiting friends, dare I say go into work and all the simple things that I have missed out on lately and I long for everyday.

Moo the Ood
Moo the Ood

I did promise you a photo of Molly’s new toy which Nicky brought for her, it’s amazing and when it’s dark she looks like an Ood (this will only make sense to Dr Who fans, so that’s just you Mr Grumpy Bum lol and my hubby of course). Thanks Nicky and we will enjoy this toy during the long winter months.




Finally a massive thank you to Rita who hasn’t been feeling well lately but still went to church with my prayer list. Here are the candles see lite for me, Karen, Frankie, my loved ones and for peace for everyone, as that was my prayer wish list for this week. Thanks Rita, our angel xx

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Married to Steve, I have two children - Rebecca and Richard. Steve has two children, Lauren and Chris. Rebecca lives with us (nurse Rebecca) and my mom Judy also has become nurse and housekeeper but lives in the West Midlands. My son is in the Army and comes home when he can. I am 47, born in 1967 and I was told I had bowel cancer on 22nd Feb 2015 and this blog is my journey through it. I hope it helps you as you were the reason I started it.

43 thoughts on “Hope at last”

  1. So pleased to hear better news. I have my niece coming to stay for a week or two on Thursday. May I call by one day if she can bring me?
    Much love to you all.


  2. What an upbeat and positive day you have had! So very pleased to read this. I go to Kingswinford Catholic church, so there’s candles burning for you in your old hometown too. I loved hearing about “wiggy woman” keep up the smiles, we’ll keep up the prayers. Take good care and I hope sleep comes easily tonight xxx

    1. Thank you for your prayers and support, if you take a photo of the candles and send them to me I’ll put it on the blog for the world to see my home town support xxx

  3. Oh wow that’s fantastic of course juddy wants all the credit lol I’m so pleased today was a better day tell your mr wonderful photos sent again this time downloaded properly hehe the poor World Wide Web has worked hard this weekend lol love and juddy hugs xx

  4. Great to hear some positive news!!!! And glad you are feeling more positive… And wow the Daisy Den… Great progress in a day xxx

  5. At last some positive news for you Wendy, I’m so pleased . Just hope you can get the pain relief sorted so that you can rest. Take care my friendxw

  6. Oh wow wend. That’s fantastic news about the levels!!!!! Whatever it means. Lol! I want to see a pic of your wig. I’m made up that you have had such a good day. About time!! Loads of love to you all. Xxx

    1. I was hoping to get away with not doing the wig shot but you like others have noticed the missing wig shot but I’ll do it tomorrow and the CEA levels mean I’m not smoking enough lol lol xx

  7. Glad to hear you have had a better day. Look forward to seeing progress on Daisy Den. Hope your pain regime starts to kick in off an evening so you can enjoy some sleep and perhaps that cuddle x

  8. If anyone can, you can, Wend! As I have just had a bad b-day it is fair to say that you are very young ( and gorgeous, with or without Miss Wiggy, obviously) so never say die until you have to! Hope to catch up, with you ( and Steve and all ) when I am back, prob just before Christmas. Unless you fancy the Tallinn Christmas Market, of course…

    1. OMG James either would be lovely and you can have mulled wine with the Wycombe LD clan in Daisy Den if you let me know in advance. Never say die, love it and thanks for your lovely message xx

  9. … Such great, long awaited news Wendy!
    Hope you have a restful night, but if not, just ping the chronic insomniac!!! x

        1. You normally do my friend xxx nothing wrong with true emotion is reminds us how big our hearts our and our strength of love and compassion xxx

  10. Wendy as you know i usually text you but i thought today i would put a post on your blog. I just want to say it was lovely to spend time with you today and have a laugh. You are an amazing person. You made the nurses and the wiggy lady laugh as well as me. I’m sure the wiggy lady is not used to people having a laugh and joke we did have a bit of fun with the wigs i won’t be going blond. It was great to see you pain free being able to walk with out your Rosie and Jim stick and having some fun even though you were having your chemo. Glad Daisy Den has been started. I hope you have a good night xxxx

    1. Hi mary, thank for writing on the blog as your words will be forever there for others to read. They will also be part of the next book 🙂 Thanks for sharing part of my day, the fun and laughter and thanks for the coffee and muffin which I shared with my mom when I returned home from chemo. Lots of love and the start time for Saturday is 9.30, I’ll tell Leanne to go to BHS and ask for you if that’s okay for the table etc. I’ll also give her you mobile number too if that’s also okay xxx

  11. Great you’ve had some positive news and hopefully the pain will be better so you can get some sleep.
    Where is the wig photo you promised?
    Take care x

    1. You like others spotted this missing so after lots of pressure I’m going to post them tomorrow for you all to enjoy, I may even put some make up on too lol xx

  12. Some good news at last! Long may it last. Have you tried sitting propped up like a sun lounger when it hurts rather than lying flat at night? It has to be something to do with being horizontal.

    Anyway your remarks about real bums reminded me of the success of the WI calendar cos it was real faces of real people aged 60+, not airbrushed, as you say.

    Looking forward to seeing Wiggy Wendy lol! Xxxxx

    1. I’ve tried every position and being propped up, the truth of it is as you know when that pain locks in it’s going nowhere but I’ve had a fabulous day and I’m sure Ill sleep tonight xxx

    I am so pleased to hear such excellent news on a Monday Evening , God Bless you me little Darlin xxx
    I am estatic for you, long may the good news continue xxxx

    AND!!!!!! Daisy Den is under construction we're going to blink and it will be complete and you will be getting it all glamed up ready for you to receive your guests <3<3<3 it's all so exciting.

    So tomorrow we get the big revel of Trendy Wendy Donning her Wig, I'll be waiting patiently to see it 🙂 xxx

    All I can ask for now is for you to have a tranquil peaceful nights sleep <3 <3 <3

    Love & Hugs Always xxxxxxxxxxxx

    1. I am very hopeful for a good nights sleep too as I have been on cloud nine all day and mostly pain free on only two hours sleep. I’m hoping for a good night for both of us my angel xx

  14. Great news Wend, really happy blog, put a smile on your Moms face. Keep persevering with the pain killers you will get there. Love to all xxx

    1. I hoping that we will as it’s about quality of life for me not length and I haven’t had that quality for a long time xx mom defo happy 🙂 xx

  15. So pleased that you have had a really positive day and some better news at long last. Your smiles shine through your words.
    Lots of love xx

    1. thanks ex boss and yesterday was a very good day, you gotta celebrate them when you get them. Hope you are well and happy living the dream out there xx

  16. Hello Wendy, I’ve had a wonderful idea but I don’t know if it’s practical – wouldn’t it be lovely if you could see the stars when you’re resting in the DD? Could the nice men adapt it so that you can? I’m thinking moonlit nights, I’m thinking twinkly stars…. I’m thinking velux window! xx

    1. Wow what a great idea but it would have to be put in after construction as it’s a complete kit that arrives. I’d have the look into the cost but what a fabulous idea xxx

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