The rest of my Sunday goes as planned. Walking Molly and Roast Chicken followed by cheesecake, lovely. Chemo tablets taken and I sit to relax in the chemo gazebo. Within the following 20 minutes of taking the tablets I just feel so flat. It’s the only way to describe the wave of tiredness that can come from nowhere. I’ve been feeling dizzy on and off all day but it’s all perfectly normal. I just have to lie still and try to rest but I must take on a look of complete blankness. I do drift in and out of sleep but I also lie there starring at the sky thinking how loved and happy I am and that I don’t want to leave this world, my life, that I enjoy and love. I feel so sad sometimes inside, I love humour and laughing at the shit poker hand life has decided to deal to me but anyone will tell you there is a sad side that comes into your mind/soul/heart that scares you so much, the fear of not being part of this world.
My stomach cramps are painful as I’ve now gone from not being able to stop going to not going at all. My stomach has taken on the bouncy castle look again and more worryingly the pain from my swollen lymph nodes is getting me down. I used to actually feel them everyday hoping that they would go down but I haven’t for weeks now as I know they are getting bigger, they ache and I now seem to trap them in certain positions. Lying down can also make them ache more. Bloody Harribabes! They need to start die soon, or piss off as Alison said in her rant, for I fear the consequences.
Before the wave of tiredness I received a text from Lauren “errr did you have sex with my dad yesterday” OMG what have I done, had I gone to far this time? But no, Lauren thought it was lovely that us old farts still did it (well she didn’t actually say that) but bless her, ‘many a good tune played on an old fiddle’ as they say! My usual blog fans send messages of fun about my post and that they enjoyed it, thanks guys for the feedback and the shares. But during my low evening I missed a call from Linda from work and various other messages. It also turned out to be too late to watch the film 🙁 maybe another night hey.
Then the bomb shell message – “Feeling crap today, diarrhea and sickness was so bad, stopped chemo” Oh no poor Karen again. My heart slumped as I read of her message. She has to take this chemo shit otherwise the Harribabes may run riot. I feel for her as it’s easy to say the words, I have diarrhea (not easy to spell) but it’s another thing to experience it as part of your daily life and the soreness of your bum can’t be described. My poor chemo bud. Why does she have to suffer so much 🙁 she said that she is seeing Dr Weaver (our Oncologist) on Tuesday to discuss next steps. I hope this meeting is in Wycombe as I may get to see her again. Rita I need some serious prayers and candle burning next week, not for me but for Karen.
So why is today’s post called KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid. That’s because I am married to a very intelligent man. He understands so much on local, national and world politics, history, global finance, anything technical and can even explain stuff like quantitative easing. He remembers everything (apart from where he put his car keys) and in our house if you don’t know something you ask Steve. It’s awful sometimes for him as if he doesn’t know an answer we are all just so shocked and ask “why don’t you know”. He is a fountain of all knowledge at a level that amazes me. For me, I find real high level subjects hard to understand so I have to relate them to my own life e.g. World debt and solutions are reverted into my own household accounts so that it is simplified and makes more sense. So I have to apply the same logic to cancer, as do you really understand what cancer is? I thought I did but I didn’t really. I thought it was something that you just got, like any disease, you caught it but I was wrong, so let me try to explain it my way, the simple way – KISSED.
From the moment we are conceived our cells split and divide until a human body is formed. The splitting and dividing of cells continues all of our lives. Cells renew themselves continually and during this process of splitting and dividing the cells can produce a bad cell, this one bad cell splits and divides again and again until it becomes large enough to be labelled a tumour. These cells, the bad ones contain our own DNA and therefore when the lymph nodes are trying to filter out disease they don’t recognise these cells as bad ones as they are made up of our own DNA. If we all lived long enough we would all get cancer eventually. So once the tumour has developed it is just a matter of time before we become symptomatic and then the diagnoses and treatment of killing cancer starts. The reason chemo is used, which for me is a mixture of what I like to call platinum and Jays bleach is that your own body won’t try to kill the cells as it doesn’t see them as bad cells. Chemo kills all fast growing cells, Harribabes and sadly all other fast growing cells, like hair, nails, skin etc.
I hope that this is helping understand how cancer develops. The medical profession can give us all guidance on lifestyle that may increase our risks, smoking being one of many however the medical world still doesn’t fully understand cancer otherwise we would have a cure. Will we look back in 100 years and think chemo and radiotherapy was barbaric? I hope so, in 100 years I hope there is just one single tablet we can take that cures all cancers. Until then we have to place our lives in the hands of professionals and pray (with Rita) that Karen and I fall on the right side of the 56% survival rate of 5 years. My thoughts are now with Steve and his family from Saturday, Steve was told he was too young to have bowel cancer!. How tragic a loss of life can be from just one single bad cell. Another thing I didn’t know is that if you have bowel cancer and it goes in to your liver, you don’t now have liver cancer, you still have bowel cancer cells but in your liver. It may move into other organs but it remains the DNA make up of the original one bad cell. Hence my post entitled ‘Don’t call me shithead’.
So I hope that my explanation has helped you to understand cancer at a very basic level. Where it starts and why our bodies don’t kill it off. Now I smoke, have done since I was 14 years of age. Is it bad for me, errr yes I’m not totally stupid. Someone saw me the other day who knows I have bowel cancer and said “you still smoking” yes I replied, I have bowel cancer not lung cancer, would you like me to stop eating!! I was so angry. How dare you judge me and my lifestyle habits. If I was 20 stone and had bowel cancer would everyone say ‘well she brought it on herself, fatty’ Most of us enjoy a drink, some more than others granted but does someone with liver cancer deserve it whether they drink everyday or just enjoy a tipple at Christmas, no of course they don’t. One of the first cancer nurses we saw said that my cancer, Harry was due to nothing I had done wrong, she said “it’s just my good fortune and your bad fortune that you have it and I don’t” These words of comfort were wonderful as consider for a moment your told you have cancer and just to make it feel even more shit than it already does you are then told that you are to blame. If you have skin cancer and you sunbathe on holiday is that your fault? The guilt of having cancer, for destroying your world and those around you, who you love would just be too heartbreaking. We all do stuff in our lifestyle that in one way or another may or may not lead to disease but don’t judge me or others by lifestyle. What’s that great saying? Oh yes – ‘There for the grace of God go I’ and my other favourite “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”.
I am not however suggesting that smoking is good for you (Health and Safety covered again for the under 18’s) Any addict will justify their addition. I think all smokers wished that they didn’t or hadn’t even started in the first place. In WWII soldiers were issued fags daily, that’s how my dad started smoking, during his National Service. When I was 14 it was considered cool and it took me along time to get the hang of it. The dangers were not really talked about. I don’t understand why our parents generation, who all smoked (apart from my mom) didn’t all die of lung cancer! If smoking causes cancer and less people smoke now, why has cancer rates gone up and not down????? Cot deaths were virtually unheard of but yet parents used to smoke whilst they fed their babies. Less people smoke especially around babies so why the increase in cot deaths??? Food for thought and maybe a separate rant post needed on this topic alone.
Now people do some wonderful things for me and I wanted to share with you my Weeble and my chemo bag. My Weeble was sent to me from mom’s friends Tom and Viv along with a lovely letter to explain how to use my Weeble. I have not seen a Weeble since I was a wee girl. It was sent it as ‘Weebles wobble but the don’t fall down.’ Same applies to life hey, you can wobble me but I won’t fall down.
My chemo bag is from Paula and was made by a lady with stage 3 cancer (Catherine Colebrook). She went through chemo and understands how hard it can be on your body. To put something back into the fund raising pot she donates a percentage to cancer research. Just thought I’d mention these gifts as so many of you have said that this blog has helped them in terms of understanding cancer and what to say or not say to people they know who is going through it.
Flowers are lovely and I consider myself very loved by all the flowers I have received. I would however now consider these gifts as they help raise money, they can make you laugh and the bag from my chemo kit can be used as a wash bag in years to come on holiday :-).
Back to normal life. The plan was that today I would work out of High Wycombe. Molly has had a sore eye all weekend which got worse last night. Despite our attempts to bathe it ourselves her eye was so swollen that even I conceded that she needed to go to the vets. I don’t have a problem with taking any animal of ours to the vets but what I fail to understand is that I only have to walk through the door and whatever I come away with is at least £70. Steve and I laughed at this last night as I didn’t think that they could possibly charge me £70 for eye drops! How wrong can I be again? £70.03 for eye drops, painkillers and a pair of plastic gloves, words fail me.
Anyway last night yet again I couldn’t sleep, 3 1/2 hours was all I got. After taking Molly this morning and still feeling low, I decided to work from home again. I texted Mary to say sorry, I was looking forward to seeing her but I know today I’m better off alone. It’s a low day today.
I have just received a text from Richard as he boards his flight back to Canada. This time for only 12 days but Louise and I will miss him loads. I think it’s just the lack of contact that makes it so hard and the time difference. See you soon Richard.
So It’s been a day of work for me, well for as long as I can concentrate for and then rest and then back to it. I had a fantastic weekend so why do I feel so flat? I’ll blame the drugs and see what tomorrow brings hey. Oh and thanks for all the shares yesterday again. 412 people now know more than is possibly necessary about my married life lol.