Monday, 30 June 2008

A new diet perhaps?

Last week was a wonderful as it was hellish! It seems I'm a long way from being back to 'my old self'. Try as I might, I can't get through the day without a 3 hour afternoon siesta (sounds better than nap). And constipation! Christ the pain of that - you wouldn't believe! And please don't suggest anything - not prunes, not figs, not nothing 'cos I am sick of hearing it!!! I even had my mother phone me one day to say, I was just talking to so and so, about your bowels, and they suggested x, y and z!

Life is rolling along, quite literally, without me. I am a pitiful couch creature who can't summon up enough energy to do anything beyond actually getting ready to do something! Shower, dressed, make-up, knackered. I missed my dad's 70th (surprise) party. All I do is watch America's Next Top Model onLiving, followed by Ally McBeal on Zone Romantica! Sad, isn't it. And I'm not being hard myself - I'm just bored stupid with being ill. Having stomach cramps now on top of it all. I had a week or so back there when all I could think of was death, and then a week of trying to forget all about it. Now I'm back to taking positive action: change my diet for only the healthiest foods and possibly the PH diet (see below). I need to get well enough to be able to ride again, cook meals, wash my own hair, help little one with home-work and please lt it be soon, take her out somewhere other than the supermarket!

But it isn't all bad. K came over on Monday and we had a lovely afternoon. I didn't even nap that day. Tuesday I saw the doc again, and she seemed to think I was coming along really quickly. Compared to whom, I wondered.

Wed L came over, laden with lots of strange brown glass bottles filled with various potions - colloidal silver being one of them. The diet looks quite difficult to follow in the first months when you are re-balancing the body, but gets easier after that as you re-introduce previously banned foods (in much smaller quantities!). It means cutting out all foods that create acid in the body, so that the body becomes alkaline - then all the fungi and parasitic bacteria can't grow and interfere with health. You end up eating 80% alkalizing foods and 20% acidifying. If anyone's heard about it before I embark, do let me know. It's called the PH Miracle, and I have nothing to lose. The alkalising foods are all green vegetables, most grains and nuts and pulses, grasses and some fish (trout and salmon). Acidic stuff - all dairy, meat, fish, and most fruit (but not lemons or grapefruit?!).

Bramble is growing fast and becoming quite naughty when in a playful mood. I've just had to give him a tap on his rear end and lock him in the kitchen because he kept biting me while I'm on the lap top (you guessed - on the couch!). I let him out when he cried and he purred and has come over the keyboard again, but this time a telling him to get down worked. But for how long ha ha ha!

I had loads to say but am all worn out again now! Will endeavour to write more regulary as soon as I am able but Christ knows how long that'll be!

*Bramble is sitting next to me, resisting the urge to attack my fingers but I won't wind him up any longer!

Saturday, 21 June 2008


I am still alive! Hurrah!

It's been 9 days since I last blogged, and 3 since I last puked. I've done very little except keep going. People have visited me and that's been fantastic, but the thought alone of sitting at the computer made me retch. Literally.

But I'm back. There's a steady improvement, and besides, there's a wedding today, and I've been looking forward to it for months. I'm going to go and see how long I last.


Last weekend I had this urge to call a friend who I haven't seen in years. It's been about 6 years since I saw L in the flesh, and 3 years since I spoke to her on the phone. I wasn't even sure she'd want me getting in touch after so long...

... but I called her mum anyway, and got her new number. Turns out she's also been thinking of me, and wanted to call but had no number for me. Weird, eh. And then, even more weirdly, it turns out L knows a bit about cancer and in particular, a diet that is supposed to help fight it. She's coming over to see me next week and bringing the book with her. Fab.

I needed to get back on track. I've been a bit down and increasingly irritated at being stuck in all the time, not through lack of wanting to do something/go somewhere, but from a real, physical exhaustion, nausea, and general bodily discomfort. Going out was hellish because my body failed to regulate its temperature and I'd go from cold sweat and goose-bumps to burning up and back again in a ten minute cycle. Horrid.

My head was also getting lost in negative thinking, allowing fear to take over. The translation work came just at the right time, and I managed it even though blogging has been nigh on impossible. It forced my mind to think of other, non-cancerous things. I had a break from thinking it about it at all.

So things are good. I'm healing, and actually going to a wedding - did I mention that I'm going to a wedding??!! (Outside... woo hoo! People in large numbers... Whey hey!)

Here's some pics to sign off with:

First up - my back and the lovely burn from the RT - let's hope it's done a good job on the old tumour too! This was taken last week. Thanks to everyone who came and rubbed cream into it for me!

And then some lovely ones, also taken by the little one - she's really getting into her photography thanks to Amanda!

Sleeping is what he does best...

...but then he wakes up and wants to play...

Cute eh!

Thursday, 12 June 2008

what the oncologist said part III

Wednesday morning marked the end of radiotherapy with a visit to see my oncologist. He was pleased with the fact that I am so sensitive to rt adding that it's a bloody good job we didn't go for combined chemo too! I'd have been far more ill if I had. He also said that the reduced pain in my shoulder was a really good sign, but we won't know anything until the next scan. That's 8 weeks off, due to the swelling the rt causes.

So it's a case of get better each day until I can swim and ride again, and write that blasted novel!

Good news on the translation front too. Despite being finished at midnight on Sunday by a very queasy, writhing translator, and finding typos on the Monday morning (therefore having to correct and re-send)... it was accepted and they are really pleased with the work. I'll have another piece to add to my writing cv, albeit another weird addition!

Well - am a bit knackered now - lots of visitors and lovely phone calls - so going to get off and rest (more bloody rest!!!).

Kitten is growing fast and still adorable - will post some pics asap.

Monday, 9 June 2008

on the mend

Yesterday I felt the first stirrings of restlessness. It was a restlessness that said, "I quite fancy writing something, or having a nice hack!" That was when it struck me - I'm finally on the mend. Phew.

I can't tell you what a crap 6 weeks I've had. Vomiting everyday, pain everywhere, relentless nausea. And now, burns from the RT, but after a week of living on Angel Delight, mashed potato, and mashed up egg with butter, it seems to be healing up. I've been steadily improving every day since Sunday, and last Monday feels like six weeks ago.

I finished the translation work too! My friend is pleased with the work, and I was just grateful to have something to think about other than death. Really - my head has not been in a good place recently. Anyway, I got think about Scarlatti and Bartok for a while instead, and was able to forget the whole prognosis question too.

But of course it never goes away fully. It sits there at the back of your mind - like someone on death row waiting for a reprieve that may never come. Each day becomes precious, and each hour wasted with your head down the loo is a disaster. No one knows how long they've got left, but having an illness that threatens your life makes that all the more obvious.

So you have to try to ignore it and replace every negative thought with one that reinforces the belief that I'll live. For long long time to come. See my kids grow up. Grow old. I live each day with hope and am trying to turn it into a belief so concrete that the universe has no option other than to match reality to my thinking. With an inoperable tumor, there's no other option really, is there?!

That's enough from me this evening... off to cuddle up to Bramble and watch a bit of late night telly!

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

update - rt over!!!

It's been ages since I blogged. I knew it was ages but didn't realise just how much time I'd lost!

Today's post is a real effort, though I am better than I have been - vomiting every day for the past 6 weeks has really taken its toll on me, I can tell you. Add to that hot and cold sweats, a touch of depression, and you have a recipe for existing between sofa and hospital. I can honestly say this has been then worst month so far. When oh when does it start to get better?

At least I have a little project to take my mind of things... I am in the middle of translating the blurb for a friend's debut album (from Spanish to English). It's fairly straightforward (thank god for the year at music college and the music dictionary!!!) so am doing little chunks at a time, in between playing with the kitten* - and all whilst prostrate on the sofa to alleviate this persistent nausea. I've only got till Saturday so better crack on I guess!

So. RT is finally over. I thought, up until session 10, that the only trouble I was going to have was travelling and nausea, but no. After 20 sessions I have a lovely burnt patch on my chest and back, and a really burnt oesophagus... so that weight I wanted to lose? No problem! I'm bloody starving and can only get half a weetabix down before the pain is so bad I have to stop. Brilliant!

The pain in my left hand is worse too, because apparently RT causes swelling. Hence no scan for two months till it all settles down again. Fingers crossed I am finally on the mend because I'm not sure how much more of this I can endure without totally cracking up.

Any way - not wanting to moan too much, I look forward to the post that says I've been riding again, or even just left the house!

*Bramble is settled in completely. He sleeps on the sofa with me when he isn't running around like a mad thing, has used the litter tray unfailingly, and seems to love people. He was definitely one of my better ideas!