On Friday, I had to go up to Clatterbridge Hospital to see my oncologist and collect my new meds. Tarceva is a tablet that I have to take at the same time each day, on an empty stomach, and an hour before eating. The side-effects are quite do-able compared with chemo/radio, with a skin rash of varying degrees of severity, diarrhoea, and dry eyes, but after 6 days, I haven't noticed anything at all. It's a treatment you keep taking for as long as it is working - and working can be taken to mean 'keeping the disease stable' or even 'reducing the tumour sizes'.
I have very high hopes for this treatment. It has done well in all the trials, and has only just been approved for use in Europe on Sept 21st. It is for people who have non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and for whom chemotherapy has failed. I'm convinced that this is the one that's going to work, but then I have to be - there's no other options.
I've been a bit fed up with myself this week. I just don't seem to have got anything done! No writing, no hour a day on the Wii Fit (great fun so why do I need the kids to set it up before I'll get on it?! The yoga is brilliant, too, although the Wii Fit Age thing is odd - one day I was 48 (?!) and the next I was 35! Last time I was 50 so maybe I'm just too scared to get on the thing again!). Need to pull my finger out and get straight. No really, I do!
Yesterday I had a riding lesson at 9.30am. My friend, J, who has just started riding too, booked it. I cursed her as I fell out of bed, bleary eyed, and pain-killer-less, but by the time I got in the car and drove along the coast road to the stables, I was quite grateful to her. It's great to be up and about early (well, okay, so 9.30 isn't that early!).
The riding lesson was superb. I rode Henry, and was there early enough to tack him up for a change. We rode in the outside arena, and I was learning how to get his head to bend into the 20m circle we were tracing in the sand, and although I managed to get him to do that, while keeping hands and body 'still' (i.e. moving in time with Henry), my leg wasn't strong enough to stop in falling in, so our 20m circles were more like 10m shapes that have no name!
It wasn't all a disaster though. Without wanting to be too technical, I got him working in a lovely outline, and he never once tried to tank off with me! My instructor said that Henry was thinking to himself, "At last! She's sitting properly, and holding the reins properly, so I'll do exactly what I'm asked. I rode with my stirrups longer (as in dressage) which was weird at first but worked a treat.
Next week I'm going on a group hack with lots of people I've never met! It'll be 2 hours out, along the road for a short while, then onto a bridle path.
Gallops on the beach - Red Rum trained just up the coast a little!
Over the level crossing (that can be interesting, especially when lorries bumble over the lines, clanking and squeaking!), then up onto National Trust land, over the sand dunes and onto the beach for a gallop.
National Trust Red Squirrel Reserve Pinewoods (though we only canter along the bridle path bits obviously!)
Coming home we go through the pine woods, cantering up and down hills, ducking under low branches. I love it, but haven't been out for so long that I was starting to get nervous of it. That's why I'm going next week, before it's too late and I bottle out all together! Likewise with the old jumping, which I haven't done in ages either. So the week after, I'll be pairing up with Siobhan and getting to grips with some poles (starting on the ground!!!).
The Last Word is from Mock The Week!
Things You'll Never Read on Face Book
1. You have 0 friends.
2. Banksy has written on your wall.
3. Lord Lucan has updated his status.
4. Osama bin Laden is in Croydon.
5. Gordon Brown has left the group, 'Let's scrap the 10p tax band'.