Monday, 29 December 2008

scan tomorrow!!!

It's a biggie tomorrow - CT Scan first thing in the morning, and a rather important one at that because it's when we find out what the Tarceva has been doing; and have the tumours shrunked/reduced/disappeared altogether(?!!!)/remained stable/(almost the one we're hoping for actually). I won't know the results for ages though - don't see my oncologist until JAN 19th - be positive I tell myself, the worst is overm now we just live! But really live, you know, no f**king about and wasting time- there's writing to be done, or rather extracting it from my brain's hard drive where I've been drafting/redrafting and shaping the pieces of the quilt that are to be 'stitched' together into a novel of sorts - and I just found out that Las Cartas has been accepte somewhere for a new mag's first edition (will let you know more as I find out!) - how exciting! :) What else? Oh yeah, the Little' Un had her first canter ("without screaming, mummy!") today, so it was a celbratory day - also - the new pain meds dosagw is lasting from 8 till 5.30 now so i'm very optimistic that with a few more tweaks we can eradicate it altogether and then i'll have no more excuses for not writing more!

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Christmas Gall...

...bladder attacks for moi on the old 25th, I'm afraid! It was a fab day til then though, and we learn to appreciate those golden moments such as having a few pain free moments! We went to my parent-in-laws' house for a traditional Christmas dinner (with my parents too). You see I knew I should've ignored the trimmings (even though I kinda thought I had - no cream - no chipolatas, no turkey skin all crisp and inviting - no desert, well, okay, yes desert, but only a little tiny bit, but* but* but* but* I did eate a lot more than I have in a long time, so perhaps that's why y gallbladder decided to cock up and otherwise perfect day.

We got home about 6ish after i'd had a couple of hours of mild tummy cramps, but then I had a nap, and woke up half an hour later unable to breath hardly with what felt like someone taking a chainsaw to my middle - it lasted hours for f***sake, so hubby rang the doc and found a neighbour to take care of Little'Un, and we waited while I screamed and the doc arrived and took a look at me, and said something like, "Oh yes, Gallbladder - very painful. But I can't give her any diamorphine, I can only preswcribe it and the disrict nurse will have to come to administer it." Or words to that effect, and I said, " Oh my, what a shame!" Or words to that effect. And the doc had taken 2 EFFING HOURS TO GET TO ME and the nurse took FOREFFINGEVER,so that I my screaming had scared the gallstones into submission (along with half the street I think) and she still hadfn't arrived with my lovely syringe full of pain relief!!!

Total crap. And now it's Boxing Day and late and I'm trying to type this as fast as I can before the pain revisits me for the bedtime slot!

ARGH! Hope y'all had a good one - much love,

hesitant wotsit

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

It's nearly Christmas - woo hoo!!!

I am sooo excited! It's Christmas Eve tomorrow... I love Christmas Eve, when all the house is lovely and tidy, the shopping done, and anything that hasn't been done will just have to go whistle for it! And then it's time to settle down by the tree, and wrap the kids' presents up. Watch telly and wait for Santa!

And for anyone who missed it last year:

This is my favourite Christmas text of all time. I listened to it every Christmas as a child, and now read it to mine. I'm sure it's out of copyright, so hopefully it is okay to share with you all!

The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore (1779-1863)

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
'Now, DASHER! now, DANCER! now, PRANCER and VIXEN!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!'
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
And so, from me, Happy Christmas to All, and a Prosperous and Healthy 2009 (and beyond!)

Saturday, 20 December 2008

...still a tad crappy!

Golly! 2 posts in 2 days - you'll be sending me a medal for this!!!  I'm still feeling crappy though, with nausea, and pain, though the oxynorm (new extra strength, no less) does work eventually - looking at the symptoms I've got - this looks very much like pancreatitis but I don't know what they can do about it.  The tumour they found was 3.5cm (and even though I believe the Tarceva has started to shrink it), and my pancreas is not impressed with this at all!  And I'm shrinking away too.  I have to check every single label on food before I can eat anything - due to the fat content... especially the saturates - so if anyone out there wants to lose weight, just try cutting down on your fat intake!!!  I've gone down to 8st 7lbs... a steady descent from the 11st 5oz I had gone up to during chemotherapy last winter!  And it isn't difficult when you know it's going to really hurt if you have too much, like REALLY!!!

This morning woke up to the little one shouting me - she has caught one of these horrid tummy bugs, and of course it would be when hubby is away so luckily my mummy has been here all day taking care of both of us - and little one is recovering fast now that she's had some (more) antibiotics, and has been out for a walk to get some fresh air with nanna :)

It's 3.30 and the abdominal pain is just beginning to kick in again, so I'll leave this post here...

Thank yous go to S for the lovely Bath Spa thingy she brought me, and my eldest child who has been an absolute Godsend this past week or so.

We haven't sent any Christmas Cards this year - as hubby is giving the money we would have spent on them to the Hospice where I am treated soooo well (and they aren't funded either, which is a disgrace).  Am working on an 'e-card' to send but goodness only knows when I'll get that finished!

Hope you're all happy and organised for Chrimbo - and looking forward to the festivities - I for one can't wait!

Friday, 19 December 2008

I'm Back!!! 8st 7lbs

No Blogging... blame Bramble!  (NO that's not patience you can see, it's an illusion!)


I have been trying to write this post for what feels like weeks, but is only a week and a half! Tuesday morning (after the last blog post) I rode like a total muppet - no really, I did :( - so I've asked about some lessons on the lunge to sort my position out but especially my hands. After riding I saw my doc at the Hospice, and she doubled all my meds again, however, Tuesday pm, things started to get bad as early as 1 in the afternoon.  I've basically had another one of those weeks from hell, with abdominal pain that was verging on that of pancreatitis or a gallbladder attack.  Like cripplingly severe - cry your eyes out kind of pain/can't think/can't talk/can't do anything but rock back and forth and howl.  (My poor poor family!)   By Saturday morning I was in such a mess I phoned the hospice to speak to my palliative care specialist, and thank God, she was there that weekend - so I got catheterised (yeuck!), and examined (all okay), and the meds all upped again.  Massively.

At last I got a good night's sleep (first one in over a week), and awoke feeling fantastic, so I ran downstairs, and rang my friend to tell her I could take the girls riding.  I was horrified when she said very sensibly I might add, that she would prefer it if I didn't drive just yet, given how much opiate painkillers I am now taking, and I foolishly got all upset about it.  You see, my body has been a right old mess admittedly, but my mind is clear and my faculties have not been affected (honestly!).  I tried to explain that I would only drive if I felt 100% safe in doing so, but the poor woman stuck to her guns, and so I said I'd meet her there.  Of course as soon as I put the phone down, a wave of dizziness and nausea hit me from out of nowhere, and I had to call her back (in disgrace) to ask if she could take me and my little 'un after all, because I really couldn't have driven for all the laxatives in Boots!

I got very emotionally upset about all of that because as I keep saying (like some kind of loony...) MY HEAD IS FINE!!!  I am not drunk and stumbling around thinking I am walking in a straight line, or can do x, y, or z when I clearly cannot.

But long term illness gets you that way.  People have to care for you/see you at your worst, when you're throwing up or feel so bad you can't think straight because of the pain, and I find I am constantly trying to defend my mental capacities/judgemental ability.  And no one has treated me like a child either,  so it's not like I have reason to feel like this (and anyway that was last week, and I feel fine now!).  Apart from when people phone me and say stupid bloody things like, "Have you taken your painkillers?!"  Er, no.  I thought I'd just leave them and roll up into a ball for the rest of the day!  Of course I've taken my effing meds!!!

Monday was better and I was going to blog, but then I had some unexpected visitors (to be fair, one of them was written on the calendar in the kitchen, but I'd forgotten!), and got nothing done, but it was lovely to see K, and my long lost bosom buddy L.

Tuesday I had a lunge lesson, and improved my position and hands somewhat.  I did drive, but I asked my dad to come with me, so he could take over if I was too tired at the end of the lesson to drive home.  Didn't blog.


At last - the muppet sits up tall!!!

Wednesday was go to get more Tarceva day.  No blogging, but lots of face-booking ( it's easier to write one line or so, than a whole blog post).

Yesterday it was back to excruciating pain again, but it turned out to be a load of crap - quite literally!!!  After about 3 hours on the loo, my legs had gone dead, but my stomach felt better.

Today, I receive my order of A&W Root Beer.  And it amazes me how a smell and/or a flavour can whisk us back in time over 3o years.  I've been thinking about my childhood a lot recently, mainly due to being in contact with my cousins, who were more like sisters and a brother to me, as I grew up with them in BC until I was nearly 7.  And they've been posting cute pics of us all when we were kids. 

root beer




Possibly the bestest drink in the world - I can't think why the English dislike it so much!!!






I've done all my Christmas shopping on-line - thank God for the Internet!!!  And the tree is done - thanks to little 'un and NeeNee, and Hubby for agreeing to me getting a real one for a change - the house is already full of pine needles but I love it! YAY for the smell of a real tree!!!  This is gonna be the best Christmas so far!!!

tree 2008

The Tree 2008...

Righto - will not leave it so long next time.  Promise.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Not a mum content to hold the coats!

Bramble Wonders What's Going On With All The White Glistening Stuff!

It was verrrry cold on Sunday morning, and I was awake at 5am thanks to tummy ache (again), but the sky was clear and as the sun came up, it became apparent that it was actually a very beautiful day - Bramble looked out of the front window, into a world bathed in that gorgeous winter orange twilight, and when I opened the patio doors instead of bounding out across the grass, he looked at me as though to say, "What the hell?!" Then he tentatively walked to where you see him in the pic above, shaking each paw after it had touched the ground, and sat for a good 5 minutes just looking around!

Saturday turned into a very successful shopping spree as Derby House (tack shop) sent me an email advertising a 20% discount off everything for that weekend only! So off the little oneand I went to Grandma's house, and then to "a surprise" place. When we got there she said, "Is it a wood shop?!" but then she went inside and saw the pictures of horses everywhere and sqealed with delight!

She got her Christmas presents early (as you can see in pic below); jodhpur boots, half chaps, and a plush black velvet riding hat to go with her new jodhpurs and riding gloves I got her on Friday after my lesson! You've never seen a child so grateful - you'd have thought we'd given her a million quid!

Despite the frost we took her to her group lesson on Sunday morning -all kitted out and grinning from ear to ear! It was soooo cold that hardly any kids had turned up (to volunteer!), so I ended up being my little one's leader. While hubby froze on the sidelines with a camera, I was sweating cobs after the first trot round the indoor school, and peeling off layers by the second. Great fun - I think I'll help out more often! (That was how I ended up being trained as an assistant gymnastics coach though!)

And today I've had loads of visitors so haven' done half the things I was going to, but cares?! There's a whole week ahead! Carpe Diem and all that!

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Discovering the 'on' button!

Poor old Siobhan. Always being accused of being lazy for not moving off fast enough in the walk, or taking an age to trot, or only doing a couple of strides of canter and then stopping again... when the whole time



When I arrived for my lesson yesterday, S (my instructor) took one look at me and said, "Are you sure you're okay to ride today?!" As usual I said of course I was, but she wasn't convinced at all, and I had to admit that perhaps jumping wasn't such a clever idea! The truth was I'd been awake (again) since 5am with stomach pains (now known to be simply constipation!), taken my double dose of oral opiates, managed to go to the loo eventually (but very uncomfortably), and had been deliberating as to whether or not I should cancel the lesson (but since I cancelled Wed, I knew I had to make an effort for my own sake). So I pulled on my jodhpurs, downed some anti-nausea pills, and set off anyway. As you do.

I promised S that I'd tell her immediately if I wasn't up to the job, and asked her if we could work on some things I'd been reading about, like knowing which leg is moving and when. Turned out to be one of those cracking lessons where it all starts to come together and make sense!

It isn't easy to work out which of the horse's legs moves first, or last come to think of it. Siobhan is often sluggish in the school too so that ought to have made it easier, but each time we set off in walk, and S asked me which leg moved first I looked at her with a blank expression. I was trying to think the answer when you have to feel for it instead. It got even more complicated when we moved off into trot, and I had to workout/feel which diagonal pair moved first. I struggled to 'listen' with my buttocks, but still didn't trust them, so when a fore-leg seemed to move first alone, in trot, I used my head and got it wrong - it was a lesson in following your instincts - to really see what is rather than what you think something should be!

After a while my brain (and buttocks) were frazzled, so we moved on to looking at the 'aids' in more advanced detail. In riding, the natural aids are voice, legs, hands, and seat (that is, the things you use to ask the horse to do something). The weird thing is you have to learn one way when you begin, and then as you progress, you learn more advanced methods to do the same thing! So the aid for 'walk on' becomes a squeeze with one foot and then the other (once your buttocks know which sequence the horse's legs are moving in), and trot becomes a squeeze with both legs (as opposed to it all being a squeeze with both legs!) Siobhan became a different horse in an instant, as though she said to me, "Aha! Now I understand what you want!" She walked off with a spring in her step, and moved into trot instantly, rather than ignoring my (previously unclear) signals.

And canter too! Wow!!! S moved my feet into position to ask for canter and a light went on - "Oh!" I said, "It goes that high up!" After a bit of work on co-ordination - trying to raise one foot up towards my own buttocks without losing a stirrup was hard - while keeping the other foot on the girth and squeezing inwards at the same time - I kept forgetting to move the other foot back in time, but Siobhan became a Ferrari! She was clearly pleased with me! Instead of waiting for her to canter - she turned her ears to me, saying, "I'm ready!" and the minute I squeezed the girth she cantered, and kept it going too!

So to all of you who think you just sit there, and kick the horse, and pull on the reins - it's just so not like that! Instead you need masses of co-ordination and a horse with tons of patience.

Spending Money again!

I finished the lesson with a feeling of achievement and deep satisfaction, and looked much better than I did before I started, so went to the tack shop and bought the little one some jodhpurs and riding gloves for Christmas, much to the bemusement of hubby. (He's lucky, I nearly bought her a pony to go with them ha ha!)

Still feeling Betterer and Writing - hurrah

The pain meds are working well, and I'm less woozy from the additional morphine-like stuff. If I can get my bottom sorted out, I'd be on cloud 10! Still doing my evening meditation cd, and repeating to myself that I am healthy and strong! I refuse to give up on my life! Just want to be healthy again... little else matters... also writing again and should have the next bit done by early next week!

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Feeling Betterer and Betterer! And Animal Inspiration

Saw the doc on Tuesday - I could've done with seeing her at the beginning of last week to be honest, especially when she said, "Well, we'll just up your medication."! I had been terrified she might need to put me on something different altogether, something like methadone, which involves a 5 day admission to the hospice, but we're nowhere near the upper limits for my oxycodone - what a relief!

Yesterday morning I took my double dose of liquid oxynorm (instant hit stuff) and began to feel comfortable again very quickly, however when combined with my double dose of oxycontin (slow release 12 hourly stuff), I ended up a tad dizzy, nauseous, and ever so slightly out of my tree! Had to re-arrange my riding lesson for Friday, but today it's all been good (apart from the nausea!), so should be fine and dandy tomorrow. It is fabulous to be pain free after so much agony for so long!

I've come across a couple of inspirational stories/vid clips I thought I'd share with you - who said animals are dumb creatures?!!! And who said we cannot form relationships on any levels other than master/follower or predator/prey?! Take a look at these!

I did some research on this one too, as I would have been devastated had it been faked! The original story in the press can be found here. I dare you not to cry!

Also found this with more loving lions;

Plus this - which I cried my eyes out over when I first watched it! It's not just the fab relationship with the horsie either but the song lyrics were/are so relevant.

The song is called, "Live Like You Were Dying" by Tim McGraw

Verse 1
He said I was in my early forties, with a lot of life before me
And one moment came that stopped me on a dime
I spent most of the next days, looking at the x-rays
Talking bout' the options and talking bout' sweet times.
I asked him when it sank in, that this might really be the real end
How's it hit 'cha when you get that kind of news?
Man what did ya do?
He said

I went skydiving
I went rocky mountain climbing
I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I'd been denyin'
And he said some day I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dyin'

Verse 2
He said I was finally the husband, that most the time I wasn't
And I became a friend, a friend would like to have
And all of a sudden goin' fishin, wasn't such an imposition
And I went three times that year I lost my dad
Well I finally read the good book, and I took a good long hard look
At what I'd do if I could do it all again
And then

I went skydiving
I went rocky mountain climbing
I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Shu
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I'd been denyin'
And he said some day I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dyin'

Like tomorrow was the end
And ya got eternity to think about what to do with it
What should you do with it
What can I do with it
What would I do with it

I went rocky mountain climbing
I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu
And man I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I watched an eagle as it was flyin'
And he said some day I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dyin'

To live like you were dyin' (4x)