Back to normal?

Well yesterday I was discharged from hospital, which I was very happy about. 

The ward I was on was great, well the room was. Being stuck in an isolation room means you only see your own room but you do get a nice en-suite and a specialised menu for chemo patients. 

So what have I got to show from my four days in hospital? An infinate number of puncture wounds from cannulas and blood tests, a ridiculously big bruise on my right arm and enough medication to start my own phamacy (it seems as though I can’t enter the hospital without a bag of drugs at the moment).

Once home, it was time for a catch up with my hubby and babies before bedtime. I spent the evening just enjoying being at home and having some company. 

This morning I woke up and was actually glad to have my babies jumping all over me (it’ll be completely different tomorrow morning). We all got up and went about the usual Thursday morning routine, Tom and I rushing around like headless chickens trying to get ready to leave at 8:10 while my babies dawdle around. Once I had dropped them off and nursery and Tom had left for work it was just me. I’d decided, after being cooped up for days in hospital that a trip to Hobbycraft for a little treat was in order. I enjoyed wandering round (only difficult bit is making sure I don’t spend too much) and picked up a couple of things. It was when I was leaving, after having a lovely conversation with the checkout girl about the dangers of Hobbycraft (arty people will know what I mean), that it struck me. What the hell has just happened?

Ok Thursday and Friday last week were pretty bad for side effects but I had a lovely day in Liverpool on Saturday and I felt perfectly fine. When I woke up on Sunday though I felt awful. I could barely keep my eyes open and I was unbelievably cold. The infection I had, had come from nowhere. It really made me realise had important it was for me to check my temperature and to be aware of neutropenic sepsis (decrease in white bloods cells which can cause serious infections). Within 24hrs of being in hospital I felt a lot better. Looking back in it, its hard to explain how it feels to all of a sudden be back to normal and left to just get on with everything as I was before. The best way I can explain it is, you know the saying 1 step forward, 2 steps back? Well, instead of 2 steps back, its more like 1 step forward, then you are snatched away, chewed up and spat back out somewhere completely different.

Think it’s going to take me a few days to settle back in, but I’ll get there eventually. Next week is always the best week out of the 3 weeks following chemo where I feel whole again and raring to go, all ready for chemo the following week. However the next one is the big one, the LAST one 🙂 

Advertisements

I’m having a bad, bad day

WARNING- THIS POST COULD BE QUITE UPSETTING FOR SOME BUT I WOULD LIKE TO REMAIN HONEST WITH YOU ABOUT WHAT I AM GOING THROUGH

After yesterday success & having a lovely evening with Tom watching a film. My temperature started to spike. It went down quickly enough and I thought I would see how I was in the morning.

This morning I felt awful, very tired and weak. The nurse came round and seeing that I was unwell, asked me to take my temperature. It was 38.4, the trigger temp is 38 so once she had given me my injection I was advised to go to a&e.

When I arrived at a&e I could barely walk. I felt so weak. Fortunately I have my neutropenic card which means i can go through quickly. It doesn’t necessarily mean I get seen quicker but I don’t have to sit in the waiting room.

I then had “cannula roulette” where myself & the nurses have to guess how many times it’ll take them to put the cannula in. Today was 3 attempts. Once they had done that they took bloods to see how I was doing.

The bloods weren’t good and the doctor confirmed I was neutropenic (white blood count was 0.7 and they would like it at least 2). This means sadly I am stuck here and I’m not sure how long for.

It is soul destroying to hear you have to be admitted. I felt really good yesterday and now today this. I really just want to be home with my babies whether I’m well enough to play or not. Just hearing them giggle or say daft things really brighten up my day.

I’ll keep you all up to date on how I’m getting on, hopefully I’ll be home soon.

Apparently, I’m completely mad!

So today, in a break with tradition, I went on my first study visit for my photography degree. It’s fair to say that the past 2 days haven’t been my best. I’ve been suffereing the side effects from my filgrastin injections (they simulate bone marrow to produce white blood cells) and I could have slept for England but I was determined to go.

I found it pretty easy getting there and finding the meeting place and was enjoying meeting fellow students (this was the first time even though I have been with the OCA for 2 years). It was when we started to walk around and chat to people that I got the “looks”. One lady asked if I had gone through the same as her, which I said yes and she asked when I had finished my chemo. I explained that I had one to go and my last was on Tuesday, to say she was surprised is a bit of an overstatement. She couldn’t believe that I was able to pull myself together enough to come. I just shrugged it off and said that I had been looking forward to coming. She seemed impressed and we continued on.

Later, the discussion of what modules we were doing came up. Most were doing photography modules and had spent the last year completing one. It was then my turn, again I just made a passing comment that I was doing 2 modules and again jaws dropped. How the hell do you do that? Isn’t it stressful? Again, I just shrugged it off, I’m so used to doing both it never crossed my mind that it was a lot. 

It was at lunch that everyone came to the conclusion that I was completely mad. We were discussing families (majority had older children) and then I was asked. I was honest, I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old. “Bloody hell!” was the response. 

Once the day was over and I was sitting on the train home, I started to think about and it suddenly dawned on me how much I did have on. It had never occurred to me, it was just day to day life. I must admit, I like to keep busy and just take each day as it comes. It did occur to me to perhaps slow down a little but I’m happy as I am. 

Overwhelmed

Hi everyone!

Hope you are all well.

I am feeling a little overwhelmed by the amount of people who has shown an interest in my blog. It started as something that I was going to do for my local radio station but I found it difficult to keep up. I am now in a much better place and ready to take on the challenge again.

It’s day 3 following my chemo on Tuesday and I am feeling a little exhausted and very hot and bothered. However, I am trying my best to stay upbeat especially after speaking to fellow cancer patients in the Chemo Unit. It is amazing to hear people discussing their illness and even more incredible the amount of variations of this illness and all the different treatments available.

I must admit I was starting to feel nervous about finishing my chemo and then once my radiotherapy was over, what would happen next? It’s going to be a bit of a shock to the system when I don’t have hospital appointments every week but after speaking to other patients, I’ve actually been quite reassured. There are people there who have to go in every week for blood transfusions, bone strengtheners and have to undergo chemo for months on end. From this I have started to feel incredily lucky, that I’m not as bad as I initially thought. Sunday marks the day, 6 months ago, when I was first told of my diagnosis and if you asked me back then what I thought the next 6 months held for me, I probably would have broken down. I honestly throught that it was the end for me. However now I feel like there is no stopping me. It’s made me realise that I can do anything and also made me more ambitious.  

They always say the sky is the limit, but why not try for the stars you never know what you’ll find.

🙂

I’ve been a busy girl

I’ve been very busy since I last posted any blog updates.

I completed Race for Life & even did a bit of jogging (who’d have thought it), I’ve had a weeks worth of radiotherapy on my hips & pelvis to help reduce the pain I sometimes have & I’ve had my fifth chemo!

I thoroughly enjoyed Race for Life (I put it down to having an amazing friend by my side the whole way) & we completed it in just over 45mins. We both enjoyed it do much we have agreed to do it next year & signed up for the local hospice’s midnight walk in September. It gave me such a buzz to think that the money I had raised can help others suffering from this terrible disease.

Now onto my radiotherapy. I really didn’t know what to expect from it. Would it hurt? What would the machine look like? Etc. I’ve got to admit it doesn’t disappoint. You know when you watch those alien abduction programmes & they describe the lights on the ceiling & the scanners & things they use? It is just like that! It felt so surreal & so I had even coverage, they had to raise the bed so the machine could be moved underneath me. I swear if I’d put my hands up I would have been touching the ceiling. It was ridiculous!

Well that’s me done for today. Hoping for a better night sleep after only having an hours sleep last night (steroids, need I say anymore?).

See you soon

Kimberley

Reached the halfway mark

Originally post around 10th June 2014

Sorry it’s been so long.

I finally reached the halfway point in my chemo last week and have been feeling it since. Fortunately, it seems as though I have got through the worse of it without a trip to A&E! Sadly I’ve not got off too lightly, my routine blood test for my Denosumab injection has shown that my haemoglobin levels are low so I now have to have a blood transfusion. Doesn’t sound too bad I know but I am such a wimp when it comes to blood, I can’t even look when they take blood to test.

On another note though, I am really starting to get used to having no hair (something I never thought would happen). It saves me so much time in the morning, I don’t have to worry about tying it back when I cook and I save a fortune not having to buy shampoo and conditioner (every cloud and that).

Now my energy levels are starting to increase, we’re off on a weekend away this week to Bath. I’ve been looking forward to it since January and with everything that has been going on recently I think I bloody deserve it!

Well I’m off for a cup of tea (it’s been a week since I’ve had one and boy have I missed it)

See you soon

Kimberley

The second chemo

Originally post around 29th May 2014

Well I have survived my second chemo and once again it involved a trip to a & e and more antibiotics. The only difference this time was that I wasn’t admitted thank goodness and according to the nurse, it isn’t appropriate to skip out of a & e with glee (shame really I was so happy to be able to go home).

On Wednesday I was due to have my third chemo (the halfway point) however the blood tests I had done came back that my blood counts were not high enough for me to safely have the chemo and given that the only other times I have had chemo I have ended up on antibiotics. I have explained to them that it is down to my children, but apparently there is nothing they can give the children to stop them from getting ill. So I am back in on Monday morning for another blood test (oh the joys) to see if I can have chemo in the afternoon.

There are some signs that the chemo is taking its toll on me. My arm, the one with all the holes in (last time I was cannulated it took 4 attempts), has started to get very sore from one of the drugs that I have to take. This is apparently perfectly normal (which is good to hear in some respects but also a pain in the backside when you are the one who has to put up with it).

So next week, I have 2 planned trips to the hospital. It sounds daft but that is actually a good week, considering they are both on the same day (I’ll be lost when the day comes when I only have to go to hospital every 3 months). However, 5 days after my chemo I will be having boosters to help with my blood count which means I have a lovely district nurse coming to visit me every day for 8 days to give them to me.

I have also had a bit of a mad moment and agreed to do Race for Life this year. Fortunately for me, I don’t have to run it (nothing to do with my inability to run, honest) due to my pelvic and hip bones.