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Thursday, 31 December 2009

Day 21 - Thu 31/12/2009


New Years Eve...

Catherine, Mark and the kids left this morning after a couple of great days...I got to cook Jasmine and Leah's tea and run them a bath, washed their hair and found them a toy to play with in the bath...I will miss them all as they wing their way back to Newbury. Mark's mum has been unwell for the past 7 years and still has hope, she sounds like a strongwilled and amazing lady. Mark also said something that gave me added confidence which I thank him for...the medical profession are making advancements all the time and his mum has had two lots of treatment in the seven years that weren't available when she started...Cool!

Fran, Charlotte and I were supposed to meet with our friends at Barbara and Grayden's tonight for New Year celebrations - I have made my excuses and apologies and sending Fran and Bean along without me.

I really need tranqility and time to think - I need to think things through and whilst it would be good to meet and try and lift the mood I just dont want to at the moment.

Barbara did say she would send me a doggie bag with meat based treats for me - got to keep my strength up!

Sent a mail to SJ, one of my dearest friends at Vodafone today so that she could let a few of my closest friends know the score, I want as much prayer and positive thought as possible if only to counter my distinct lack of positive thought! I got and amazing email back which was lovely - SJ promised to have a couple of G&T's for me and I know she will too as well as several for herself....man I could do with a drink!

Am I right to keep this blog or is this self pitying shite? Not sure at the moment and until I am sure I will keep it just for me...It feels okay at times and other times it adds to the irritation of it all!

Jane posted some fantastic pictures on Facebook yesterday which cheered us all up...

Good Night all and Have a great new year!

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Day 19 - Tue 29/12/09

Even in the midst of devastating news the world still trundles along with many far worse off than I. The Cancer Research website is proving a great source of support and I now go on daily offering a shoulder and practical advice (I hope) to others... The Gas man cam round at 09:00am to fix the boiler!

The post was good today...

Got my official letter from the hospital with my appointment for Mon 04Dec. Also had a fantastic surprise in a card from work and an M&S voucher...really, really touched by that, brought another bloody tear to my eye...I will have to stop this emotion malarky as people will start talking.

Went to Chesterfield with Charlotte - only stayed out for an hour looking in game shops for Dungeons and Dragons...

Steve K came round this evening for a cuppa and an update...sometimes I need my time alone and in the times when I need to talk there is allways someone there...thanks Steve for listening to my story so far and saying the right things.

Catherine, Mark and the girls got round earlier than first thought which was great had a chat and bequeathed my Kingfisher lager to Mark which was a bit of a struggle letting go, but I got through it...

The kids are now ready for bed so had better go and make their beds up as getting late. Leah made me laugh earlier when she opened her books...woooooh! I think she likes them.

Good day!

Monday, 28 December 2009

Day 18 - Mon 28/12/09

Spoke with Colm, my best mate yesterday morning and told him...he was here this morning via the train from Kent. We had a great day reminiscing and laughing and it was all too soon before he had to leave. I took him to Matlock Stn and said good-bye - he said too many nice things that made me cry! I have known him for 20+ years and that has never happened...

Rang mum and couldn't talk for the tears, something that Fran later said was needed although I dont like to make people feel bad by seeing or hearing me upset - I want to stay strong for everyone!

Catherine, Mark and the girls are here tomorrow so cant wait to see them all.

Bean, looked after me tonight by indulging me and watching Rocky III with me, poor girl, what I put her through :-)

T xx

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Day 16 - Sat 26/12/09

Tired today, checked on the Cancer Research blog and answered several peoples call for help..obviously cant give professional medical advice but can empathise and spur them on and offer a shoulder.

I feel very very angry today and unfortunately those closest bare the brunt and for that I am truly sorry.

Trying to get up the courage to tell Colm and cant get hold of Steve.

Not up for long speeches today..

Friday, 25 December 2009

Day 15 - Fri 25/12/09

Happy Christmas...

We had a great day, nice service with our friends in the bandstand - special!

Had real turkey, Fran made puff pastry parcels with leek and onion sauce, walnuts and blue cheese for her and Charlotte.

Spoke with Catherine - such a shame as her Turkey was dry :-( although she was sort of happy, wish she was here with us.

Nice walk over Cavendish field in the snow with Fran, Charlotte and Jess.

Got some cool presents, new jumper, hip flask, electric shaver and the inbetweeners series 1 & 2 Class!!.

Been a long and busy day, had to do the vegetables whilst Fran was having a nap and watching the Sara-Jane Chronicles with Bean, made bread sauce and chestnut stuffing with brandy and cream, normal stuffing , roast potatos and parsnips with a great turkey gravy, oh and carrots...a fine dinner!

Anyways managed to forget things for a few hours until like a twat I went upstairs to listen to my ipod and started to think of music to play at my funeral...not condusive to a positive mental attitude...had a few tears and then went downstairs to watch Doctor Who.

Now resorted to sitting on a pillow - that's it I am going downhill fast!

Night night and god bless us one and all!

T x

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Day 14 - Wed 24/12/09

Christmas Eve...

I got the call and not good news..It is official that I have Cancer of the Colon...oh crap! The hospital patients advocate really does work as had a call from the Gastro Enterologist's secretary then from the Gastro Enterologist straight after with the update.

I have a meeting set for the 4th Jan 2010 with the surgeon and oncologist to discuss the treatment they are going to recommend.

I am looking forward to Christmas with the family and have a nice bit of turkey and bacon ready to roast for dinner tomorrow so not all bad (especially in a vegetarian household).

We watched Terminator 3, ate chinese food, read 'twas the night before Christmas together and hung our stockings up. We put out sherry and a mince pie for santa and a carrot for the reindeer - Charlotte is 14 but just having a bit of fun!

Good night all.

Tony x

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Day 13 - Tue 23/12/09

Weird day - grumpy as hell...

Very snowy today and cold, the Bean (Charlotte) and I took Jess for a walk over Cavendish field where there was planty of fresh untouched snow! It made me remember the times Catherine and I used to walk in the snow in Maple Cross...

Went shopping to co-op but couldn't wait to get home as in quite a bit of pain.

I keep questioning if i could go back to work in the interim then get reminded why not as I cant sit for long, focus and all of a sudden get this dull aching pain that is like... (cant think of anything).

No phone call, however after getting quite frustrated I listened to what Fran said (dont tell her I said that) - I contacted the patients advocate at the Chesterfield Royal Hospital to assist me in gaining a response as I have left two messages for the GI secretary so far. I am to make a Dr's appointment for next week to discuss my pain relief, tiredness and aneamia in the interim period before my treatment plan is sorted.

I have also joined the cancer research website and have raised a log to gain support and already there have been some solid practicle advice. On reflection the timelines are not that different to everyone else and the experiences are pretty much the same i.e. having to draw out the information and updates from the hospital consulting team rather than it being offered. I will give them a break as it has only been a week and a half and they have to assess all aspects including the biopsy results which they haven't had back yet.

From starting the day feeling I was losing control of the situation I now feel a lot better and slightly in more control than I was...

Oh and popped in to Costa Coffee at about 20.30 this evening as they had Carols in there...Steve, Wendy, Harry and Kitty were there with Liam, sung a couple of carols then went home for Rhubarb Crumble and Custard!

Good night all - Christmas is just around the corner.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Day 12 - Tue 22/12/09




Blimey, just typing the 22/12 brings it home how close we are to Christmas Day and the birthday of Jesus Christ...

Fran came back from being away at Maggie's for Sunday and Monday..I feel bad that I was agitated and didn't want to hug when she came back..not nice of me and I am sorry (I will tell her that later rather than just leaving it in type)...

Colin and Chris called shortly after Fran got home and it was lovely to see and chat with them. I seem compelled to tell my story as it is so far and so far no ones told me to shut up. Although I don't want to talk with everyone and want to hide away at home.

I have questioned again what I am feeling and to be honest during an EFT session with Fran it is because I feel unworthy of all the attention and prayer...surely there is someone out there who needs it more?? I have come to realise today that I am worthy and it is not my choice who is going to send me best wishes and pray for me - by definition that it is others choice means I am worthy...also if it is found to be Cancer I need all the prayers now and not to wait a moment longer.

Anyways Chris and Colin's visit, conversation and prayers helped a lot...I wish I could have a member of the Matlock Church community praying with me every day!

Lynn our minister called to check on news and apologised for being a pest, how can she be when she has my best interest at heart. Some would say it is her job to care but the fact she has chosen that profession is the special part (or did God choose her)...David from Matlock Moor also called to check if there was any news, these are all busy people who are taking time out to care, their choice :-)

As you may have guessed still no phone call. I phoned the Dr's surgery and left a message with the Gastro-Enterology secretary at Chesterfield RI...I can only wait and dont want to be a pest however one has to ask why no call when this is such an important subject to me and those around me...Day 12 after being told I probably have Cancer only Dr Paul has called...I need to know either way so I know who my adversary is or is not!

Maybe tomorrow the call will come.

Not been a bad day, although I have had two lots of Ibroprofen today in 12 hrs, cant focus or get comfortable...also my bloody kidneys hurt, probably overworked after going to the toilet every hour of the day and night!

Not been out today so will have to watch that one....

Night All, off for me bath and a cuppa..need my beauty sleep

Monday, 21 December 2009

Day 11 - Mon 21/12/09

Got up early to get ready for my appointment. Charlotte had a bad nose bleed so sat her quietly in her room with a wad of toilet roll up her nose.

The Cystoscope was a strange experience - good news is my bladder is clear so the getting up every hour of the night is probably related to the problem elsewhere!

Got home and watched some TV - had a few tears and there was a knock at the door. David from Matlock Moor popped round just when I needed a chat. We discussed progress and what happens next then just before he left we prayed together. Felt better...

No phone call on the outcome of the hospital meeting so hopefully will be tomorrow...

Not so much pain today so a good day.

Spoke with Catherine, she seems to be okay at present which feels good that she is happy. Looking forward to her visit next week.

Night all!

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Day 10 - Sun 20/12/09

Not much going on today....snowed quite a bit, Fran went to work at Maggie's and I had a good rest. Charlotte had a duvet day in her jammies which cheered her up. I feel bad that I didn't go to church as I really should go and say my prayers. It also shows committment to Matlock Moor. Had a nice email from Eilleen to say they only had 4 people there so went to the Bank Road service which sounded quite nice in the end. Hope all are well as I do worry about Matlock Moor, they are a good bunch and another extended family...

Not really looking forward to the cystoscope tomorrow morning as they will put a camera in a place no man should ever have a camera put. However it is necessary to check out my bladder etc, fingers crossed! I am also hoping for a response from the hospital so at least I will know what is happening.

I hate to say it and it doesn't feel like normal but I am actually bored sitting about although weirdly dont want to do much...I may have shut off any reactions until I actually know what is going on so almost in denial although not quite as there is still this dark nagging thought in my head, oh and the pain in the buttocks too - am I in shock, falling apart, upset, angry, strangely none of these. I feel unbothered by it all although I have my moments when reality kicks in just for a moment and I have a couple of sniffles, then I crack on...got to be brave for Catherine, Bean and of course my Fran. There are far worse off than me so factual and straight is the only way....and in the end it could all be a bad infection so no use over reacting...

Night all!

Day 9 - Sat 19/12/09

Mum, Dad, Jane, Nick and Andrew visited today....

It was really great to see them and I am left with the feeling that we absolutely don't see enough of each other....Note to self, New Years resolution is to go down south more!

We had Ham and Cheese Cobs (rolls as they are called darn sarf), Sausage Rolls, Cheese & Onion Rolls and Fran made shortbread.

Mum brought chocolate limes and we had a good open discussion about where we are at.

Fran coped well with all the kitchen duties whilst I played on my illness and waited for cups of tea etc.

I enjoyed the day and hope all did too...Jane was particularly on good form...she placed her wrapped present of the obligatory tin of shortbread under the tree and opened her card from us...We got everyone a donation towards fertiliser for oxfam.... Jane remarked that as we brought her a pile of sh** she was taking her present back..very funny.

Still hoping for good positive news and my Bum still bloody hurts...

Day 8 - Fri 18/12/09

Still waiting...

Spoke with Dr Paul who is great at explaining things and gives it to you straight and factually. I am glad he called.

There is a multi disciplinary team meeting on Monday at the hospital where there will probably be an oncologist, gastro enterologist, endoscope consultant, surgeon among others who discuss and decide the best course of treatment. The factual/current evidence will be weighed up and I should be notified soon after (here's hoping)...

Not mentioned the pain so far... My Bum bloody hurts! Ibruprofen does the trick although the length of time between needing it is pretty intermittent and am taking laxatives every evening to make things a little easier as there is something in the way!

Still hoping that this is a bad infection!

Day 7 - Thu 17/12/09

CT Scan today... Had injection and drank some liquid to enable the scan to show-up better...
I am a bit of a woos as this was not a pleasurable experience. The staff are aware of what they are looking for and very nice...Fran enjoyed the hot chocolate and chocolate biscuits, I think that is the only reason she comes along :-)

Still hoping the initial visual diagnosis was a mistake and that the biopsies will show a really bad infection...

Day 6 - Wed 16/12/09

Things have not been too bad as have had regular contact with people. Some do not know what to say and others know exactly what to say....

Lynn our Minister called today to chat and have a cuppa, I cant believe Fran brought 'Happy Shopper' biscuits, some things you just do not do when you have guests :-). The visit ended with prayer and me being annointed with oil, this is the best way to cope and I felt better mentally for the challenges ahead.

Charlotte went off to a Paramore concert with Olivia, Hannah and Lynne (Olivia's mum)...Fran and I went to 'Thirdspace' for dinner. This is our second family where we explore our beliefs and eat well... A prayer had been prepared whereby each person read to me a little piece of scripture..I looked at each person and could see the feeling and belief in their eyes...the most upsetting was Fran's reading, I feel so responsible that she has to go through this. I was annointed for the second time by Fi, Harry and Wend... I sat with my head in my hands afterwards for several minutes whilst I composed myself although it would not have mattered if I was uncomposed...

I do find myself thinking of death quite a bit and am prepared for that and want to ensure that others are also...It is a little early without confirmation to talk too openly although I have prepared the pensions, life policies and monthly bills in some easy to read spreadsheets for Fran...Next is the will so there are no problems if....

Catherine's daily calls, Charlotte's hugs, Jane and Mum's facebook contact and Andrea's blackberry instant messages have all helped alot. There have been some lovely emails from work and some strange ones where people are saying they are sorry to hear my news then asking me work related questions in the next breath - not impressed.

and where would I be without my rock Fran...we have great humour and sadness all mixed in with love

Day 1 - Fri 11/12/09

Last night was the worst, I had 6 packs of powder to take each in a litre of water. This had to be taken at 15 minute intervals. It served it's purpose although the pain was incredible...I would like to liken it to giving birth but as I have never given birth I can only imagine! Fran and I set off for the Endosopy unit at Chesterfield Royal. I had a camera down my throat and into my stomach which was thankfully clear. The second camera was not so comfortable into my large intestine, round the natural corners and then back out again. Straight away Mr Dear said he knew why I was aneamic and I remember thinking as I saw the 'offending' stretch of colon that it didn't look in the best of health!

Fran and I were called into a side room and informed that the area appeared cancerous and that confirmation from the biopsies would follow along with a treatment plan. Shock is the only feeling at that time...I looked across at Fran and felt deep sadness for her having to hear that...

We stopped at the door to the unit prior to braving the world and yes there were a couple of tears, a hug and then onwards.

We called Catherine, Mum and Richard (my boss) and then drove almost silently home...how are we going to tell Charlotte and decided to be open and honest...