Thursday, 29 April 2010

Day 140 Thur 29/04/10

Dear blog,

Been a good and a bad day all rolled into one!

Started off with a late breakfast - Fran sent me some details of a course she is going on relating to Cancer and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) - One of the tutors suffered from breast cancer and had written an account of her journey....

I called Fran (she is at work for a couple of days in Bakewell) to chat about the article and burst into tears, sobbing and couldn't speak just for a minute. It gets me like that when I just read something or listen to certain music...poor Fran must have felt miles a way as I am sure she just wanted to reach out and give me a hug as much as I wanted just that!

A drive to Weston Pk for my 14/25 Radiotherapy appointment...They are getting slicker and slicker as the lining up of the lasers on the spots are becoming easier...they take less time to move me into position, some by moving the bed and some by giving me a slight twist or push in a certain direction. The room is emptied and the radiographers shut the door - I feel alone with the whirring as the machine moves round from underneath, to my left, from the top and to my right....

All over then after a blood test I am on my way home - I am only in there for 10-15 mins...

On the way home I stop in to see Fran at Bakewell - we do an impromptu EFT session which uncovers some interesting points which will be tackled tomorrow.

I am still having problems breathing with shortness of breath so worked on that too whilst waiting at the hospital using EFT to relax me and work on my breathing, clearing the crap in my chest.

I also stopped off and got back in the car as my bloody bag leaked so after picking Charlotte up from school went straight home to shower and change my colonstomy bag! Not sure If I have shared that I have a colonstomy bag before, if you didn't already know, now you do! For good reason it took the best part of two hours before I was back on my feet again....stanley the stoma did not stop so I couldn't attach a new bag..then when he did stop the skin around was very sore so I cleaned it all up of the sticky tape residue and left it to air. I put on a new bag only to have to take it off twice as it did not attach right. I am exhausted and need food, Charlotte and I had tea and I rested for the remainder of the evening.

I must admit that whilst I cant wait to get back to work I have not been taking the best care of myself - I am not sleeping and haven't for weeks, I have not been eating the right foods and even tried red wine/whisky, stupid, stupid...

It has been a struggle so far and for good reason however if I have the 60% chance of that shite Cancer returning I need to be in the best shape possible. I cant walk far but will start trying to extend over a period of time and will take more rest.

Time for bed as a busy day tomorrow....I have an appt with the stoma team in the morning and my next radiotherapy treatment then over to see my personal therapist for an EFT session...oh the thing that we discovered is that I want Chemo, whatever the small % difference it makes, I want my hair to fall out and the pain it brings just so I know I am doing all I can...However what we also uncovered is that if I dont have the Chemo for the 6-10% difference it will make, I will not have the bad sickness etc which will enable me to have more prayer and EFT and get in a better state of body and mind to tackle the Cancer when it returns...

Church at the bandstand on Sunday last and at Dale Rd next Sunday lifted and will lift my spirits. My prayers whilst walking slowly round the field argued a point with God. If my path includes death at the end of all this then the path must be changed - I have heard it said that God is big enough and can take my prayers, his shoulders are broad - I just look out for the bolt of lightening when I am walking and praying!

Much love and blessings

T xx

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Day 138 Tues 27/04/10

Hello all,

You know what.... I have just read my title bit which says quite clearly 'I have Cancer' - I have just read it over and over as something did not seem quite right...

It may well be that I don't actually have the big C at this moment in time. The operation to remove the bit of my large bowel, rectum and the impacted lymph nodes may have cleared away the nasty's hoping.

I had my review today after my 12 of 25 radiotherapy sessions...after last time, being told I couldn't have the chemo it is fair to say I was pretty gutted. Today I went armed with some questions and came away with a clear picture of where I am at....Dr F gave a first class account and made me have confidence for the first time in a while

Previous prognosis:

With the type and stage of cancer that I had (stage 3, Duke C rating) and with the surgery, radiotherapy, the oral and IV chemotherapy there was a loose figure of a 52.5% chance of the cancer NOT returning within 5 years - on the opposite and glass half empty side that is a 47.5% chance that the cancer will return within 5 years.

Where I stand today:

Apparently without any treatment at all, that is no radiotherapy and chemo you have a 40% chance of the cancer not returning within 5 years or a 60% chance that it will return - therefore all the pain of the chemo and radiotherapy only gives you an additional 12.5% chance of it not returning within 5 years. I am quite surprised by those percentages as would have thought the treatment would have been a large chunk of the success!

Therefore I am having a good and sustained dose of radiotherapy and no nasty chemo which whilst the odds are not great I am a bit more settled than I was due to the fact the chemo was not adding a massive benefit that it would not return - therefore I am almost at a 50-50 stage.

With the daily EFT sessions with Fran, The prayers from the church buddies, third space prayers and energy, Hillary's prayer circle from across the pond,the support from my pals on the Cancer Research chat room, the love and prayers from my family and friends I stand a pretty good chance of increasing that 50-50 percentage in my favour....keep praying team as it is working.

I tested my stomach on whisky one night and red wine the next as well as some orange fizzy lucozade which all have medicinal properties right, I was wrong and my stoma bag nearly exploded....back to sipping tea and st.marks solution.

If all goes well I hope to be back at work in 6 weeks - that is what I, Richard (my caring boss) and hopefully my care team are aiming for...I am waiting for the results of the scan (proctorgram) to check the surgery join - this will decide hopefully when the stoma reversal will take place.

I am not being connected to daily fluids and my drug regime have been drastically reduced so all is looking good!

I have had some genuinely moving responses from others sharing their experiences of cancer. It is incredible how many of the people I know that have been touched by this disgusting disease...some have been lucky and some not so...I am counting myself amongst the lucky ones.

A short story: my hairdresser today commented that I looked really well and had lost alot of weight..I know her quite well so told her the reason for the initial weight loss and instead of stuttering and stumbling followed by an awkward silence we had a really nice chat for the next 15 mins...just part of my day!

I hope all of you are keeping well as I am aware that there are those amongst you that have your own problems and issues that need our prayers - dont be silent!

Much love,

Tony xx

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Day 131 Tues 20/04/10

My Rock Fran.... Isn't she beautiful!

Latest update following my Angina attack relating to the Oral Chemotherapy....

Today I was told that any further Chemotherapy (after only 4 days out of 6 months) is too great a risk to my health.

If I had a known history of angina they would have brought me into hospital to give me the medication under strict monitoring conditions, due to the known side affect. However as I have already shown that side affect the risk to me having an angina or heart attack would be too great.

Therefore the clean-up operation following the tumour removal will have to rely on the 25 sessions of radiotherapy. The fact that the cancer had already spread to my lymph nodes will have to be left to chance that it will not return. If it does return there is a type of chemo that will attempt to fight it!

Needless to say I am a little lost for direction although if I am true to my faith and it is gods will then he may not want me to waste my time on the chemo and go through the unecessary pain - I am hoping my faith stays strong and true.

I will be looking for a second opinion so that I know all areas are covered.

God bless all.

T xx

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Day 125 - Weds 14/04/10

Wahoo - Good News and Bad News

Chest pains of the past few days completely will be pleased to hear that I dont have heart problems anymore.

Following the issues all my heart scans have shown that all is okay although the ECG showed activity when I had an 'attack'

All Chemo and Radiotherapy was stopped whilst they worked out what was wrong and surprise, surprise the pains stopped. The cardiologist/oncologist worked out that the chemo tabs gave me bad side affects - one of the side affects is a restriction of blood to the heart, hence the pains. So I am back on radiotherapy and whizzed from Chesterfield Royal to Weston Park in Sheffield this afternoon to restart the treatment. I am to discuss alternative Chemo on Tuesday of next wek - not ideal but better than the immediate alternative!

Fran and I went through my wardrobe a couple of days ago and 2 Lounge Suits, 1 Dinner Suit, 10 Shirts, 3 pairs of trousers and 2 pairs of jeans headed down to the charity shop! I now have to buy a complete new wardrobe (the actually clothes not the thing with the doors).

Happy again and hoping all will sort itself out next Tuesday!

I need to catch-up with Mark G, Jaime H, Steve N and Paul B as I have calls outstanding with them all....Thanks to Ja for the airfix model...I will get stuck into that!

T x

Monday, 12 April 2010

Day 123 - Mon 12/04/10

Oh crap!

1) Stoma going well - output slowing down

2) Fran and I working well after a rocky bit in the middle connecting and disconnecting my fluids and changing the dressing for my PICC line.

3) Started Oral Chemo and Radiotherapy last Wednesday

4) Sat night bad chest pains much like being hit in the chest by a sledgehammer - called ambulance and shot off to Chesterfield Royal again.
Transferred to EMU (Emergency Medical Unit) and the to CCU (Cardio Care Unit) on Sunday afternoon after another attack.

After chest scans and symptoms review they believe at present to be Angina - further reviews with the cardiologist tomorrow.

It is that bad that walking to the bloody bathroom to go to toilet and have a wash sets off an attack so I have stuff squirted under my tongue, some morphine for the pain in order to calm things down.

I have a load of other meds such as beta blockers and asprin to reduce and prevent.

The worst of it is I have had all Cancer meds stopped (radiotherapy/chemotherapy) until they work out what is wrong with my heart and get it under control. Best to get what can kill me today under control first rather than what can kill me in several months!

Good stuff is...
I brought a man-bag with the last £20 from my RRD buddies. I managed to go to church. I have seen my Third-Space buddies several times.My church circuit buddies have provided me with a list of drivers who will get me to Weston Pk and back when needed.Stevie Kenyon returned from India safe and sound. Seen all my family. I have a new niece and nephew. Had a fantastic meal with Fran and Charlotte at Piedaniels in Bakewell-it was that good the first mouthful made me grin like a cheshire cat. Catherine seems reasonably happy even though she dropped her i-phone.Colm dropped by. We have a new conservatory on its way and Fran has made the garden look lovely, it will only get better over time....

Things will get better - I am just worried they will get much worse before they do.

Much love and I hate to ask again but much more praying is needed...thanks!

Tony xx