Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Round 3

So the Chemo I've been having is FEC-T, so far it's been the same cocktail of drugs for the first three rounds (FEC), next time I get the T (and hopefully more tea than on Monday! I sent my friend in search of the kettle at the unit!) although to be fair, my treatment went in so quickly this time, we nearly got caught off guard and forgot to take the must do photos!
Not so much change in Jo's hair as mine over the last 9 weeks😘😂

So what has round 3 delivered so far?

Tiredness, and heartburn😳 oh and runny eyes and nose! The wind really makes my eyes run now so on windy days remind me to wear my sunglasses, they seem to help! 😎
My hair has thinned a lot again too. 

Bang on queue the heartburn arrived when I expected it to based on the previous 2 cycles so no massive surprises, just annoying really!!  It's nearly 3am and I've been awake for nearly an hour and a half after a curry I REALLY fancied and enjoyed to celebrate my mother in laws birthday yesterday! Bless her, even the cat has come downstairs to keep me company and is snuggled right into me!

Managed a little run yesterday which felt very liberating but am a bit sore from that too, guess my body is going through so much at the moment and it doesn't know what to deal with first!

I've started getting hot sweats in the night, which I assume is part of my hormones going a bit mental, all not unexpected but you just don't know when and how different parts of the treatment will effect you and exactly when.

With round 3 now under my belt! I'm thinking ahead to the next set of Chemo will might bring, I understand it could be muscle and bone ache, so wonder how the different side affects will take their toll. There is now 59 days till VLM. I plan to be on tower bridge watching friends run then the following day (if all has stayed on track) I should  be getting my last Chemo! It seems mental thinking so far ahead but we all have to keep little milestones in mind and gives me focus to stay out there running as and when I can.

So after 3 hours up, I might try getting back to sleep now! Fingers crossed 💤💤

Friday, 12 February 2016

Everything happens for a reason..

Quite why I find myself and my family in this situation I can't quite see the reason for at the moment.. BUT I've said quite a few times in the last 2 months that everything happens for a reason. There are so many things that demonstrate this.. 

Nearly 5 years ago when my youngest was just born I was made redundant.. But as I was on maternity leave that needed to be honoured.. So when Luke was 7 months old I found myself a new job, a 1 year maternity cover contract, 3 days a week nice and local! Perfect! So I  rushed around to get childcare in place (and met a new friend as a result!), before going to my best buddies wedding! 

Anyway the job fell through and a couple of people suggested childminding to me... "No way!" I said, "it's not for me." I said.. But I pondered on it, talked to Adam about it and we decided I could make it work potentially and while I was getting registered I'd keep looking for the perfect part time job to fit with our family and just see what happened first! Childminding stuck and as a result of that I have my core group of local friends who I can rely on to make us a meal or pick up my boys at no notice if I'm not able to, come and drink wine with me, or just have a cup of tea.. All of which I'm grateful for! 

Likewise 3 years ago I wasn't a runner.. I pitched up to DRR for a 10 week beginners group saying "If the boys go to bed ok tonight I'll go along and see how I get on." We ran for 2 minutes and walked for 2, and amongst our struggles and complaints it hurt, and "Is the time nearly up yet?" Firm friendships were made and I gained my amazing running family. I've met so many inspirational people through the club, and I love spending time with all of them. 

Running has given me a different mindset, the ability to have confidence in myself and what I can do, and much more of a 'Can do' approach.. (And even if I can't do, I'll bust a gut giving it a good go!) I absolutely believe if I'd got my diagnosis 3 years ago my head would be a complete mess and I would have cried so many more tears.. Where as some of my tears have been out of frustration and lack of control, but many more have been due to the love, friendship, support and encouragement we've had! 

Running also brought me Parkrun, and another set of friends and extended support network for us as a family. I stepped into the core team, Run Directing and wanting to follow our lead Jake and his running pal Ash have also grown in confidence and in the summer holidays joined forces to direct the Saturday morning trot round the park. 

The boys first time run directing also brought Adam to the parkrun for the first time at Luton Wardown Park.. Being inspired by our little man, team DRR, the sense of community and a little coaxing at the curry night.. Adam did his first parkrun a week later and we've been going as a family every week since!

I'm also ever thankful to all of you who have made a special trip to parkrun, to give up your morning and be Jake's running partner in crime! In Feb 2015 Jake completed his 10th parkrun in St Albans with a big group of DRR's cheering him on, cake and a trophy to celebrate.. He's now just got 10 more to go for his 50th.. A milestone Jake, Ash and I are all hoping to complete together!

On Friday night Adam, Twiggy and I had a night out (Twiggy's 1st proper outing!)

 I was delighted (and slightly nervous) to be presenting as ladies captain at DRR's awards, so many fantastic achievements celebrated, and I was chuffed to bits to receive the Marilyn Day trophy.. Although I never met Marilyn her spirit is strong in the club, and she is remembered for being a great runner and supporter of the club, running cross country (despite hating it!) because the ladies team needed her.. I hope to keep doing Marilyn proud! 

I admit once the evening was over I was glad to take off Twiggy and my high healed shoes and put them in my bag! 

So after a late night on Friday and ahead of Chemo 3 on Monday I was please to still manage a sub 30min parkrun on Saturday... 

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Round two!

So my first round of Chemo went relatively well, I've not felt too bad considering.. 

Notable days and things in the process include 

Days 4-7 shocking heartburn
Days 10/11 terrible back pain. Ibruprufen and hot water bottles at the ready. 

I did get a cold middle of my 2nd week and most of the way through the 3rd week which was annoying but to be fair I hate getting colds at the best of times! 

So far my 2nd cycle has followed the same side effects and pattern as the 1st and although life is moving at a slower pace than I'm used to I am able to do most things I want to still. 

After celebrating a minor victory with my hair still doing well on day 19 after my 1st Chemo using he cold cap, the very next day my hair started to thin, and by the Monday when I went for round 2 we decided there seemed little point in continuing with the cold cap.

 Although I cried about loosing my hair that day I was relieved not to have to cold cap again! It was several hours of misery which I could have coped with again if it was working but sadly not to be. With the help of my mum and amazing friend I embraced the shave on world cancer day 4th February. It seemed quite fitting really. And once again it gives me a tiny bit of control of this situation I find myself in! 

In other news I have redecorated the living room (the week after 1st chemo) and new carpet was laid day after 2nd Chemo! (What made me think that was a good idea!) There are more things to happen to finish the room off  and we're waiting for out new sofa to come but it's looking lovely and cosy so delighted with the progress. 

I was also very moved to receive a lovely gift to go in the new living room from lots of friends and families in my village, having been made meals, puddings, knitting lessons have all meant a huge amount and been a big help in me having the energy to do the things I want to do, not the things I have to get done, I'm sure the help I've had has been a big part in me feeling as well as I do. 

It's amazing how many charities I am finding out about and once all this is over will want to support in one way or another in the future. One which is lovely and gave me an amazing boost is Look Good Feel Better, who are supported by the cosmetic companies and provide the ladies an amazing goodie bag and workshop taking you through tips to make you feel like yourself again with a little slap cleverly applied to make you feel great. 

So that's where we're at just now.. I've managed a few runs including a couple of park runs since my treatment has begun, not as much running as I would have liked st the moment but being sensible! (For once) 

Tomorrow is the start of half term, big boy goes on a Cubs trip to Eurodisney and is very excited, small man and I are flying up with Jo and Beau to visit my dear friend in Scotland for much needed hugs before her new baby arrives.. And a recharge of my batteries ready for round 3 on the 22nd Feb.