Visiter Number

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Chemo No More

I sit here, in my bed on the 23rd August 2011 and I can officially say I am no longer a chemotherapy patient. Yesterday, I indulged into my last ever chemo infusion for 5 hours, and when that beep went off with the pump reading 'INFUSION COMPLETE' it was, honestly, one of the happiest moments in my so far life. (I grabbed my iPod to snap a picture, but just as I was about to do so, my nurse came and turned the pump off- bit of a let down)

Things at the moment are good. I had my first meeting at the Western yesterday to discuss my radiotherapy, which is now only two weeks instead of three, and will start in two weeks, so overall finishing three weeks before expected. Which means, I have the entire October holidays to celebrate! The staff were lovely, seemed pretty reassuring until they got me to sign all the consent forms, agree to everything, read the terms and conditions and all the 'we cannot guarantee this will work' 'there is a small chance it will create a second cancer' malarky and then, after this, spring on me that it's most likely necessary to get 4 tattoos. (just small ones to line up the lasers..but 4 tattoos..for the sake of 11 hospital visits. crikey.)

Post-Radio Plans:
To give me something to look forward to, I've decided on a few things I'm going to do to celebrate right after my radiotherapy.

1) Get the double piercings I've waited for. -Due to having constant scans/surgeries and with the 'no metal' rule, I've not been able to get my double piercings as I'd have to take them out every so often, so it just hasn't worked. So I plan on getting my doubles done and most likely cartilage. (only like a year after I anticipated.)

2) Get Jack to buy me a Nandos. He's been going on forever about 'when is your finish date' 'when is everything over' so we can grab a celebratory Nandos, and now that I have an official date- September 26th, Creaders, you are very welcome to buy me the Nandos you promised me.

3) Go on a massive shopping spree. Because of the steroid weight, I've lived the past 4 months in baggy, disgusting clothes and I've refused to go shopping because it's just upsetting. So once all the steroid weight vanishes, I will treat myself to a new wardrobe, using the Bank of Mum and Dad obviously, c'maan I deserve it.

4) Have dinner and cocktails with my girls. ..yes, this is just an excuse to dress up and get my favourite girls together.

5) Eventually have a big 'I NO LONGER HAVE CANCER' party.

my two fave pens. mature fifth year, huh?
School also starts back tomorrow, which I am majorly excited for. I did the last of my school book shopping today so I am now all set with all new stationary, books, bags, uniform etc. Although I am requesting a day off on Friday because I have scans..normality? Not for me.

My mummy and I went school snack shopping today to Tesco, and the effort of wearing my hair to a small outing like this has never been necessary. As we got to the checkout, the checkout girl says to me "I love your short hair. I've always wanted hair like that but never been brave enough. ..also with winter coming up it may be quite cold. But you really suit it!" I. Was. Over. The. Moon. Thank you, kind checkout girl. Even if she was mocking me, as my brother seems to believe, my confidence has boosted. Although not quite enough to go commando back to school..

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

No Miracles Here

So I've started cycle six; my last cycle of chemotherapy which seems like a miracle. Like Jesus feeding so many people with so few fish, like Moses parting the Red Sea, like me getting an A in my maths exam..
ANYWAY, I currently have two more infusions, but like 10 more days of steroids. (I've so far had 2 infusions on this cycle, but managed to use 5 cannulas and like 7 litres of hydration as the chemo is beyond painful going into such a small vein)
So this is like the end of an era, like when the credits roll on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II, when Take That announced they're splitting up, the carnage and rioting that's quite sad really (okay, well not really. genuinely haven't been this excited in a long time. but you catch my drift..or maybe not)
ANYWAY (again). With my chemo coming to an end, we need to look into the future, so I have my meeting at the Radiotherapy centre on Tuesday. There, I'll be told what's going to happen and what I'm to expect, to be honest, not sure if I want to know..

I then plan on returning to the place I like to call school on Wednesday to crack on with 4 highers (I was told to only do 3, but since I got an A in maths y'know..) and I plan to go back full time. Seeing as I haven't been in school longer than three hours since February..I think I'm underestimating how difficult I'll find it. Although, on the bright side, I have free periods as the majority of my year take 5 highers, so one of the beds in matron has my name on it for 5 hours a week. I'm weirdly excited, but the novelty of it will wear off after the first couple of days and I'll just be longing for summer again. However, I'm excited to use my new stationary, the majority of which is from the Disney store. Classic Lgibz.

The biggest piece of advice I've been given about finishing treatment, is have things to look forward to. So I'm already organising my summer holidays for next year where I plan on going to T in the Park, Portugal, France, Majorca, London, hopefully Gibraltar and Ibiza. I also have my wish to decide for The Make a Wish Foundation, co-hosting the It's Good2Give fashion show along with Grant Stott and a fellow patient and of course, my general end of treatment celebrations.

Last Tuesday, Lynne had organised for myself and seven other people to go to a silver ring making workshop where we got the chance to make a silver ring with a scottish stone. The lovely Ian who runs the Precious Metals workshop guided us through step-by-step. With each of us being complete amateurs (unless you count making pasta jewellery as experience) parts became stressful and proved to be more difficult that Ian made it look.  Of course, the fact that we started at 10am meant mine, if not everyone else’s brains weren’t quite fully functioning. We worked solidly from 10am to 6pm with an hour lunch break in the middle, and I think it's very safe to say we were all proud of the outcome. Of course, my mum’s was not quite as good as mine, in fact, no ones was (kidding, obv, that's just mean)

Saturday, 6 August 2011

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

So with only one cycle of chemotherapy to go, the end is drawing near and the light at the end of the tunnel seems to be getting brighter, but still flickering on and off. I only have four more infusions left; two of which are only half an hour, but two of which are six hours and fifteen days of steroids. So, in hope that everything goes to plan, this time next month i will be chemo-free and hopefully returning to a normal face/body shape. In saying that, I then have three weeks of nothing before three weeks of the dreaded radiotherapy which I've only heard bad things about. I aim to be done by mid-October. So when I think 'YUUS ONLY ONE MORE CYCLE. I'M NEARLY FREEE' ..i forget that, really, i still have two and a half months..but that's nothing, i still gots me my whole life ahead.

Of course my summer hasn't exactly panned out how i'd imagined, the past five months all sort of merge in together with no school, treatment, being home, mainly being alone, but I shouldn't complain because my life will be back to normal in no time. But it's really made me realise that time is a funny thing. In ways, it feels like a zillion years ago that i was at the doctors every other day, undiagnosed, being hated on by my GP because he was clueless as to why my feet were itchy. Then that first day of scans and my first day at sick kids after being told I have 'Lymphoma' which was a word I had never heard and had to write down to remember. And in other ways, it's zoomed by. Being told I'd have to endure six months of very solid treatment, imagining that I would not see nor speak to anyone for the entire time, being violently sick and weak- it felt like it would last forever. And here I am, with one cycle to go, having had as normal a life as I possibly could have for the past five months, with the end in sight. 

I was in hospital for a blood test yesterday- just to check all was okay after the cycle, and one of my nurses introduced me to a newly diagnosed girl who was the same age as me, but with a different cancer and different treatment regime. She was lovely, although you could tell she was worried and had no idea what was going to happen to her, so I played it cool and told her it's not as bad as she thinks. Although she stared at my head for the entire time, obviously like 'HELL NO I DON'T WANNA LOSE MY HAIR AND LOOK LIKE A LESBIAN' but unfortunately, it's inevitable for us cancer gals. I can remember being first admitted, I was never introduced to any other patients so I never had the reassurance I hope I gave this girl, I just sort of had to find out things for myself and talk to the nurses, who obviously aren't as helpful as patients as they just witness what happens, and don't know whats it's really like to lose your hair, have your face and body blow up like a balloon in the space of a week and develop scars all over your body which are mistaken for tattoos. (yes, James Lennon, this is aimed at you) But in case some of you haven't gathered, MY HAIR IS COMING BACK, and i'm rocking the very lesbian-esque/boy look-which really, really doesn't work on me, but I'm hoping to have a reasonable lid my christmas, and of course I shall keep you all updated in that department. My arms and legs are back to normal, so I've snapped out of being in denial and I've had to shave them. Obviously, I lack normality in my life, but that part could've stayed away.

 i love james armour as well <3