Tuesday 27 June 2017

One Step at a Time

Oh boy... the last few days have been bad. Since Friday I have spent the time sleeping...or hugging the toilet bowl....or sleeping hugging the sick bowl. The nausea and exhaustion have been incredible. But after four days...the I can now eat something without feeling icky... but food still tastes a bit strange. I am still very tired... so tired that a five minute walk outside in the fresh air..totally wiped me out! So time for another nap. I have never slept so much. I am so glad they are changing my chemo meds next time..because this one gives me so many side effects

But it could be worse...right?

So a big thank you for all your kind messages. They really mean a lot...and cheer me up no end. Hopefully I can be back to myself in the next few days

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Friday 23 June 2017

Seriously...Im Just An Old Windbag

This may be a very waffley and long winded post today as Im feeling a bit unwell after yesterdays chemo...and when Im tired I tend to talk a load of rubbish...so please bear with me. 

I felt ok after the treatment... so hubby and I stopped at our favourite Mexican restaurant on the way home for dinner. I had my favourite Arroz con Camarones Y Pollo (Chicken and Shrimp with onions and peppers on a bed of rice)
 ....and MrD had Carne Asada.( marinated steak) 

Very poor pics Im afraid because of the lighting..but it all looked delicious..As soon as I started eating I knew something wasnt right. It had no taste and was almost metallicy....and for a semi spicy dish that wasnt right. I tasted my drink and that was the same. So I guess what I was warned is happening..my taste buds are changing. I brought it home...as I thought I would eat it today..but in the fridge it stays. I hope wont affect the Ben and Jerrys thats shouting me from the freezer which I intend to try when I feel a bit brighter

The treatment yesterday didnt go particularly well. Even though I had taken all the extra steroids.. a few minutes after starting the infusion...the pain started again. So we had to stop while the pain subsided and nurse Sue went to phone Dr Phan...He was quite disappointed. (Sit in my chair doctor )

When she came back she said we would try it again. really slowly and increase the speed every fifteen minutes to see how much I could tolerate. If I couldnt tolerate a high enough speed they would have to stop that med for the day and just give me the second milder one...and next time they would give me a different chemo, She also added she never liked this med Taxol because of the side affects... Gee thanks Sue! But she did cheer me up when she told me that it was made out of Christmas trees!! They are not the problem...the solvent it is mixed with gives the side effects. I love Christmas and it must have given me a bit of a boost.. because during this time I was on a Facebook group chat with my auntie and a few of my cousins...and a conversation ensued which I would like to share... 

Me.. "So they started me out crawl speed.. increased to walking... then to a push bike.. I'm now going on a motorbike.. The images I'm getting are wonderful. I told them they could stop when they get to a Porsche ."
Lots of hearts filled the screen..and the pain stayed away. A while later I continued with the conversation..and I really dont know where my mind was but I was actually feeling a little elated
"I'm still on the motorbike... it's blue with chrome trim... and it has ape style handle bars... all I need now is a volunteer for the side car... and we could be the "Two Fat Ladies" .. I already look like the little dumpy one.... Cruisin' Baby ...." 
More hearts filled the screen... and just one comment...from the star of our family ...our wonderful aunt who has "Janisms"..and brought me back to earth with a small bump and a laugh as she asked
"What the hell are they pumping into you ?????"
And then she asked
How many more hours have you got to go?
I replied that they had just changed to the second med and it would be an hour...so she asked
"Are you going by car or motor bike, just checking"

The point of telling this is to show you what a wonderful family I have. They keep telling me Im brave and strong and a fighter...but where do they think I get it from. They encourage..and support .. and show great faith and love in me... and make me laugh. Just receiving hearts constantly in messenger now..even with no words...shows how much they care and are thinking of me. My amazing family have made me this way. I love you all 

Oh and by the way... no more Taxol for me... Im having a different chemo next time. I will have to find another way of keeping Christmas in me. Perhaps pull a cracker or two and wear a paper hat.

Ps...I told you I talk rubbish when Im tired 

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Thursday 22 June 2017

Chemo #3

Well I'm here.. I'm hooked up.. and having my pre meds.
Nurse Sue found the port easily and went straight in .. a teeny weeny bit below the stiches line!! It wasnt too bad .. but I did get a bit wound up.. shaky and sweaty.. and a tear did drop. It does sting a bit... but I can cope.... even though it did hurt a bit. But I know what to expect now. 
I took the steroids as I should and have been given another dose...so hopefully the chemo meds won't hurt this time. Still Hubby is here for support .. just in case.
So it's Dean Koontz... an ice coffee.. and my one man cheering squad while I wait to see what happens... although here comes the sleep potion..
Talk to you soon

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Wednesday 21 June 2017

Warts and All

Its a week since my Porta cath was put in...and the day before chemo #3

Its been an uncomfortable week...and here is a bit of a TMI warning. You may wish to skip the next paragraph. 

For the first couple of days after the surgery I was totally exhausted and slept most of the time....and that was ok. But dear Lord...I hadnt expected the agonizing constipation chemo and other meds bring. Stool softeners.. laxatives.. bran cereal...gallons of water and copious amounts of prunes are not helping. I remember Dad suffering like this...and I was determined not to be the same..yet here I am. Saturday was the most painful day of my life for a long time. Sorry if this is too much info.. I promised I would tell all...warts and all...and as you can see...it isnt all plain sailing. And I dont always greet everything with a smile. But...lets move on.
Today I took my dressings off for the first time to check my wounds. They are healing nicely...especially the top one which you can hardly see ( I circled it on the photo, just in case you are interested) 
The port feels quite strange and I dont even really know whats going on in there...just the port disc is attached to a catheter tube which enters a large vein. . Having a small, hard alien object under the skin is quite something to get used to. Im not sure what I expected. For some reason I kinda thought the port would be open somehow and the chemo needle would just be attached. But its under the skin so I guess I will still be stabbed...but no more fishing around for a viable vein. Im really tired of needles...but it could be a lot worse.

The incisions and surrounding areas are still a bit sore...especially around my collar bone. My neck vein seems to be a bit swollen and tender...I find it hard to look up or turn my head cos it all pulls. I will be asking a lot of questions tomorrow.

So all thats left for me today is to take my extra steroids ready for tomorrow...and psych myself up

Thanks for listening 

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Thursday 15 June 2017

The Day After

My surgery went well...and was better than I expected...They always are...but Im always nervous. And no chemo today as Dr Phan wants me to heal...so next week instead

When I arrived I had to answer a lot of medical questions... have a blood test taken... and had to give a urine sample. They had to admit there was a mix up there as it was for a pregnancy test.... and Im 54 and just had a full hysterectomy!!. lol 'I loved the theatre outfit...Very flattering.... Do you think this fashion will catch on ... especially the matching hat and shoes...
Even though I was there five and a half hours..I was only in theatre for less than an hour..and most of that time was taken up with prepping. Everyone was very nice...and I was awake during the whole procedure...though my face was turned to the left and covered with a huge sheet. They did put a sort of polystyrene arch way for me to look out but they neednt have bothered really because I kept my eyes firmly shut. They put anesthetic through the iv in my hand...but also injected around the surgery area, I was able to tell them that it was stinging a bit as they started to cut..but they immediately increased the iv dose and there were no more problems. After just over an hour in recovery...I was able to come home...stopping for a welcomed iced coffee on the way... and then slept for the rest of the day.
Today.. Im quite sore and stiff...especially my neck. Im sure it will heal nicely. Im a bit loath to touch the area..and it does feel strange having a foreign object in my chest..but I will get used to it

Hopefully I will feel well enough to go to the car show with hubby at the weekend....fingers crossed 

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Wednesday 14 June 2017


So Im here...a bit nervous but Im sure it will go fine
God willing.... I look forward to talking with you tomorrow

Love and Hugs 
Phoebe x

Tuesday 13 June 2017

Change of Plan

So.. my meeting with Dr Phan yesterday didnt go quite as planned...and I wont be having my chemo today. My blood count is fine...but my veins are rubbish. He says my veins wont take it and there is a possibility that the chemo may leak...which could be painful as it burns. My arms are still covered with bruises from my last treatment three weeks ago and from my blood tests. Instead.. I will be going into hospital at 7.30 tomorrow morning to have a porta cath put into my chest..then I will have my chemo on Thursday. The surgery and stay will take about 4 hours... I hope they knock me out... lol 
Again I have a little fear of the unknown as I dont know whats going to happen and if it will hurt but I do know there are lots of you out there that have had it done..so maybe you can tell me of your experiences.

As I understand it though...a 3cm incision will be made in the chest and a pocket will be made under the skin into which a disc known as a Port will be placed. From there access is gained to the vein in the neck via a small incision. I will be able to have all my chemo and blood tests through this port.. so no more feeling like a pincushion
One little concern I have...is from what I have read..and what Dr Phan said.. I can have my chemo next week..But Nurse Sue..who is in charge of all the chemo treatments said I can have the it the day after. I guess I will be asking a lot of questions tomorrow.

Have a great day everyone....and dont forget to wear your Teal!

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Monday 12 June 2017

Happy Monday

Happy Monday...and for me the start of Chemo #3 week. Last week was pretty good...I felt great and really enjoyed our trip to Universal Studios. I was well enough to explore Hogwarts and go on all the the rides ...We did a lot of walking and I got pretty tired ..but seeing as we have year passes we will be going back soon.
I didnt take many pics of me.... Im looking pretty awful right now... the steroids are doing their job.. and my face and neck are getting very puffy. Headscarves dont help (And I was so proud about losing the weight and getting my cheekbones back!!) I had a phone call from Dr Phan last Friday. He has put me on a course of steroids (yes more!) to take before tomorrows chemo. We have a meeting with him this afternoon too.

Otherwise Im doing ok. The head is still itchy and scabby but there are only 3 or 4 sores left. I still get a bit tired but Im going on my daily walks. And my taste buds have changed!!. I could never manage spicy foods,, In fact when I first arrived in the US and hubby took me to Don Jose's... I ordered the burger. Now Im craving Mexican food all the time... especially Arroz Con Pollo...but still not tooooo spicy. Maybe thats why Im getting a chubby face again...lol 

Love and Hugs 
Phoebe x

Thursday 8 June 2017

Surprise Breakfast

It was a rare treat today. Hubby didnt have to go into work til late so treated me to breakfast out.
It was rather lush... and no wonder Im gaining weight 

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Wednesday 7 June 2017

Hello Again Hogwarts

We had a fabulous few hours at Universal Studios.
Many photos didnt turn out though.. and Im not sure why 
We seemed to walk miles 
and I got tired so easily.....
But it was great seeing everything from a different angle to the wheelchair 
I was in last time we visited

      I was able to go on the rides. 
The Gryffendor was fun but.over too quickly
The Hogwarts ride was amazing..
but it left both MrD and I a little dizzy and sick

Being so close...and having a yearly pass..we will definitely go back a few times.
Next time there will be more pics of me.. if I stop looking so bloated 
Im definitely camera shy right now

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Tuesday 6 June 2017

So Bruised....

Two weeks after chemo and the bruises are finally starting to fade. Pardon the bad 4am photography.. but the bigger one is where they had trouble finding a vein..so kept jiggling the needle. The smaller one is where they eventually put in the chemo. The vein is still swollen, sore and a bit lumpy. Apparently thats common. Im guessing they will have to use the other arm on Thursday when I go for my pre chemo blood tests. Have I mentioned recently...I hate needles 😝😬 Im hoping my blood count will be ok as I have been fighting a slight cold and cough since Sunday...and my temperature hit 100 yesterday. 

Week three is supposed to be the best week health wise..so hubby has taken tomorrow off work and we are going to Universal Studios. When we went there when Miss C was here.. the clever guy paid a little extra for the tickets so we now have free yearly passes... and we only live 25 minutes away! Im well enough for the rides now and am looking forward to seeing Hogwarts from a different angle and not from a wheelchair. Soo please please.. cold go away!!

Have a great Tuesday...and dont forget to wear your Teal 

Love and Hugs 
Phoebe x

Saturday 3 June 2017

An Inspiration

I have always said that cancer has no respect for age, gender, race or wealth..and will touch us all at least once in our lifetime. I was reminded of this yesterday when hubby and I attended a Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser for 12 year old Gordin, the grandson of some friends of ours. What they thought was just simple eyesight problems turned out to be a rare form of brain cancer. His whole family have had to relocate 500 miles so he can be treated at The LA Childrens hospital...
It was so good to see so many people attend..and the family were overwhelmed with gratitude at the response. So many people turned up there was a line waiting to get in. And a great time was had by all even though the food had to be served in smaller portions but hey were big enough...and of course I couldnt have salad...but then it wasnt about the food
Gordin is so upbeat. Happy ..smiley and chatting to people as he sold raffle tickets.. he helped his grandpa shave his head in support just before the event...and I must say they look better in their Beanies than I do in my polka dot scarf..

Hes a little trooper.,, and my prayers are with him for a speedy recovery

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Friday 2 June 2017

Running.....and Nose

So here is something very close to my heart... My gorgeous daughter and her friend Kim are literally getting off their butts and doing  the  Muddy Run for Cancer Research in Newcastle Uk .. Cancer has no respect for age or gender. We all know or will know someone who will be affected by this terrible disease. Indeed Kim lost her mum to this terrible disease. 
All their stuff has come and they are ready to go. Good luck Caroline and Kim 
As for me... Well its been a week of coping with an extremely sore, itchy, scab covered head. Yes a week after it started its still on going... and it was driving me insane!! But the new head medication which consists of bathing my head every half hour is helping so much I think I have turned a corner. I am feeling so much better. I think week three of the chemo cycle is the best for me. Im off to a Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser with hubby and a few friends tomorrow. so I have made myself a Pink Polka Dot Head Scarf to cover the offending sores....but ohhh that nose. Its my mothers fault!! I may look a bugger in the scarf.. but hey.. I looove to look co ordinated. 

Now to find a matching pair of earrings 

Love and Hugs 
Phoebe x