Getting On With Life….

Since all the stress surrounding my scans and the hospital, I have been doing just as the title says…getting on with life and no longer dwelling on the ‘what ifs’. I have been in this situation before, of course, but this time is definitely different. In the past I have only got on with my life for seven or eight weeks at a time, in the lead up to yet another dreaded scan. As I am not going to be having a scan in April, I am much more relaxed and living as near to a ‘normal’ life as it’s possible for someone with my personality! I think a lot of people, including myself, would be tempted at this stage, to ‘let things go a bit’ and not be so regimented in my approach to my treatments. I think this would be understandable, as how ‘normal’ is it to meditate for an hour a day, take 30 plus supplements, do 30 minutes of exercising, make up two litres of alkaline water each day, take baking soda/lemon juice mixture twice a day, eat 30 apricot kernals etc, etc….? Some elements of the above are, of course, ‘normal’ to a lot of people, but prior to my diagnosis I didn’t follow anything particularly healthy! I did TRY to get some exercise, and TRY to eat healthily, but I certainly didn’t look at health and food like I do now.

I have decided to actually be more disciplined in my approach to my treatments. It would be easy to let things slide and treat myself to some yummy warming food, but I think that would only make me worry again. It is sometimes so difficult to push myself to do all the things I am supposed to do, and I have always found structure and routine very boring and tiresome. What I have to remind myself of, on a daily basis, is how far I’ve come at this point and what I have achieved thus far. I undoubtedly feel a lot better in myself since I have started eating healthily and exercising regularly. The meditation and yoga have also gone a long way in helping me to cope both emotionally and physically.

Spring is also just around the corner (Hopefully!), so this thought is helping my mood quite a bit! Yesterday we went to Tavistock. I did a little bit of driving (just to keep my hand in), and the sun shone all day. It made such a massive difference to my mood, and to Andy’s too I think. I love the moor, but it can be a bit bleak in the Winter. It was truly beautiful yesterday.

So, upwards and onwards! I feel I haven’t seen my friends enough recently, so now the weather is improving I am going to endeavour to drive more, and arrange to meet up with them on a more regular basis. We are still looking for properties and also trying to be a bit more structured home-ed wise. So…plenty to be getting on with…

 

 

 

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A Cuddle from my Oncologist!

Just back from my second trip in two days to the hospital – yesterday for the ultrasound on my neck, and today to discuss the results.

I found yesterday very challenging as the Doctor was very brusque and ‘old school’ in his approach. He bought up chemotherapy and said how it improves survival rates, to which I replied ‘Look it up on google, I think you will find that that is false.’ He wouldn’t let it drop at that, and a heated exchange pursued, something I could honestly do without on these visits, but something I have to enter into, as I cannot just ignore people when what they are saying is questionable at least, or down right wrong in many cases.

He looked at the nodes on my neck and said that, in his opinion, they would have got considerably bigger if they were still cancerous. The measurements showed that one of the nodes had again decreased in size and the other had stayed the same. He also said that they looked ‘normal’. I was so relieved to hear this, but am not so naive to believe that everything is okay now because I know that may or may not be the case.

Today, I discussed it with my oncologist and asked her if the scans could tell whether the cancer was alive or dead. She said that because the nodes are so small there is no way of knowing, but the cancerous cells could well have died. Although I do lots and lots of research, I am not a ‘medical’ person and I realised that I have been looking at things in the wrong way. What I mean by this is that, because they are lymph nodes, they are not going to continue to get smaller and smaller until there is nothing there, because lymph nodes are supposed to be there and can occasionally increase and decrease in size anyway, with or without a cancer diagnosis. What I am trying to say, but finding difficult, is that it’s good news!

My oncologist apologised for the mix up with the CT scan and was very understanding. We both agreed that stopping scans was a good idea, but she said I am welcome to have anymore should I develop any symptoms that I am worried about, and she also said I can have further ultrasound scans on my neck should I wish to. We had a long chat and on the way out she gave me a cuddle! At the end of the day we are never going to agree with each other, but I am fortunate that I have a reasonable and open doctor who, whilst not exactly agreeing with me, respects my opinion and decisions.

So, the future….spend less energy on my diagnosis, continue with all my supplements, diet etc. and really get on with enjoying life…

Pleasure/Pain hits again!

After such a stressful couple of weeks, and whilst I was feeling really low, I applied for free tickets for Wicked in the West End. Unbelievably, on Wednesday last week I received an email to say that I had been issued with 4 free tickets to go and see the show! Both Elena and Boots adore the show, and as we were going to be in Glastonbury at the weekend, we arranged to go to see our families for a couple of days after Glastonbury and to then get the train down to London on Monday.

We have all had an amazing few days. I can’t describe how wonderful it is seeing the children’s faces when they watch the show, or when they get to see our families. I absolutely adore visiting London, I feel so alive and there really is no time to think about anything morose or depressing. We went to Camden on Tuesday, which was amazing. It is so brilliant for me in London. It is so easy to find vegan food, even raw vegan food, so I can enjoy myself, forget about my problems and still be healthy! The only down side to it is the cost of hotels. We managed to get a hotel for £79, which I don’t think is too bad for four of us, and we also managed to eat quite cheaply. It only cost us £20 on the train, so the whole time only cost us around £100. I couldn’t believe it when I got the Wicked tickets, they were some of the best seats in the house and worth £400! I have to put up with a lot of crap around my diagnosis, so at least I can get something beneficial out of it all. The charity which gave me the tickets is called ‘Ellies Friends’, and they give away freebies to people with a cancer diagnosis. It is through them that Andy and I went to see Alan Carr Chatty Man. Going to see shows doesn’t take away the stress of our lives, but for the time we are there it actually makes us forget all the shit.

 

So, back only a matter of hours and I  am feeling down again. However, unlike in the past, I am not going to give in to the feeling. I am determined I am going to take back some power and make the necessary changes I need to make in my life. I need to be busy and independent. I also need to live nearer to civilisation, so although I know it will be stressful, I am going to arrange to view lots of houses in lots of different areas and make a move soon. Of course, stress will be involved, as well as upheaval for us and the children, but I think teaching the children that change is a good thing will be beneficial to them. I also know that they will be much happier if they are not in the car all the time, and if they get to see our families on a much more regular basis.

 

I am due to go for the ultrasound on my neck on Tuesday, following the great big mess-up of my scan. Instead of getting stressed about the result I am going to take it with a pinch of salt, and just use the result as a baseline for future ultrasounds. I have decided to put CT scans on hold for the foreseeable future, as I honestly believe that the stress they cause to my family and myself is counter-productive. Instead, I am going to just get on with my life and am no longer going to allow this disease to take over my whole life.

Well that’s the plan anyway!