Thursday, 29 July 2010

Jo update

Teenager in Chicago- summer 2010

Teenager had a wonderful time in Chicago. Here he is at a Chicago Cubs match at Wrigley Field. How lucky is that! I am glad he had a lovely time. Chicago is such a fab place. Thanks again to my very good pal Expat Mum and family.

I have been for a second opinion consultation with the Royal Marsden Hospital in London. It was impressive. Organised and friendly. I felt happy to be there. I told them I had been very poorly after my last lot of chemo and that I wanted a break. They agreed that since it does not appear to be working, I should have a break. They advocate listening to your own body and instincts. Refreshing and hurray. They want to try a different regime further down the line, but not now. What a relief. Chemo is ok if you know it is making a difference. I feel instinctively that this is making no difference at all other than making me ill and down hearted.

Royal Marsden continue to consider options to get me the best possible outcome. To help this I go for a scan next week down in London. I am going to stay with my friend Louise. We were at school together and London flatmates in earlier days. It will be like old times. It will be great fun to be girls together again- shopping and eating I hope... and going to the cinema.

So we are focussing on symptom control and having a happy and fun time at the moment. Especially during August when teenager is off school and on holiday. Not only do I need a holiday- the family do too. Having some normality will be good for all of us.

Meanwhile, three friends of mine are in hospital at the moment. What's going on? Wherever I look someone seems to be struggling.

I am so glad I have my faith. I don't know what I would do without it. I went to a worship session at the Keswick Convention last week. It was uplifting and comforting. When nothing else seems to soothe me my faith brings me peace. Be still, and know that I am God.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Reality time

( Picture taken by my fab photographer sister in law Karen at Christmas 2009- they are both much taller now!) Teenager and his cousin.
I like to post pictures of teenager when I am in need of focus and inspiration. And it has been one of those weeks where I have needed a large dollop of both. Post chemo wasn't much fun for a couple of days. I will spare you the details ( too much information!) but the positive thing is that I feel a lot better and brighter today. Back to fiesty self just about. Sleep is a blessing and I have spent most of my time asleep. I feel like I have come out of hibernation. The weather has been helpful- wet and grey- I haven't felt like I have missed a thing on that front.
And I have had my mum here to look after me. It has been a real comfort. She has been my inspirer and chief caterer in charge (the whims of the chemo patient are pretty astonishing).
And... my letter arrived today from the Royal Marsden Hospital. My appointment is next Friday in their Chelsea hospital. It is a reality now. Trains to organise, accommodation, logistics and diary changes. It starts now. Already, we have time clashes all over the place- this is when keeping focussed on the priority is helpful. And this is it- the priority. So all systems go to make it happen.
Teenager's holiday continues to go brilliantly with lots of exciting treats including water trampolining in Indiana. He leaves Chicago on Monday, and back to mum and dad, jet lagged no doubt on Tuesday. I can't wait to see him. It has been a joy hearing what a great time he is having.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

where has she been?

Picture taken in San Juan islands near Seattle on last year's holiday.

I am afraid that google/ blogger decided to lock me out of my blog for a while. It kept saying that my password or user name was wrong. Eventually I tried the 'forgotten password' route and it has worked. Very odd. Anything like that ever happened to anyone else?

Anyway, quite a bit has been happening at this end. I spent a few days last week in Newcastle ( upon Tyne) seeing other half's family. It was a lovely trip. A couple of nights with my mum in law, and then a couple of nights with our friend Martin who has a flat in the city. Other half was working so I had a chance to hit the city centre for a few hours alone. I had a lovely time. Lunch in Yo Sushi, a chocolate shot at a chocolate fountain at Thornton's, coffee in a fab coffee shop called Central Bean, visited a new part of the Eldon Square shopping centre... bought books and clothes. Found out that Jo Malone is coming to Fenwicks, and that White Company is already there. Heaven.

Ok, so I overdid it a bit. Walked further than I had for an age, didn't take as many breaks as I could have done, didn't take enough heed of the warm temperatures AND I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT. WHAT A TONIC.

We had a nice meal out in a restaurant called the Black Door brasserie. Very good. We had lunch in a vietanemese restaurant called Little Saigon. All in all, very successful.

It was hard to walk into chemo again on Monday morning after all that fun and sensory delight. But I did it and day two is now complete. One more and it's done for another four weeks. Reaction to chemo has been mild,so that is great news.

Meanwhile I have a referral to a hospital in London. It is the Royal Marsden and is the main cancer hospital in the UK. A second opinion. I am hoping for a consultation date soon so fingers crossed and prayers this way please. It has been a big decision because of the logistics but I feel I need to seek some more answers and perhaps some other avenues. What will be, will be, but I have everything to gain and nothing to lose.

Teenager is in Chicago with Expat Mum and is having a ball. She is a good friend to us. What an opportunity for a fifteen year old. He is very happy and settled and I get to chat to him every day on facebook- easy and relaxed. Bless it- for all the criticism of it it has many advantages.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Fabulous sunset

I took these photos the other night from my bedroom window.

I was amazed by the beautiful sunset. Breathtaking. These pictures only give a hint as to how lovely the sunset actually was.
Inspirational and comforting at once.
I am feel blessed that I can look out of my window and see such a stunning sight.

School's out and off on holiday.........

Teenager ( far left) on the last day term June 2010 with his pals. And now his case is packed and he is off to stay with Expat Mum in Chicago. She is a good friend to us and I appreciate it XX
Other half and teenager are setting off tonight, staying at the airport tonight ready for the flight in the morning. I will miss him such a lot, but I know he will have a lovely time.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Sports Day

Teenager and I at his sports day on Tuesday. What a great day- full of fun and laughter.
Lots of fresh air and sunshine was had by all.
And teenager's house 'Strickland' won the competition this year.
And yes- that is still my hair ( just!) after three cycles of chemo.
I am now chemo free until July 12th and making the most of feeling like a human being.