Monday, 29 November 2010

Tales of the Royal Marsden and the road to recovery part three

Before I say anything else in this post I must announce that we have had the first snow of this winter season. I opened the blinds and there was Narnia. All white and freezing cold. And since then we have had a few more snow showers just to keep levels up (but not enough to shut the schools or close the main roads) and we are waiting (according to the forecast) for more arctic blasts. Some parts of the UK have been affected really badly and it's not even December yet. It doesn't take much here for chaos to reign. The joy of rural living.

I went down to the Royal Marsden a few days ago. The first visit post op. I was supposed to go a few weeks ago but was so pole-axed with anaemia I had to wait til my blood was topped up. It went well. The surgeon is pleased with my progress. I need a lot of physio and time before my leg will be ok to drive. A few nerves muscles and blood vessels went the journey during the operation and there is no saying yet what damage will be temporary, and what permanent. They think there maybe cancer cells still around ( likely because of the scale and complexity of the op) but nothing that can be seen by the naked eye or a scanner. Pretty amazing- a miracle really. Any of you who have had dealings with cancer know there are no promises. Living with uncertainty is something of a skill that has to be learnt.

So three options: chemo ( but we have established it doesn't seem to work for me; radiotherapy-but they would need to target carefully and there is nothing to target or measure; or leave me alone to heal and get strong. Their decision is the latter. Thank God!!

So onwards and upwards. I need to go for a baseline scan on 18th December and all progress will be measured from that. Nerve -wracking but then scans and results loops are and I should be used to it by now! I was hoping to avoid any more London trips until after Christmas but the consultant seemed pretty set on the idea. He also suggested that I stuck to veggie food from now on ( easier on the bowel which has been rather chopped around I think) which suits me fine as I can't bear the thought of meat at all. I can have plenty of fish though.

And one more thing.... he is pleased that I have lost weight but would like me to lose more. I have lost two stone post op, and could do with a couple more off. Mind you- I would be fine with two more gone. It's all on my tummy!! Classic apple shape.

So nice veggie recipes please?


Maggie May said...

Yes, living with uncertainty is not easy but necessary when you have had a serious bout of cancer.
I think I would have chosen the latter too. Just wait and hope and see.This is what I am doing.

I am on 3 monthly visits and will not have anymore scans unless something else materialises. My next appointment is 22nd December. It is a year ago now since my cancer was diagnosed & I was waiting for chemo.
The memories are not easy.
I sincerely hope and pray that we will both go on for a long time!

Losing 2 stone is wonderful. Since chemo I put on quite a bit. As an apple shaped rolly- polly..... I really need to diet. But all this uncertainty makes me eat compulsively....... then I get fed up.
Vicious circle......sigh.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Busy Bee Suz said...

The snow does look heavenly Jo.
I just love your positive are amazing.
I hope you recover more as time goes on and that you do get your strength back.
Veggies and fish? Sounds like the perfect diet for ALL of us.
I love just about any veggie. I have been doing a lot of eggplant, chopped with garlic/onion and a bit of olive oil...I wrap it all in a foil bag and bake for 20 minutes. perfection. This is good for any veggie and never gets old.
Take care Jo.

Bernie said...

I have been reading your post, not commenting really but I just have to say I think you are amazing and if you figure out how to live with the uncertainty of cancer let me know okay, I still get knots in my tummy when I am do for my scans and check ups and I have been doing extremely well for several years. Good Luck to you.....:-)Hugs

Jane said...

Glad to hear that you have respite from treatment and opportunity to gain strength and health,

a fantastic vegetarian cook book is Plenty by Ottolenghi( half price on Amazon !)
It reflects the warmth and generosity of the restaurant and is a good read as well !

Clippy Mat said...

Jo: You are a walking miracle woman! It's so good to hear of your progress. I'm sure you will continue to improve and show 'em all. My only veggie recipe would be salad. I couldn't contemplate anything more interesting unfortunately. But I know if it's to be done, you will do it.
{{{{{Hugs. }}}}}}}

Trish @ Mum's Gone to... said...

So pleased things are still going well.

I was so tickled to read the phrase "went the journey" in your post. That's such a great Geordie saying, I'd nearly forgotten it.

Ladybird World Mother said...

Definitely the best option... healing slowly and eating well... (well done with those 2 stone, by the way) Uncertainty is a hard one, but you seem so peaceful and clear about what is happening, and what to do next. A real lesson to me, I can tell you... thanks Jo... you're brilliant. You really are. xxx

tmmb said...

I'm here for you with veggie recipes! Let me know what kind you're looking for. I've been collecting them for ages since my mom was baffled by my decision when I was a kid. It's a journey in itself. But after all the journeys you've already taken with such grace, I'm pretty sure you can handle it. Hugs.

Gill - That British Woman said...

glad to hear you are feeling a little better. If you are stuck for recipes, I have the 50 + 1 recipes on my side bar for a variety of veggies.

I personally could do with being on that kind of food also.

Gill in Canada

Irritatingly Optimistic said...

I think you'd be rather disappointed with anything I could come up with other than an amazing chocolate and brandy pudding. (hardly veggie but then again it doesn't contain meat!)
Think you might have had a bit more snow by now so stay warm and cosy if you can x

karen gerstenberger said...

HOORAY! I love your good post-op reviews. Sorry that you have to make the trips to London, but I hear the shopping is grand there, and there is some fun & excitement to look forward to now, with the royal wedding planning & whatnot, isn't there? Perhaps you'll run into Someone Important whilst on a doctor's appointment? Anyway, I am beyond THANKFUL for your progress. Yes, living in "liminal space" is a skill that we can learn, with practice. I don't know anyone who LIKES it, but I have heard (& seen) that there are spiritual blessings that come with it. I pray that for all of the "unknowns," you are given peace, joy and love in abundance to keep you. God bless you!
There are so many wonderful recipes now online - do you know about It's a wonderful resource. For vegetarian, I like the old Moosewood Cookbook (it's probably online by now, too).

Grumpy Old Ken said...

The only male comment! Brilliant, you are handling the situation superbly. I know you must have 'low'days but no man could match your spirit!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jo
Great to read your blog - you are doing so amazingly well and you are indeed right to celebrate every day! It has been great to get back in touch with you again, and a bit of a rollercoaster ride for you it has been!

As I mentioned my daughter is a pretty full on veggie now - when I need some inspiration I often go onto the BBC Good Food website - you can search for by cuisine, eg veggie, italian etc. or you can enter some ingredients you have knocking about and see what it comes up with! I find it really useful!

Enjoy your Christmas! Tracy x