I love talking about the weather almost as much as I like detail. I like monitoring the temperature in at least two rooms and I look at the thermometers multiple times a day. Don’t ask me why this is so fascinating to me, it just is. I love the sunshine, the blue skies with a gentle breeze. The distant hum of a lawn mower. The buzzing of busy bees. What I do not love is 39 degrees in the shade. Black leather seats in sweltering cars. Top floor flats with no air conditioning. A chemo roasted body with extra hot flushes for good measure. Today as I write it is already over 28 degrees in my flat and it’s not yet noon. I have two fans wafting warm air at me. I have closed all the doors and windows and am sitting, on the hottest day of the year, in a dark room because I can not face the outside. It’s a funny old world.
A quick precis… In May I saw The Prof and he let me know that the previous treatment was not working and the disease was progressing. At that point he recommended IV chemo to hit the tumours head on but in the knowledge that the side effects would make me unwell. I begged and pleaded for an alternative and he, eventually, agreed to a second go at oral chemo on a different drug. I started this at the end of May alongside a new (the 4th attempt) hormonal drug whose job it is to reduce the oestrogen levels in my body as that is feeding the tumours. The cycle was Monday dose, next Monday dose, next Monday off. Start again. I have documented previously the effects of the initial doses as well as the effects of the steroids, so I won’t cover that again here. As the cycles went on, the dose was increased so it became a bit of a gastric nightmare for a few days, but after that the side effects were manageable.
This is one dose:
Part of the reason for wanting to avoid being made really ill by IV chemo was that I wanted to be able to enjoy the summer, and in particular my birthday. This drug certainly allowed me to achieve that. I have had just the most lovely time with friends and family. I turned down the big guns of chemo so that I could buy myself 10 weeks of denial and hope. My two favourite things. I needed that time to think everything through and also just enjoy myself without the drugs making me feel awful. The problem with time of course, is that it waits for no one. That 10 weeks is up and tomorrow I am back to hellhole of the MRI machine in Mount Vernon. Next week I will see The Prof again and we will know whether the new chemo has had any effect and what decisions need to be made next.
In the meantime, it’s scanxiety and the waiting game. Again.
Once I got back from the New Forest it was straight in to chemo, two weeks in a row. This meant that my trips away came to an end. Actually after 3 consecutive weekends away, I was ready for some rest. The worst side effects of the current drugs are pain and fatigue. So as much as I loved all my trips and celebrations, by the time I got on the chemo again, I was somewhat pooped.
The Hospice continues to provide me with amazing support. Despite the fact that they have closed over the summer for maintenance, our sessions continue in venues provided locally. I have started psychotherapy. I am not quite sure how I feel about this yet. Yoga has finished but Pilates has started and I have now been to a local school twice that has lent their facilities to the hospice. They have air conditioning, so I shall definitely have a full attendance record. I exhausted my quota of complementary therapy sessions by quite some margin. However, they were kind enough to offer me a couple more so I have had some aromatherapy massage at Champneys, who are also hosting the Hospice so they can continue to support their patients. I think that’s just incredible. The massage is so powerfully helpful for me. It helps my aches and pains but more than that, it gives me peace from the anxiety, stress and pressure of living with stage four cancer.
Otherwise, the best therapy for me is getting out in to the great out doors and breathing in fresh air. Walking through summery greens and blues and resting under a tree with a good book.
I am grateful for the simple things in life.
Please send me your most positive of vibes as I wait, wait and wait some more to get the MRI results. Whilst you are busy conjuring positivity, please remember to check your boobs and bits.
In other news, this blog has now gone over 8,000 views. This really is so incredible to me. Thank you so much for being here, it really means so much. Please keep feeding back, sharing, and commenting. I really value and appreciate your input.
Big Love, AG xx
Another of my absolute all time favourites:
Dixie Chicks / Not Ready To Make Nice
Forgive, sounds good Forget, I'm not sure I could They say time heals everything But I'm still waiting I'm through with doubt There's nothing left for me to figure out I've paid a price, and I'll keep paying I'm not ready to make nice I'm not ready to back down I'm still mad as hell, and I don't have time To go 'round and 'round and 'round It's too late to make it right I probably wouldn't if I could 'Cause I'm mad as hell Can't bring myself to do what it is You think I should I know you said Why can't you just get over it? It turned my whole world around And I kinda like it
With no regrets, and I don’t mind saying
It’s a sad, sad story
When a mother will teach her daughter
That she ought to hate a perfect stranger
And how in the world
Can the words that I said
Send somebody so over the edge
That they’d write me a letter
Saying that I better
Shut up and sing
Or my life will be over?
I'm not ready to make nice I'm not ready to back down I'm still mad as hell, and I don't have time To go 'round and 'round and 'round It's too late to make it right I probably wouldn't if I could 'Cause I'm mad as hell Can't bring myself to do what it is You think I should
I’m not ready to back down
I’m still mad as hell, and I don’t have time
To go ’round and ’round and ’round
It’s too late to make it right
I probably wouldn’t if I could
‘Cause I’m mad as hell
Can’t bring myself to do what it is
You think I should, what it is you think I should
Forget, I’m not sure I could
They say time heals everything
But I’m still waiting