Monday, 31 December 2007

8 ~ The one where Hayley missed Christmas!!

In time of test, family is best. ~Burmese Proverb

Hello everybody,

Sorry I haven't updated for so long! Two weeks ago I think it was?

Anyway - I was admitted to the Hospital on Christmas Day (of all days!!) with a high temperature, upset stomach and dehydration. I had been feeling rubbish since the 19th December but it seems I had all the side effects of the chemotherapy, lol. I was pretty much sleeping all day, every day. Didn't watch TV or go on the internet for over a week, I couldn't even eat cos I felt so crap.
On Christmas Day I thought I was feeling better and thought I'd make the effort to go downstairs and open a few presents, I went to get out of bed and threw up, haha. Mum checked my temperature and it was really high so she phoned Lisa and then she said to take me to the Hospital. I thought I'd be in there 2 nights tops, not 6!! Lol.

Got to the Hospital and was sent off for a chest x ray to see if I had an infection, took loads of blood - worked out my PICC line is only working when putting something in so they couldn't get blood OUT which was annoying. I stayed in this little room for a few hours and I started feeling better once they started pumping fluids in to me. After a while I got taken up to the ward, B10 - I WENT IN A LIFT!!!!! I was soooo scared, I hate lifts by the way. I got stuck in one in September 2005 and it was the worst thing - but there was no way I could of walked lol.

I got my own side room in the ward, I felt so special and I was SO glad. I felt really lazy when they came in to my room to clean it though, I was just laying in bed and wanted to ask if they wanted any help lol. I still had an upset stomach the whole time and I still have but it's 90% better than it was - I haven't had any sickness since. I do feel SO much better. If I didn't get out of breath I could probably go for a run right now, lol. I am glad to be home...although being in the Hospital wasn't so bad. Everybody there was LOVELY. And really funny - they all know how to make me laugh. Only thing I hated was when they ask if I want breakfast at stupid o'clock. I think it's just cos I'm lazy though lol.

Dr Tahir is going to reduce my dosage of 5FU by 25% - which I am very glad about cos I don't want to be so ill again. It should still work the same...I have to go for a CT scan at some point to check if the tumour has shrunk (pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease), I was going to have an MRI but I asked if I could have a CT instead and he said yes. Wohoo! I really like Dr Tahir, he's so friendly. Every single person I've seen has been nice which makes me feel a lot better.

I start my next cycle on the 7th January, joy!! I have a week break and I'm planning on having some fun. Really I'd like to go shopping BUT I haven't walked for nearly 2 weeks so my legs feel like jelly every time I stand up haha. I'll have to start doing exercises or something!!

I'm sure there was more I wanted to say...oh yeah. My hair started falling out last night :( I haven't cried about it, there's no point. I'm just pissed off about it lol. I'm hoping and praying and keeping everything possible crossed that it will just thin out. My hair is really thick anyway and A LOT of hair came out last night and this morning but I can't see any bald patches. I dread brushing my hair. I'm dreading washing it even more. I still haven't arranged anything about a wig...maybe I should do that soon. I did order a bandana though but I bet you that it wont fit because I have such a big head.

I also ordered a t-shirt that says "Cancer, you picked the wrong bitch" hahaha. I can't wait to wear it to one of my chemo sessions.

When I got home from the Hospital this morning the cap on my PICC Line fell off. I swear I'm jinxed lol. A nurse should be coming over later to put a new one on cos I don't want any infections getting in there, no more problems thankyouverymuch!!

I hope that everyone had a lovely Christmas and has a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

P.S ---> That's me and my dog snuggled up a minute ago. She looks so weird in it, well. So do I. Haha.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

7 ~ The one where Hayley got the PICC Line

There is much in the world to make us afraid. There is much more in our faith to make us unafraid. ~Frederick W. Cropp

I was meant to update on Friday night but I was just too tired as we left the house at 9am and got home just before 9pm. It was a very busy day!

First, we went to Broomfield Hospital to go take a look around the Helen Rollason Unit which is where I'll be having my chemotherapy. Met with a very nice lady called Lisa and there was also a really nice student nurse there. We talked about my chemotherapy and the side effects, which I wont definitely get - I hope not anyway!! We were chatting for quite a while and I asked if I could go to the Spice Girls and Lisa said YES!!!!! You don't know how happy that made me, lol. If I'm feeling terrible then I wont go but I'm sure it'll be all good - they'll be worth it! My friend Vix is going to help me make a Spice Girls bandana to wear, haha. I might be bald by then (great...)
Me, Pete, Mum and Ryan were then shown around the building, there was a a few offices and things, a waiting room and then the treatment room. Which was very open and had reclining chairs around it with the people having their chemotherapy. It was a very laid back environment which is great, cos I'm pretty laid back. They look rather comfortable! I'm allowed to take my laptop in and some DVD's and stuff which is cool. I've got enough DVD's to choose from!!

After that we left and headed off to Colchester Hospital to get my PICC Line fitted. Felt like we were waiting for ages and then eventually got called in, this nice man called Chris (Hi Chris!!) numbed my arms and confirmed that my veins really are rubbish! I don't know why though. Hmm...Anyway, I went off for about 3/4 of an hour and my arm came up in a rash so he took the plaster off and wiped away the cream and then I layed on the bed with these heat pads on my arms. It felt like they took forever to get prepped, I wasn't nervous - just wasn't looking forward to it!
My Mum was taking pictures the whole way through (they didn't turn out great though) and Chris put the cannula in and it hurt quite a bit but you know...I'm a toughie lol. I handle pain quite well (usually!) - then he started threading the line through and I didn't really feel it. What hurts more is when they take the plaster off and it pulls out all my arm hairs!! I could cry lol. I'm dreading tomorrow cos they'll be taking the dressing off, haha. After that he bandaged me all up and I went off for a chest X Ray to see if it was in the right position. Thank God it was!!
Went back, had it properly bandaged up and then left the Hospital. I thought it would only take 2 1/2 hours at this Hospital but it ended up taking 5 lol.

I had an appointment with Cheryl, a professional photographer at 5pm. She lives in Chafford Hundred and my appointment was at 5!! So we were very late (after 6pm), I felt really bad about it but she didn't seem to mind! By this time I was shattered and my arm was hurting but I had a fantastic time. Cheryl got my Brother and Mum involved and we had a lot of fun! My Brother Ryan is quite the poser lol. Cheryl is away at the moment but she will send me the pictures once she's back in a couple of week - I will post them on here. If you're reading this Cheryl, thank you very much :)

So tomorrow is the big day. I'm not actually feeling nervous or anything...if I'm sick, I'm sick. I'll get better!! It feels like it's my first day at School cos I'll be the 'new girl' lol. I am sure I'll be okay - it's kind of scary how much this cancer has changed my life already, I'm not letting it take over any more of it. Cancer is NOT in control of me, I'M in control of it and I'll kick it's arse.

I'll update sometime this week.

P.S I forgot to say that the tumour is T4 which is basically the grading of it, I think this is the worst one. It means that it's spread to somewhere else other that the larynx and they think it might of spread to two lympth glands BUT they said that the chemo and radiotherapy WILL get rid of it.
They never actually told me which grade it is, I saw it wrote down in my 'chemotherapy diary' - it has annoyed me that they never actually told me this. When I went to London I was told either grade 3 or grade 4. I feel they should of told me which one it definitely was. Oh well.
Here's some more info - I believe I'm '4a' but I'm not 100% sure:

Friday, 7 December 2007

6 ~ The one where Hayley had to wait nearly three hours

Fear can keep us up all night long, but faith makes one fine pillow. ~Philip Gulley

Another picture of me looking rough! Oh well...

Today I had an appointment at Broomfield Hospital at 9am. There was a bad accident on the A12 today so my oncologist, Dr Tahir was in traffic for almost three hours. I was literally falling asleep in the waiting room cos I didn't get to sleep until 5am and I woke up at 8am. This lack of sleep is doing my head in! I just get so tired during the day and then I'm wide awake in the night.

Anyway, Dr Tahir was LOVELY. Adele came in with us and wrote things down which was very helpful! Dr Tahir apologised for keeping me waiting so long and he was just generally nice. He answered all of my questions and he also seemed very positive about my treatment working.

Basically, I will most probably be starting chemotherapy on the 17th December for 5 days. I will then take a 3 week break and go back for another 5 days with chemo. Then I will have a 5-6 week break and then I will have radiotherapy 5 days a week for about 7 weeks and 1 dose of chemotherapy a week. It's going to be tough and I'm not really looking forward to it but as I always say...I'll deal with it lol. He explained that I will get side effects (possible side effects are tiredness, sickness, tingling in toes and fingers and diarrhea) and that the first three days will be the worst. After that week I will feel crap for about two weeks after and then start feeling better but then I'll be having my next dose of chemotherapy so I'll start feeling crap all over again, haha.

I might be having a PICC line ( and if that is the case then I most probably wont have to stay in the Hospital for 5 days. If I have just a cannula I will be in Hospital for the 5 days. My veins don't seem to be the best because everytime I have a cannula it always managed to get messed up so we'll see how it goes! In a way I'd prefer to stay in the Hospital just in case anything happened (touch wood it doesn't though!) - but then I suppose I'll get bored being in there.

The bad news (for me) is that I probably will lose my hair. I was quite upset about it because once I lose my hair it's then that people actually know I've got cancer. And people will probably look at me differently and everything. Also, if you know me you should know how much I love my hair. I hate even getting it cut! Lol. I will miss it so much, it keeps my head warm! But at the end of the day, it will grow back 3-6 months after I finished treatment. They did mention the cold cap but I don't think I'll bother.

The chemotherapy might also affect my fertility. But, I wont be freezing my eggs or anything. I'd love to be a Mum one day and even if I am infertile, I still can be a Mum. I just wont do it the 'normal' way. There is an option to try and save some eggs but it'll take some time and I really don't want to wait any longer to get things started. The sooner I get treated, the better!

We didn't talk much about the radiotherapy because Dr Tahir said I'll just get too confused so we'll discuss that nearer the time. I'm more scared about that than anything cos I'll be like pinned down to a table with my head in this plastic mask, some sort of torturing device if you ask me! Haha. But, if it gets rid of the cancer then it's all good. Well, it's not all good but it'll be worth it!

Dr Tahir also said that there's a 90% chance that this will work! Which is great. He said that my age is a good thing, everything else is good with me health wise and also that my attitude is so great. So those points are on my side and will hopefully all contribute to kicking this cancers arse!!!!!

I think I had more to say...but I can't actually remember now.

Oh yeah, I have an appointment on Friday to go and visit the chemotherapy ward and I am going to get a phonecall to say when they're available to try and insert a PICC line in to me. If not then I'll just have a canulla every time I get the treatment.

OH! I forgot some MORE good news. The oncologist said that my voice will start coming back after the first cycle of chemotherapy. It will take time but I can't wait. I miss it so much.

This is my homework --->

The three drugs in the chemo I'm having are Florouracil (5FU), Docetaxel and Cisplatin. Cisplatin is the one drug that I will keep getting with the radiotherapy.

Anyway, bye bye!


Thursday, 6 December 2007

5 ~ The one where Hayley was woken up

Some days there won't be a song in your heart. Sing anyway. ~Emory Austin

I look so rough in that picture, lol. It's because I've been sleeping really badly lately, even though I only had 2/3 hours sleep the night before last I still didn't get to sleep until 4:30am!

Ok, so this morning at 10:30am my mobile rang, it said private number so I knew it was Dr. Sandhu. But once it had registered in my head my phone was ringing in real life I missed the call, lol. The house phone then rang and Mum ran up the stairs and said it was for me.

Basically, Dr Sandhu said that all of the people looked at my ultrasound pictures and stuff. He then said that there's only two options of treatment because of the size of it, the first being removing my whole voice box which is something I REALLY do not want to happen. Then he said if I don't want that to happen then I will have to have chemotherapy and radiotherapy. I felt a bit rubbish hearing that but you know...hey ho! Get on with it. I'm glad that I had an option though, but if I did have my voice box removed I would of learnt to live with it.

Dr Sandhu was really nice on the phone saying he understands that I'm so young and that I probably didn't want to go with the first option. He then asked if I wanted him to tell my Mum, I said yes please because I was so tired and wanted more sleep! Haha.

I did have a little think about my options and I decided that I want the chemotherapy and radiotherapy and if that doesn't work (but hopefully it will!) then the voice box removal will have to take place. But like I said, HOPEFULLY the treatment will work and it wont come to that.

My Mum then told me that she had pestered the Hospital to get me an appointment so we had to be at St Peter's Hospital at 1:30pm to meet with Mr. Pace-Balzan to talk about my options and give my decision. When I walked in to the room the first thing I saw was this big tray of metal tools and I was like "OMG What is he going to do to me?????" Lol. Luckily, they wern't used. Although the evil camera was used. But, he said I'll have to get used to it because it'll be happening at least once a month. Great! Lol. He spoke about the two options and said that if there was a better one to do then he would tell me but they both have the same chance at curing me.

Chemotherapy will be 5 days a week for 3 weeks, then a break, then back on again. And a few more times (I can't actually remember what he said lol) and then finishing up with radiotherapy. Treatment will finish in March/April time so it looks like I've got a rough 4/5 months ahead of me but it's nothing I can't handle. I'm a tough bird, haha.

Tomorrow I have an appoitment at 9am (I always get the early appointments!) with Mr...something beginning with T. At Broomfield Hospital. He's the specialist in chemotherapy (not sure about radiotherapy) so I have plenty of questions to ask him! They're looking at starting treatment next week, maybe the week after! I'm not really looking forward to it but I've got my great friends and family to support me and I'm sure they'll try and make me have fun whilst I'm sat there with a drip in my arm lol.

So I will probably update again tomorrow when I get back from my appointment. I might aswell live in the Hospital for a while cos it seems I'm at one everyday!

Thanks for all your nice comments, I really do love reading them.

P.S My dog's cute isn't she? --->

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

4 ~ The one where Hayley went to the Hospital in London

"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less." ~Marie Curie

Hello everyone.

So, today was my Hospital appointment at Charing Cross Hospital in London. I had to get up at 6:30am but I've got in to a weird sleeping routine so I didn't fall asleep until 4:30/5am so I was so tired - I slept for one, maybe two hours in the car so I'm so tired!

We left the house at 7am and got to the Hospital at about 10am (Appointment was at 10:30am), had to wait for a little while and then Mr Sandhu called me in. He was really nice. I liked him! He asked me the story of what happened and how I found out about the cancer so I explained and he then asked what I knew about what was going on. So I told him I knew I had cancer and that the tumour wasn't attached to anything skeletal. He said that is wasn't attached to the skeletal part but was attached to cartilage. He then asked to look down my throat with that evil camera thing, great! He numbed my throat but it didn't actually start going numb until he had finished, lol. Oh wasn't that bad. It just feels horrible when it gets to the top of your nose and then goes down the back of your throat.

Dr Sandhu then asked me if I knew anything about 'T grading', I had no idea! So he explained that my cancer is T grade 3 or possibly T grade 4. Which isn't GREAT news but you know...I'll deal with it and beat it. He said that they can't remove the tumour with laser surgery because the cancer is too advanced and seems that it started growing from inside the cartilage and that radiotherapy will probably be for the best - tomorrow loads of Dr's are having a meeting about what they think is best but he seems to think that radiotherapy is. It'll be 5 days a week for 4-6 weeks. He said I'll have some side effects but again...I'll deal with them. Dr Sandhu is going to phone me tomorrow afternoon and tell me the decision and hopefully we wont have to go all the way back up to London again cos it was missions lol.

He then said he wanted me to go for an ultrasound on my throat but he couldn't get hold of the man, but as we were leaving the Hospital to go home he phoned me and said that I could go for an ultrasound there and then. We went up to the ward and the man who was meant to do it wasn't going to be there until 2pm! It was about 11:30am then so we had ages to wait, we all went and got some lunch and sat in the car.

Went back for my ultrasound, the man who did it was a student at one of the local Hospitals so he knew how far we'd travelled! He was really nice too. I have this weird thing about people touching my neck, or even me touching my neck but obviously I'll have to get over that fear/phobia lol. He was pressing my neck quite heavily and it wasn't too pleasent but I did it, wohoo! Haha. He asked me loads of questions and asked if I'd ever had a trauma to my neck and I really couldn't think of anything...apart from when my little Brother tried to strangle me once and it really hurt my neck but surely it wasn't hard enough to cause cancer lol.

My vocal chords are still working...well one side more than the right so Dr Sandhu said that I should get my voice back eventually. It might be husky still but I don't care - I can't wait to get my voice back. I miss it so much, never thought I'd hear myself say that seeing as I used to hate it!

I can't really remember anything else specific about what went on...I'll know more tomorrow afternoon when he phones me so I might update again then. Mum, if I've missed anything out let me know! Lol. I really need to start taking a dictaphone in with me.

If anyone has any questions they want to ask me, go ahead. I'll answer them and post them in the next blog.

Thank you everybody for your lovely comments, I love getting them! They always make me smile.

I think I'm going to get some sleep now as I'm so sleepy.



Saturday, 1 December 2007

3 ~ The one where Hayley couldn't think of a title

Never, never, never give up. ~Winston Churchill

Hey guys,

Thank you for all your lovely comments. I love reading them! You can leave a comment now with out signing up for an account...I know that a few people didn't want the hassle of filling out the form so I thought I'd allow all comments.

Not a lot is going on, my breathing seems to be getting a lot better. But I think that's because I haven't been doing much, haha. I do still get out of breath easily but it's nothing compared to the weekend. I thought I was going to die at one point, not nice.

My Mum phone Charing Cross Hospital today and I have to be there for 10am next Wednesday. I know they're going to want to look down my throat with the camera. I'm dreading that part but oh well, just get on with it! I'm seeing someone called Mr Sandhu and then apparently another Dr, Mr Clarke is going to look at my scans and everything and decide whether he wants to do the laser surgery or not.

If they decide to do it it'll be a matter of DAYS before my operation (from Friday onwards I guess) - woah. It's all happening so fast...but I am really glad! It's so reassuring knowing everything is happening so quickly and that everybody is trying to do what's best for me in the long term.

I am sort of hoping for the surgery, but sort of not lol. Preferably I'd like to NOT have cancer but you know...I've got it so I have to deal with it. I am just scared of being under anesthetic, in case I don't wake up. BUT I've done it once before and I was fine so I'm sure that this time I'll be okay.

I'll write in here once I know what's going on for sure

I am having to sell my ticket to the Spice Girls (on December 16th) which I am gutted about. But hopefully my Uncle Pete and I can get tickets for January time...I loooooved the Spice Girls when I was growing up and I saw them in concert in 1999 I think. Anyway, when the tickets were realeased I got WAY too excited and booked a ticket. Key word 'A' - it didn't even register in my head that I would be going on my own, haha. My friends happened to be going on the same date but they are over the other side of the stadium - I don't think I will be well enough to go on my own, if I was sitting with them it'd be a different story. But, I'm not lol. Oh well...I really do hope we can get more tickets for January. If not then I'll cry. A lot. Haha.

I have't got much else to say really, I'm still feeling very positive about this. I don't think I let myself think about it too much, there is no point in thinking about it all the time and feeling sorry for myself. I don't think so anyway. I see this is a test, a test that I'm going to WIN!!!!!

I have been trying to look at websites for young adults with cancer, and just generally people with cancer but all the ones I've come across just depress me too much. The information on there is good but when I go to the forums it's just full of stories of peoples' loved ones passing away from cancer. I know that they're going to a place to talk about their feelings and share their stories but I don't think someone who is battling cancer wants to read about that, you know? It is great that they're getting support but I personally want to read stories of people beating cancer.

Thanks again for all your lovely comments,