Thursday, 17 April 2008

20 ~ The one where it was all over

Cancer is so limited.... It cannot cripple life, it cannot shatter hope, it cannot corrode faith

Firstly, I swear I don't wear the same bandana all the time. It just happens to be the one I wear everytime I write in my blog! Lol.

So, stick a fork in me, I'm done!!!!!

My final treatment was last Friday (11th) and I can't believe it's all over. On the last treatment the machine obviously was going to miss me because it broke down half way through so I had to lay there for a while waiting for them to fix it and in the end they sent me to the other machine to finish! I then went to see the Nurse to just get checked over and everything and then I was told to go back on Wednesday to see my oncologist and to see if I needed anything. etc.

So, I went back yesterday. I saw Dr Tahir and Tanya (one of the Nurses) and he asked me how I was. We spoke for a while about a few things and then he basically told me that he never wants to see me again unless it's out shopping or something! I will be going to see my consultant in 4-6 weeks at another Hospital...of course if I have any problems I can ring someone at the Hospital but for now, I don't have to go to a Hospital for at least a month. How weird!! I will have a CT scan in about 3 months time so then I will know if I'm in remission or not.

I got my mask yesterday, I forgot to ask for it on my last day so I emailed Lorna (one of the radiographers) and asked her to try and save it for me! They had it for me at reception and it's now in a bag on my floor. I don't know what to do with it really...I've heard a story where a bloke to his to the beach, put a firework inside it and blew it up!! Lol. I'd like to do that but then I'm not sure because I wouldn't be able to show anyone what it looked like (unless they looked at pictures)
My skin has got 100 times better in the past week, it's amazing how quickly it's changed. This time last week I could barely move my neck because it was so sore and now it's no longer red and it's only a tiny bit sore. It's a pinky colour in a few spots and then the rest of the skin is a brown colour. (Another crappy quality picture, sorry.)

My throat is definitely more sore now than what it has been. It's felt different from the start (mainly when I yawned or sneezed) but now it's painful everytime I swallow. It's not that bad though, still doesn't stop me from eating lol. (What does??) I've been coughing a lot too which has probably made my throat worse. It's making my chest hurt now because I'm doing it so much but it doesn't bother me that much. I've also been sick a few more times since I last wrote and I feel a bit more tired than normal but that might be because of the chemo too. Who knows!

My hair is still growing. It's taking its time though...I'm impatient and just wish that I could have my nice, long hair back but I think it'd take years to get it back to that length again! It's quite patchy still and it's really dark...and I think it's straight not curly! I hate sideburns though lol. It's the only part of hair that shows when I wear my bandana and it would just look better if they weren't there, haha. My eyebrows are really bushy now lol and I think that I can finally pluck them and they wont look weird. So, I'm going to that (when I can be bothered).

My voice comes out sometimes...I don't know when I'll start speech therapy. I'm guessing not for a while as the radiotherapy is still doing it's stuff. I do sometimes wonder what it's going to sound like, I hope that it's not too different. I did ask my speech therapist if I'd sound like a normal persons voice and her answer was. "what's normal?" Which is totally true. I should be used to having a 'weird' voice anyway because for about 2 years my voice was really husky and people were constantly asking me whether I had a sore throat or not. Now though, I can tell them the reason why it sounds like that instead of pretending that I did have a sore throat lol. My voice comes out randomly sometimes but it's not a proper voice, it's really quiet and if I try to talk properly nothing comes out really.

I'm not really sure if there's anything else to write about...oh. I asked when my PEG will be removed and Dr Tahir said to wait until I see Mr Pace-Balzan in 4-6 weeks just in case I do have trouble eating soon. I am glad that it's there just in case because what's the betting it'd get removed and then I'd need another one put in? Sods law and all that lol. There's no way I'd have another put in anyway, no thank you. I'd rather starve!! Haha.

Okey dokey, that's all I have to say really. I don't know when I'll update again...I'll try not to leave it too long.


P.S To the lady who stopped me in Asda the other day to say she recognised me from my blog (that was a strange experience, I felt slightly famous!! lol) - my email address is if you'd like to email me. I should have given it to you when I saw you!

Sunday, 6 April 2008

19 ~ The one where there was only 1 week left to go

We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey. ~Kenji Miyazawa

I can't believe it! 1 more week of treatment left and I'm done. That's only 5 more trips to the Hospital!

When something happens I always think 'Oh, I'll have to write about that in my blog' but once I actually get here I can't remember any of it!

Things are still going ok, I'm feeling alright. I'm still eating everything the same (well...more of it) and swallowing doesn't hurt. I'm not getting my hopes up though because I know that the side effects can start from 2 weeks after treatment! It would be lovely to avoid them though (pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease) lol.

My skin is quite sore and on Friday it finally cracked. It feels especially stiff in the morning and it looks like I've slept funny on it because it hurts to move it too much!! I am still using plenty of aqueous cream on it and have been given some gel to apply to the cracked parts.
The stares I get when I go out are funny. I often wonder what people think because I know that before all of this it didn't register in my head that radiotherapy would mark the skin. I don't know what I'd think if I saw me walking down the street, lol.

Hair update: It's getting there, slowly. It feels like it's taking forever and ever to grow...I'm not even sure what colour it is. It's weird because some days it looks dark and then others it looks lighter. I took a (really bad quality) picture on my webcam and you can kind of see the length of it.

Voice update: Nothing really to report on. People often lose their voices when they're having radiotherapy to the larynx (and I've lost mine already!) so I'm not expecting it to come back yet. Sometimes a little bit of voice comes out and I try to get it to come out more but it doesn't really happen. I think it's going to take a lot of time and effort to get back but I'm up for it!

I had a couple of days where I felt ill this week, Thursday night (I think) I was sick once. I didn't feel sick before though, it just happened lol. But I did feel sick most of Friday and some of yesterday but I'm feeling much better now. I think that was just from chemo which I had on Wednesday.

My last chemo is this Wednesday...I'm trying to imagine how it's going to be not having any treatment and I can't. It's a really weird feeling. Don't get me wrong, I can't wait for it to all be over!! But, it's definitely going to be strange just waiting that little while to find out if the cancer's gone. I think I'll have an appointment about 4 weeks after I finish treatment to have the lovely camera up my nose and down my throat to see if there's anything down there and then about 3 months after I finish I'll have a CT scan (or MRI?). Then from then on I'll have an appointment once a month for a year, then every 2 months in the 2nd year. etc etc etc until I get to 5 years and I'll be cured! I'll be coming up to 24 then...that's really weird to think about.

I don't think there's anything else to update about to be honest. I'm unsure what to do about this blog once my treatment is over, because what will be the point in writing in it when I'm no longer kicking cancers arse? I would have kicked it already! I'll probably just update it after every monthly appointment to say 'Still cancer free!' or something.
I'll still leave it open for people to see though because people might like to look back on it if they're going through the same thing...or because they're just interested!

Thanks for the comments and emails, keep them coming.

One last thing, I've put on even more weight. Boooooooooo.