Thursday, 29 May 2008

23 ~ The one where Hayley had a Hospital appointment

Optimists convert stumbling blocks into stepping stones.
~ W. Howard Wight, Jr.



Firstly, I'd like to say thank you so much to those who have sponsored me for the Race for Life walk I'm doing in June. I am so grateful!
So far I've raised £133 online and £20 offline! I'm chuffed to bits. Just because I've reached my goal (£100) and gone past it doesn't mean you have to stop ;) Haha.
I need to start walking to get in some practice for this walk, I keep saying I'll do it but I just keep putting it off!



General update first and then I'll get to my appointment today.

Throat feels completely fine, I have been waking up with a sore throat lately but I think that has something to do with TALKING (yes, you heard me...) - my voice is coming back! I've managed to use it pretty much all the time for the past 2 days. It's so exciting!! It sounds a bit rubbish but I think it actually sounds better than what it did before I was diagnosed. It does go sometimes but I suppose that's just because I have been whispering for the past 7/8 months.




The skin on my neck is all good, I still have marks but it's faded really well and now it just looks like I need a wash or something! Lol. My back has still got the weird marks on it (from where the radiotherapy went through)...I bought some tops the other day and got home and realised that they'll show off the marks on my back! Oh well!




This is my hair!! It looks darker in person...it's amost black! It feels like it's taking forever but I suppose it will. It's taken 3 months to get to this length so in August hopefully I'll be able to do something with it! I blow dried it for the first time the other day and it went CRAZY! I couldn't flatten it down. This morning I blow dried it again and my sideburns (grr) were sticking out sideways, it was really bad!! I had to wet them down and REALLY hold them down for about 5 minutes lol. I've still not got the guys to go out without a bandana on!

On to my appointment! Well, it was at 2pm and I was Dr Pace's first patient so I got in the room pretty much straight away which was good because I don't like waiting! I went in, sat down, he asked the usual (how's the throat, can you swallow, how's the voice) - he noticed that my voice is coming back! I told him that I'd been waking up with sore throats for the past couple of days, so he looked down my throat (and used that nasty metal thing to hold down my tongue, hate it!!) and said it looked a bit red. I asked if it was maybe because I've used my voice all day yesterday and today and he said possibly!
I also told him that I'd been getting pains in my neck and near my left collar bone (this used to happen before I was diagnosed) and he felt my neck quite a few times and said that he couldn't feel nothing which is good news.
Then, he asked me which nostril I'd like the camera up (neither, thanks!!) and I said the left (always the left lol) so he put the numbing spray up there, I did the usual....sniffed and swallowed! Then I went over to the chair and he got the camera ready, I held my Mum's hand (thanks Mum lol) and he did what he had to do. He asked me to say 'EEEEE' and it actually came out for the first time...even before I knew I had cancer my voice wouldn't let me do that! Lol. He didn't say much and took the camera out. I said "ooh, that's the worst bit!" and he said "Well, I can leave it in there if you'd like" I was like "Erm...no thank you!" Lol.
Mr Pace then went on to say that everything looks good down there! There's no longer any swelling so going under general anesthetic and getting a biopsy isn't neccessary!! Wohoo!! He said that he's really pleased with it.
He said it's alright go ahead with speech therapy so I sent Hilary a text but she hasn't got back to me. Hopefully it'll be soon! Mr Pace-Balzan said that my voice wont probably be 'normal' because the tumour was so big and there's probably some scarring from when I had the polyp removed and from radiotherapy. But I don't care...I am grateful for a voice right now after not having one for so long.
I still don't know whether I'm in remission or not because I've not had a CT scan and the radiotherapy is still getting rid of the cancerous cells apparently but I'm happy.
I go back in 5 weeks (July 3rd) for another check up.

Do you remember the lumps I got in my armpit? Well, it KEEPS happening and it's always in the same place. I wake up one day and my left armpit aches and then the next day the lump usually appears and by the day after that it's gone again! Yesterday night I found a bigger lump lower down though, but now it's gone. It's annoying because when I go to show someone the lump is gone so I feel like they think I'm making it up or something! Lol. My armpit is quite painful today so if it still hurts tomorrow I might go to the Doctor about it.

Okey doke, that's me done! I'll update again in about 5 weeks after my appointment, or if you're lucky I might update before then! :)

Thanks everyone for all your support, I love reading your comments. Don't stop them!!

Hayley

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

22 ~ The one where Hayley asked a favour

Hi everyone,

On 22nd June me, my Mum and my friend, Kirsty are doing the Race for Life in Hylands Park, Chelmsford. Obviously, I wont be running it because I am WAY too unfit for that, so I'm going to walk it!!

I would be SO grateful if you could sponser me, even if it's just £1.

Also, if you want to sign up and do the Race for Life yourself then go to http://www.raceforlife.org.uk/ - it'd be great if I could see some of my blog readers at the Hylands Park one too!

One of my blog readers, Rosie & I have made an arrangement! Rosie is going to make a notebook (which is guarenteed to be amazing, I have one myself!!) for a raffle. Basically, who ever sponsors me (£2.00 or over) will go to Rosie's blog, leave her a comment and then in the end she will randomly choose someone and they will win the notebook! Sounds like a good idea, yes? So come on guys...do it do it do it!!

Anyway, just click 'donate' to sponsor me:



Thank you,

Hayley

Edit Here's the notebook that Rosie made for me. I absoloutly love it!

Thursday, 1 May 2008

21 ~ The one where Hayley said good riddance to her PEG

'I am, and always will be a survivor
I will conquer anything that dares to cross my path.'
~Merci lujan


Today marks three weeks post treatment! I was expecting the '2 week peak' and I waited and waited and guessed it just wasn't going to happen! I think the last week of the treatment and the week after were the 'worst' and even then, it wasn't that bad at all. My throat felt quite sore but painkillers helped and of course, it didn't stop me eating. I hope that no one thinks I'm rubbing it in lol. I do feel very lucky (I think I deserve some good luck!!) and I am grateful that I haven't had it too bad with the side effects of my treatment.

The skin on my neck is fine, it just looks dirty!! It's not though, lol. It's not sore at all anymore. This is a really bad picture!

My hair is getting longer...if you can call 1/8th of a millimetre long anyway!! I can't wait for it to get long enough so I can actually do something with it.

Voice isn't coming out but we'll get to the reason in a minute!

I got a letter in the post last week saying that I had an appointment on the 15th of May for a check up, camera down my throat. etc - origionally the appointment was at St. Johns Hospital which is where I was diagnosed and I HATE going to. But, it was changed to St. Peter's Hospital because Adele overheard Dr Tahir telling Dr Pace that St. Johns holds really bad memories for me and I dread going there. Aww. I think it's nice that they changed it for me...

My PEG had been causing me some pain over the past couple of days, I presumed it was because I've put on so much weight and it felt tight...so my Mum phoned Adele for me and she said to go in and see her and she'd loosen it for me - me and Mum ended up going to the wrong hospital today (long story) but Adele kindly said she'd come over to the Hospital to meet us! We waited for a while and my consulant (Mr Pace Balzan) was there today and he said he'd see me. So I went in to the room and he asked how I was and everything and I asked if I could have my PEG removed (because the ward sister said to ask him as I haven't used it and it's just there for no reason now! By the way, hi Eve if you're reading this!) and he said he'd look down my throat with the camera to see if my throat was still swollen. etc.
So, I have the lovely camera up my nose and down my throat...my favourite part of my Hospital visits!! Nah, it's not so bad. I have to get used to it anyway cos it's going to be happening every month for the next year and then every 2 months and so on. He looked down and there and said that there was still some swelling around my vocal chords (hence having no voice still) and that it looked ok and it was alright to have my PEG removed!! Which, I was extremely happy (and a bit nervous) about!!!!!
Mr Pace also went on to say there's no point me going back in 2 weeks on May the 15th so he's changed my appointment to another months time (May 29th) which is great. So, basically today I just had my 15th May appt. 2 weeks early lol.
He said that if there's still some swelling down my throat they may do a biopsy just in case.

After that Adele took me in to another room to look at my PEG, she said that yes, it was tight. So I was right, I am getting fatter! Lol. She double checked if it was okay to remove my PEG, came back and told me that I have two options of removal.
1) Just pulling it out (NO THANK YOU - my Mum accidently pulled my PEG last week and that hurt enough!!)
2) What they call 'cut and push' - which is where they literally cut the PEG tube and push what's inside, inside lol.
I opted for the 2nd choice...I asked if it would hurt and Adele said it might but not as much as the first choice would have lol. So Adele checked that the PEG was still moving freely (which hurt a little) and it was so, she cut it and loads of water came out lol. That's because I flushed it just before I left for the Hospital....then she pushed on my stomach and said that the little bit inside would pass naturally (you catch my drift) and put some dressing on it. The hole looks like a second belly button, I got the whole thing on video. It's funny lol. Now I just have a little hole and all I'm not allowed to do is have a bath 24 hours afterwards so it's all good. I'll probably have a scar there but I'm not bothered.

I don't think there's much else to say, I'm not sure when I will update again. I am going up north to Glossop in Derbyshire for a while, have to be home for the 16th of May because that's when my baby cousin (and God Daughter) is arriving and I HAVE to see her the day she's born. I can not wait!!!!!
I will definitely update after my 29th May appointment to let you know what's happening. You might hear from me before then! I am going to keep this blog running anyway, just updating after Hospital appointments. etc.

I'm off to bed...have to get up early and pack my stuff and pluck my eyebrows (which will take hours tackling these bushes!!) before getting the 12pm train!!

Hayley