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Monthly Archives: June 2013

Making these short ‘To Do’ lists is definitely working for me. The last one was short and sweet and I’ve ticked everything off – which I’m very happy about.

1) To create something. To make something, to start it and to finish it, before I go into hospital in three week’s time.

I didn’t get to go on the jewellery course I had booked myself on because I had my GFR test on the day I was supposed to go – but I did do some sewing. In fact I did a lot of sewing and have put designs onto six bags so far. This one, was the first thing I finished this year though:

The first thing I made this year

The first thing I made this year

2) To have a good week off on holiday in Aberdovey. To play in the sand, hang out on the seafront, to do the things I couldn’t do when we went there towards the end of the summer last year, when I was too ill to participate, before I found out what was wrong with me.

Also completed. I went to the beach, I went on the train, and had a lot of fun in the sun with my boys.

3) To get my hands on a couple of short-sleeved, long-hemmed night dresses for the hospital.

As you know, it turned out I didn’t need these after all – but I have them now anyway for when they do call me in for the operation.

So… Go me!

This leaves me with the need to make a new list, especially now I find myself with all this spare time. I’m reaching a bit farther this time – I’m going to do something I’ve been wanting to do for ages but just didn’t get round to doing.

1) Sort out my Etsy shop. I opened it years ago, with the intention of selling the jewellery I wanted to make. Only I never ended up making anything to sell. Even though I have the materials to do this for jewellery now, I’m going to use the shop to sell the bags I’ve been sewing. So I need to do an overhaul on the shop, on my bio, on my profile on there and make my banner and then properly launch my page. I might never sell anything from it, but at least I can say to myself that I’ve done it. If I set it up and only have one item for sale, I will call this a victory.

2) Make a second and a third line of things, so I’m not just sewing on bags. I already know what I’ll be making for these – I have a couple of gifts I want to make for people so this will be my push to make them.

3) Find a proper supplier for the bits and bobs I’ve been using to make things with. Ebay and Etsy in general have been fine so far but I need to do some more research.

4) Upgrade my phone. Throwing in a ‘normal’ thing there. It’s time to get a new one. I hate doing it, it’s just too much information to go through. So it’s on the list.

I think this will be enough to keep my mind off the big things, and low-energy enough to manage on the week’s when I’m off my game and on the meds. I’m looking forward to it. Well, actually, I’m very excited about it and smiling to myself.

The last few weeks have been hectic to say the least.

Instead of having a nervous breakdown, this is what I did:

First, we went on holiday for a week. It was actually sunny, and we had a good, relaxing, not-thinking-about-treatment time.

Aberdovey Beach

Aberdovey Beach

Then we headed home: Back to life, back to surreality!

The Christie

The Christie

I had to spend the first day back there doing my GFR test: a radioactive tracer injected in the morning and bloods taken every two hours after to gauge my kidney function. I passed with flying colours.

A couple of days later we were back in for the day, and my wonderful Macmillan Nurse had arranged for a wig fitting for me while I waited for my consultants appointment. I’d been dreading this part since they’d said my hair would definitely fall out – it was sort of the first part of accepting that it was going to happen and I was positive I’d cry. I didn’t though. After deciding that I was going to go short instead of long, the lovely lady found this one for me. It felt right, and it kind of stopped the panic and put me into a really good frame of mind for the consultant’s appointment.

At the wig room at The Christie

At the wig room at The Christie

We saw the consultant who explained why my treatment schedule has been changed so many times: The biopsy on my cervical tumour came back negative for cancerous cells, while the PET/CT showed activity in my cervical tumour and in one of my lymph nodes (she did say which one specifically but I didn’t write it down and I’ve forgotten now). It’s still confined to my pelvis though, so they decided the best course of action is a new course of chemo (Carbo-Taxol this time). I’ll be having three cycles initially, three weeks between each – then I’ll have another scan, and depending on what shows up on that I’ll either be booked in for the radical hysterectomy, or booked in for another three cycles of Carbo-Taxol over another nine weeks. We came out of this consult in a much more positive frame of mind. The news wasn’t as bad as we had thought initially, and the mind-changing aspect of it had been explained to us, giving us our confidence back I guess.

So, just in time for the nice weekend we were ready to go again, with nothing to do but wait for another week. So I did what any other normal person would do and did a bit of sewing in the garden:

sewing in the garden

sewing in the garden

This week has just been preparation, really.

On Tuesday, I went for the chop, going from this:

long hair

long hair

to this:

short hair

…long gone!

My hair then went to this wonderful place – The Little Princess Trust – who use your donated hair to make real hair wigs for young children who have lost their hair through illness.

the little princess trust

the little princess trust

Which set me up into a good frame of mind for yesterday:

Chemo at The Christie

Chemo at The Christie

So far Carbo-Taxol hasn’t been too bad a friend to me. The anti-sickness meds they’ve given me are certainly doing their job and I’m on just the right amount of steroid that I’ve been able to sleep this time – so I’m not too worried about the comedown from them when the course ends on Saturday this time. I’m also planning to not do very much the next week or so which will help. C has organised play dates to get our little one out of the way over the weekend, which will help me massively.

I know I’ve got a rather long road to go, but this time I’m more prepared. I have the help from Macmillan at the hospital. I’m also going to meet up with a lovely bunch of ladies from my local Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust in a couple of weeks – just when I’ll need their help the most with my hair beginning to fall out. And I have the support of my wonderful family and a handful of friends, who I definitely couldn’t get through this without.