Monthly Archives: August 2013

I’m in a much better mood today.

I’ve had some sleep, I saw my counsellor at the hospital on Wednesday, and I’ve had enough free time this morning to make up two embroidery hoops’ worth of sewing to do when we go on our little bank holiday trip back to Aberdovey. I’m taking a couple of the bags that are prepped – and there is a special wedding commission I’m in the middle of doing which will also be coming in my recently-bought-at-half-price Kath Kidston sewing box. So, that means I’ll get to do a lot of sewing, and sewing makes me feel happy, and calm, and centred.

I must say thank you to this post for giving me a kick up the bum to actually get the scissors and iron out this morning, for making me think ‘yeah, I bloody well love sewing, it makes me happy, I’m going to make some things to Do’.

The thing is, when I’ve finished these new things I’ve made to do, I’ll have actually done something else from one of my long-ignored To Do lists – I’ll have expanded my portfolio of work from just working on bags. While the work on the bags had evolved, I’m not just sewing the same thing on them all the time, I really wanted to have other things in my Esty Shop when I set it up.

And now – or in four days’ time – I will.


This time last year, I was dying.

I still am, technically. I’ve had radiotherapy, brachytherapy, chemotherapy – and I still have my tumour and an enlarged left Common Iliac Lymph Node. But around about this time last year was when I realised that I needed to trust myself, trust how I felt, and trust that there was something seriously going wrong with my body no matter what one of my doctors would have had me think otherwise.

This time last year, I’d just started to bleed. I knew it was wrong but thought it was some weird part of being pregnant, of having a miscarriage, of something else being wrong. By September I was almost bed-ridden – unable to move for fear of leaving a trail, or falling over with the onset of dizziness, for being tired and weak. I laid in bed for weeks. For probably between twenty to twenty-two hours a day. I got up to eat, and to cuddle my son at bedtime, but that was it. I know now that I knew then that it was something serious. It’s just hard to convince yourself that you’re right when your doctor says you’re wrong.

I didn’t realise until I went into A&E at the hospital at the end of September how bad things really were. That my blood levels had dropped so significantly that I needed a double-transfusion. That the dizziness was because my blood wasn’t pumping to the right places. That my heart pounding wasn’t just my own panic, but that I had Tachycardia. I didn’t believe it until they put me on the drips and admitted me to the ward without any hesitation. If I hadn’t gone to the hospital, my heart would have failed without a doubt. I would have died in my bed, during the day, or during the night.

This time last year, I was dying.

This one made me laugh today, it was like someone’s been watching me.

Here is a list of things I had been or have been putting off again this week:

1) Etsy shop set up. I’ve still not finished this even though I started quite well with it from my last to-do-list. I can’t seem to get the headers for my shop sorted, so I’ve had another go at making the piece for this – I am now waiting for the air-fade pen to, well, fade. Then I will try to do it. I’m also waiting for the sun to come out to take proper photo’s of the bags and things going into the shop. And I was trying to have more than just the bags in there – something which is kind of coming along – but isn’t there yet. So this is still waiting for launch.

2) Changing my mobile phone. I have an iphone 4 – and the new iphone 5 comes out in September, right? So I may as well wait until that comes out, ’til all the lower tariffs drop, and I can get the contract cheaper. Plus I need to do the proper backup before I go to take it in. All the workings out of which are way over my head with the chemo at the moment.

3) Washing my short-haired wig for the first time. I’ve actually just washed it. Today’s Daily Prompt has prompted me into actually doing something. I was putting it off because it’s expensive and I was scared of ruining it seen as I’ve worn it every day single day since I lost my hair. It’s now drying in the bathroom and looks fine. It will dry overnight and all I need to do apparently is give it a shake in the morning. We will see.

4) Phoning my dad. I don’t really get on with him but I suppose I should be keeping him in the loop. It’s just so painful having to be on the phone to him, he drives me nuts and there’s always something worse wrong with him than me having cancer still and I just don’t want to get into it at all. He left a message on my machine on Friday night though. I should return the call.

I’ll do it tomorrow.

Today was results day from my mid-point MRI. It could have gone better, but all in all I think the results were good. After an hour wait past my appointment time I went through to a side room, and was told that my cervical tumour had shrunk, that it was responding well to treatment. Which is good. But then I was told that the surgeon still isn’t willing to give me the operation which will mean I am cured. Which is bad.

The problem is my lymph node. Every time it’s brought up, I get different, conflicting information.

The first time it was brought up was after my PET\CT. No one really brought it up but it was there hanging about in the background. It was the reason I was passed from pillar to post and no one could give me a straight answer. Then it disappeared, it was okay. And then a week before my scheduled operation it reared it’s ugly head again and my operation was cancelled and I started chemo instead.

Today, I was told that the enlarged lymph node had always been enlarged; it was on the scan from when I was first diagnosed in October, and I was told that it was an anomaly – it hadn’t changed in size the whole time. This was the reason I couldn’t have the operation – they didn’t know what it was doing, they weren’t sure if it was cancerous as it should have been affected by the chemo. They also couldn’t get anyone to agree to try a biopsy on it to see if it was cancerous or just enlarged – there was just the evidence from the PET\CT. I was told to consider it static, that if it hadn’t changed then it was probably nothing to worry about right now.

I went home upset as you would expect, wanting answers that no one could give me.

When I got home I phoned and asked if I could at least have the measurements of the tumour so I could think about it in a real sense; when my Dr got back to me, she’d had another look over my charts, and realised that the node had changed size over the course of the treatment. It had started off 0.8cm in October, grown to 1.1cm by April/May, and after three cycles of chemo it was now 0.6cm. This is both good and bad; it is changing, so it is cancerous – but it is responding to treatment and has shrunk by almost half over the three cycles.

I’m hoping that it will shrink further. I’m hoping that even though it is in an awkward place, that if it shrinks further my surgeon will agree to give me the hysterectomy and take out the lymph nodes, take out the cancer, and ‘cure’ me.

Here’s to three more cycles…