Just a quick note to let you all know that my scans were clear. My lungs are completely free of cancer.
To celebrate, we are in Liverpool drinking Champagne in the Beatles hotel. Hard Days Night
well hello everyone,
I’ve had a busy week with appointments at Liverpool. Firstly, seeing Dr Chandrasekhar who was happy with my progress and my leg. No one else in the world can even look at my leg yet Dr Chandra gives it a good going over! *Ouch*
The next day I nipped to Broadgreen to see my thoracic surgeon. Mr Shackcloth had received the histology results on the tumour that he’d removed – it was a damn sarcoma metastasis but the good news is that it was completely removed.
Cancer free again!
Oh and I was given the OK to drive again….what a great day!
Enjoy your weekend
June has been a really busy month for me. I’ve been working most days, had an MRI scan and a CT scan. So, here’s an update.
I went for my three monthly check up on my leg. Mr Chanasekar wasn’t there so I saw Dr Yin. (I’ve only met him once and that was a few days before diagnosis so it’s been almost two years) he immediately made reference to the lump I have under my scar. Sarah (my CNS) and I explained it has been there for 14 months or so and all scans have showed up clear since then. Dr Yin wanted to be on the safe side so he referred me for an MRI. Cue whirlwinds of scary thoughts around my head…. I had to go for my results last Monday – John was at work, and Mum was on holiday so Laura came along with me. Now for those of you that don’t know Laura – she cries at Peppa Pig….! So by the time Mr Chandrasekar had walked in, we were both in tears! Bet he was gutted to have two emotional Tickles sat in his room! Great news though, the scans were clear! Phew!
The following day, I was scheduled for a CT scan to check my lungs. Now this was the scariest one for me. The scan itself was only a few minutes but it’s the torture of waiting for results and not knowing if there is anything lurking. As I left the scan, Sarah, my nurse, was sat waiting to say hello. She was with another sarcoma patient who had a scan at the same time so it was like a reunion!
On Friday (not even 72 hours after my scan) I was sat at work, minding my own business, when my mobile rang with a number I wasn’t familiar with. I wasn’t going to answer as I had lost all my numbers the previous day so assumed it was just another Tickle wanting a chinwag. Curiosity got the better of me and I answered to hear Mr Chandrasekars voice at the other end. Time stood still (cue music from a horror film) and I felt sick. I asked why he was calling and he immediately informed me the brilliant news that my lungs were clear. I have never felt relief like it in my life. Thanks to Kate and Joe for being there when I needed celebratory hugs!
I know that this journey with cancer is far from over but each time I get a ‘clear’ scan, it spurs me on and gives me more hope.
My thoughts go out to each and every one of you fighting cancer, that have appointments, scans, biopsies, results, surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy or any other treatment. Keep going.
Sarcoma awareness week
Today is the start of Sarcoma Awareness Week, and I am going to Birmingham for the press launch. I am so excited and I hope I get to meet Richard Whitehead!
I am off on holiday this week so I am going to take my Sarcoma t-shirt and get pictures at some famous landmarks. I will post them when I get back 🙂
For more information about Sarcoma please visit the Sarcoma UK website at http://www.sarcoma.org.uk
Goodbye for now. Take care xxx
I am writing this post from Liverpool Lime Street as my poorly car is in the garage. I am on my way home from the support group meeting which was held at the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.
Now, we are coming up to holiday season and with six regular attendees unable to join the meeting, we were expecting a quiet one. Boy, were we wrong! Six new people joined us today which is fantastic. We also had a representative from Macmillan come along to see what we are all about.
Not for everyone
Support groups are not for everyone, but I love our group. It gives me a chance to mingle with people, informally, who have been affected by this rare cancer. Whilst I would not wish cancer on anyone, there’s something reassuring knowing that there are people out there who understand what you are going through, know how you feel and well, are just there for you. Today we had a family attend who had lost someone close to a rare form of sarcoma. Our support group is open to patients, families, friends and carers.
I would like to thank Rob and Lesley for doing a fantastic job running the group.
I had a catch up with Dr Ali on Friday. Things are looking good so now…I need to start living again. So I’m aiming to return to work in June. Yikes! No more daytime TV for me…..
So I hate it when I am stressing over an appointment or waiting for results, and what makes it worse is when someone says “Oh you’ll be fiiiine”. Rewind sixty minutes ago when I said those exact words to someone in the support group… #FootInMouth
My sister gave birth to this Beauty last week who was 7lb 13oz. Slightly heavier than my tumour was. Wowzer! Certainly put that into perspective!
Well that’s me for today.
Take care x
18 days ago I arrived at Broadgreen Hospital, excited but scared for the day ahead. 27th March 2014 is a date that will be forever etched into my memory. This was the date of my first operation to remove sarcoma from my lungs. As I was sat being poked, prodded and being drawn on, I received the devastating news that Johns dad had passed away at 08:30 that morning. I went ahead with the planned surgery as I knew we had a tough few weeks ahead. I woke up groggy but relieved to have got through the surgery and I was ecstatic to learn that the surgeon had successfully completed a middle lobectomy. I spent a day in HDU being monitored and the following day my surgeon visited me three times. He was so pleased with my progress that he agreed to perform the second surgery, on my left lung two weeks later……YES – TWO weeks! I was booked in for 11th April.
Last week I received the awesome news that the tumour that was removed was dead….it was obliterated by the chemo. At this stage I decided to proceed with the second operation on 11th, as I didn’t want any remnants of tumours left in my body. I wanted it gone.
So I had a busy week of signing consent forms, check ups, stitches out, organising, packing and not forgetting the most important event – John Mccloskey’s funeral (before you panic, John had the same name as his dad!)
On Friday I returned to the private suite at Broadgreen ready for round two. I didn’t cry all morning and was really good….until I got into the pre anaesthetic room 🙂
Post operative discombobulation
So what do you do when you wake up after an op? Cry, ask questions, want a drink? No, Not me. I woke up and vaguely remember telling my surgeon I loved him….*Groans* It haunts me just like a vodka fuelled night of partying….one that I would like to forget!
Best Birthday Gift….ever FACT
So after quickly erasing the declaration of love for my surgeon from my memory, I returned to my bed. The realisation hit me, I was cancer free….and what better present could anyone give to their parent? Yep, it was my dad’s birthday and after he’d spent the day working, being at the hospital with me and watching warrington Wolves lose (again) I think it’s safe to say that this was the best present he’d had.
So I’ve been resting and I plan to do more of the same for the next few days. I’m getting stronger each day and I know that this will soon be a distant memory and all the paid will have been worth it.
Goodnight everyone xx
P.s here’s the gorgeous card Jorja Clarke made for me 🙂 I particularly love my green ‘sick’ face
My wonderful surgeon has just called me to confirm that they have analysed the tumour that was removed and……the cancer cells were completely destroyed. This is fantastic news and means that the chemo did a brilliant job!
I still have one very small tumour on my left lung and I have decided to continue with the next operation to remove it. It’s more psychological but I do not want to leave a single tumour in my body that could come back to life. So on that note, I will be back in the suite at Broadgreen on Friday!
Thinking of friends
Whilst I have had success with my cancer treatment, not everyone has been that lucky. There are a few people who are having it rough and I just want to say don’t give up! There are lots of treatments available and sometimes you have to try a few to find the one that suits you.
Take care and I’ll update soon xx
Well it’s been a week since I woke up dazed, confused and high on morphine after having a middle lobectomy. I didn’t like the morphine and the fact it gave me bizarre hallucinations – I felt like I’d had a bad space cake!
It’s been a hard week. I have felt extremely tired and haven’t been out of the house much. I’m in constant pain which is managed with over 28 tablets a day…. My discharge information states I should do nothing for the first week, I mean how is that possible? I need to cook, clean and eat etc.
The pain is getting easier so I’m hoping to be on track for op number two next week.
Not much else to report so I’m signing off now. I’ll do a post in a few days to update on the Sarcoma Big Conversation event that I attended last week.
Today I met the man who will, in a short while, be saving my life – my wonderful surgeon. He’s explained that he will be doing two operations on me, the first being on my right lung. The tumour is close to my chest wall but as I have no pain at all he is confident that it’s a straightforward procedure which will see him remove the middle lobe of my lung. This will be achieved via keyhole surgery. In the unlikely event that he can’t do this he will slice me open good and proper, move my ribs (ouch!!) and get to the little bugger that way. He said that 1/20 surgeries like this can’t be achieved with keyhole. In the even unliklier event that the tumour is attached to the chest wall then he may remove a rib or two (bigger ouch) Either way I don’t care as long as it’s out of me.
The second surgery will be to remove the one met that remains in my left lung. Yes you did read that correctly. One has gone!!!!! He said that the one that’s left could be the dregs of one tumour or may even be scar tissue. I was so pleased with this as I thought I still had two there. The second surgery will be taken once I’ve recovered from the first one.
I am not having the surgery on the NHS as going private will get me an earlier date. Hopefully the surgeon will call me in the morning to confirm a date, apparently Theatre is quite quiet at the moment!
Thinking of Friends
On a final note, I’m genuinely shocked by the amount of friends/family that have been diagnosed with cancer recently. You are all in my thoughts and keep fighting
I’ve met so many people facing cancer and all of the women have been telling me to attend a “Look Good Feel Better” (LGFB) session. I contacted the Macmillan office at the Liverpool Royal Hospital in January and they were able to offer me a place on today’s session. I had high expectations for the session considering there was a two month wait.
So what is LGFB?
Look Good Feel Better (LGFB) is the only international cancer support charity, providing practical and very effective free services for women and teenagers suffering from the visible side effects from cancer treatment.
LGFB is dedicated to improving the wellbeing and self-confidence of people undergoing treatment for any type of cancer. Many beneficiaries tell us that LGFB helped them regain a sense of control and normality at a time when diagnosis and treatment had taken over their lives.
(taken from the LGFB website)
So having waited over two months to attend, I arrived half an hour late having gotten my times mixed up (oops-can’t even blame it on being blonde anymore!!) Luckily the lady hosting the session allowed me to join in. There was nine of us in total, some of us had hair, some of us were bald, some of us had scars, some of us had no boobs, some of us had finished treatment but…ALL of us had cancer, albeit different cancers. We were all there for the same reason – to get tips on how to make us look and feel better.
The session was hosted by a Boots Macmillan Beauty Advisor and a Macmillan volunteer, who provided us all with a ‘Confidence Kit’ which had all products required to undergo a 12 Step beauty/make up programme. For an hour we cleansed, toned, primed, preened, talked and laughed until we all looked fabulous.
I would highly recommend this session to anyone who is undergoing treatment as it’s informative, fun and certainly gives you a confidence boost.
For more information please visit the LGFB website
Boots Macmillan Beauty Advisors
If you are unable to attend one of the sessions then I would definitely pay Boots a visit to see a Macmillan Beauty Advisor. You won’t get the experience that you get at LGFB but they will give you a make over and help you to understand which make up to use while having treatment. I’ve had one of these and I honestly felt a million dollars when I left the store.
Brow Arch March
Debenhams and Benefit Cosmetics have teamed up to bring you Brow Arch March.
Throughout the month of March, Benefit ‘Brow Bars’ – located in 50 Debenhams stores across the country – will be offering a complimentary brow arch service (worth £11.50) for a requested minimum donation of £5, with all proceeds going directly to Look Good Feel Better. (taken from LGFB website)
This is a brilliant opportunity to make yourself look fabulous and you will feel fabulous knowing you will be helping women affected by cancer.
Would you believe
In the group there was another lady, Sharon, who is being treated for Sarcoma by the brilliant Mr Chandra. It’s lovely to meet people who know exactly what you’re going through, although you wouldn’t wish this disease on anyone. I hope to see Sharon at the next support group meeting.
I’ve rambled on long enough now so I’ll leave you in peace!
Good night x
I’ve been away, am refreshed (such a lie-we partied like it was going out of fashion!) and back to fighting my irritating intruder.
Dr Chandra had asked if he could use pictures of my tumour, pre and post op, in his work with the British Medical Journal. Chandra was presenting at the BMJ conference where people were lucky (or unlucky) enough to see pictures of me in my short lived modelling career. Dr Chanda is amazing and he is working with other professionals to implement a module for trainee GP’s to create awareness of sarcoma. I wish him all the luck in doing this and have told him I’m happy to consent to any of my files/photos being used.
Friday was a busy day. John & I headed to the Linda McCartney Centre at the Liverpool Royal where I had two appointments. As usual I had the ‘pre appointment’ jitters but was comforted by a friendly face in the waiting room-we bumped into the lovely Rose who attends the Sarcoma support group.
The appointment was different – In the room was John & I, Dr Ali, Dr Allam and two Clinical Specialist Nurses – it was like a mothers meeting, but so much better than having two separate appointments!
So what happens next?
I will be meeting the surgeon in the next 10 days. He says the surgery is easy (well he does do it a lot) and they want to do it sooner rather than later, which is music to my ears! I need to have two operations, the first will be on my right lung. Now here’s the biology lesson….. The right lung is in three sections (the left is in two) and the surgeon will be removing the ‘middle lobe’ which is the smallest lobe. I will need to recover for approximately six weeks then I will have another surgery where the two buggers on my left lung will be taken out. Dr Alam has confirmed that I won’t be having any radiotherapy following my operations. This is scary as it means I could be ‘getting on with life’ in about 8 weeks by doing things like returning to work, going on the long haul all holiday I didn’t think we would have in 2014 and well, just trying to put the big C behind me. These operations are the final hurdle in this chapter and I can’t wait to start moving on….
This morning I received my Tesco club card vouchers and they offered me money off dry shampoo. An hour later I received an email from Debenhams showing me how to create the perfect eye brows…. 🙂 don’t they know I’m bald???? 🙂
Goodnight folks xxx