Facts of life….

Flirty Thirty
When you are fighting cancer, you are constantly faced with the prospect of being sick, disfigurement, amputation and even death. It’s funny because it is only then that you start to appreciate the little things and the actual things that matter in life. I don’t take life too seriously and the main aim is to have fun and grab every opportunity you can. If you let things bother you then you will wear yourself down and become old before you know it!

Another thing is, you start to appreciate milestones – it was my 30th two weeks ago so we decided to celebrate in luxury on the gorgeous island of Antigua.

So what challenges did I face whilst taking a long haul holiday? Whilst the holiday was a success I did have a few issues;

1- Gatwick, the BA check in staff was lovely and asked if I wanted assistance to take me to the gate. Pride got in the way and I said no – I wrongly assumed we would be going from gate 101 as we had on previous previous trips to the Caribbean…. When gate111 announced, again, we thought it wouldn’t be too far….! wrong! It was a long trek and in future I will accept assistance where it is needed

2 – I can’t swim properly – I look like a frog with one leg ūüôā my right leg doesn’t function well enough for me to swim properly. What does John suggest? “lets have a race”…. ūüôā

3 – people stare. I wore my bikini all week and didn’t hide my leg away. If people stared, tough! I didn’t care!

4 – pre planning is essential. We had a suite in the hotel and John had requested a low floor prior to our arrival. I didn’t think that this was necessary as there we only two floors of suites but when I got the I know that I would have struggled with the stairs on a regular basis.

5 – try new things. We hired a car and explored the island, even going to local bars and a lovely restaurant for both of birthdays. Before we went I was nervous about driving abroad but I’ve done it loads before and realised I was being silly. I’m so glad I over that as we had an amazing time.

We have got over the hurdle and there is now stopping me, we are already planning our next trip. New York, SanFran, Las Vegas? We’ll see…..

It was also John’s birthday when was there so it wasn’t all just about me (although it was really!!) ūüėČ

When we returned home, we went out with family and friends to celebrate in true ‘McTickle Style’

Here’s me holding John up….
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I’m now thinking of how to top that with my 40th – that will be a double celebration as it’s the same time as my 10 year all clear! Although how can we top this view???
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Raising Awareness
I am keen to support in raising awareness of sarcoma in any way that I can and Liverpool Royal have asked if I will take part in a campaign to raise awareness next week. I am really pleased that I can support on this campaign and even if only one person seeks help on the back of it, then it’s time well spent! Watch this space…..!!

Next steps
Well I have my next check up in four weeks. Here Dr Chandrasekar will check my leg and conduct a lung scan. Prior to the last two I was anxious but now, I realise that they are par for the purse and they now feel part of life. This helps my mental state and I’m sure I will get through this one easier.

My leg is extremely painful at the moment and the knee joint is getting worse. Whilst I was fully aware that this is long term side effect of radiotherapy, I wast expecting it to be an issue so soon, especially as it has been better than this previously! I will speak to Dr Chandrasekar and Sarah to see what the best treatment for me now is.

Anyway, I have babbled on enough for one night ūüôā have a great weekend and enjoy the sun!

Set back…

In my previous post Are Disabilities Visible (14 April 13)¬†I forgot to mention that Mr Chandrasekar¬†offered me my 2nd 12 week check up scan on my lungs.¬† This was originally due on 29th April but Mr Chandrasekar¬†asked if I would like to have it there and then to save me¬†returning three weeks later.¬† I panicked at first as I was at the hospital alone and anyone who has the big C will know how nerve wrecking these scans are….but I bit the bullet and agreed.¬† I’m pleased to say that it was clear.¬† I only need to go back in early August now for my 3rd 12 week check up ūüôā¬† Only another 18 to go….(not that I’m counting!!)

I went away this weekend to Scotland to visit my brother.¬† For the 2nd night we went to the gorgeous hotel where he has booked his wedding to the lovely Sabrina.¬† It was a¬†1¬†and a half ¬†hours drive away from Edinburgh but it was definitely worth it-gorgeous, remote and secluded.¬† We had a lovely time there but I somehow managed to trap my sciatic nerve¬†.¬† If you have never had the pleasure of having a trapped sciatic nerve, trust me its the most awful pain.¬† I was in absolute agony and couldn’t even stand up by Sunday morning – I missed the breakfast, but John sneaked a sausage out for me (much to Dave’s embarrassment!)¬†¬† ūüôā

I called the Scottish NHS help line¬†and they made me an appointment at the Edinburgh Royal for Sunday afternoon.¬†Once there, I¬†was poked, prodded and¬†tested for clots.¬† Thankfully,¬†I was clot free¬†– just¬†had a trapped nerve¬†–¬†which was caused by the fact¬†I have a (slight) limp and putting extra strain on my left recently as my right leg has been struggling.¬† ¬† The Dr prescribed me Diclofanec, Co-Codamol¬†and Diazepam.¬† The Diazepam didnt¬†help the pain, it completely knocked me out, made me woozy and dozy. (a bit like Vodka really!)

I fell asleep as we left Edinburgh (after taking a Diazepam) and woke up just as we passed Carlisle and thought we had been driving for an hour….no-poor John had been driving for almost 3 hours in terrible weather.¬† At least he had some peace eh?! (and I didn’t¬†have to consciously endure his driving!!!)

                                       Was this how we got home from Edinburgh?funny crazy driver 11

And now….
So here I am 5 days later and still in agony ūüė¶¬†I’m even back to using my walking stick :/¬† The Dr has now prescribed me with a painkiller that is specific to nerve pain, Lyrica.¬† I’ve been taking it for just over 24 hours and can feel it starting to work¬†,¬† hopefully I will start to improve over the next few days.¬†

PMA
The thing that has upset me the most about this is, that I got through major surgery, radiotherapy and the big C….and was still standing, then this stupid trapped nerve crippled me.¬† Its made worse by the fact that my right leg is still weak.¬†

Positivity will always help with recovery and my anger will only prolong my pain, so I have now changed how I view the trapped nerve: it’s a minor¬†setback in my recovery.¬† It’s a wake up call that I need to slow down and take it easy, to stop trying to run before I can walk.

 

Moving on….

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Hi all,
Haven’t been on for a while so thought I’d update what’s been going on.

I’ve been back at work for a month now. I’m in a new job which is really good and keeping me busy. Everyone’s been great and it feels like I’ve never been away. My employers, my boss in particular, were fantastic in the support they provided when I was off, which made my return to work so much easier.

I went to a Sarcoma support group two weeks ago. It was good to see people who have or are experiencing the same illness. It makes you realise you are not alone and that someone does understand!

While I was off work my lovely colleague Liz held a ‘Cake Sale’ in order to raise funds for Clatterbridge Cancer Centre. Liz makes AMAZING cakes and managed to raise a whopping ¬£405. Liz and I went to their fundraising office to take the money and they were so appreciative of it.¬† After gift aid, the total raised from Liz’s cakes and Team McClozzer’s sober January exceeds ¬£2500!!!! This is amazing and I want to say a huge thank you for your support.

I went to see Dr Alam yesterday. She wanted to check my leg after my treatment. It all looks good so don’t need to see her for six months now.¬† My next ‘check up’ and lung xray is at the end of April. Whilst it is scary waiting for each one I am determined to ‘move on’ and live life to the fullest…..starting with a trip away in two weeks. Cheeky, especially as I went to Amsterdam 4 weeks ago ūüėČ

We are celebrating tonight. Its my brothers engagement ‘do’ so he has traipsed down from Edinburgh with 7 Scottish people who are all so excited to party in the hotspot that is Warrington…!!

Have fun and will update again soon.

Getting there….

I know I haven’t been on here or a few weeks so thought I’d do a quick update.

While I was having radiotherapy the nurses told me to ensure my scar was treated with Aqueous Cream on a daily basis to reduce the risk of burns on my leg. I never thought to put the cream on the back of my leg and with four days to go, I really started to feel the effects of treatment at the rear. My leg turned red and was tender to touch.

After radiotherapy finished the burns were just horrendous. My skin was charred and so painful I couldn’t even sit down. I ended up being in bed most of the time as this was the only place I could get comfortable. Poor John was almost kicked in the face on a daily basis when he was applying cream to the area!! I used all methods of healing that had been provided; mepilore pads, intrasite dressings, numerous creams and painkillers. After ten days or so I started to see an improvement and the skin started to fall off- it was still sore but I was more mobile. As the skin fell off, my scar turned from a thick, ugly red line to a neat, skinny white line. It looks and feels so much better!!!

I was worried about the burns as we had booked a short break to Amsterdam and I really thought we’d have to cancel …….but we made it!! We had a fantastic few days away but the realisation of how hard holidays abroad are when you have a disability really hit home. Buildings in Amsterdam are so small and the toilets are often up/down stairs. And the stairs are usually very thin and hard to manoeuvre! We love the city and will definitely go back (for a third time!!) when I’m fully recovered.

Well am back at work now which is fab….won’t bore you with that now and will update next week.

G’nite!
Xx

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Radiotherapy in numbers… #Sarcoma #Cancer

5s numbers

 

After:

  • 30 days
  • 2700 miles
  • 180 trips on 3 different motorways
  • 300 litres of fuel
  • 2400 minutes travelling time
  • 58 arguments about Johns driving
  • 4 times John took the wrong turnoff (at the same point from M53-M56)
  • 21.5 hours appointment waiting time
  • 785 minutes appointment time
  • The machine broke while I was on it twice
  • 180 beams of radiation
  • 1230 seconds of radiation

…it is finally over! ¬†No more Radiotherapy for me!

Am off out tonight¬†with family and friends to celebrate the end of this journey and the start of the next (cancer free) one…!!

It’s not me…

Ever since we met last year, it’s fair to say I’ve had an unhealthy obsession with you. There have been endless searches on the internet, constant conversations about you, even a blog dedicated to you. Wow, you really have took over my life.

You have showed me who my real friends are and of those friends, who is prepared to go the extra mile. You have proved that there are some amazing people who are unsung hero’s who dedicate their lives to helping others. You have showed me that it is so important to grab each opportunity that comes our way, to savour every moment and everyone in our precious lives. However, whilst there are some good points to our relationship, I can not (and will not) forget the bad things; you have made me cry (a lot), you have made me so god damn angry and most of all you have made me sad.

I went to The Royal today. The last time I went, I walked away with you….this time (my 1st 12 week check up) I walked away clear; without you and without any of your family or friends in my lungs. I know that I will get the full all clear in 21 months.

Walking back the car made me think: This kind of relationship is no good for either of us, so it is today that we must say goodbye. Whilst I appreciate that, given the opportunity, you would cling to me with all your might, I must stress to you; it’s not meant to be.

At the end of most relationships you see the head tilt and hear the patronising tone accompanied by the words “it’s not you, it’s me”. However, I would like to say – “it’s not me, it’s YOU”

Goodbye Sarcoma and I hope we never meet again.

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