Chemotherapy by numbers #Sarcoma

Well, who can believe that I’ve finally finished my chemo. It doesn’t seem five minutes since I had my CT scan and was sat I front of Dr Chandra being told we have to start this fight again. After I finished radio in January 2013 I wrote the blog post Radiotherapy in numbers and I thought I’d do the same for chemo. So here goes….

3 lung mets
18 nights on Sulby Ward at Clatterbridge
18 week journey
2160 miles travelled in the ELT mobile
0 times John took the wrong turnoff (at the same point from M53-M56) <strong>well done!!!!!</strong>
3 hospital meals consumed
2 X-rays
2 MRI scans
2 CT scans
54 minutes of Doxirubicin chemo
72 hours of Ifosomide
4 wigs
1 picc line
9 cannulas
1 leak of chemo
4 Friday morning visits from Vicky
12 Krispy Kreme donuts (courtesy of Claire)….

…..and <strong>far too many visitors to mention</strong>

There have been too many kisses, cuddles and tears.

I have been overwhelmed by the support that I have received from each and every one of you. I honestly can’t thank you all enough for making the trek to visit me. Especially to John and my Mum & Dad who were there every day for me. I would also like to thank Bert for behaving 🙂


Fun Fun Fun

I’ve been a busy bee since finishing treatment. I’ve been to Edinburgh to watch a show and have drinkies with the Scottish McTickles – thanks Dave & Sabs!! We went to London last weekend for a cheeky trip of luxury and partying.  So it’s just one more trip before my surgery next month then we will have to calm it for a few months while I recover!

well that’s it for now. speak soon xxx

p.s here’s the gorgeous roses from my secret admirer at Valentines!


Good news….. #Sarcoma


I’ve been absolutely manic for the last two weeks so apologies for not doing an update earlier.

I had a CT scan last Friday and went to see Dr Ali for the results today. There was bad news and good news. The bad news is that the main tumour wasn’t 15mm, it was more like 50mm. The two at the top of my left lung were 10mm each. I was shocked to hear this as I was working off 15mm…… Anyhow, I got over the shock and was pleased to learn that all three have shrunk by more than 50%!!!! Dr Ali showed John and I the scans and it was amazing to see the difference. One of the mets has shrunk so much that I think it will disappear by the end of the chemo! When I started this treatment, the objective was to STOP the tumours growing and anything else was a bonus so I am really happy with the way things are going.

Dr Ali said that he may just give me one more cycle of chemo but we agreed that as I’m coping so well with it we may as well blast the little buggers (Dr Ali didn’t say that hee hee) and complete the full six cycles. He is now going to involve a thoracic surgeon so we can plan the next stage of my treatment.

Thanks Mum and Dad for these gorgeous flowers from Nancy Moon flowers and the prosecco (that we will have with Chambord!!)

The Penguin Tree
The Penguin Tree created a lovely paper cut design and donated proceeds from each one to Sarcoma UK. Here’s mine!
You can visit The Penguin Tree here

Hope you are all ready for Christmas!

Bye for now xx

Cycle 2, hair fun and @mastermindquiz @sarcoma_UK

Cycle 2
Hey all, just thought I’d drop a line now I’ve had my 2nd cycle of chemo. I left Clatterbridge on Sunday and honestly have to say that I feel, well, ok. I’m confused as I’m on a combination chemotherapy of Doxirubicin and Ifosomide. Now don’t get me wrong, whilst in hospital I do feel sick but since leaving I’ve taken 3 anti sickness tablets whereas last time I took 3 per day for 8 days. Dr Ali did say that I may not suffer too much with side effects as I’m young, fit and healthy but I am certainly surprised.

I had lots of visitors when I was in hospital and my favourite was when Paul & Helen brought the Mini Macs. Maisie and Isobel were fascinated with Bert and how the ‘medicine’ went into my body via the PICC line. They weren’t scared and even touched my shaved head. Cutie Isobel had asked “What if Aunty Emma doesn’t look like Aunty Emma anymore….?” As soon as she heard my big mouth she realised all was ok….. 🙂

On Tuesday I had to go for my dressing on the PICC line changed. I opted to go to Halton as it’s closer than going to The Wirral. I have to say, it was so surreal on the CanTreat day ward. I was sat with ten other people, who were having chemo, with ten “Bert’s” beeping….CONSTANTLY! You see, when I’m in hospital, I’m in my bed, hooked to Bert, watching telly, having visitors and only see a few people having treatment. At the CanTreat ward you are sat in a circle, having treatment together. I found it really upsetting and sad. I better get used to it as I have to go each week for my dressing changed :/

Wiggin’ it
I finally got the confidence to wear my long wig this week……and I bloody love it!! I went to Debenhams and a lady approached me to tell me my hair was beautiful. There was a moment of uncomfortable silence as I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to tell her it was fake or what, so I just said thank you and she walked away muttering that it was just gorgeous.

I had my short wig on yesterday and went to the butchers. As the butcher was serving me, she commented on how lovely my hair was……!

The wig love is really boosting my confidence right now!

Celebrity Mastermind
Sarcoma UK gave me two tickets to be in the audience of Celebrity Mastermind last night. So off we went to the BBC studios for a date night. When we got there Ted Robbins was the ‘warm up man’ and asked for a volunteer to test the black chair out. Needless to say, shy old me ended up on stage…..I pranced about and was fake quizzed by the funny man while we demonstrated to the audience what would happen during filming. It was brilliant! When filming commenced we were sat right behind John Humpreys so we may just get on the telly!! When we were eating our meal in Prezzo afterwards, a lady asked if I was Emma, the test lady! Oh to be famous…..

here’s me rocking my wig at Media City last night20131114-100740.jpg

It’s all about the hair…. #Sarcoma

Hi all, just a quick update to say my hair has started to go now. Luckily I went to The Wiggins (Penny Lane, Liverpool) and bought two beautiful wigs this week. One is a bob for daily use and the other is a glamorous ‘Holly Willoughby’ style wig for when I go out out….

I only had to pay for the bobbed wig as the long one was free. This is because I have my chemotherapy as an in patient. The wig was £155 so I am very grateful and lucky that I qualified for this benefit.

Here’s a pic of me and John out and about today in said wig 🙂


First week #sarcoma

I’m at the end of my first week after having my first cycle of chemo. I’m pleased to say that the drugs have been kinder than I thought. I honestly believed I would have been bed ridden and that John would be fanning my fever ridden body in a candle lit room….but I have been, well, relatively normal (no jokes there please!)

There are a few effects that I am having. The main way that the treatment has affected me has been fatigue. I am really tired and will sleep anywhere that’s comfy (beware if I come to your house – I nip to the loo never to return – you will find me in your spare bed snoozing…!)
Secondly, my appetite is non existent. I do not want to eat but I know I need to, the issue is that nothing appeals to me. I have been stocking up on rocket ice lollies and Pringles as these kerb the sickness but I know I can’t live off these. The thing that upsets me the most is that bacon and sausage knock me sick (now for those who know me, this is big stuff!!!). We are going for tea with the Scottish McTickles tomorrow and it’s already proving a challenge deciding where to go….

Work and cancer
A few months ago, I read an article where some employers make it difficult for cancer patients to return to work after illness. This really shocked and upset me as my employer had been so supportive during my absence last year. They are even more supportive this time and I can not stress how grateful I am and how lucky I feel to work for such a great company. I just wish that all patients could have the positive experience that I have with my employer.

Hairy stuff
I’m off to a wig shop on Monday to start trying some on so I can see what styles I like. Watch this space…..!

Finally a huge thank you to everyone in my department for my lovely gift and thanks to Joe for my goodie bag. They are very much appreciated.



Morning all,

Apologies for not updating last night but I was shattered by the time I got home from Clatterbridge.

I went to see Dr Ali yesterday to discuss my next options. Basically if I have surgery, they would have to do one lung, wait for that to heal and then operate on the second one. In the meantime there could be other cancerous cells lurking that may come to life, therefore he feels we should attack it in the first instance with chemotherapy.

I have two options:
1. standard chemotherapy – I would go once every three weeks for the chemo and I would repeat this six times.
2. trail – basically I could opt for a clinical trial which is being run by cancer research. If I opt for this I will be added to a database and the computer randomly picks if you will go on the standard chemo or a chemo which is usually used third line. Your results are then used for research purposes whichever chemo you end up having.

As my tumours are resectable it may eliminate me from option of the trial, so I am waiting to hear from them today or tomorrow. If I am eliminated I will have standard chemotherapy.

What does chemo do?
Basically the chemo will kill off any lurking cancerous cells in my body. It should either stop the three tumours on my lungs from growing any bigger or shrink them. I will then need to have these three removed surgically as the chemo will not get rid of them.
After two/three sessions I will be rescanned to see how the treatment is working. If the cancer isn’t responding to the treatment then Dr Ali will move me to another one.

It’s all very complicated and a lot to take in but I believe I’m in good hands. As Dr Ali said, there are a lot of positives to draw on and I am focussing on these.