Giving something back… #Clatterbridge #Sarcoma

Afternoon all,
Now I can’t run a marathon or anything like that,  but I want to help Clatterbridge Cancer Charity and Sarcoma UK in ways that I can.  So…I’ve spent this morning at Liverpool Lime Street underground collecting donations for Clatterbridge.  The lovely Vicki and Claire came along to help – Thanks so much to you both,  and to everyone who kindly donated this morning!

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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 🙂

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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!

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Drama queen #Sarcoma #cancer

Greetings from Clatterbridge

Well, I’m here for my penultimate cycle and, knowing me, it’s not without it’s dramas. So I had my PICC line out because the dressings were too harsh for my skin, this means my treatment needs to be administered by a cannula. I’ve had to be re-cannulated each day!! Tonight’s drama started as soon as the Doxirubicin was pumping in. My skin burned and my arm swelled up so we had to stop, withdraw the chemo that had gone in, remove my cannula, wear an ice pack on affected area for 30 minutes, apply cream and the poor nurse had to fill in approx 29 forms….! So for the next 24 hours I need to be monitored and every two hours I need an ice pack for 30 minutes and cream applying…..so that’s no sleep for me and no discharge until 5pm tomorrow 😦

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Visits
I’ve had a busy few days with visitors. Thanks to Vicky, Mindy, Leanne, Joe, Vicky, Paul & Helen & the mini macs. Not forgetting my lovely mum & dad, Mike & Beckii and the amazing John who have all been here daily. Was lovely to see you all….see you on my next cycle!!!

P.s thanks for my voddy Leanne!!!!

4th cycle, thanks yous and goodbyes…. #Sarcoma

I’m back in hospital having my 4th cycle of chemotherapy. I was particularly poorly after my last cycle and ended up in Warrington Hospital. Luckily it wasn’t too serious and I was soon sent packing with antibiotics, creams and other random medicines….which all made me better 🙂
Hopefully this cycle will be kinder to me!

Anyway, I have a few thank yous for fundraising efforts recently

Firstly, I’d like to thank everyone at work who raised money for me. Special thanks to Claire, Joe and Bev who arranged the “Dizzytix Day” and raised £800 in cake sales, raffles, auctions and more. Thanks so much to everyone who helped, donated or took part and a huge thank you to the MD Andrew who matched the fundraising bringing the total to almost £1700. I was overwhelmed and emotional when I found out about the day and how generous people had been so a huge thank you. I’ve used a portion of the money to buy my latest wig and will put the rest to good use.

Next, thanks to Alison and her son Aaron who ran The Santa Dash in Wigan. They raised money for Joseph’s Goal and Sarcoma UK. Both charities received £105 which is brilliant. They look fab!!
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Thirdly, thanks to Matt and the customers at The Bridge Inn in Burtonwood who raised £73 on Halloween. They asked my uncle Kev to nominate a charity and he kindly donated the money to The Clatterbridge Cancer.

Lastly, a huge thank you to my sister for raising funds for Sarcoma UK by holding a Body Shop at home party. She raised over £210 from us donating 10% equivalent of her sales and holding a successful raffle. She has also donated her hostess gifts so we can raffle these for more money.
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Well done and a huge thank you to everyone, it means so much that you chose me and these charities

Goodbye
Today we said goodbye to one of the loveliest men around-my cousin Neil. Neil was 44 and passed away unexpectedly last week.
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Remember to tell those close to you that you love them, to not put off ’til tomorrow what you can do today and to enjoy life.

Goodnight and godbless the lovely Neil xxx

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…..

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Chemo agreed….still get to go and see @JasonManford

Hello everyone, I have just been to The Royal to see Dr Ali to agree and sign consent for my treatment. I’m having combination chemotherapy and will have to stay over for three nights at Clatterbridge next week. I will then repeat this every three weeks for a further five seasons. I fully understand the side effects and I know this will be no easy ride but I know that with my amazing family and friends I can get through anything. I have never felt as determined to to anything as I do today. On a side note, as the treatment starts on Thursday I still get to go and see the lovely Jason Manford on Wednesday night 🙂 Have a nice weekend peeps xxx

Chemotherapy

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.

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