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Life Blog – The Second Chemo Treatment

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The Second chemotherapy treatment underway then and all pretty routine stuff. Tingling fingers, when I touch anything cold, a loss of taste, a dry mouth, hiccups every afternoon / early evening for three days and just generally a bit tired. But that’s it no drama, just a day off work and then back to work again, business as normal. Job done.

The first treatment saw The Elf and Fandango keep us company but this time it was just the two of us, so lots of reading and iPad research. Mrs P is keeping busy doing all sorts of research for our war campaign and plotting alternative strategies. It’s keeping her busy and she is finding avenues to pursue. All good fun.

On the way home we called into a carpet shop, to sort out a new floor for our hall and while I was in there, I got a call from St Richard’s Hospice as my doctor had referred me to them. Now that was a bit sobering and I admit it knocked the wind out of our sails a fair bit I can tell you. However, the lady on the phone was great and stressed they are not all about death and dying but offer all kinds of practical help both for me and those around me, so  having got over the shock of the call, we decided it was a welcome call, which was later followed up by an introductory letter. Meanwhile let’s see how this treatment gets on, it might well make a longer fight of it and if Peanut has anything to do with it it definitely will.

But how are we coping? I have the Big C, and they cannot cure it. How long I have depends on how the chemo / treatment works so yes it lurks about in the mind. But you know, we are dying from the minute we are born, so what does no cure really mean? You see death can’t be cured it comes to us all, so health treatment isn’t about a cure it is about prolonging life, so let’s just crash on, and have a bit of Chem and a touch of Avastin and a dabble of whatever else gets offered and we will keep soldiering on prolonging. But right now, so you know, I look and feel as good as the next guy – kind of odd really. So I’m doing Ok really, pragmatic, realistic but still going forward, still looking forward to my next adventure, my next watch, my next camera related purchase, my next kiss.

Mrs P is doing ok too. Yep she has tears, yes she has a sense of despair, but she has jobs to do, missions to complete, research to undertake and it is a full time job being the wife of the Beastmaster, so this helps fill her head with better things. It is hard for her though, but she shares my dreams and always has that kiss for me and right now she remains busy as always working hard to make our dreams still come true.

Work for me is great – it is a slice of watered down normality as they give me all the support I need, yet  give me a framework of stability, surrounded by a great team. Our local camera club is proving good too, and the meets are very inspiring and make us want to shoot more pictures. Our newly decorated  living room is a simple pleasure too,  while on the social front things are good too, with a lovely meal out with friends at Ask in Great Malvern last night, other friends coming round for lunch on Sunday, Mum here next weekend for a weekend stay and a wedding to go to in February. So my friend Chemo, behave yourself as we have a lot of fun coming up.

Anyway, take care, show the ones you love, how much you love them  and don’t forget St Valentines is only around the corner! 🙂

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Life Blog – A Happy New Year

We just want to wish all our family and friends a happy and prosperous New Year and hope you spend next year living your dreams! That is the name of the game here at Beastie Folly.

With this Big C thing lurking in most corners of our joint lives very foundation, it would be very easy for us to not dare to look forward, to refuse to look ahead in anticipation and excitement, but really that’s no life at all, so of course we will still dare to dream and indeed will strive to chase our dreams down. Dreams happen when you make plans, so we have already booked a May holiday, to watch the Monaco Classic Grand Prix, to watch the Mille Miglia race in Brescia and to revisit Venice. Then on Christmas Eve we were helped to add another of our dreams to this holiday adventure. We have a sexy red convertible (yeah I know but someone has to have one, so that others can drool as they fly by) and we have long wanted to take it on a road trip with some of its fellow Opel GTs. Well on Christmas Eve we got an extra christmas present when a European OPEL GT group invited us to join them in the South Tyrol for a razz around the Dolomites and it ties in perfectly with the spare weekend we have on our road trip, when we will be in Venice anyway. I’ve been busy getting my teeth into this dream I can tell you. I bet he was quite surprised to get an acceptance of his offer by return e-mail!

Our Christmas and New Year break itself had little planned to begin with, as we were initially heading for France for a break, but developments on the BIg C front made us have a change of heart on that one. In the end we did as much driving over the break, as if we were going to the South of France!

On Christmas Day we drove up early to My Mum’s in Buckley where Lady P cooked a delicious Christmas Dinner and although it was just the three of us we had a lovely day and enjoyed some Xmas day TV with Dr Who and Strictly.

Back home Boxing Day lunch time to feed the cats before dashing across country from Malvern to Bicester to catch up with Peanut’s babies – The Elf and Duncan. The Elf made us a very tasty Ham steak cooked in her own uniquely flavoursome way! This was another lovely meal and over dinner Duncan and The Elf had Peanut in stitches of laughter with some general silliness and I can’t begin to tell you the joy it gave me to see P crying with laughter. Another great day.

Friday we were at home and did some more tidying as the decorating of the living room had really messed up the whole house with furniture strewn everywhere but it was good to have most of the house back in order after it was tidied. Saturday and we went to Ashtead and Epsom to stay over with my cousin Lorraine and to have dinner with her and my Auntie Enid and Uncle Jim. Lorraine had an IT job waiting for me, updating her iPhone and moving some music and photos off an old computer onto a new. It was a bit fiddly but I enjoyed getting there in the end. Another lovely meal out but this time a Chinese and very nice again. The theme of the Christmas break seemed to be good food then!.

Sunday saw us dining out in Cheltenham with some friends closer to home, another watch lover who had fetched a lovely Graham Chronofighter for me to drool over. It sure worked for me – lovely! Our meal was at the Brasserie Blanc in Montpellier and the meal did not disappoint – topped only by the good company.

Monday – another day and another party! Carl and The Elf came down early evening to spend the day with us on New Year’s Eve while I had my first Chemo session at the Worcester Royal. It seemed then that a reality check was looming. Er not just yest. We met them for a quick bite at The Harvester at Timberdine in Worcester before going to a house party with some of Mrs P’s work friends. Carl and The Elf gatecrashed but the Elf is pretty so she is always allowed to! It was another fun evening and some tasty nibbles were served too. Yes food was the theme of the break. I’m sure I was going to pay for my excessive epicurean treats somewhere along the way!

New Year’s Eve – and a chemo day – surely reality was knocking on the door now. I rolled up at the Chemo shop in Worcester at 8.30 like a rock and roll star, familiarising himself with this part of the day and with a full entourage, with Lady P fussing around me and Carl and The Elf also dancing in attendance.

First hiccup, was one blood test was not done so that had to be done before the chemo could be made up in pharmacy. Then they had to weigh me. Your weight dictated the volume of chemo made up as it is dependant on your body mass index apparently. Whose idea was this foody Christmas break thingy then. My already not so svelte 12 stone 4 had hit 13 stones! I endured half an hour’s worth of teasing about my increased body mass index! Significantly though I was now in the next band up for the chemo mix, or borderline at least, so pharmacy were again held up, waiting for a consultant to decide exactly what volume I should receive.

My chemo began after 12 and we finally left a little after 6.30, though Elf and Carl escaped around 5. It was a very long day and if the two of us had been there alone we would have been making ourselves miserable moaning about the delays. This of course would have been very unfair, as clearly everyone was doing their best and I’m sure all the nurses wanted to be away before 6.30 on New Year’s eve too. The staff there really do a fine job and always find the fun in things, like asking me to move so they could get on with disinfecting my chair before they left and “Oh could I turn the light off when I’m done?” Carl and the Elf though made it a bit of fun and they had loads of chocolate goodies and sandwiches and newspapers and they really made the day pass.

Home for seven, a rom com on Netflix and then Garaham Norton followed by Gary Barlow to let in the New Year. His last song of 2013 was Rule The World, a very special song for both of us and it had us both in tears. We smiled at each other locked our little fingers and promised to chase our dreams next year.

Christmas and New year then had all been rather good fun and this Big C thing, while it was there, it was shoved away in a cupboard and our Festive season has actually all been darned good. So I hope you all had a fun Christmas too and in this time of reflection, think not what could have been “if only” , think what will be if you dare to live your dream!