Thank you and Ugh!

So, I would like to take a moment to thank everyone for all of their amazing messages of support.

Thank you.

I had a tough moment or two last week. The messages received were so encouraging and amazing. Yes, I do read each and everyone of them and feel so fortunate to have genuine and amazing people on my side.

Every so often, I guess it happens to all of us, I feel crap. Thankfully these times are not often or regular but when they hit, they hit hard.

I am incredibly lucky to have not only Dr Hands and my mum and my daughter but each and every family member and friend around when I need them.

So thank you for each and every message. They all mean the world to me.

On to the Ugh bit of my blog this week.

My half hair and half bald head has a bloody pimple on it! A PIMPLE!

I have hair growing around the side and back of my head but not in the middle and this is where that bloody pimple decides to show up. Who the hell gets pimples on their head!? Never have I had a pimple on my head!! And it isn’t a gentle quiet pimple, it is a red and angry one and no, I can not squeeze it. My head skin is very delicate.

Radiation stuff.

I have some burning now on my collarbone which is very discoloured and a bit yucky to look at, my mastectomy scar is itchy and there has been a bit of fatigue. Absolutely NOTHING like chemo so I will try hard not to complain too much.

Did you know, that with radiation, the best cream to use is Calendular cream. It needs to be applied to each radiation spots (4 places for me) three times a day.

And, did you know, not many chemists sell this cream. More running around needed to buy this cream but totally worth it. I have heard some terrible horror stories about radiation skin irritations from those who are not protecting their skin with this.

Thankfully my ‘team’ at the clinic told me that in no uncertain terms am I to use nothing but Calendular cream.

Ummmm, I think that is about it for me.

Oh hang on. I have something else for those who dont follow me on facebook.

I had an energy spurt today and took my gorgeous boy Brady for a walk to the post office and on our way, we came across this little fellow. One minute into our walk and I can tell you, the rest of my walk was spent with my head down, eyes scanning the pavement, road and bushes on the sidewalk.

Here in South Australia the snakes are out in force. Especially around the Adelaide Hills and where we live, there is a wetlands area full of frogs. This is where these snakes are headed apparently. Wanting the sunshine and something to eat with some water. For once, I had Brady (my gorgeous groodle/golden doodle) on a leash. Goodness knows what he would have done with this snake had he been off leash.

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I Made It

My top stayed on through my work Christmas Lunch #1 so put away your bail money 🙂

It was so lovely to go to my work teams Christmas lunch even though I haven’t been at work since April. All of the team members gave me a hug (no valium needed) and I actually felt good. I felt a part of the team and I am happy to say that they agree, (well the mangers agree) to have me back earlier than previously expected.

There is no way, in my opinion, that I need until May 2016, off to recover. I miss my work so much and can’t wait to get back into it.

Here is the look I went for today. Yes, I know I know, I have bragged all about going nude nut (bald head) but I just couldn’t do it to my team mates and I think I did OK with the scarf thing (with help from my neighbours).

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You’re So Vain….

When I was younger, I was amazing. I was gorgeous. No one could resist me. Just ask the younger me and that is what she would say. I was blonde, very thin and naive. I was dopey which, apparently guys loved as much as a slim waist.

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Obviously as one grows older, they grow outter (larger) sometimes, wrinklier, fatter etc.

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Me? Well, I never thought I would be anything other than amazing. I really wasn’t even that amazing but at the time? Well, I thought I was amazing and that is all that matters.

Today, a friend of Dr Hands came to the door but I thought he was a local council worker and answered the door. He asked if Sam was home and looked at me as though he knew me. I felt disgusting. Seriously. I have a fluff of hair on either side of my head with nothing in the middle like an old man. I have two large sores on my face from disgusting pimples that could not be hidden even if I were a super model. I have no eye lashes or eye brows. Tears running from my eyes.

It is now that I feel disgusting. I feel like a cancer patient. Previously I have been proud of my bald head and face showing that I am going to be a survivor of breast cancer. That I was too proud to cover up……. I didn’t care that I had not one hair on my body and the tears that streamed down my face were chemotherapy related and the sores on my face and arms were from what ever caused them to chemo not allowing them to heal.

Today, after Dr Hands friend left I almost put a spot light on his face asking him a series of questions like – Did your friend know I was sick or does he think I choose to look this way?

Poor Dr Hands, who was actually pleased to have a visitor was like a deer in the headlights saying yes honey, he knows you are sick and that no, you do not choose to look that way.

Over the years, I have gone from a size 8 to a size None of your Business but big.  I have had excuses or hand waves for this but now, I feel vain. I feel so effin ugly that it isn’t even funny now.

I dont want sympathy or confirmation that I am a great person etc but shit, this really sucks.

I remember on one of my birthdays that an Aunt said to me, “you do not appreciate your looks or figure” and man, she was right. I didn’t appreciate my looks or figure  but I sure do now…..

No, I do not want to be supermodel gorgeous but this is not what I expected my later life to be.

How many of us have had a wonderful teenage and mid twenties look that we though would never end? Well, as my wonderful Aunt said, you do not appreciate your looks or figure” – maybe we should appreciate our good looks, health, energy and sex drive while we have it 🙂

I shall now inundate you with prettier photos of me than today 🙂

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Ok. so that last photo of Sam and I isn’t exactly pretty but it does remind me that I thought I was pretty, amazing and what not but today, that is not the situation.

Today I have an old mans head. Hair on the left. Hair on the right. Nothing in the middle. Three bright red pimple spots (sores do not heal fast with chemo/cancer treatment).

ANYHOO — I just want everyone to know (if you give a hooot) that I haven’t blogged recently for two reasons.

1 – A very special person who I love very deeply has been diagnosed with cancer. We haven’t an answer how bad or rampant it is but it has stopped me in my tracks. I love you girl and I wait for each and every result. This is not my story to tell but just know, I think of you each and every day and wish I could hug you until you were all better

2 – I have been feeling a bit out of sorts myself not just because of above but because there is still so much more to do. Yes, my chemo is finished and everyone thinks I should be shouting it from the rooftops and I get this. But, I have 8 months worth of herceptin left to go and 33 treatments of of radiation therapy. It isn’t over for me and I do not feel the joy that those do that post all of those wonderful pics of themselves with placards of last chemo treatment etc. Don’t get me wrong, I am totally all for those women who post those pics of their last chemo etc. It is just not me. I have too much more I have to do before I can celebrate. I have herceptin and surgery and radiation etc.

Anyhoo, Today, enjoy every single minute of it. Are you at work? Enjoy and embrace the fact you have a job. Can you see sunshine? Rain? Thunderstorms? Be happy you can see the weather. Have no hair to brush? Feel off your food? Constipated? Hemorrhoids? Diarrhea? Cry! Yell. Scream. You are alive to feel and live these things. I am not terminal and that, that, makes me smile through all of the pain, the torture, the agony.

Smile.

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My two besties Tracey and Nicole

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My gorgeous girls – Accalia my daughter and Stacey her gorgeous girlfriend xx

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See the way this ‘bitch’ looks at me when she is with Sam? Yeah, Well, Kelly (the bitch) and I are besties now hehe. This photo was from when I first moved in with Sam. Look at her unimpressed face… hehhe i totally love this photo

Typical Pro Chemo Week

I have done nothing but sleep as per usual following my very last chemo session but what I love about it, I dont give a shit.

Usually when I am bed ridden, suffering constipation, followed by hemorrhoids, tears, tantrums etc I am an absolute sook and can not be consoled. But this time, I am A OK. This is it. No more chemo. Fingers crossed, no more backed up poops due to the endone and other medication.

What was the reason I popped in here for…..?

Um, shit, let me think.

Oh, thats right. I just read a lady complaining that she couldn’t afford to purchase her husbands birthday gift due to medical bills and all other life time bills that never end.

With cancer, there needs to be a ‘on pause’ card, or something similar.

My partner and I have total and full health insurance and pay a grand amount for this and even still, we are very strapped for cash through this cancer bizzo.

All in Australia dollars, I pay approx $150.00 per month for health insurance. This is the top health insurance you can purchase and when I did my tax this year, I found I had spent over $5,700 out of pocket for what my health insurance and Medicare did not cover.

Why on earth do people pay for health insurance?

Well, I’ll tell you why. I overheard my amazing oncologist on the phone last Thursday when I was being blasted with more chemo and he stated on the phone to his receptionist that he simply could not take on another five ‘public’ patients. This is why my diagnosis, surgery and chemo has been so quick.

Yes, I complain about my health insurance fees (as well as my home, car, contents and what not) but at the end of the day, it has saved my life and time. I can’t even imagine how I would feel having to wait for surgery, results, more surgery, more therapy etc.

A bit of a good news story is I had sent Dr Hands to the local bottle shop (remember, we live in a country town) to buy two bottles of red wine for my amazing GP who home visits me for no cost to give me my after chemo injection every three weeks, and Dr Hands came home with an amazing bottle of bubbles. It was a bottle of Mumm which is quite pricey. I asked him why he had purchased this bottle along with the red wine for the doctor and it turns out that the owner of the local had donated amazing bottle of bubbles to me knowing that my last chemo session had just been had. My local bottle shop had donated a $50.00 bottle of bubbles to me out of the kindness of their hearts knowing what I had been through.

My point of the generosity of my local bottle shop is not the price of the bubbles but the fact that they remembered, they’ve been through this journey with me and they cared. Would this happen in the city? I hope it does happen in the city and all over because seriously, going through the shit of cancer, chemo and so forth, it is lovely to have someone recognize the crap you’ve been through and have rewarded you at the end.

This week, it’s been tough, but knowing it is my last ever post chemo dealings seriously makes my life a lot easier. My hair is growing so long and amazing except for the middle section which is as shiny as a diamond, so I look like an 80’s rock band producer. Sam and I have agreed to shave it all off again in a couple of weeks because a woman with beautiful platinum blonde (No Not Grey) with a receding hair line just doesn’t look lovely.

Anyone who is interested in my life of hemorrhoids, yep, they’re still the bane of my life and I cry and shiver and shake and am like someone being tortured every time I go to the toilet so I will be not sad to leave this part of the cancer/chemo journey behind.

My gorgeous father in law popped in during the week and dropped off a couple of bottles of bubbles, a punnet of strawberries and a pink ribbon ring which totally brightened my day. He is amazing.

My amazing mother still brings me flowers every weeks she comes over on the weekend. I was getting worried for a while because my house was starting to look like a funeral parlour but is now looking just lovely with pretty flowers. My mother in law to be bought over some gorgeous flowers from her garden that also came with a bottle of bubbles which was also a lovely gesture because she was heading off interstate and wouldn’t be around to celebrate my final chemo session.  There seems to be a pattern going on with the bubbles. And I love it 🙂

I haven’t updated my ‘books’ section of this blog for a while but just know, I have finished every single Game of Thrones book and OMG, what a book hangover I had from that. This is seriously an amazing series of books. I couldn’t put them down. I love the fact that any person of any age can read these books and love them. I say this because I got my mum into them, Dr Hands has watched every episode, and I know a lot of other people who have either read or watched the series.

I will update my book section soon though because I have read so many books through this cancer/chemo journey.

So as you can see, there is nothing new to report today. But I guess I just wanted to get some words out, let you know I am doing ok, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, can’t wait to get back to work, can’t wait to start attending events, birthdays, weddings and what ever else comes along.

One last thing, my neighbour comes home today from England!!! It has been torture seeing her car in her driveway knowing I can’t just pop over and have a total and complete breakdown about some trivial thing. Once she is over her jetlag, has been to work, I am over my post chemo effects, Clare and I will be catching up over many many bubbles. 🙂

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This celiing fan is my saviour each night and day. Poor Sam has to freeze each night to ensure I am at a comfortable temperature.

My gorgeous Sturt Desert Pea (South Australian Flower) in my front garden, flowering yet again this year….. How pretty xx

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The ‘upside’ of Cancer

  • Being able to sleep all day
  • Eating Ben & Jerrys Ice Cream at 11am and not having to explain why
  • Not having to wash, brush, condition, cut or style my hair
  • Sleeping in
  • Being home with my dogs all day
  • Sparkling wine is a pre and post chemo medication and no one argues about it
  • Becoming the neighbourhood nosey posey and keeping an eye on what goes on around here
  • Having pancakes for breakfast in bed three days in a row at chemo time made by Dr Hands
  • Meeting people all over the world (via social media) who have handy hints and kind words
  • No dieting
  • Beside medical appointments, no real obligations
  • Shows the good side of people

My most recent chemo hasn’t been kind to me. I had it on Thursday gone and I thought I was doing ok for a while but come Sunday, I couldn’t leave my bed. I did have a lovely couple of coffees with the neighbour yesterday but have spent most of yesterday and today in bed also.

Thank goodness there is only one more chemo session left.

Then, we’ll talk radiation therapy……………

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The Great Debate

Firstly, let me start with last nights post. If you didn’t read it, don’t bother. Obviously, I had had a few drinks and goodness, what a mess of a blog that turned out to be hehe. But still, I am still very flattered to have people worry for me when I haven’t blogged in a while.

Now, onto more important matters, my hair! You know it has started ‘growing’ back in a baby hair/fluff kind of manner. This is the softest hair I have ever felt and I am always feeling myself up, on my head!

When I was in the chemist the other day, I told Mary to have a look at my beautiful hair (remember Mary? She is my pharmacist) and she was ever so impressed and then said to me, “Will you be colouring it?”

I was so offended. She is saying my hair is grey! I told her that would not be necessary because my new hair is beautiful and blonde. She just nodded. Hmph.

When I came home, I asked Sam what colour he thought my hair was, he said GREY!

What a crock of shit! My hair is sooooooo blonde and not grey.

Mum came up today and she said it is blonde. I love my mum. So, what do you think?

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Totally Blonde huh? And it is getting soooo long. I love it.

Here are the beautiful flowers that Mum bought up for me today.

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I seem to also have made a habit of adding a dog photo here and there on these blogs of mine so here is Miss Kelly up on her pedestal.

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Third to Last Chemo Today

I have been a bit of a sook as of late which is why I haven’t blogged. I had such an awesome week last week so really, I shouldn’t complain. Last week consisted of taking myself out 2 days in a row! One of those days catching up with a friend for lunch and coffee and then a spot of shopping.

The weekend I had my Mum, soon to be Father in Law and Mother in Law over for a delish lamb roast lunch to celebrate FIL and MiLS upcoming birthdays and fathers day as it is more than likely I will be too poorly to celebrate on the actual days.

Look at this feast!

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Then come this week, blugh, can’t poop, have no energy, sunshine outside my window that I can’t enjoy blah blah.

But after today, I will have only 2, count them people, 2 chemos left!! How good does that sound. AND, I am getting some hair growing on my head!!

I have so many plans for when I am feeling amazing so watch out…. These pages are going to be filled with all sorts of wonderful things.

My week was perked up by a visit from my favourite postie Ashley with a lovely and amazing gift from the Naulty Family. Inside the parcel was an amazing neck warmer (you know those scarfs that are joined together?) with the cutest matching mittens. Amazing warming socks and a little card consisting of a hug. I can carry this card around and when I am feeling not so positive and amazing, I am reminded there is a hug in my purse for me. Thank you so much Christine and Family xx.

Here is a photo of my boy out and about with Sam and FIL (Future father in law). My FIL is an amazing photographer.

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And here is our girl Kelly, first time off the lead in her seven years and she did great!

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And then he said……

Before I start, Sam picked up my endone and life is good again ….. weeeeeeee

I had a conversation with a local business owner yesterday that I was just going to let go but, I can’t. I have to tell someone what type of people are out there and the conversations they feel are fine to have with a person going through their cancer fight.

I popped into a local business who, unfortunately, didn’t have the product I was looking for and the owner asked if there was something else he could offer instead. I explained that no, it was just that one thing I wanted but due to my recent medical treatment, I had left everything to the last minute.

It was pretty obvious what treatment I was having because I was standing in his store with my bald head and sickly looking skin etc and his response was this….

“I don’t know if it is just this town or that people talk more but it seems like EVERYONE is going through cancer.  (this was said in a very casual manner) He then went on to advise how cancer was ‘rampant’ through his family with a bad success rate.”

Um, yep, that is what every cancer patient wants to hear but then he asks if I am winning the fight. I advised that I believed I was.

He was probably trying to be nice and ‘country like’ and friendly because then he says, I love that you feel comfortable getting out and about without hats and scarfs. Good for you.

I did feel a bit chuffed then and went on to explain that I do pop a hat on when it is super cold and I kid you not, this was his reply…

“Oh Man, you have NO IDEA, how cold your head can get when you start balding”

I am standing in his store with barely an eyebrow worth of hair to my name while he stands there, head full of hair except for a little bit at the front that is thinning.

My reply was Yes, as a matter of fact I DO have an idea. I then left the store.

What a dickhead. But, it did amuse me for the rest of the day.

Busy times ahead ….

So, I met my radiologist person and he is a Professor! Dr Borg is his name and he seems lovely. He had a look and feel of my scar and yes, there is a lump there that he wants to have checked out so here is my schedule this coming Thursday…

8:45am – Ultrasound with potential fine needle aspiration

10:00 am – Heart test with that dye stuff

1:10 pm – Chemo

3:15 pm – Visit Oncologist

Yep, it’s going to be a huge day for someone like me who can barely do anything for longer than an hour without needing a 3 day nap!

So, back to the Professor. Whilst he was running a little late (1 hour!!), he did seem really pleasant and whilst he was running so far behind, I did expect to be rushed but he took all the time needed to check out that lump, have a little tease with Sam and I as to weather we were competing with the baldness (Professor was pretty impressed I was out and about without wig or hat), and go through what the treatment is about.

Oh, just taking a step back a bit, while we were waiting the hour to see the Professor (yes, I will always call him the Professor from here on in), Sam collected his usual reading material. He needs to know everything where as I leave all of the bits to my doctors, oncologists and Professors.

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In case you can’t see the title of some of these, here are some of them that he chose to bring home….

  • Managing Vaginal Bleeding
  • Sexual Wellbeing
  • Managing Hot Flushes

Isn’t he a treasure to think of getting these pamphlets??

Anyhoo, it seems that my radiotherapy will start 4 weeks after my chemo finishes so that is in three months.

My radiotherapy, when it starts, only goes for 6 and a half weeks. Phew hey? Um, no, there is no Phew there.

It is EVERYDAY for six and a half weeks. That works out to 32 and a half treatments, everyday, five days a week  for six weeks.

LET ME SWEAR MY GUTS OUT.

I know I know, the whole life saving bizzo but geez, it is a one and a half hour round trip. 90 kilometers a day, every day for six and a half weeks. This is now sounding like work.

And another thing, unlike chemo where they book you in as a day patient and the private health fund covers the cost, that isn’t the case with Radio. I am going to have to pay a gap. Is that daily? Do I have to pay each and every day?

So, not only do we have the travel costs for 90 kilometers each day for six and a half weeks, I also have to pay for the radiotherapy AND my health insurance fees AND my income insurance fees and hope the whole lot balances out somehow….

I know I shouldn’t complain about costs and availability of such successful treatment etc but I am tired.

Cancer isn’t just about the body, it also is really hard work keeping up with the bills and the accounts that come in and who pays what and when and what not.

Whinge complete.

My Cleaners Sense of Humour

What is wrong with this photo? I took it not long after my cleaner, Shanna, had left. I laughed so much but bloody Dr Hands wasn’t even here to see the funniness of it.

Do you recon she did it deliberately? She does have a very wicked and odd sense of humour, which, beside her cleaning, is what I love about her.

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If you can’t see what is on my bedside table here we have a book, my reading glasses, eye mask, water, panadol and, well, um a Hair Tie.

Here is my current hair style in case you have forgotten

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OOOhhhh she is a funny one isn’t she…… LMAO!!!

Oh, and another thing, she had the audacity to tell me off for putting my ‘arsehole cream’ with her business name ‘done and dusted’ together in a post on facebook (she calls it dogbook but I dont understand that so we’ll call it facebook). I was talking about chemo number 4 being done and dusted (her business name) and the fact I had to buy Anusol for Hemorrhoids and they went together in one sentence. hehe. She got me back well and truly with that hair tie 🙂

She might look all nice and friendly in her ‘cartoon’ image’ on her business card but let me tell you, not only does she have a weird and twisted sense of humour, she will growl at you if you walk on her freshly washed floors. Doesn’t matter it is YOUR home, stay off the floors for ten minutes please!! Bloody love this woman and I can never thank my cousins enough for having her visit us each fortnight to give us one less thing to do.

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Update on Dr Hands is we are separated again tonight. He went to the doctor and the doctor said, Four days apart, due to my very vulnerable state post chemo. So, another night in bed alone while he sleeps in the spare room. I do not like this. I do not like this one bit.

I might act all tough and what not but I like my man, with his warmness, cuddles, terrible dream language and what not  IN OUR BED end of story.