Tag Archives: mind battles

A Roller-Coaster

There it was ...gone

There it was …gone

Phew! That was a roller-coaster of a day! Got my hair shaved off, which was a relief insofar I didn’t have to worry about it falling out all over the place any more, but still is a wee shock to the system when it’s all gone.

 

 

I felt not too bad when getting ready to go out for a Christmas meal, especially when I did my eye-make up, but I had to get ready many hours before I normally would because of needing to do something else before said meal. My scarf tying wasn’t too successful and started to slip a bit, taking with it some of my confidence. Anyway, I got it sorted and wore a hat on top to keep warmer outdoors.
We had a nice time meeting and greeting our friend Gro from Norway who is staying as my guest in my flat for a few weeks, but as we were going around Tesco’s with her to buy groceries, my eyes started playing up. Firstly I felt as though I needed to blink a lot and the vision just wasn’t quite right, then they were kinda feeling hot inside hot and Gro reckoned the whites were going pink! So to continue with the roller-coaster …. I bought eye-make remover pads and did the deed in Tesco’s loo, which resulted in my confidence plummeting, but it rose again after I did a bit more titivating back at the flat, only to duck again as I realised the scarf was becoming undone when we were on the bus. We arrived at our destination with plenty of time for me to have sorted the scarf BUT we were at the wrong venue!
Never mind the details, suffice it to say it was my stupidity, so my stress levels were mounting now. Bus back to car, then drive to correct restaurant – able to fix scarf, didn’t feel quite so bad about no eye-make up and had a lovely time with Mercators drama group – until I went to get my purse and discovered I’d not got my clutch bag containing purse with cash, bus pass and debit card! I immediately reported it to the waitress who said she would ask the manageress if anything had been handed in and that she would check the toilet . No sign. So Walter went to check the car – no sign. I decided to double check for myself and there it was, exactly where I’d put it. The waitress had checked a different toilet!  So…. my roller-coaster ended in a good place eventually.  Mercators old and new.

 

I suspect there are going to be a few more like this but then as long as the chemo ride stops in the right place it’ll be okay.   I hope.

Aye, always live in hope Susan.

The End And So It Starts…

At long last, at long, long last, I am rid of my nephrostomy , (kidney drain), and its accompanying bag. The stent repairing my right ureter has been replaced rather than removed, so will mean further surgery in a few months time, but I don’t mind that – all I wanted was for the blasted tube no longer to be sticking out of my back and for me not to be lugging around a bag of pee  everywhere.

The tube from the kidney

The tube from the kidney was then taped to my front. (Twisting round here to use mobile phone camera)

 

 

nephrostomy-006

Attaching the urine bag to my leg made it easier to cope with, but still annoying.

 

 

 

 

Perception of time is so weird – my hysterectomy was done on 23rd September, and the nephrostomy fitted on 27th, but the  six weeks that I have been cursed with it have felt far more like six months.  I hated it with a vengeance which is rather unfair seeing as it was actually doing me a favour.  I’d have been in a sorry state without it, but one doesn’t think of that at the time. Logic can only gain priority once the situation is in the past.

Anyway, it’s the end of that episode now but I have a date for my chemotherapy to start so it’s also the beginning. The dawn of a whole new chapter / project / challenge / adventure, call it what you will.

I knew I had to wait until the kidney drain was removed before the chemo would start, and suspected the medics might wait a wee while after yesterday’s surgery, so I am mega chuffed that it is being done so soon after all – 19th November, fewer than two days to wait.  I am feeling slight trepidation going into unchartered territory, but the main emotion is relief not to be hingin’ aboot before beginning the journey.  Six sessions over eighteen weeks will challenge my perception of time again no doubt. Here’s hoping while touching wood with my fingers crossed that it is more or less uneventful .  Superstitious?  Moi?

Onwards and Upwards

Wednesday 11th November 2015.

Strange how some days just feel different.  Today was one of those, ending with a nice calm feeling.

All my life the 11th of November has been a sad day because as well as being Armistice Day, it is also the anniversary of the deaths of both my maternal grandfather and grandmother. He was slaughtered in 1914 and she died seven years later officially of tuberculous but, according to family history,  ‘a broken heart’.  My mother was left orphaned at 14, so the devastation caused by war is something of which I have been aware all my life. This year, it has been a nice kind of strange day instead.

For a wee while now I have felt rather overwhelmed by all the work involved in planning, organising, sorting, packing etc., for moving into my partner’s home and preparing my own flat for renting . It was perhaps not the thing to undertake immediately prior to cancer surgery but I’ve never been one to do things simply.
Anyway, a couple of days ago my perception suddenly changed as I realised that slowly things are coming together, and today I noticed a complete shift in my feelings towards the whole project.  It is no longer as daunting by any means.
Because of the limitations imposed by my current health (or lack of, I have only been able to ‘supervise’ the sorting and packing while my partner, Walter, did the donkey work.  There’s still a long way to go before all my things are transferred and we create enough space to get other things belonging to both of us out of storage, but it all seems perfectly feasible now.

Some of Walter's and my 'previous life' being stored temporarily until room can be made for it in our joint new life.

Some of Walter’s and my ‘previous life’ being stored temporarily until room can be made for it in our joint new life.

When I went into hospital in September I felt the weight of the decision to move my home at the same time, even though I knew it made perfect sense, especially at a time when I needed so much practical support from my partner.  Then,  a problem during my hysterectomy resulted in an external drain from my kidney delaying my recovery and making me far less able to face much meanwhile.

I am an incorrigible hoarder and, as a result of memory loss arising from grand mal seizures from childhood to my 50s, I need my souvenirs, photo albums etc., as aide memoires.  I started dreading not having enough room to keep them but this doubt is fast subsiding.   I felt said weight getting heavier until I managed to get various drawers filled a couple of days ago and realised we are getting on top of it at long last.

I am due to go back into hospital on Monday 16 Nov to get the drain and stent removed, but this time I can go in feeling so much lighter.  I will then get a date for my chemotherapy to start but, rather than dreading it because it was going to be yet one more thing standing in the way of my plans, I am now rather looking forward to tackling it in the knowledge that other things are indeed under control after all.

Onwards and upwards….

The Devil and The Angel

This last week has been a strange one. I’ve spent the last four weeks feeling frustrated and pissed off by the waiting for my surgery,  yet a week ago at my assessment appointment everything changed when I had two of those devil/angel shoulder moments .  While still waiting to see the nurse consultant my ‘shoulder-devil’ prompted me to moan (yet again) “I still have a whole week to wait, a whole bloody week!”. Then not long afterwards when discussing the sorting/culling needing done at my flat before going into hospital my ‘shoulder angel’ elicited from me the remark “blimey, I’ve only got a week to do it”.    Honestly!

Not long afterwards the pair were at it again. The wee devil bemoaning the fact that I will be surrendering myself to the knife which will cause me pain, followed almost immediately with the realisation that I willing did precisely that when I underwent tattooing – twice!    Now come on – getting rid of cancer is a hell of a lot more justifiable reason for submitting oneself to a bit of pain than is a pretty butterfly skin decoration!
So – ever since then I have felt completely differently.   I am relaxed about the surgery and I feel calm about needing to take a back seat for a bit activity-wise.  I must add though that the tremendous support, encouragement and sheer love being shown towards me by friends has been totally overwhelming.   How could I not be inspired to overcome whatever is ahead.

12006457_10205152998484487_9828867155707189_oMy wonderful partner fed my soul by taking me to the Scottish Highlands on two consecutive weekends. I am a very lucky girl.

“How are you?” “Fine Thanks”

” Hello, how are you?” say the cheery bank teller, checkout lady, bus driver and many drama bods. “Fine thanks” say I .   Well , let’s face it, one can’t very well answer “just diagnosed with Grade 3 cancer” can one, especially when the questioner is just being polite.  In any case, I AM fine.   I am actually probably physically fitter now than I have been for a good few years – the irony is not lost on me.   I am fine, honest, I’m not just ‘being brave’.

Since Monday’s diagnosis, when my wee world imploded on me, I’ve been totally fine for a few minutes every hour when I was being distracted by a Fringe show or something, but it was not long before my brain flicked back to this greedy thing inside my womb.  I can’t claim to have been worrying about it per se but my brain was going over all sorts of things,  drafting random ramblings in my head, almost as if I were blogging. (!)  It was as if there was a little engine chugging away trying to get my brain in gear.  As with a dream, despite being clear at the time, few thoughts were able to be recalled afterwards, though I know some were predicated on the fact I have good genes so expected to live another twenty-odd years, after recovering from pneumonia and getting the all-clear after breast cancer.

However, something happened yesterday – Friday.  I wasn’t aware of any reason in particular, but I suddenly felt quieter inside, as though that little whirring engine noise had switched off.  It’s as though my brain has finally processed what’s happening so is now just getting ready for whatever lies ahead.  Maybe this is all par for the course, and my state of mind-cum-emotions will fluctuate often – I don’t know.  All remains to be seen.

I’m aware of the ‘blogger mode’ thingy-wotsit in my brain is still chundling away,  but its effect is different, I don’t feel ‘boverred’ by it as I was earlier in the week.  In particular, I feel far calmer about my decision to step down temporarily from some of my drama responsibilities in order to give myself a less-stressed few months.  Luckily this is the ideal time to hand over – after the Fringe and before the organisation of the following year’s one-act festival starts – so whomever stands in for me will not be thrown in at the deep end right away.

A very supportive friend referred to cancer patients as having a war to face which consists of many smaller battles. One has to make sure one’s army is in the best possible condition for the skirmishes ahead, there being no point asking them to fight if they are undernourished and/or tired. This wee scenario of the fighting force preparing to do battle with cancer for me really appealed  because it chimed exactly with the theme of the recent film ‘Inside Out’ which had quite an effect on me. (I’m a simple wee soul really) . There’s a place for Fear and Anger but I’ll just keep them both busy with trivialities like world politics so that they don’t have time to bother me much.  I dare say Disgust will get a larger role, especially if I do have chemo which makes me sick ( I cannot stand vomit – urrrgh!).  I accept that Sadness has her role to play, but Joy will continue to be in charge at my control panel, strengthened when I go feeding my soul w11039845_10204965326752811_3696481917482359627_oith Scotland’s wonderful nature and refuelled from the support of my partner and friends.

So, I might have cancer but I’m fine really, just fine, how are you?