17th July 2016
Have had a really good week this week. I am gaining strength in my legs hips and upper body. This means I can DO more.
Highlights of the week have been walking Star and Barney one at a time up my garden path and up to the first lamp post in our back lane.
Both dogs did really well and it is a great exercise for loose lead walking. Just that short distance helped my confidence with what I can do physically ~ just having the lead in my hand gave me confidence and brought me one step nearer to being able to take my boys out for a proper walk.......lamp post by lamp post we will get there.
Yesterday I loaded Star and Barney into my beloved Myrtle and we drove out to the moors with my best friend Audrey and her husband Chris. They drove out with their two dogs Tia a cocker spaniel and Libby a lurcher. We went out to a place called Delphi Bridge.
For the first time in five months I was able to WALK without crutches to the river and throw sticks in the river for the dogs..just to be part of this makes my heart sing and I gave thanks to the Universe.
No I haven't got any photos as I was too busy having fun with my boys!!!
The next breakthrough happened this morning when I was able to clean my house upstairs and downstairs in one go on the same day......something I have not been able to do for five months.
Another gift of this journey is seeing and experiencing all these little things which are big things and giving thanks because I truly appreciate what it means to be able to do these things. It goes beyond words but it means so much and I can begin to plan my return to work.. I can realistically return to my study for my dog behaviour course. It feels like sunshine after the rain.....long may it continue.
I am writing my blog at the end of my first week post fourth chemo. I don't know what they put in the fourth one but I have felt pretty low for most of the week.
I'm so lucky that I have never suffered from nausea nor have I had the mouth ulcers and above all I STILL HAVE MY HAIR. WHOOP! WHOOP!
My lovely friend Donna has nicknamed me Spiky Star Trooper which I kind of like.
What I find hard is the tiredness ~ what used to take me half an hour can now take me two hours and then I have to sleep for a further two hours.
No two days are the same and I cannot plan ahead as I don't know how I am gonig to feel until I wake up.
Whilst the community around me is fantastic and has wrapped me up in a duvet of Love which I find humbling and awesome at the same time~ I feel out of touch with life.
It is as if I am in a bubble and I know I have to get through this and then dip my toe in to the sea that is life....It is as if I am looking at everything through a looking glass~ I can see it all but I am removed from it all...it is difficult to put into words.
My husband John is wonderful ~ like me his routine changed overnight and suddenly he found himself as chief dog walker~ he has risen to the challenge brilliantly and it has brought him closer to my boys which is another blessing brought to me by cancer.
Not being able to walk Barney and Star is a physical ache~ I do training at home and they are so patient with me.
Yes I can go out on walks with John and Audrey but it is not the same as walking out with them on my own~ that was my thinking time my unwind time and a major part of my life.
I just focus on that first walk when we step out together again~ Team Moon faces the world ready for action~ just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes but I know it is not far away... slowly but surely I am gathering my strength.
I miss my work too ~ that is something I yearn to get back to but it will happen and is not too far away~ it is on the horizon and by early Fall I hope to return ~ Work is something that defines me but I will be working in a different way and a better way....another blessing from getting cancer.
Yes I get frustrated but I can honestly say I find his time in my life has given me the time to STOP ( I had no choice) and look at my life and who and what is important.
Not many people get that opportunity and I am already a different person to the one I was three months ago.
My friends and neighbours have been outstanding in their support and John has been my rock and anchor~ steadily guiding me through the scariest time of my life.
He is the one that will remind me of how far I have come on my recovery route...from when I couldn't get out of the car to go to radiotherapy and the nurses had to get a trolley to now walking upright without crutches and being able to drive again...so yes I'm getting there I just want to break out of my bubble and live my life again.
I am now approaching my fourth chemotherapy session. I am happy to report that I have not been sick or lost my hair ...just have to deal with tiredness and achey joints. It was not always like this...in the early days which was actually only two months ago I was in acute pain and scared as to what my long term prognosis would be.
During this time my Moon Boys helped me get through the toughest part of my life.
Barney never left my side ~ I was either in bed or lying on the sofa. I couldn't do much more. Barney quietly sat beside me and kept a vigil.
His calm presence had such a healing effect.
Star has mirrored me in a variety of ways ~ a day before I was due to go to The Mermaid Centre to get my results my darling pup had his first seizure..it was two o'clock in the morning and I came down thinking it was Barney trying to get his tennis ball out from under the chest of drawers.
To my dismay I found Star in he throws of having an epileptic fit. He was sightless, foaming at the mouth and was rocking back and forth his paws rigid.
I gave him space as did Barney and I gently talked to him. Within five minutes he had come out of it and went up to Barney and licked his face.
I gave Star some TTouch and put a body wrap on him to help ground him ....Bless him he was soon back to his old self.
The next day I took him straight up to see Andrew Moore my lovely vet at Nute's surgery ~ Andrew examined him and told me Star was very healthy but he was at the classic age to start having fits ~ at this time Star was 19 months old. Andrew told me to monitor him and he sent me some information as to what to be aware of.
Since this time Star has had two more fits ..each time it has been when I have been going to the hospital for some results that I have been worried about~ the fits are always between 2 and 4 in the morning. Thankfully Star comes out of his seizures within five minutes. He has not had a seizure since the end of April.
He has had acupuncture and a zoopharmacognosy session ( a blog for another time!) and seems to be doing just fine.
Every couple of months both Barney and Star have a McTimoney session which is a chiropractic session given by my friend Rebecca Thom who is very talented and so lovely with my dogs. She gave Star his session and then told me where he was out of alignment~ I felt myself go cold...Star was out of alignment in exactly the same places as I am with my hips and spine. Rebecca and I were suitably stunned!
In the Zoopharmocognosy session where Star and Barney were offered essential oils as was I ~ independently Star and I mirrored the oils that we chose.
I've got used to it now and feel humbled and blessed by the link and bond that I have with my dogs~ I think all of us who love our dogs have this link.
I also think our dogs absorb so much if not all of what we feel emotionally~ I just love my Moon Boys so much .
I miss walking them ~ its like having a limb removed not being able to walk them. So that is my first goal to get out walking my boys again and my eyes never leave that prize.
13th June 2016
Well I've done it ...I've reached the half way mark in my chemotherapy treatment. What has been humbling and uplifting is the wave of love and good wishes I have received from friends neighbours and the little thoughtful gifts that have just come through the door. All carefully chosen and wishing me well
Each act of kindness and thought means so much and helps me to keep positive and strong.
I had some wonderful news to further boost me ~ I went to see my consultant three days before my third treatment.
Upon examining me my consultant asked me where exactly the lump in my breast was and put the tape measure away as there was nothing to measure!
This made me want to do cartwheels down the corridor~ The name of my consultant is Charlotte Thomson and she is such a caring person and knows how hard I found it to accept the fact that I had to have chemotherapy so she was really pleased that the treatment is working so quickly.
She wants me to have another scan so I can see how the other tumours are shrinking to give me another positive boost as I continue with treatment,
My darling best friend Audrey was a trooper and took me to my third treatment. All the staff were under a lot of pressure that day with breakdowns in equipment and delays in treatments but they remained caring and professional throughout. We arrived at 11a.m on Friday morning and we left at 7p.m at night but during that time we had a laugh , caught up with one another and made some bracelets..all quality tie with one another.
One of the many blessings in my cancer journey is being given the opportunity to reassess my life and my priorities... one very important factor is making time for the people who matter. Not being too busy and just stopping and giving them time.It doesn't have to be a lot of time but just giving them time and sharing that quality time.
Barney Moon Star and my darling husband John remain my rocks and just go from strength to strength.
29th May 2016
My second entry in my blog and its been a rollercoaster of a week. A week ago I had my second chemotherapy session.
My best friend Audrey takes me down to each treatment ~ John stays with Barney and Star. Audrey is an amazing lady and a very special friend ~ we have been through alot together over the years. On treatment days we bring things to do like making bracelets or this time I was making a bright red pom pom !! We also have a little picnic and have four hours of quality time together.
One of the blessings of being diagnosed with cancer is that I have had the opportunity to stand back and think who and what is important to me.
Audrey and I lead busy hectic lives and we were always going to plan days out together but we never got round to it because we were too busy...now we make that time. We plan times out with our dogs and girly shopping days out ....that time is so precious. I also have some lovely girly nights just experiencing true friendship ~ i am so very blessed with the friends in my life
I cannot speak highly enough of the staff at The Headland Unit atTreliske hospital. From the receptionist to the nurses and the wonderful volunteers....nothing is too much trouble.
This time I was fitted with crutches which I have to use for the next few weeks. This is to take the weight off my hips and legs whilst the treatment does its work.
I dreaded the thought but felt quite emotional when I first used them as it was the first time I had been able to walk upright in two months.
The treatment lasted four hours and I have a sideroom so I can lie down. My veins readily accept the blood tests and the cannula and I feel nothing during the infusions.
I'm always relieved to finish a treatment ~ one less to go.
On the humourous side I have to take 16 mg of steroids for three days before during and the day after chemo..... the effect that has on me is hilarious!
I am like Bugs Bunny on speed!!! My brain will NOT switch off and any hope of sleep just forget...... when I came in for my treatment ths time the nurse joked that she should have brought her ironing in to give me something to do with my hands!!!!!! The weird thing is I don't notice any difference!
My first chemo wiped me out for a week with acute diarrhoea and fatigue. This time with a lower dose of chemo I have had less tiredness and my stomach has behaved itself.
My husband John is my rock ~his patience and love never wavers.Thanks to John my darling Barney and Star have their regular exercise and he looks after me so beautifully.
ThE hardest thing for me is not being able to walk my dogs and just walk out into nature. Yes I can drive out there with friends but I can't walk far right now.
However I know if I do as I'm told now.. (first time for everything!) I'll get back out with my dogs sooner. THAT'S THE FIRST GOAL AND I SHALL ENJOY AND GIVE THANKS FOR EVERY SINGLE STEP.
I work closely with my local branch of the Labrador Rescue Trust.
If you are interested in rehoming a Labrador or wish to help us fund raise then please contact myself or Ruth Reeves Cornwall Co~ordinator
The Labrador Rescue Trust Tel:01840 213120