Saturday, 10 December 2011

Winter blues

Hi anyone who is still reading this blog :)

Realised I'd not posted for ages but wanted to share some good news. I had my MRI, the 'big one' a few weeks ago which my consultant has suggested may be my last hopefully. It came back completely normal which is a big relief and another step on this journey called remission. I felt peaceful about it but there is still the small 'what if?' question you have to cope with. As some of you will know, once you get a difficult result you realise how easy it can be to get told you're going down an entirely different path in a blink of an eye.

This means I've been in remission pretty much from March as MRI hasn't changed since then, but technically since end of April when chemo stopped. Really pleased and now in recovery mode which is still tricky. Main thing is constant colds/virus/bugs. I can count on one hand days I've felt well since September but am now having further tests as the Drs think I could have a lack of a particular cell which keeps the memory of my immunity. Apparently this can happen and it isn't ideal as the only answer is having blood work done which is something they resist if they can as I'm so young and it's not a life threatening thing. But it would explain the constant illness which is pretty debilitating at times. Still had amazing support from family and Gods Grace has kept me still and peaceful, it's just hard to plan things and when I do take a chance and do something, I pay for it. I'm on all sorts of supplements now and eating super healthy. I think it's just realising my recovery is as much an important stage as the treatment and giving in to the boring resting bit too especially as I am literally picking up every winter big out there. What's hard is not being able to do social things with lots of people. I'm becoming a bit of a hermit but it's totally needed as I'm useless to Millie and Ray if I'm sick all the time, and they're my priority. We're just praying the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome I've battled since 1998 isn't back!

The positive is though it's teaching me not to moan, complain and take things for granted. Which is good :) I'm learning I can still be me and give my best to the little things in life. Gives you lots of time to think about ambition, success and plans. What makes us successful? Its a question ive been reflecting on a lot and the challenges of knowing you have abilities you are not able to use at the moment. When all is stripped away who are you? Learning that is often the real you and that's exciting as at the moment I like what I see in me. Praying I can maintain 'me' regardless how long this recovery takes. But def going to start piano/composing again as I used to love that. I'm also getting into experimental jazz and folk music which is testing my brain but massively inspiring me and a good outlet for my energy and creativity along with my art and pictures I'm making for the house.

Anyways I hope you are all well and thank you for your support though this process. Once Ray drives we'll be able to come see some of you more which will be awesome. Those who are praying please pray for health and endurance. That's by far the hardest thing and I need help with it. Love G xxx

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Summer Sun

Not sure who is reading this still but for those who are, Hello! I've been having a lovely few weeks enjoying the sun (when it happens), and the rain/cloud/mist (all the time this month!). All of it really. Loving I'm getting more and more well and despite Ray and Millie now being poorly with a few summer colds/virus' I've managed to stay well. Surprise to all of us and proof that my immune system is recovering.

Ray and I had a lovely break away just the two of us, in Paris at the end of last month which was great to be together, but a bit weird away from Millie for three nights, and in hindsight not the best location for a "do nothing and chill" break. It was way to enticing to walk around lots, stay out late and not have your day revolve around a toddler. Hence v.tired afterwards but great to have a change of scene and do something I couldn't have imagined doing six months ago. We were massively blessed to have accommodation offered to us which was lovely and overlooked the most beautiful park (Thank you George and Gill).

One of the best aspects of feeling more like myself and not having the gruelling chemo regime has been seeing the faces of some old friends who've come to visit over the last few months. We've had some really special times with people and I've loved just catching up and making lots of happy memories.

Am really chuffed with myself as have been doing my rehab programme at the gym and doing well considering I do a 12 hr day with Millie and then head over. My trainer Jo is lovely and helped loads with encouragement and ideas of how to get my body back in to exercise slowly and carefully. On my assessment it turned out I was pretty fit for an average person, and so I should have full confidence that I'll lose the weight I'm carrying post treatment, and be able to make a full recovery to a stronger and fitter health level. Big relief.

My last check up went well. My bloods are much better and slowly getting back to a "normal" level. I;m still working at supporting my immune system but it is linked to all sorts of things in your life not just food or exercise that it is one of those things you just have to trust God with. Am just doing stuff slowly and surely and trying to not over do it.

Only thing we are waiting for this month is for results from a mole I had to have removed on my tummy. It changed throughout chemo but the dermatologist has said there was an aspect of it that is a bit unusual but she is not concerned. She said due to the past history best to just take it out and see. So feel ok about it and hoping that we'll know in the last few weeks.

Anyways, Hello to you all x

Monday, 25 July 2011

Still going strong

Hi everyone

Realised it's been over a month still I posted. All well with me, I'm still slowly getting stronger and I'm finding my body is slowly getting in step with the rest of me. Pacing myself is still a daily experiment. Sometimes I over do it and get overtired, other times I don't do enough so don't sleep great. But all just teething pains and I'm sure I'll get the hang of it. My hair is well and truly back now, same dark colour but very soft and not massively strong. Starting to do a very small amount if exercise. I've got the assessment with the rehabilitation gym people next week then I'll start my exercise recovery program which I'm really looking forward to.

So my thoughts of the last month have been ...

I've felt so restored emotionally too. Every day God sustains me and I am finding out more about His purposes, my gifts and His power to turn whatever of your life you give to Him for His good and plan. It's been amazing as I've felt less burnt by this season in my life than other times and it's got me questioning why? Has it been that God wasn't in those dark times earlier in my life when I had a lot to deal with, no. He was there, but I think this time I surrendered my life to Him in a different way. Not pushing for my way, my desire to have my plans back and relief from the physical pain. I think I don't fear pain as much. I think i've learnt more about not fighting Him. I did this a lot when I was younger and I blamed Him for so much hurt and circumstances that I felt I had no control over. Now I feel like I may still have days when I don't understand, when things hurt, life seems unfair and painful, but I'm trusting more now than ever that God is good and I don't have to understand everything that happens to me or those around me to know He loves me. I suppose that's faith. I believe we all use faith every day just in different things or people to guide, shape us, form us. For me I put my faith in Jesus. He is getting me through this weird stage of waiting. In some ways its like being in a airport lounge permanently, it's just I don't know my destination just yet. One day of remission at a time.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Hi everyone

Realised I'd not written for a while so thought I'd sign in to say hi and give you an update on my progress. Well despite a cold knocking me for six for a few days, I've been getting slowly stronger every day which has been a relief and exciting for my family and I to see. I am feeling so much better that I've managed a few wks now on my own in the house with Millie with help from Mum still on and off. But I'm very proud of myself for doing so many early morning wake ups with Millie and still be standing to put her down at night. Amazing recovery and confirmation as to quite how poorly I must have been feeling before diagnosis.

I had two consultant appointments this week which were both very positive and real confirmation of God's involvement in all this. Firstly my blood has made almost a full recovery which is apparently quite unusual to have happen so quickly and a v.good sign. Secondly when I had my post op check up I came the closest to actually seeing a Dr being unable to explain something medically. Basically there is not only no sign of scar tissue from the surgery, there is no sign of the surgery at all, or that I have ever had children. The sight of the cancer, and I'm quoting the Dr, is like it all never happened! :) like I am Gen in 2008! the Dr kept saying "I've never seen anything like it" for a few mins followed by lots of wide open mouths, giggles and "that's unbelievable and impossible." A miracle me thinks? ;) it is an amazing act of God and I had a good chat with him as he said he'd been really touched by my story. He was the one who had to tell me it was cancer and has been following my progress since. We had a great chat and hes confirmed that if we do/can have more children he'd be really pleased to be my obstetrician. That was a happy prospect and I've felt like I'm through a big hurdle of my first major check up. Nothing now for two months.

We've had a wonderful few weeks seeing old friends and I've got Millie's birthday next week which I'm really looking forward to. So we're doing really well and I'm loving that my hair is growing back same colour as before. Yay! I have quite a lot of regrowth now and I'm thinking at this rate I could discard the hat by the end of July.

Thanks for all your prayers, God is working in visible ways and still giving me peace that He is in control and enough energy to grab everything out of the day I can. Love to you all xx

Monday, 30 May 2011

Moved in ... Well almost

Having had a good week we packed up and moved most of our stuff in to our new place Thursday. Still quite a lot to do, but it was great just being the three of us and despite me getting a cold, my first bug since November, we had a good weekend. We'll be back and forth to my parents place to have help but we're hopeful we're moving forward to a more normal day to day situation soon.

We managed to get to church which was great, but made us realise I'm still not that strong as it wiped me out for the rest of the day. Hoping to see more friends too over coming weeks and months, which is long overdue. We managed a date a week ago. Took Ray to see We Will Rock You as a surprise as he loves Queen and needed a night out. Was fun and good to be out. Hoping to go out to cinema next as not been since December and we love going. Ray has had quite a lot going on at work too so he needs some light relief.

Had two more dates for follow up appointments second week of June so just trusting cancers gone and my body is healing. Been finding my body is getting stronger now the chemo is leaving me. Nails getting less brittle and horrible taste in mouth going too. Hair is not really growing now, in fact it started falling out again but Drs reassured me that can happen, just got to wait and see. Getting fed up with hats though. Tummy is better and various other symptoms slowly going too. Had some encouraging words from people in church about my body and blood being made new.

Been struck by a verse in the bible which says those who sow in tears will reap in joy. I've felt like we've sowed well, being real about how we have felt and trusting there is purpose in it all. I was reminded on Sunday of the importance of reaping well too. I think I've had a few weeks of an in-between stage coming out of a difficult time but not quite in to the next. Think I'm the sort of person who can often cope with the difficult bit but finds the bit afterwards hard. Drs told us that this is normal but I was reminded on Sunday that the promise is you can reap with joy. I'm going to focus on this over the coming weeks and pray I have joy in the reaping.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Doing well

I'm five weeks post chemo now and I'm starting to get my body and mind back which is great. I definitely hit a bit of a low
In hospital and wasn't really sure how much more I could take, but thankfully with lots of rest at home and help from my amazing family I am really recovering and chemo is leaving me more every day. I can't believe how much energy I have now. Ive not felt this well for a long time and even though I'm weak compared to everyone else still, I'm managing normal things and my three hour day naps are down to 30mins to one hour :) hurrah!

I've been starting to paint the house as a way of trying to move in before Christmas, and to do 'normal' stuff. We've made amazing progress and my poor family are exhausted but it's looking like a house that you could actually imagine living in.

Ray and I are pretty tired. I think the stress of the last six months is hitting us and we're keen to just try and rest lots, get back in to church life, see our friends and to move in to our own house. God's carried us through thankfully. Just feels great dreaming a bit about the future and not having the treadmill of chemo and cancer defining timings.

Thanks again for all the encouragement x

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Good news

Quick update to say pain is so much better and so I'm reducing my friend morphine. My body seems to be getting back to normal for post chemo and bloods are looking better. Surgical team have explained I have got a wound but as pain is now manageable and I've been given meds I don't need surgery and they'll see me as an outpatient. Hurrah! So relieved. Staying tonight and then hopefully discharged tomorrow morning to rest at home :)