13 down 7 to go!

Well here I am with 7 days of treatment to go.  My armpit is getting more sore with each passing day now and so is my wrist. I think that’s a sign of lympoedema however I am being careful with it and doing the gentle rubbings to get fluid out of my arm and it to my remaining lymph nodes in my back.  My fingers are all the same size though thankfully.  I get a pins and needles feeling in my arm sometimes and the tape has left some not so attractive red marks which are now turning black from the radiozaps! But its a small price to pay to be rid of melanoma.

A girl a barely knew died last Saturday.  I met her via a melanoma forum and she added me on facebook too but we only chatted a few times. But I am sad as she was only 37.  Melanoma is a very cruel killer and puts up such a fight sometimes that even the strongest most optimistic person can loose. At least now JH can rest in peace.

I spent my weekend with my family, I did a bit of shopping and bought a tent and portable DVD player.  I have to say during my travels during and back the DVD player has been fab! Now I share it with another passenger and she is hooked too! If we aren’t causing a riot in the bus and being too noisy… haha

The other bus driver (from another support society) apparently doesn’t like me although we’ve met very few times in the clinic.  You see he is very bossy and can be quite rude to the cancer patients which is totally wrong.  So I stood up for them and kind of put him in his place so now he doesn’t like me. I think he believes women should be seen and not heard.. and well everyone who knows me knows I’m not like that.  You hear me before you see me..haha

In a strange way I will miss my friends from the bus as its not a place i’d rather be! We all pretty much finish in August and its been really nice as we have all laughed and joked as if we are all going on a summer holiday.  It should be called George’s fun bus.. as its not a sad place to be.  We have all been quite lucky to meet each other I think.   To every cloud there is a silver lining two of my bus friends have said to me at separate times! I plan to throw a party when I’m done for them and of course some of my good friends who have supported me throughout my journey.

I think when something terrible happens to you its life’s way of saying “wake up” you are doing something wrong.  And believe me when I say I am more awake now than I ever was.

I have received conflicting stories from two different secretaries. One saying I don’t need chemo and another saying I only need chemo of my melanoma is metastatic..  well as I have been diagnosed with metastatic melanoma I am confused now.  I am seeing the doctor on the 4th of August, last day of treatment and he is a melanoma and chemotherapy specialist so I am hoping he will shed some light on my condition as unfortunately so far apart from the excellent treatment at the clinic I’ve struggled to speak to a doctor about my issues.

Have a nice week all and remember to treasure life and all that comes with it.

Great News

So yesterday it was a long day as we all finished radiotherapy by 1030. However we all go for various things and one of the new girls had to have a special mask made up so in the end we didn’t leave till nearly 1230, by the time I got home and picked up my son I had a sore arse and was shattered.

My armpit scar and drain exit and my back are beginning to look rather red and my right boob is sore. But other than that all is ok.

A rather angry looking armpit..

My right shoulder.. looks like sunburn.. but its not!

I was hassling my Drs secretary as I want to know how i’m to plan my upcoming months.  So she finally called yesterday and told me that I will not be requiring ANY CHEMO! YAY.. no chemo, no hair loss, no infusions.   I don’t know why yet.  But I am due to see the melanoma specialist as I have a few questions to ask about skin care and what not.

So one big fat party to be had at the end of my treatment. And all of you who have been supporting me and been there for me are invited.

Much love and thanks to all of you.

Alethea 🙂

Here are some photos of the people who I share my daily journey with.

Entrance of the BOC oncology clinic

Waiting area with reception

The door I go through when my number appears on the top!

My two new friends

New Friends

On the bus

An eye opener

So today I woke up feeling really low.   I tried watching cartoons to take my mind of whats really happening but I couldn’t shake the blues so even Barney songs made me cry a little.  I try really hard not to cry at random times as I don’t want to upset those around me as they are as worried as I am!

As the day progressed though we had a family lunch at my parents house which was lovely.  BBQ chicken and pork, black eyed peas and healthy salad.  I skipped the pork cause they say red meat is a food to avoid if you have cancer.  I did have a few glasses of wine though.   My son had a quick splash in my parents pool and I watched from the side as it was too cold for me plus I can only really go up to my waist line as still have my one big stitch in from my operation! Cant wait to have that out on Monday!!

Having the stitch in my arm has made it rather difficult to actually have a full on shower so my hair by now was really starting to get greasy and disgusting and my right armpit was starting to leave a bad scent trail behind me, you know like the kind in cartoons only not good! lol   So you can imagine how happy I was when I found some waterproof gauze thingies from when I had my mole removed last year in my drawers!  I had a full on long shower! Amazing it was.  After that I changed my gauze and shaved my right armpit hair that was starting to resemble wild grass growing in a field!!   So now I have a partially shaved right armpit that smells a lot better! yay!

I went out in the evening. I decided that as I am having all these tests next week, at the end of it I will need treatment either way and perhaps even surgery, so my nights out will be limited as well as my drinking which I planned to totally give up anyway until I’ve gotten rid of this stupid illness.  So my sister and I went to town and a few of my good friends joined me.

I was having a good time but every time I looked around I could see smiling faces and it felt strange and I was wondering when I would be smiling next and really mean it you know the kind that comes from inside smile.  People asked how I was and I always replied great thanks! I mean what do you say to people, well actually I’m shit, I have cancer? Thats not really what you tell everyone who asks how you are.   But there are people out there who have it worse. Last night a friend told me his 6 year old sister was being tested for Cystic Fibrosis. How awful is that at that age.

The drinks were flowing fast and furious as our friends kept buying us drinks and then my stupid water proof gauze came unstuck.  I had a complete meltdown in the toilets! Cause it finally hit home. I’m out trying to have fun but I have cancer. Its hard to have fun when you know that. Life just isn’t the same anymore.  You look at it differently and people who know look at you differently too.

My friends and sister where very supportive of me however and so at every sign of my tears they distracted me by either taking me to the dance floor, buying me yet another drink and I even got bought a flower.  🙂

I didn’t get in till nearly 4am! I can’t believe I was out that late. But I just couldn’t face coming home any sooner and just wanted to forget.  My hubby woke up and then I had verbal diarrhea for about half an hour before I finally shut up and went to sleep!

An eye opener of a day.