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  My Diary since being diagnosed

1997 - 2002

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Well its a new year and I'm still fighting back, I hope you all had a good Christmas and a Happy New Year.

A special thank you to Kristine for the email it was a nice surprise as it was the first I had received from my website, I hope 2001 brings you good health and happiness.

January 2001

 My chemotherapy which started in July of 2000 (24/7) ceased on the 18th of January and I am currently waiting for the results of the latest CT Scan which I had on the 24th of January.  At the moment I have no idea if there will be any further treatment, but after 24 weeks of continuous chemo' my body feels like it needs a break.

I did manage a trip to Salzburg on 13th of December to visit the Christmas Markets and although it was very tiring (it took me three days to recover) I enjoyed the whole day, I will be posting some new photos.  If anyone is considering a trip to Austria you couldn't make a better choice its a beautiful country, a little pricey compared to England but the quality of service and standard of the food especially the chocolates is second to none and worth every penny, so no prizes for guessing the main presents I brought back.

 Well that's it until the scan results come through.

February 2001

The scan results have arrived, they show the tumors are roughly the same size as they were six months ago we had hoped the chemo would shrink them but you can't win them all at least the blood test indicates that they are not active at the moment.

5th of February, I went into hospital to have the Hickman line removed, I went in at 10:00 and came out at 15:30 (GMT), having the line taken out is a lot less painful than having it inserted although both procedures are carried out under local anesthetic so unless there are any complications there is usually no need for an overnight stay which suites me down to the ground; I'm grateful we have hospitals but can think of far better ways of passing the time.

I'm a bit sore and uncomfortable but this will ease over the coming days, I will be having regular blood tests about every 2 months and at the first signs of any activity from the tumors I will have to have another Hickman line inserted and the whole thing will start again.

So for now I have to concentrate on getting my weight back up ready to meet the next challenge, hopefully that won't be too soon, I would like to enjoy the summer this year as well as consider a return to Lapland as I did miss not being able to return last year.

We even managed to get away for a few days taking a mini cruise to Amsterdam, although I wasn't actually seasick I now know I'm not cut out to be a sailor as the constant motion of the boat was a little hard to take.

I'm sorry to admit that I wasn't to impressed by Amsterdam but this was mainly due to the marked lack of any ladies toilets and constantly having to dodge bikes including motor bikes that use cycle paths that are part of the pavement and they have right of way!!

We did visit a small fishing village called Volendam coming from a fishing town it felt like home, the people are wonderful and very friendly and I would recommend anyone to visit there, it even has windmills.

March 2001

I have had to make my first base-line decision as my health is not improving as well as I had hoped, I feel tired most days but this won't stop me redecorating the kitchen you must have something to aim for and I did manage to repaint the bathroom; well it is only small.

As for my decision, I have applied for medical retirement from work this was a difficult decision to make as returning was always a goal of mine; drawing a line under part of your life is never easy even if it is work.

Well that's it for now as I'm feeling a little fragile,

May 2001

Well as if I didn't have enough to deal with we decided to put the house up for sale, it sold within 48 hours, that's when the real panic started as we hadn't even started looking for another property, it seemed every house we went after sold just before we got to it the market certainly was moving fortunately we had good buyers and they were happy to wait until we found a property. We finally found a house we liked and all looked set when problems came to light during the property searches about our house anyway all was resolved and in October we moved.

September 2001

Prior to the move I had another scan which showed that the tumors in my lungs had increased in size so I had another Hickman line fitted and started another round of continuous chemo.

October 2001

Packing up a house for a move does not fit well with chemotherapy, even though we had a lot of help I felt that I was more like a zombie on auto pilot most of the time with any and every minor hiccup turning me into a quivering wreck I couldn't eat properly and when I did eat i would end up vomiting my weight plunged and I really thought I would not see Christmas 2001.

Blood tests and scans at the end of October showed that the chemo wasn't working so the decision was taken to remove the Hickman line. There were no alternatives available however I was offered a chance to join a clinical trial program testing a new cancer drug.

I agreed to be a guinea pig, but, to date the trial hasn't started due to problems with the companies vying to be the approved supplier.

November 2001

My mother died on the 11th on her birthday, this showed my that no matter how low you feel at anyone time you can get even lower.

December 2001

I was taken into hospital for 4 days at the start of the month to try and sort out pain relieve and to get me eating again as my weight had dropped to 5 stone 4 lbs, I was also using morphine patches topped up with oral morphine as and when required.

We had booked another trip to Finish Lapland on the 16th to see Santa again and this time we were taking my daughter and her two eldest with us, although I honestly thought I wouldn't make it as i was so much more poorly than just a few months ago.

Well I did make it, how I will never know but it was worth it just to see my daughter and two grandchildren enjoy their first trip abroad and meet the great man himself. But it came at a price it cost me 7 days to recover from the one day trip and I missed my first pantomime in 22 years. But the memories that my daughter, grandchildren and partner have of this day will live on long after I'm gone and that alone makes it all worth while and irreplaceable.

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Last modified: February 18, 2003