Saturday, 24 February 2007

An early start

It's just on 6 on Saturday morning and I came down to visit the bathroom. I'm not sure why I'm still up, other than to check and see if my friend in Reno is on-line. We are 8 hours apart and sometimes it is very difficult to connect. No luck this morning! The week is over and it has been difficult at work. I've been exhausted by just being there and each afternoon and evening it has taken quite a while to recover.

A few days ago Emma received her acceptance to the library course that she may want to do at UCL. It's a big boost to her confidence. She's also found her own flat and will be moving out over the next week or so. Big times ahead for Em.

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Back to school and still exhausted!

I taught on Monday but it was a struggle. Tuesday I went off to Guildford to be measured for my radiotherapy. For about 15 minutes, I had to lie completely still while they used a machine to measure me up. I can't even describe what happened because I kept my eyes closed most of the time. At the end, I had little tatoos put in various spots on my abdomen so that they can line up the beams at each succesive treatment. I now have a schedule for the therapy. It starts March 6th and finishes mid April and takes place each day at 10:10. This all means that I won't be able to teach for three weeks because all my classes take place in the morning. It should be interesting to see how this works out.

Monday, 19 February 2007

Cold Feet

No, I'm not getting nervous about some upcoming event. In fact, I have cold feet. Well, perhaps it's not that they're cold but that I've lost some of the sensitivity in them and that feeling reminds me of having cold feet. I am whisked back to Canada and the bleak mid-winter where I stand out in the cold with the children. We play or walk or sled and then come in and my feet have lost their feeling. I take off my boots and socks and rub them till the feeling returns. At some point they seem to be very hot and then they return to normal. There is nothing I can do to change how my feet feel at the moment (and for however much longer it will last) but as I sit reading, I feel as if I'm back in a Canadian winter and I want to take off my socks and rub my feet.

Saturday, 17 February 2007

An exhausted Saturday

I've been in bed or on the sofa since Thursday. I had thought that the trip to London had done me in but I've rethought that and am sure that it is the effect of the chemo. I managed a short trip out to lunch yesterday to Savill Gardens, a hop, skip and a jump from here. Those of you who came to Naomi's wedding will be familiar with the gardens which are part of Windsor Great Park. There is a new visitor centre there now with a good restaurant and shop. Now that they have changed their parking costs, you can park there and go for an hour's walk in the park and then pop in for a coffee or tea. I've provided a link so have a look. The design of the visitor centre is fascinating.

James and Naomi are off to Rome tomorrow for a week and stopped by one their way to the airport. It was a great lift to my spirits! Before setting out, they had dropped Hadden off at a cattery. We were all a bit concerned for the safety of the employees, knowing how vicious he can be. However, he seems to have taken to it well. Apparently, he's in a 'chalet' with a heating pad under his cat basket, a lovely drinking dish, a litter box below and a run from where he can watch the world go by.

Thursday, 15 February 2007

I was a bit mad on Wednesday and went up to London with Emma to her interview at UCL (University College London). I had a difficult evening following on from that with a definite case of 'restless leg syndrome'(more on that later if I have the energy)and quite a bit of fatigue. I have been in bed or on the sofa most of today. I seem to have far greater cognitive problems this time and had a rather funny incident in a shop yesterday over change. The shop lady was very confused (as was I, I suppose) until Emma explained my situation and we all had a good laugh!

So, today I suppose that I'll spend most of the day lying down, drifting in and out of sleep and listening to the radio or watching 'junk' television. Though I must admit that when I tried that this morning, there was lots of 'junk' and I was not able to watch it. I do draw a limit somewhere.

Evie, the heroine of my novel, is backing sleuthing (though perhaps she's having a break today). Those of you who are able to read that blog should have a new posting in the next few days.

Best wishes to all and by the way, my hair is starting to grow again. Three cheers!

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

It's all over

I seem to have been at the hospital all day. We arrived at 8:30 and had to wait till 10:30 for the treatment. It was over by 11:30 but then we had to wait for the consultant to 1:40. We finally got home at 3:00. Well, at least it's over now. I don't feel as well as I have in the past immediately after the treatment. However, I'm sure it will pass.

I am going back next Tuesday for a pre-radiotherapy visit. After that I'll have a two to three weeks before it actually starts. The amount of daily treatment is down to 5 weeks from 6. The consultant hopes to have it all over just after Easter.

As I was leafing through the Times while waiting for treatment, I found a full page article about Hilary Thomas, my consultant. She is recovering from breast cancer, and was talking about how she reacted to the diagnosis and how having cancer has helped her to understand what her patients go through. If I can find it on the Internet, I'll add a link.

While I was at the hospital, I started back at my novel. It was good and I will try and finish the entry (I'm writing it as a blog) tomorrow either at home or when I go to London with Emma.

Today's the day

It's 7:23 and I'm getting ready to go off for my last chemo. Mixed feelings. I want it to be over but I don't want to have it. Ah well, here goes! Wish me luck!

Monday, 12 February 2007

I think that I've mentioned that I have my next chemo on Tuesday. This next one is also my last. Anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks later I'll start radiotherapy. I can't imagine what that will be like. Everyday for 6 weeks - except of course for the weekends.

I really dislike the place I work (actually, it's the admin - one person in particular), and I'm not very happy with the place I live. I want to make changes but it's obviously not the time to do it. I feel so disoriented by all this and have idea where to go. Nowhere for the time being, I suppose.

I'm really anxious as I write this. I think that it's probably the up-coming chemo. I should be used to it all by now. I don't think that I am.

Saturday, 10 February 2007

Saturday night

The weather has been quite crazy over the last few days. On Thursday we had quite a bit of snow for southern England. Yesterday there was a lot in Swansea and both Naomi and James had the day off. It will be interesting to see what happens weather wise over the next few days or weeks.

Now I have the next week off! Three cheers! I don't have a lot planned since I have chemo for the last time next Tuesday. If I feel up to it, I'm going to go up to London on Wednesday. Emma is having her interview at UCL for her place on their Master's degree course in librarianship. I hope I have enough energy to cope with that. Monday mum and I may go to IKEA to look for storage ideas for Emma's new flat. I know that this doesn't sound like an exciting week but it will be just fine for me.

I've started writing my novel again. I printed off what I had written on Friday and I've edited most of that. Now I'm going start up again. I'm quite happy with what I've done so far so I really need to finish it.

Thursday, 8 February 2007

Snow, snow, snow!

So little but it seems to have brought southern England to a halt. I'm not complaining though, since we have a snow day! I'm sure we'll pay for it by having to work an extra day at the end of the year. At our school you always pay in the end!

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Post Wobble

Yesterday I had an anxiety attack when I went into school. As soon as I started teaching I was fine and forgot all about it till I went home. This morning I wondered briefly if I would have another and then didn't think about it again until school was nearly over. It was hearing how various people on staff can I put this...been badly treated (how nicely I put it) by 'she who must be obeyed'! Anger has chased my anxiety away.

Will people who are so thoughtless, cruel and unfeeling to others eventually get their comeuppance? In my novel, the answer is yes but is it the same in life? And should it be? Perhaps the more human approach would be to hope that one day these people will come to the realization of what they are like and what they have done because of it. That way there would be the chance of change and redemption. Then again, their personality would probably negate the possibility. So, we'd be right back where we started!

I suppose that the next question would be what responsibility do we have for stopping someone from hurting others. Helping them change should probably go hand in hand with that but I find it hard to think about helping someone who has been so destructive.

Finally, all I can say is that 'she who must be obeyed' has become 'she who has outstayed her welcome'. So, where do we go from there?

If someone knows that what they are doing in wrong, does that make the act/s (and perhaps the person) that much more heinous?

Sunday, 4 February 2007

The problem with wobbles

The problem with wobbles is that others see them as a reflection of my overall state of mind, instead of just a momentary...wobble! Some have tried to encourage me by saying that I have to be positive. However, I have done that myself and had it thrown back at me. Don't I have the right to be angry (read that also as 'down', 'upset', etc), I was asked? Yes, of course. I suppose the anger (or any other emotion)that worried me at the time was the one that could become self destructive. And of course, in most cases it doesn't go that far. My wobbles are the same. I am not descending into depression, just having a bit of a cry and then moving on. I wonder if people have a problem with strong emotions and that is why they react against them. Thinking about myself, when I had this reaction from a friend, I forced myself to think about why I was trying to diffuse the emotion this person was feeling. It was anger, mixed with hate and I was quite disturbed by it. I'll try not to make that mistake again because it's not about me but about them working through something.

Saturday, 3 February 2007

A Bit of a Wobble

Yesterday I had a bit of a wobble. It started at the beginning of the week, manifesting itself as frustration at my lot and leading to me feeling a little down. Friday morning I received a letter from my consultant with forms to sign for my radiotherapy and two little (almost harmless looking) booklets with information about the two forms of therapy that I will be receiving and the effect they will have on my body. That was all it took. I had a little cry and thought that would be it and then the tears came uncontrollably. I had to call Cliff at work to come and comfort me. I know it was silly getting that upset but as I said it was just a wobble.

Thursday, 1 February 2007


I've been very tired this week and that has demoralized me somewhat. I don't have the energy to teach properly and that is so discouraging. In particular, I get so tired that I can't remember things from one moment to the next. I have to write lots of notes to myself so that I don't lose track of what was done once the class is over. In fact some days I forget during the class what I had done at the beginning. I feel inadequate! Is this really what the school wants? I wonder if they have even thought this out. Every one is so busy and so stressed out that as long as parents aren't complaining, then they'll just ignore the situation.

I do know that things will improve and that I'll just have to wait. One day, I'll suddenly realize that not only do I have hair but my memory is back! The hardest lesson to learn is patience! I have to rest and accept that not everything will get done. That's hard for me.