This weekend was a big weekend for Bear and I. It marked 4 years since I was diagnosed with incurable cancer and was given a limited life expectancy of 6 months. I don’t like to think about the dates as being really important as then cancer defines me as a person but it popped into my head whilst I was writing my to do list.. (I know, so rock and roll eh? Having a list for the weekends. Poor Old Pete, jobs lists and things-to-do never end!)
Once we got our jobs done Saturday morning we met up with our friends and decided to have a little celebration of the four years milestone and to revel in my most recent scan last week at Prof Vogls. Champagne flowed, possibly too easy, as well as the Cosmopolitans, but as usual we laughed for hours and ended up staying at our friends for the evening. (A few too many to drive home! Oops.) I fell asleep by 9.30pm- again how rock and roll am I? I wasn’t the only one, picture evidence below!
Yesterday we felt a little bleary eyed but after a fantastic breakfast (thank you Louise!) we came home and were going to have a lovely relaxed day. And do you know, it was a perfect day. Despite feeling a little bit worse for wear and hugely tired, the sun came out. I got Pete onto a sunbed and listened to Wimbledon whilst we drank plenty of iced water.
On my â€˜to doâ€™ list there was one job that hadnâ€™t been done and that was buying a â€˜love seatâ€™ for our garden. I had wanted it for a while and we decided we would go to the store and buy it, but wouldnâ€™t assemble it that day because we werenâ€™t in the right frame of minds.
Â We got to the store and the only one left was the display one. Great, we got the last one. Even better; they gave us a discount AND it was already assembled! Boom. How lucky we are! We walked back to the car and a kind man offered to help Pete get it into the car. (We hadnâ€™t considered having to put it in the car whole!) With a bit of jiggery pokery we got it in. What a nice man!
Â We couldnâ€™t believe how lucky we were and what a lovely day we were having?! You know, itâ€™s the little things that make this life feel rich and full.
Â Once home and in the garden we were very chuffed with the outcome and rested in the sun for the remainder of the day feeling massively grateful. I love it when things our way.. Life feels such a struggle at times but when the Universe aligns and small things come together it really restores our faith. We thanked God, the Universe and I had a lovely sleep last night.
Â Lots of love and happiness to you all. X
Happy, happy news.. I’m skipping with happiness….
My oh my. It’s Thursday already! Only this time last week I was relaxing and having a spa day nattering away to my mum hours on end. What do we talk about?!
Then our world kind of fell apart on Friday morning with the news that the UK have voted to leave the EU. This was not my vote and was not what either of us wanted. In fact we were devastated by this news. I hate change and feel that we have worked so hard to be part of the â€˜clubâ€™ for so many years why would I want to risk all that? I need to travel freely across Europe. Within hours the news had spread throughout the world and our currency had crashed to an all-time low. Not great when we were heading to Germany for treatment the very next day.
Fear was what came flooding in for both of us and the uncertainty even a week on hasnâ€™t changed, in fact, I am even more scared. Our country may have its credit rating reduced and all the countries within in the EU feel very unsettled. The list goes on as to what the negatives of leaving EU are and of course we are losing our Prime Minister as he resigned the very next day. Such a sad time for us Brits. Hate crimes are on the rise and immigration issues are all the talk right now.
It was almost like being told I had canSer all over again. It took me ages to calm down and not be hysterical. Life is so uncertain for normal healthy people then there are us survivors living an even more uncertain life. Now nothing is safe, secure or happy here. But as true Brits we have got up, dusted ourselves off and crack on like we always. Living each day as it comes.
We arrived in Germany a few days early ahead of treatment and decided to stay in a beautiful place called Baden Baden. Baden Baden is very well known for its natural thermal baths. Following my new found love of having treatments and going to spas Pete thought it would be nice to relax here and be healed by the earthâ€™s natural springs. Caracalla Spa was eye opening. I have never been to such a vast spa full of pools that were very hot and freezing cold, massaging jets but mostly warm and comforting. You could taste the minerals in the water. We had aromatherapy steam baths, a brine salt inhalation and laid under infrared lamps. I was like a kid in a sweet shop. We stayed there for 3 hours! I felt wonderful. I would go there every week if I could! I was surprised at how I liked the freezing cold pool. It was so invigoratingâ€¦.
From there we drove to Frankfurt where I had to TACE again, my second treatment since May with Professor Vogl. This time I wasnâ€™t forgotten although I did lie on the table waiting for anyone to come for about 45 minutes! Haha. I was relaxed. They were already â€˜feedingâ€™ me a drip of the â€˜cocktailâ€™ I love so much. Prof Vogl was chirpy as usual and asked what we had been up to. He said there and then that my scans were looking good and that there had been some reduction but he would tell me everything later when I saw him after the procedure. We also discussed Brexit and he said it is very sad for the whole of Europe. Germany didnâ€™t want this to happen. He was very concerned about right wing nationalists and the trouble to come.
Once I saw Prof Vogl later- he showed me comparison pictures of my scans from last month to that day. It is astounding. He said he had never seen anything like it and that the large tumour in my lung has reduced in size by about 45-55%. He said the lymph nodes were obviously reduced if not gone, especially as my cough has gone and the wheezing no longer occurs. The pictureÂ also showsÂ (the image on top)Â where my lung was collapsed and now it isnâ€™t. I told him I havenâ€™t had any treatment elsewhere. He said he could use me in one of his medical papers. Wow….
I told him I was feeling stronger walking up hills and generally feeling pretty good. I skipped out of his office and showed Pete and our new friends from Canada the images. They were amazed. PeteÂ and I were overcome with happiness and we were delighted that there has been such a reduction in such a short time. I have booked for my next visit in a monthsâ€™ time. I am over the moon and on a mission to stay well. I am to continue taking capecitabine as a low dose between treatments. When I arrived I home I thought I would share the news with my oncologist here, Prof Harris. He replied to my email and said, ‘He was very happy and has never seen anything like that before…’
My thoughts do go to, â€˜How am I going to get rid of it completelyâ€™ as it seems that when I do stop having TACE which is low dose chemotherapy, it returns. This time it increased very quickly. I did askÂ Prof Vogl If he thought the reason for its rapid decline was due to the microwave ablation I had in January as well as the TACE. He said it definitely would have something to do with that. Ablation doesnâ€™t work immediately and continues to work over the forthcoming months and years. He says that when we meet next month we can seeÂ how it’s going and then make a decision on the next step, whatever that may mean.
I continue to live healthily. I am working for Pete at the moment and it is time consuming but it has given me a new lease of life. My mind is feeling sharper and I am trying to stay focussed and not get stressed. To be honest, the only stress that there could be is not managing my time correctly. So sitting on my desk are lists of things to be done. I will get them done in order and multi task as best I can. She saysâ€¦â€¦ I am a bit out of practise!
So life goes onâ€¦ A lot of exciting times ahead, socially to look forward to, and also continuing with the search for a cure or at least a treatment for us triple negative breast cancer ladies. Today I have posted many links to research on Facebook that Pete has found and shares with me, and then I to you. My Bear is a machineâ€¦.. I donâ€™t how he copes with everything on his plate, yet he does. We both dig deep and support each other and all I know is that every day he brings me a mug of hot water and lemon with an apple (cored- he knows I donâ€™t like the pips- He says sayings are there for a reason- â€˜An apple a day keeps the doctor awayâ€™). He leaves it on my bedside table, gives me a snuffle then off he goes at 6am to the gym followed by his day at work plus many other commitments.
I have said it over and overâ€¦. This life is nothing if you havenâ€™t got love. By that I do not mean having a partner to love you.Â I mean love from every single human being or pet (Fur babies are just as important as people, you know!) Bear and I are just very lucky people to have each other. But we are rich with love from our friends, family and supporters. I am overwhelmed as usual for the love being sent our way with this happy news.
Soâ€¦.. Life is good. Life is ever changing, in every aspect. Hold on to the seat of your pants, itâ€™s a bumpy ride!
Love and Light All.