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Also while we are on the Charity front Mr & Mrs Vince are running the Toronto leg of 'CIBC RUN FOR THE CURE' breast cancer research fund raiser, in the name of Tash. Though this is only 5Km's, those of us who know Vince greeted this with the sort of shock and physical concern that should have been reserved for Fiona's ultra triathlon. Obviously being my mate I wish him and Mirelle luck and I also hope that down town Toronto can recover from the sight of those spindly legs.
The website for his event is here
Half empty or half full ....
Well Mark has finally got writer's block and has asked me tell you about today rather than recounting it himself. Typically though, I don't get the 'free-for-all' that he usually enjoys, as I have been assigned a topic to write about. Even though this is making it feel somewhat like homework, I am fighting my natural urge to tell him where to stick his topic... so here goes....
A day in the London Oncology Clinic (LOC) always starts with pleasant greetings from all the nurses when we arrive and then I go and find an empty pod to sit in. Soon after, the nurse who has been allocated to look after me for the day will come over with her tray of goodies, needles, alcohol wipes etc.. and connect up my port.
Blood is drawn from the port into small viles (just like from your arm) and it is sent up to the lab to be checked that my system has recovered OK from the last treatment. So far this hasn't been a problem and I have been getting good counts each cycle.
Then come the questions from the nurse.
'So, Natasha how have you been?'
'Really good thanks'
'Any problems to report?'
'No, not really'
'How are your bowels, any constipation?'
'OK, I'm still experimenting with my medication to get it right but nothing I can't cope with'
'Ulcers, mouth sores?'
'Taste Changes, appetite, are you eating OK'
'Yes, I'm eating loads, no problems there...!'
'Joint Ache, numbness/tingling in your fingers and feet?'
'Yes for about a week after treatment'
'Yes for 2-3 days after treatment'
'What about your vision?'
'Hmm, it's quite poor for 3-4 days after treatment and then goes back to normal'
'Any wheezing, breathlessness?'
'Yeah..... more-so this cycle'
'What about general fatigue, are you getting tired easily?
'Yes, when I walk fast or up stairs or a hill I'm puffed out'
'And how's your skin, is your scalp OK?
'Yeah, all OK'
'Good, good, now let me take your temperature and your blood pressure'
(These are always fine)
'OK, what medication do you need today?'
When these results come back, the real fun starts.....as we sit around, for hours and hours and hours........until I have to answer the same barrage of questions again when the Clinical Nurse comes round.
Looking forward to a break
Last week was god awful, laden with timely reminders that too much work when your wife expects you to look after her, invariably means you are in trouble. A difficult experience, but I only spent Friday night on the sofa, so I think that the marriage is safe.
This weekend was also drawn from the box labeled 'difficult times', though fortunately it has turned out to be a little better than we were anticipating. Saturday (well early Saturday due to the time difference) was Kate's and Nigel's wedding, that is, the wedding we had originally planned to be over in Australia for. As we travelled down the 'Chemo road of interesting discovery' it became apparent that this trip to the home country was not going to happen. Tough, when you remember that Kate filled the Bridesmaid spot out our wedding.
The earlier part of my 'Settimana Horribilus' (shit week, or more profound Latin words to that effect) involved meeting a rather tight deadline for producing a very special animation based greeting for Kate from Tash. This work is never quick, but considering how upset T' was about not being there, all the IT in the world was not going to make a video appearance happen without sniffles, so I was pleased to be able to put these skills to good use. Now, if I could use these skills to impress girls, win bets or get to the bar quicker, I would feel less noble, but it would be far more practical.
The phone calls from the wedding carried over about a 12 hour period, all daylight hours for us, so it was kind of odd to here her talk through the sober - slightly drunk - very drunk - sleep - hangover cycle all in one day. It seems that everyone had a very good time, including the bride, who in taking after Tash, was last scene san's Husband staggering off into the Bendigo night (named after a Victorian English immigrant boxer, by the way) in wedding dress and no shoes. Good Girl!
On a lighter note Tash is now on something of a "chemo break" and we are shifting some of her treatments around over the next month or so, which will effect my postings here, so being a good web-person, I thought it best to give you some idea what we are up to;
October 8th -16th - We are on holiday, not a moment too soon. This basically amounts to an "Eat Your Way Around the South West of England" Tour which Tash has arranged. We will be starting in the Cotswolds with the Croft's (they are a family, not a Scottish farming tradition, by the way) ,then making our way down to Devon and Cornwall for the week. I will be packing the trousers with the elasticated waistband.
October 18th - Should be the start of Cycle 5, but because of what is happening at the end of the month, Tash is only having a Hercpetin treatment this time.
October 20 -24th - We are in Marrakesh, with a group of friends - It will be interesting to see how the Tur-barn goes down in the land of the Fez
October 25th - 26th - Ahh, this may take some explaining. The girl has only had one operation this year and as I am sure you will appreciate this is well below our average, so we are having another. This is called High Frequency Ablation catchy name huh! Think of that scene from Goldfinger when James Bond is tied to the metal table about to be cut in half by the laser beam - yep that's it, nothing like it at all.
November 15th - Hopefully the start of Cycle 5
Vince and Mirelle will have completed their run for Cancer in Toronto by now, I am hoping to bring you some pictures of the great man's great achievement as soon as he recovers enough to send them to me.
When I said I was hoping for some pictures to put up from Vince and Mirelle's CIBC Run for the Cure jog in Toronto, somebody was listening. Hoorahh for them. What can I say, you didn't need too, but we a both chuffed that you did, you even reduced Tash to tears in a record breaking 3.2 seconds, good show!