Friday, 19 February 2010

Back with a Bump!

I'm generally a laid back kinda girl who rarely gets bent out of shape over the smaller things, it's a trait I have gratefully inherited from my Dad. This is why when I read about severe mood swings as a side effect I took it with a pinch of salt assuming my levelheaded disposition would not be affected. Ah bless, how wrong I was!

I woke up yesterday still buzzing from Tuesdays news. I have the classical type of Hodgkin's and the Cancer had localised in my neck and chest instead of throughout my lymphatic system, I was euphoric!

The elation however was bitter sweet and bought to an abrupt end yesterday afternoon after I received a call from my district nurse. She informed me, I would be having the permanent needle known as a PICC line fitted next Friday. The PICC line is used for the intravenous drugs used in chemotherapy and prevents the veins from collapsing as the drugs are particularly harsh. Reality had toe punted me right in the baby maker!

I reached a new low last night. I was numb and left unable to function!

Burying my head in my pillow seemed the easiest option. Instead I picked myself up, put some lippy on (always makes things better!) and took myself over to the boys house! During the drive, I sung so loudly and disgustingly out of tune by the time I arrived I had shaken the numbness and converted it to a feeling of relief that treatment was starting, I will be better sooner and I can wear my shoes quicker! :)

Everyday I'm faced with something new and this is a huge learning curve. I've now realised sometimes you need to take yourself out of the situation to acknowledge the greater good and move onwards and upwards as cheesy as it sounds!

x KJ x

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Surreal Relief

Yet another few days of not knowing whether I am coming or going! I have quickly realised that no day is going to be the same, my moods are changing continually and my concentration has been none existent...My friends have witnessed me constantly flit between conversation, forget where I am going and pour salt on my dessert!

On countless occasions I have found myself stood in the middle of a shop, completely encased in my own world with the dazed look of a lunatic tarnished over my face. The lady in the newsagents even gave me a piece of her mind for reading the magazine covers before I purchase. I quickly snapped out of daydream and shuffled out slightly embarrassed after my firm telling off even though I had done nothing wrong.

This is why Tuesday 16th February could not arrive fast enough. This was the day I would find out what degree of the disease I am facing and would allow me to regain the control I had lost when diagnosed two and a half weeks ago. Up until then I had felt like the medical profession have left me in limbo and couldn't envisage what the next week was going to be like let alone the next 7 months.

So I was ecstatic to be informed I have caught the lymphoma at quite an early stage and that treatment will be starting potentially with in the next two weeks!

I think the Doctor may have questioned the mental state of myself and family as the life changing information was received with the widest of smiles. It is surreal how pleased everyone is about the news. Realistically, I still have Hodgkin's, I still need to undergo Chemotherapy and I still have an incredible battle ahead of me but it could have been so much worse!

I think it's quite a healthy outlook to have about life, no matter how bad your day has been, if you have car, relationship or health problems it could always be substantially worse! Instead of letting the issues defeat you, remaining a Positive Polly throughout means you have already won half the battle!

x KJ x

Monday, 15 February 2010

Look into my eyes....

Ever since I was a little girl I have always had very vivid dreams and as I have grown up my dreams relate directly to concerns or worries in my conscious life.

So, I have not been surprised my dreams have been plagued ever since being diagnosed, what has surprised me is the extent of detail and how genuinely frightened I have been. All of my dreams are based around Cancer and it is clear my brain is going into over drive while I try and catch some precious Z's.

I actively decided to extinguish the problem before it begins to have a negative effect on my sleep patterns which need to be regular to speed up recovery time!

This is how I ended up sat uncomfortably in a 70 year old mans front room on Valentines Day morning. Cursing the fact I had made an incredible faux pas choosing wet look leggings and a bum skimming vest as suitable attire!

Through recommendation of a trusted friend, I had booked and met with positivity life coach and Hypnotist Beverley.... Yes, that is his real name and it was without doubt the most surreal moment of my life. Whilst I sunk into his worn sofa, I noticed the calming music playing from the dated stereo, his art work resting against the window over looking the allotments and his flute strategically placed against the piano. I was so far out of my comfort zone it was ridiculous!

It wasn't long before he was talking to me in dulcet tones and I was sat there breathing out all of the negativity! I was having to hold back the laughter. I came out very skeptical indeed but last night my dreams were free of torment for the first time in two week?!

It looks like I have made a new best mate in the form of a 4ft 10 OAP :)

x KJ x

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Have you been bitten by a Vampire?

Don't worry, this is not me jumping on the band wagon of all things Vampire at the moment!

This is what a blissfully unaware barman shouted across the Bar/Restaurant to me this week. Initially I thought his curiosity had be triggered by my newly dark locks with the pedigree shine and the fact I have been too tired to stick to my Fake Tan Thursday regime.

In my head I pictured storming over there and dramatically throwing my peartizer in face until I realised he had been referring to the large plaster covering my scar from my operation. So I gave him a sympathetic smile and went back to listening to my friend.

So, imagine my shock when he repeated the question...I did not know what do! Any witty remarks or comical comebacks instantly left my thoughts and I was sat there shuffling uncomfortably until I finally answered "ummm I've just had an operation" and quickly shifted my attention back to my flat bread and hummus with a rosy glow in my cheeks. When he next asked "What for?" I couldn't help but laugh, it was like he had inquisitive tourettes and had no understanding of social situations. We hadn't interacted with him previously, he'd not served us our drinks yet somehow he had decided it would be A OK to wail something like that across the room.

My friend found my awkwardness silently hysterical so my bids for her to help me out were useless and I eventually answered like a 5 year old "I'm just not very well". I had considered just blurting out my condition and watch him squirm but I have been bought up better than that and taught not to laugh at others misfortunes, although I do still giggle when someone falls over in front of me.

He finally got the hint and later bought over a 'Get Well' chocolate brownie to compensate :).

This was quite funny and he had only been poorly attempting to break the ice but it has highlighted how some people are hugely inappropriate. Things have been said to myself and family that are utterly thoughtless over the last week and left us all quite flabbergasted. Luckily enough we all have the positivity and a sense of humour to rise above it, infact after the initial outrage we find the unnecessary comments a little entertaining :)

x KJ x

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Over to the dark side....

After years of being a bottle blonde I have finally taken the leap and gone dark! There have been a few occasions were I have dipped my toe in the brunette pool but this has often ended in epic failure and I have found myself pacing friends kitchens while they mix up magic colour to cover my purple highlights. Mentioning no names of course :)

At a time when I feel like my body has decided it doesn't want to play properly anymore, my hair has never looked healthier with a shine only rivalled by professionally groomed pedigrees. So it seems strange that I can not shake the feeling I have lost my sparkle, even though the mahogany brown colour makes my hair look much longer and has ended my days of resembling the hair bear bunch.

I think this is because it is the first physical change I have had to make due to the Lymphoma. Whilst having treatment I will not be able to maintain my high lift tint which is music to my mums ears and if I'm completely honest with myself ALWAYS ended with a ginge tinge to it anyway. Oddly enough, I had discussed with friends going dark prior to being diagnosed but I still feel my hand was slightly forced.

So in a bid to reign my bottom lip back in, I am heading out into public for the first time in a week and hitting the shops for some retail therapy! I'm picking up a gorgeous pair of nude shoes I have pronounced my remissions shoes, in the mean time I will only wear them around the house teamed with a terry toweling dressing gown and a top knot!

x KJ x

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Fortified Fatty

It's no secret, I love a skinny frame!

Much to the disagreement of my Mum and the girls in the office. Now, due to my love for all things chocolate and Hummus I do not maintain this desired figure. However, I do try to be good, eat well and generally be healthy. I haven't been to the gym for at least 6 months but you get my drift!

So, imagine the irony of my fabulous GP prescribing me Fortified drinks. Calorific Milkshakes used by Professional Bodybuilders to BULK up!

Treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma includes Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy. These are used to destroy any cancerous blood cells in your body but also wipe out your healthy white blood cells making you very poorly! Weight lose unfortunately is imminent.

You will be entertained to hear I am now taking 2 CPN Promass strawberry milkshakes a day and have my own professional portable milkshake mixer!

Its all for the greater good and I have gained weight but I can't help picturing myself looking like a balding Mr Universe in no time :)

Also, many of you know I work for an online Internet dating company so to entertain ourselves yesterday we have been thinking about launching a few sites targeting Hodgkin's lymphoma patients; Horny Hodgkin's, Lymphoma Liaisons and Nymph Lymph... :)

x KJ x

Monday, 8 February 2010

Gathering of the Greats

SLASH.... Sunday lunch with the girlie's in a germ free vicinity!

I mentioned in my previous blog, I have found this week oddly reassuring and that is because it became instantly apparent what an amazing support network I have surrounding me.

Once diagnosed, the hardest thing I found was telling friends and family. They are just as shocked, upset and often do not know what to say! I have been seeing that weird, awkward face when someone is unsure whether to hug me, say sorry or tell me I will be fine ALOT!

People find it easier to accept this bombshell of information once they have seen me. Remember, I still look and feel OK, sleepy but OK!

So, I have been seeing friends and family in the masses...There is not a day I have not seen my parents, siblings, boyfriend and friends. Yesterday the girls filled my kitchen with laughter while their babies smashed things :). We were down a couple of familiar faces including our own foreign exchange and a new yummy mummy (whose bundle of Joy was born 15 minutes after I was diagnosed!)

Its all in the name of normality and without it I would be going insane. I guess when I am having a bad day in the not so distant future it will be these faces that keep me going and make it all worth while... Even if they do mentally exhaust me!


Sunday, 7 February 2010

Extraordinary Adaption

Hand on my heart, Brownies Honour and pinky promise; this has been the scariest, the most exhausting and oddly most reassuring week of my life! Six days on from being diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma and I have come to terms with the words you never expect to hear in your life time, even through statistics are now reporting 1 in 3 will fall victim of the big C. Naively, never for one minute do you believe it will be you.

The one thing that has amazed me is how you adapt instantly to a situation when forced to. Seven days ago at lunch in a disreputable food establishment, with a dodgy salad cart. Three friends and I discussed the possibility of Cancer and quickly swept it under the food encrusted carpet! Too scary to discuss! Today I am recovering from an operation removing a lymph node and anxiously waiting for my results to begin staging and decide on the pattern and duration of treatment.

Never again will I underestimate natures way of adaption and the bodies defense mechanism that allow you to deal with the world and its ways! Mine appears to be a nap! :)

x KJ x