I am still around !!!!!!

Hi Ladies,

You will have missed me on the site. I have been very poorly, not cancer related we now find out thankfully. But I can now explain just why I have not been in touch and and have neglected friends on here. Somehow I find it so difficult to come on and post and deal with other peoples problems when hubby and I are struggling so much ourselves. I do apologise.

I started being ill at Xmas, vomited the most ghastly brown fluid up, the Drs knew as I was always calling them in and also on very heavy pain killers to kill the associated pain., but nothing was said about the problem. I was in Harrogate hospital after Xmas for 3 nights due to vomiting and the most horrendous stomach pain. The only thing to alleviate this was morphine and we had to fly back to Spain on New Years Eve,

Tummy wise things went downhill, dreadful vomiting, duty Dr's visiting to give me morphine and in the end I was admitted to Malaga Universitario hospital for treatment. I could have gone the private route, but frankly our private hospital is diabolical and the nursing and my Oncologist, treatment everything is at the state hospital.

I was starved, with a tube up my nose into the upper bowel and lost 2 stone in 2 weeks - down to 7 st- I looked skeletal. The question was do we operate, do we not operate. But of course I wasn't strong enough. The problem appears to be a blockage in the small bowel with the lesions from the original cancer op. So I was duly sent home with an horrendous diet (well not to some people) but to a cancer patient not a good one. But I am winning the battle and have put on over a stone since I came out of hospital in May. We have the odd restaurant that will prepare food especially for me, but we don't go out a lot.

I am so very fatigued. I am on new chemo, the Avastin I have had to come off it, as if I need surgery on the bowel I have to wait 6 weeks to get the drug out of the system first. So I am now back on the dreadful stuff, Taxol, where I am losing my hair, eye lashes and eyebrows. Thankfully being the summer the head is cool in the house and no hairdressing bills. !!

.

Well we had some great news a few weeks ago, but I must apologise for lack of contact, but to be truthful I have been so frightened about my cancer spreading, I have been angry, tearful and very so frightened. I am in bed all day after a 2 stone weight loss over 2 weeks. All in all a lousy time. I am still very weak and have the use of a wheelchair to do local supermarket shopping. I am also so tired.

I go on a Wed for chemo, no bloods at the hospital to make the day shorter, they are taken here by my private GP. When Prof Alba came into the room and saw me in a wheel chair, his face was not happy. When he examined me through a long question and answer session. Was I in pain - no. Are my bowels working well - yes. To these answers a smile slowly came across is lovely face. When he examined me he was thrilled to bits, the only problem is the upper bowel lesion, my tummy is great, no fluid.

The most important thing he feels the cancer is NOT spreading. To this I cried tears of sheer relief. He just looked at me and said 'Judith don't cry'. He was overjoyed, I have never seen him smile so much. We have a very very special patient/Dr relationship and I know he has huge admiration for the way I take everything that is thrown at me. I now have chemo for two weeks and then hopefully one week of. The only downside there was no chemo that day. I had a raised temperature and on checking my chest he thought just a little problem there. So all in all a wonderful day for both Pieter and I. I am still very weak and tired and only get up to eat and prepare food, although these past few days I am doing a little more.

Losing 2 st in 2 weeks is a lot of weight to lose. But the weight is slowly going on. I am on a very restricted diet, all the things I would never have eaten before. I can't eat anything that causes wind or contains fibre, so very limited food indeed. It really is not a good cancer diet, red meat (normally banned to once a week), fish and chicken, lots of sugar, plain biscuits and cakes - things I would never have eaten. I even have cornflakes for breakfast. Lots of lactose free yoghurt and milk. I am not allowed anything high fibre or flatulence forming, so the diet is boring, but I find I can eat the odd Indian meal without nuts or fruit. I am gradually introducing the only veg into my diet I can eat - green beans, carrots, mushrooms and red peppers, oh and some courgettes. But I can only have very little veg. I can have kiwi, melon and strawberries that is about all in fruit, so all in all not the healthiest of diets. But I have now managed to add small amounts of salad into the diet which I am thoroughly enjoying. But it is working. I also have an Ensure Plus drink every afternoon, a meal in a bottle. Also flat coke as this is supposed to help raise the blood pressure, mine was almost too low.

I have just got my blood results through and the platelets are down a tad this week. My legs are covered in horrible red blood spots and bruises, I look as though I have just come out of a boxing ring !! I am starting to wear maxi dresses to conceal the leg bruises !!

I can't drive to hospital and hubby is nearly blind, so have to pay someone to drive us in our car every week. It is a long wait around for them, but if I get my bed for treatment I think I may be able to start the driving again myself soon . Although two weeks ago it ended up being a 12 hour day as I needed a blood transfusion.

The only downside is the steroids in with the Taxol, I am nocturnal. I am up half the night , but I do go back to bed during the mornings and afternoons to rest. But by the evening I am shattered and can barely get back up the stairs to bed.

It is so infuriating that after being such a healthy eater I now have to eat what I do, particularly the snacking. I can't eat much fruit or vegetables, in fact in the early days of the diet no fruit or vegetables at all !! I now have to keep to a minimum of 2 portions a day, so with having to snack in between it is usually a rich tea biscuit. I never had a sweet tooth before but I am certainly getting one now !!

I will try and get on site and post. I don't spend a lot of time at the computer, I find it very tiring. Anyway chemo again tomorrow, great how I just love all this !!

Love Anna xx

21 Replies

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  • Anna, great to hear from you, have been wonderering how you are, just get stronger and stronger and keep in touch. Love Sue x

  • Dear Anna,

    I wondered why you had not posted recently and was worried about you!

    What a ghastly time you have had and are still having. I hope things are a bit better in futre. What a relief it is not the cancer again but if you feel that ill who cares why!

    Loss of hair is a bitch but on the plus side you don't have to shave your legs and, as you say the head stays cool in summer! I recommed dramatic eyeliner to distract from the loss of eyelashes! And dramatic dangly earrings. Mind you they can get tangled in the pillows when you have to spend time in bed! LOL!

    Good luck with the new op! If you get a colostomy it is not as bad as you might think but take a tip, don't wait for the bag to be full before you change it! I have learned that the hard way! Also a small spray bottle of baby oil to lubricate the inside of the bag is usefull!

    Thinking of you! Good luck!

    Margaret

  • Good to see you online- but sorry to read of your problems.

    I hope the treatment and your improving condition start to get you feeling much better very soon. You really seem to have been through the wars since last year - but it's great news that the tumours do not seem to have spread.

    Keep on keeping on!!

    Very best wishes,

    Isadora

  • Dear Judith/Anna

    I couldn't wait to open the blog seeing you'd written. Like the others I was wondering how you were getting on. It's good to have you back, but what a rough time you've had. I was really sorry to hear you'd been in so much pain and the worry that the tumours may be returning.

    It's good to have you back and to have a natter. Hopefully it'll help to while away those long steroid-induced sleepless nights. Don't worry about the diet. I'm sure it's thebestthing for you even though it's not as healthy as you would like.

    Let's hope the weather is good over there. Sounds as though the public hospital and your consultant are both brilliant. It's something very special to see one's oncologist beaming and that must've been reassuring for you.

    I hope the Taxol does the trick for you. Beastly to lose your hair but a small price if it gives you quality of life in other areas of your life and more time with Pietre.

    Thinking of you. Xxx Annie

  • Hi Anna,

    I am so sorry you have been having a bad time recently. It sounds like you are getting stronger so long may that continue. I know your diet is not great at the moment but the fact you ate a healthy diet before has made you strong enough to get through this and I am sure that when they sort this out you will be back to normal in no time.

    Great news cancer wise though!

    Stay well I am thinking of you and sending you get well soon hugs

    Love Jackie xxxx

  • Hi Anna

    Lots of hugs going out to you at this blinking horrible time.

    Sue

    Xx

  • Hi Ana

    I'm so sorry to hear what a dreadful time you've had since Christmas. It must have felt like it was all never ending. You just take all the time you need to build up your strength again and don't worry about not posting as often as you'd like ...... I've been busy lately too but I know everyone on here totally understands. It's just so good to hear that the cancer is under control and that there is a way to cope with the bowel problems.

    Take care, sending you a big hug and looking forward to hearing sometime when you feel strong enough, that you're making progress again

    Love Wendy xx

  • Dear Anna

    Absolutely great to find you back on the site - you have always been an inspiration to us all and here you are being one again! Hope very much that things start to go better now and that you will get some relief.

    I'll be holding you in my thoughts.

    B

  • Anna, so sorry you've been so poorly. I do hope you soon put on more weight and gain more energy. I do sympathise with you over being so fatigued. What good news about the cancer - and how marvellous to have an Oncologist you can relate to!!

    Hoping you can soon eat more things. Best wishes, Solange

  • Hi Anna

    I couldn't wait to open your blog either! So sorry that things have been really so tough for you, what wonderful news that the cancer is being held at bay for you. Gives all of us folks way down the line so much hope, I can't begin to tell you, THANKYOU.

    It is so great to hear your news, don't need to say keep on fighting because that is your middle name!

    Love and hugs( gentle ones til the weight goes back on ,don't want to squah your bones!!}

    Sue x

  • Hi Anna

    I'm so sorry to hear about the awful time you've been going through. I had been wondering where you were as you hadn't posted for so long. Hopefully you're on the way back now and you'll continue to put on weight and feel better day by day.

    Great news about the cancer - you definitely deserve it after all you've been through.

    Take care.

    Love Cathy xx

  • Dear Anna,

    I was so relieved to see your post and even happier to hear the good news re the cancer not spreading. Very sorry you have been through such a rough time, just look after yourself and get stronger. Once improvement starts it usually gets faster and I so hope that is the case for you.

    Best wishes and love,

    Dorothy xx

  • Hi Anna

    Did miss you - what a torrid time!

    What can I say but well done and really hope things improve much more now.

    Love Cara

  • To all you lovely ladies,

    Thank you so much for your supportive replies. I will try and be more active - promise ? Went for chemo today, platelets too low so it would have been dangerous to have the taxol, so back again next week. Hey ho, I do love Malaga hospital !!

    Love Anna xx

  • Lovely to hear from you... but sorry you have been so poorly thinking of you and sending you love x G x :-) :-) 8-)

  • Hi

    Happy to see you able to be back to us and pulling through this long rough patch.

    The drinks sure a gross, but I did find they would give a quick energy boost.

    Think of your 'platelets' as being kind to you and giving you a nice little chemo free weeklong Summer Holiday!

    Direct from my kitchen and kitchen garden I am sending you a very special dessert

    that taken from a different viewpoint might feel like a treat (I hope) and not the restrictive diet.

    "Spanishanna Strawberry Sundae"

    Halve some strawberries,

    Sprinkle with a little sugar,

    Add (a splash of Rosé) - if allowed - if not a quick squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

    Allow to soak & warm in summer sunshine for 30 mins

    Break a little sponge biscuit or cake into a beautiful wine glass

    Top with the strawberry mix

    Add a dollip of lactose free yoghurt

    Crumble a spoonful of cornflakes over the top

    Sit back in the warm shade and enjoy!

    M

  • Hello Anna

    Like everyone else I have been wondering how you are. Thanks for filling us in. So sorry you have had to go thro so much, but how lovely it is that you have such a good relationship with your prof Alba. Hope your animals have been of comfort to you.

    Love and best wishes

  • Hi Anna

    Sorry to hear you have been so unwell, hope things start to improve for you soon.

    Try not to worry too much about the diet being unhealthy just look at it as the calories you need at the moment to put some weight back on.

    Hope you get your surgery soon and all goes well.

    Best wishes and love George

  • Judtih!!! Is that your real name? I don't think I would get used to not calling you Anna. So pleased to have you back. It sounds as though you have had a dreadful time but you've been strong enough to get through it. And some good news more recently. Thank you so much for letting us know.

    I am still on the drugs trial and its still working but like you I have bowel problems - a swollen stomach they thought at first was fluid but isn't. Heartburn which stops me sleeping and general fatigue. But still here, still fighting and enjoying life as much as I can. Still missing Lizzie.

    Love to you and your husband

    Sarah

  • hi, i konly recently joined this site, and i havnt been on it for a a while, (had a lot to deal with recently).... i am o sorry u have been unwell, but so pleased that things are looking up for u.

    i hope and pray that things continue to improve for u... take care

    shenxx

  • Sarah, Judith actually is my first name, but I am never called that only by 'officials' where it is on my paper work and all documentation. My \Mother in her wisdom decided she didn't like people shortening it to Judy, which I like, so Ann the 2nd name has always been used. Here in Spain I get called Anna.

    M. I adored your poem, everything wonderful but maybe give the cornflakes a miss ??? Hubby and I laughed when I read it out to him.

    Well as you can see nocturnal again, oh I do so hope the Onc gives a smaller dose of steroids on Wed..

    I have been finding how certain things can have reactions - my calcium tabs I take give me dreadful indigestion, so I shall take them no more. The Prof told me to only take one steroid a day instead of two. These are to help the lesion area remain 'passable' - again indigestion and discomfort, so I am back on 2. They are not the ones stopping me sleeping, it is the ones they give me with chemo.

    Anyway lets hope the platelets are good this week - 3 hours travelling (round trip) and no chemo is a. waste of a day and also. expensive on fuel and road tolls.

    Love Anna xx

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