Welcome To Tims 2012 Blog....... this is a very personal account of two people suffering illness and
adversity and through determination and will and lots of positivity , in large overcoming adversity and
continuing with life in addition to continuing to run a holiday flat business in the Isles of Scilly , have a
lovely family, six grand children and generally smile through lifes little minor difficulties
BUT BEFORE I START THE BLOG, COULD I PLEASE ASK YOU FOR SOME HELP ....
as YOU READ ON YOU WILL BECOME AWARE THAT A MAJOR MIRACLE HAS HAPPENED IN OUR
LIFE OVER THE LAST TWO YEARS, IN APRIL 2010 MY WIFE ANGELA, MOTHER OF THREE
CHILDREN AND GRANDMOTHER TO SIX GRANDCHILDREN WAS DIAGNOSED WITH ADVANCE
BOWEL CANCER WITH LIVER CANCER FOLLOWING A ROUTINE BOWEL TEST. ANGELA WAS
ADVISED BY OUR LOCAL HOSPITAL THAT HER LIVER WAS INOPERABLE AND SHE WAS GIVEN
A LIMITED LIFE EXPECTANCY OF TWO YEARS ( I can tell you that it was the worst moment of
my life to have to give my children that terrible news, you somehow learn great resilience dealing with
the cancer game )
THANKS TO A FRIEND OF CHARLES'S, A SECOND OPINION AT BASINGSTOKE WAS SOUGHT
WHERE SHE WAS TOLD THAT AN OPERATION WAS POSSIBLE AND FOLLOWING CHEMOTHERAPY
AND A BOWEL OPERATION ATTRELISKE HOSPITAL IN CORNWALL, SHE WAS then OPERATED ON
BY PELICAN TRUSTEE MERV REES IN EARly DECEMBER 2010 in Basingstoke Hospital
Mr Rees is a modest man especially since he is the very best liver surgeon in the world ( my words )
and the co-pioneer of this amazing liver resection operation when up to 60% of your liver can be taken away............ Mr Rees has over the last 10 years founded the Pelican Trust, raised some several million pounds
in sponsorship and built this amazing centre of teaching excellence www.pelicantrust.org
The liver is the only organ in the body which has the ability to re-grow over the coming few months,..
. what a miracle story
March 2012 and two years since diagnosis and ANGELA IS NOW FREE OF CANCER , SAYS CHARLES
AND " HENCE I AM RUNNING THE LONDON MARATHON THIS YEAR IN AID OF SOME OF THE CHARITIES THAT HELPED MY MUM AND OTHERS LIKE HER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If you would like to support Charles visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/charlesclifford
and read all about the Pelican on www.pelicancancer.org, !
THANK YOU, THANK YOU
TOBY ALEXANDER arrives 04.00 Monday 21st November 2011 8lbs 12 oz Brilliant news
so now we are 6 grandchildren,
It starts with Tim and his statin nightmare and goes on to Angela and BOWEL AND LIVER CANCER
in 2010, all the more amazing since in all cases we were very fit, and well, full of life, and enjoyment.
I hope that if you read our story that in some small way you can learn from our experiences and
perhaps pass on information to others....
The Blog is seperated in to dates accessable below. Please Click on them to follow my progress below.
NOVEMBER 2006 FEBRUARY 2007 April 2007 June 2007 August 2007 October 2007 December 2007 April 2008 Dec 2008 2009 2010 2011
21st January 2012, many apologies but my blog has been out of action since 13th December last
year 2011 due to a virus problem, my fault as I was scammed and I am red in the face
thinking about it and will not talk about it anymore, no fool like an old fool.......anyway the computor
had to be re-booted and one way and another I lost some files and some passwords including
the blog information
I was writing the blog but it was not publishing
Thank goodness for clever sons and between us this afternoon I have put in the
correct password information and we are up and running once again.
I will update you up to todays date and then hopefully I will start a new file dated 2012, watch this space
SO PLEASE SCROLL DOWN TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE FOR THE CURRENT SITUATION
BRILLIANT NEWS TUESDAY 13TH DECEMBER 2011 MEETING WITH ONCOLOGIST AT
TRELISKE HOSPITAL FOLLOWING RECENT CT SCAN all clear, all clear no cancer, all clear, next
scan in six months., what a huge relief, perhaps now the eye problems, iritis and neuralgia
will go away.
January and February continued improvement as far the body strength is concerned
but continuing eye probl;ems, so such an extent that Angela now needs a Cataract operation
in her left eye. hopefully in mid April
MARCH 21st for four nights Angela in Hospital at Treliske with a blockage, it is called ADHESIONS
and is common with anyone who has had major bowel surgery., not very nice as they have to suck you
out and flush you out as well, jolly stuff.
APRIL 3rd Angela slowly improving but has no stamina, it is very frustrating but my cooking and
house work improve week by week
Today is James third birthday , it is a thrill to have them with us in Cornwall
Charles out running every day, he completed 22 miles last weekend.. we are very proud of him,
the Marathon is coming closer.
WEDNESDAY 11th APRIL
many lovely messages and offers to support Charles in the Marathon, many, many thanks
THURSDAY 19TH APRIL 2012
two days before the marathon and so many donations, it is very humbling, thank you all so very
much, Angela and myself were planning to go to London this weekend to support Charles and unfortunately Angela is not fit enough, so our daughter Eleanor is flying the flag on our behalf.
This last fortnight up and down on the health side, last Friday Angela thought without thinking,
that she should clean the kitchen floor, Brilliant but a few hours later she was in agony with a
bad back, Sunday another minor blockage after my roast pork lunch!!!!
THE GOOD NEWS WAS THE cataract operation ON mONDAY AND NOW A FEW DAYS LATER SHE
CAN SEE BRILLIANTLY FROM HER RIGHT EYE, LOTS OF DROPS FOR THE NEXT FOUR WEEKS,
but I feel this is a real step forward, with hopefully being able to drive again and be mobile.
As she says, she feels so tired after so many kick backs. ! no fun.
SUNDAY 22nd april
Charles has just crossed the line, what a wonderful effort, we are so proud
he finished 8568 out of over 30 thousand plus runners in 3 hours 51 minutes
he is now off to a reception with Bowel Cancer charity.
we both feel as if he have done a marathon in our armchairs plus tracking him
on the Virgin London marathon 2012 website, what a terrific job they do.
SUNDAY 29th April
Angela up and down.this week, her back very much improved
and on Friday she took the car out on her own for a little shopping... sounds very little but a big
Yesterday Saturday we were shopping in Tesco, she picked up a packet from the shelf
and her back went again, it is very, very painful, a real shouting pain , any movement is horrific.
we are not a happy bunny. just to add more injury the car would not start, flat battery ,
thank goodness for the RAC, they did a terrific job, car is under two years old, so on Monday
I need to check it out
SAT PM I could not sleep, too much worry about Angela and wondering whether the Back pain
is related to Cancer ! another job for Monday to ask advice from the brilliant Cancer care nurses in the
Sunrise cancer centre at the hospital
menu information, sat pm duck breasts and Sunday brilliant roast potatoes with the duck fat with
TUESDAY 5TH JUNE 2012 the days and weeks go by, I have ups and downs as I wish life would
go back to normal, but of course this will not or may not happen again, go back in time
in my blog and you will see that I was in the same state as Angela is now, no stamina, and if you do one
thing in the day , it is not possible to do something else you might wish to do. so it is with us, we
have to pace our lives
and not do too much.. in fact we do very little, Angela does a great deal of relaxing and sleeping on
the sofa but the important thing is that she is still with us and she is doing a little more week by
week and this is all good positive stuff. !
As we come up to mid June , a certain tension is in the air, we both feel but do not talk about it, as it is
time for the 6 month cat scan and visit to the oncologist to hopefully be told that the cancer ( small c )
has not returned.... this is our main task over the next two weeks, task is not the right word but it is something that goes with the day to day living with cancer,
When Angela was first diagnosed and in the state of " Limited life expectancy " we spent many
hours talking and putting our affairs in order and agreed that whatever happened, we would fight to
the last..... this situation may arrive at the end of these few weeks... I have tears in my eyes
as I write this bit .......................................... more later
MONDAY 11TH june
18TH MONTH C.T. SCAN AT TRELISKE HOSPITAL
TUESDAY 19TH JUNE meeting with oncologist , the scan has shown up an irregularity in the
wall of the bowel wher the bite were taken away and closed up, there is
a thickening in the joint area,
it might be a) nothing b) an inflammation or c) cancer, so Angela has to have her 3rd COLONOSCOPY
asap in order to go inside and check it out but at this stage nothing is definite
Colonoscopy booked for Tuesday 10th July , so we take the moment to have a weeks holiday at
Soulac sur mer in the Vendee, super time, warm sunny weather and we both feel better for the break.
Wednesday 11th July after the colonoscopy Angela has lots of blood tests and also a tooth extraction
initial tests show now obvious problems, two polyps and some more samples taken
away for analysis., so at this stage, no good or bad news., so more waiting.. this is the worst bit !
THE TEAM MEETING , with all serious ongoing illness, you are looked after by a team of in our case, the oncologist, may be the radiographer, any surgeons involved and Clare Ferris the co-ordinating
and super Bowel nurse and this meeting is on a Friday morning. Last week our oncologist was on a weeks holiday, so hopefully it will be this Friday 20th July.
there is no sitting down with a cup of tea and a gentle let down ready for the bad news, lifer
does not work that way anymore........... it is usually a phone call about noon on Friday from Clare or the Oncologist................ so we are in a limbo land of waiting and trying not to worry.
more on Friday perhaps ?
Now Thursday 19th July and this is turning out to be a hard week.
Following a telephone call from our G.P and follow up from Clare, our lovely Bowel Nurse
BAD NEWS Angela has a M.L.R. which is a minor local recurrence of cancer
in the bowel in the joint area I talked about earlier. This is where the cancerous part of the
bowel was cut out and the ends re-joined
GOOD NEWS and this is all hopefully to be confirmed tomorrow or in the next few weeks
1) it is very small 2) the older you are , the slower the growth of a cancer
and 3) hopefully another operation is possible
the best treatment for any cancer is " Bucket and chuck it ! " meaning that an operation to
cut out cancer is the best treatment and 4) once this is achieved, then the bits will analysed
and 5) any further treatment ie chemotherapy etc needed will follow
we are both initially in shock but now feel much more positive and as usual Angela is
a real star and up to anything.............determined to beat this minor local difficulty
NOW THURSDAY 26th july 2012, yesterday started as a normal day breakfast at 0730,
Angela has porridge each day but after two mouthfulls, retired to lie on bed with stomach pain.
in the past, this has eased after lots of water, so started on this 08.00
by 0940, much more pain, spoke to our GP and also to Candy , one of our wonderful Bowel nurses,
but she felt Angela in real trouble, so much pain and saying " I am losing it " advice if it does not ease in 10 minute phone for serious help
10.10 999 call
1018 First responder arrived , wonderful Lester who gave morphine and anti sickness as Angela was
just very sick
10.30 Ambulance arrived, all flashing lights and excitement from our new neighbours boys
11.00 Angela on her way to Treliske and Lesley managed to persuade them to take her straight
to the Surgical Receiving Unit rather than Casualty this was brilliant as Angela
was in this ward back in march when she had another blockage. and was in for a few nights
while she was pumped out and cleaned up, not a pleasant experience
13.30 more morphine, she has a massive hernia, it is a STRANGULATED HERNIA and will need on top of cancer bowel op another op to repair hernia with a mesh, talk of clever surgeon doing both operations together,
20.00 I left the ward after a long day but X Rays taken and duty consultant has seen Angela and
plan made for tomorrow
NOW 1200 noon on Thursday , have spoken to ward, operation sometime today but no more information
visiting hours from 14.30 to 20.00 but I will phone again in 30 minutes
As Angela says, it is so frustrating, as just as she is improving there is another set back.
she was due to see surgeon Mr Widdison today to plan operation and then this afternoon
to meet Carol, in the blood iron dept as Angela needs a boost in that area but met carol in the
ward and this will now happen later.
this is just like a soap except it is real life and huge thanks to all concerned
in an emergency the response was massive, so quick, human with gentle humour and so, so very professional, very very impressive, very incredible and we are so very lucky to have this at no cost.
NOW ONE WEEK LATER THURSDAY 2ND AUGUST 2012,
Angela was operated on
at 17.30 last Thursday, op just under three hours, all went well, no bag needed , no mesh needed and
both operations done with the same incision. Friday Anjo very zonked as in recovery she had more morphine than normal but no heart flutters as two years ago.
Recovery has been slow and sure,with very good care by all concerned, we have very limited news about the op and also about the cancer as there will be the team meeting on Friday 3rd august followed by the expected telephone call to give us the good or bad news............ cancer is a brutal business ...
yesterday morning duty Doctor confirmed that Angela would be discharged today with a comment about the team meeting and it is better to receive the news via a phone call.. not sure about this ?
NOW Thursday 11.45 am and I phone to see when I could pick her up and am advised that there is now doubt about discharge and me to phone later about 13.00............. my mind is in torment...
what is wrong,, have they found something else.. is it much worse or is it nothing at all and the consultant is just late,,,, life not easy... am I going greyer ! more later
now 22.00 and I should have continued with positive vibes but yesterday was in 2012 BLACK WEDNESDAY being August 1st.... each year all the new doctors arrive in their new wards and the more senior ones move to a new position elesewhere in the hospital. so know one knows a great deal about you.... so do not be in hospital on 1st August... this information came from new doctor talking to Angela !
back to today, I was told 16.00 would be discharge time... come 16.30 all the discharge papers were ready
but they had forgotten about the FRAGMIN, so this was ordered up from the pharmacy.. it arrived at 19.00
2 1/2 hours later and we were finally home exhausted at 19.30
could to be home and I have just done my Doctor Finlay bit by injecting the fragmin into Angela's tummy to prevent clots or DVT.... this will now continue for the next 3 weeks.
interesting that all the staff on the ward must have been told about the TEAM meeting on a Friday and kept reminding Angela about it
thanks a bundle as tomorrow in the dreaded telephone call about midday after the meeting we might have good news or very bad news or a mixture......... the good bit is that we will know what is happening, what has happened and the way forward.... lets hope it is not too brutal
telephone call about 12.00 noon and the news is in line with what we are already worked out between the lines. The cancer that was found has been taken out and is in the
bucket and away..............so this is the good news.............................................
however it was aggressive enough within 6 months to have reached the cavity wall of the bowel, and as such was in fact worse than the first two cancers in the bowel
............... this means that Angela has what is known as an UNSTABLE BOWEL AS FAR AS CANCER IS CONCERNED AND THUS IS MUCH MORE PRONE TO MORE CANCERS APPEARING
THE FUTURE.............................. firstly in about three weeks time we will meet with Oncologist providing Angela has recovered enough and will then secondly have a course of more CHEMOTHERAPY ( how long, what it is etc to be determined)...............................today she is one day out of hospital exhausted etc, now nothing for three months,, no cooking, housework , gardening but according to hospital leaflet sexual relations allowed ! no driving for 6 weeks etc, etc..........
how life can change... back in December last year we were so delighted that she was free of cancer......
I now feel dread of the future, Angela feels she has let me down because our lives will never be the same again...................no need for any more but we are in a bit of a dark place at the moment
we have been here before and survived but this is a major blow.......
ps forgot to mention my latest thrill in life........... injection of fragmin into the stomach each
evening for next three weeks................ another of my new found skills............. last time I was injecting for 6 months but it was also in to the thighs............
WEDNESDAY 29TH AUGUST 2012.
IT IS GOOD AND BAD NEWS...........1).....the irregularity in the lining of the bowel turned out to be an aggressive cancer that in a few months had reached the wall of the bowel and reached some lymph nodes
2) good news that all of this has been cut out in the last operation and is in the best place the bucket.... the best treatment for any cancer
3) the meeting with the oncologist was interesting and very low key if I can use that phrase, he gave us the bad news and then Angela was given the chose of chemotherapy or just waiting to see what happens. many patients are not able to handle the second treatment of chemo ! as it is a horrible 12 weeks, just look back at 2010 and our first chemo experience. lots of nausea, sickness and diarrhoe and the worry of the peripheral damage and numbness to the feet
... there are plenty of other side effects some you get and others none.. very jolly !
Angela , bless her, is up for anything so we are starting in a fortnight. ! no september holiday in France this year !
Rember she is only just 4 weeks out of two major operations and the usual recovery time is 12 weeks and she will be starting chemotherapy after just 6 weeks !
the good news is that she is starting with a slightly smaller dose than in 2010, so it may take a little longer before the horror and the toilet arrives............ I will give you more details in due cause.
now for the nasty bits and the future... this last cancer was much worse than the original in spite of major operations and chemotherapy... Angela really only had a year free of cancer ,what if it comes back... probably they have now taken away all the bowel possible and chem for the third time ? imagine if you are in this situation
In the meantime we do our best to forget all of this, concentrate on the present and try to enjoy each day at a time.......................... it is interesting that I am now much , much more fatalistic..... we are doing all we can.. we have an amazing medical team.. wonderful family and friends and thus I realise that we can do no more than we are doing and the future what ever it is to be.. will be !
Wednesday 12th September 2012...................... I detect a feeling of dread in both of us, some lovely cards and flowers of encouragement, many thanks, I have today ordered the raised toilet seat from our District Nurse team, it arrives next Monday ! the joys of life ! no it will be much later this week !
trouble is that two years ago,Angela was fit and well and now not quite so strong after chemotherapy, and three major operations....... she is very tough an determined,also the last operation was only 6 weeks ago, the normal recovery time is 12 weeks, so she is still in pain from the major incision and taking Ibrrofrofen and pain killers on top... more drugs !
I cooked a lamb stew this afternoon which went down well ! she has a very, very limited diet
we are going to a new unit in the hospital tomorrow, the Headland unit which we are told is very nice and comfortable.................... I will comment in due course and advise on the cocktail of drugs
Enjoy your Thursday 13th morning, we would like to be somewhere else !
FRIDAY 14 th september
exhaustion is the overwhelming word plus aches and pains all over especially both arms and shoulders .......... actual session of chemo went well if you can call it that !, very comfortable new unit, The Headland centre equipped for about 24 paimtients in very state of the art reclining chairs, very good staff, some of whom recognised Angela from 2 years ago !. about 30 minutes of paper work , finding the right veins to insert the cannula and the glucose flushing and then about two hours of the Oxaliplatin what ever it is, it is freezing cold so a heat pad is needed to dull the pain !
home and a hot water bottle on the arm and 5 hours exhausted sleep., body feels as if it has been hit by a sledge hammer..................... after supper the first of the three pills being the next part of the treatment.............more about the pills regime later, as I am just off to Lands End airport to celebrate 75 years of fixed wing flying to the Isles of Scilly......... I am proud to have been a founder director of Skybus in 1984 ! ....
SATURDAY 15th September,
Scilly is a small village , just over 2000 inhabitants yet it has its own Steamship Company, The Scillonian and the cargo boat the Gry maritha plus a 26 year old airline and also owner of lands End Airport where major building works now taking place . The inhabitants of Scilly are lucky and should be proud of their locally owned transport company.......... back to our minor local difficulties, the chemotherapy is as follows, a 12 week regime of 2 weeks on and weeks rest and then the whole lot again three more times.
so tHURSDAY AM was the 2 hour infusion of OXALIPLATIN plus a little dose of anti nausea
pm thursday 3 pills each 500mg of CAPECITABINE chemo plus pm one 10mg DOMPERIDONE relief of nausea
FRIDAY 14th.................................................... am 3 X 500 mg capecitabine plus am one DOMPERIDONE anti nausea plus for the next three days only morning, noon and pm 2mg DEXAMETHASONE a steroid pill ,
pm 3X 500mg Capecitabine , the steroid gives Angela a great flush to the cheeks and
today now well into the swing of things
............................................................. Sat 15th am 3 K 500 mg Capecitabine plus the steroids three times a day
result is that Angela says she does not know quite what is happening with all these drugs arriving inside her, all feet and arms tingling, no strength at all, and several times today I had to help her up from the toilet ! also so worried this am we phoned the emergency help line to be re- assured that she is in no danger yet ! she only has one out of the three danger signs
pm District nurse came , to check on our loo and order a raised one to make life easier !
I forgot to mention our other delight the relief of DIARHOEA PILL LOPERAMIDE, we can take one of two of these 2mg each up to 4 times a day. not used yet
also today Angela has not dressed and majority of day in bed..... not much fun and it is only day 3
Sunday a slightly better day with less pain thus less tears and anquish but
..................................... Monday 17th sept a very bad morning Quote of the morning was " I am not sure I am going to be able to carry on with this ! " and the first go of the dreaded Diarhoea....... decided when next lot comes then we must use the Loperamide !
two years ago this point was reached at the end of the 5 th week, so this is bad as it is so much earlier... I think we are in for a horrible time but I will try to spare you the details, anyone who has been through this knows it is just dreadfull,,,,, so much pain and anquish, feeling dreadful, full of drugs, head and body all over the place and need I go on.... I am doing my very best to remain positive but it is very hard looking after a very sick loved one who is just unable to do anything,
we were hoping to see some friends this morning from Yorkshire but sorry, just not possible, Angela now sleeping on the bed
life goes on , four whole days and another 80 to go ! we both try to look at it the other way, another day gone by and another one to come.......... one day at a time and it may get better !
I am hoping to cut down the wordage, so if this stays the same, I will not add to my words, you will know what is happening, some telephone calls would be very welcome
................................................... Thursday 20th Awefull...... I am completely pole axed ! ( Angela )
however good news is that one week has gone by with only eleven to go !
this chemo is just so strong..............just after Angela takes, it kicks in so hard, face so flushed and a wave of awefullness hits her head.......................it is interesting that when it was dispensed to us, the nurse said that I must wear gloves if I was handling the actual pills as it would instantly enter my blood stream................. I do not touch ! but a very sober warning.....( Angela actually opens the pills in their packaging but over the last two years there have been times when I have done this as her fingers so fumbling that it was not possible...........
good news many more telephones calls, thank you so much, it is such a help as diversions are the best medecine
a reminder of our not possible French holiday was that Mr Lelerc, the founder of the Lelerc supermarkets has died and his obituary was in the Daily Telegraph........... I am full of useless information !
Monday 24th sept Friday was not good but Saturday am Angela felt a little more comfortable, just easier in the head and less pain in the arms and shoulders
................................... over lunch there was a knock on the door and on opening there were two fresh faced and well dressed member of the Mormons. first question with a smile was ; did I ever pray ? they were both knocked back when the reply was not only did I pray and lot but I also cried a lot !. When I explained Angela's situation they wished us both well and retreated !
anyway something worked as this slight improvement has remained......... Angela is still not strong enough to get dressed and remains most of the day in bed, mainly sleeping or listening to the radio but is up for meals and a few hours in the evening.
.......................... for myself breakfast is the most difficult time... I give Angela breakfast in bed and then find myself alone , eating on my one and this is not a happy time, this is usually my crying or gentle misery time.. why us etc ? .... luckily there are tasks to do and I snap out of it to do my daily feet and leg exercises or go out to golf or yoga or shopping... only 6 more sets of pills and then the first session is over and a week off ! interesting how the drugs kicked in so hard and so quick
................... my own delight at the moment is trying to buy some wood so that I can mend the garden sheds before painting them............. 4 inch shiplak or is it shiplack ? is not available any more.
however I have discovered the splendid Cornwall Shed Company who are sorting me out, I hope ! my shed is very old , I have been told !
Wednesday pm 3rd October......................... the last chemo pills taken last Thursday morning 27th sept and our hope was that the effects would wear of quickly, so that a more normal existence might come back... it was not to be.......thursday, friday, sat and sunday all just the same with extreme tiredness, head full of drugs, lightheaded and no wish to achieve anything and nothing was achieved.
Monday October 1st better a little and able to dress and go to the Sunrise oncology centre for a blood test and chat with one of the team re side effects etc and then home, afternoon chiropodist and almost a nornal day if I can call it that as Angela not able to do anything else in the house !
yesterday morning Angela felt a problem in her teeth and actually made a telephone call to the Dentist on her own. first phone call out in three weeks.. it sounds ridiculous but true,She also went to coffee with her Pilates friends Her store of energy is at rock bottom and so it was not a surprise that today has been another miserable day, dreadful headache and no energy but wanting to try to do so much and failing miserably. The thought of tomorrows infusion and start of the next three weeks of treatment must have a factor in all of this. ( please do not thinks she is driving herself, quite impossible.) this first session of chemo has been dreadful, the only good think is that it is a quarter of the way through. It certainly does not help with all our friends either going away or coming back from wonderful holidays ! I am usually and so is Angela on the positive side tending towards the half glass full philosophy but we both agree that this is testing us both to the limit. Just hope it all works !, have dark moments sometime. do not think I am able in these few words to portray how aweful our life is at the moment. It is important not to look ahead and deal with one day at a time
2nd session of chemo starts tomorrow 09.00 with infusion, then pm with the first dose of pills, each day for next 14 days with last pills on Thursday am 18th oct and then the week off. What are you doing for the next three weeks ! then we are back to third session on 25th october and the whole of November will go by in the same delightfull way , so much to look forward ! we will soldier on as we have continued to do since this chapter of our lives started over 2 and a 1/2 years ago !
monday 8th october " I feel just rotten ! " in bed all the time. no will to do anything but sleep....... very flushed but no bad symptoms of high temperature, sickness or diarrhoe, this is the second really bad day.... hoping to organise a family holiday for all the family in August and twice now Angela has talked about not being there in August ! this is the first time of any sign of giving up and is aweful for me.
.....last Thursday the cannula was inserted very close to the fingers and we think this was a bad idea and seems to have given Angela much more general pain.during the infusion and since. we will ask about this next time !
not much more to talk about as am about to make a cottage pie.
TUESDAY 23rd October sorry but the second session of chemo has been much worse than the first, I will not bore you with the details , first 5 days on and off diarrhoe, in bed all the time, weak and weaker , no strength at all........... then a few better days no S ick or D iarrhoe and able to get up a bit around the house but so strange that on sat 20th just coming to the end of the 14 day session and hit by a bombshell of all day S and D until late afternoon, then clear.
Sunday 21st family down for the day from Bournemouth , a real tonic, Emily gran dtr 8th bithday and a little party for her, brilliant, I did roast lunch for 8 ! Monday nothing and then 0445 this morning
sickness and stomach pains in a big way, we have a brilliant Doctors surgery and Dr came out to check over Angela.... nothing serious, she is just being poisoned by the drugs and thus giving her all these problems
every two weeks we have a blood test and check up by oncologist, that was yesterday, blood counts all ok and they are going to reduce the second infusion drug for this Thursday by 10 % to see if the side effects will ease a little. ! it is no life at all at the moment but we are very grateful that this set of chemotherapy is CURATIVE and not palliative...... this is all the difference between life and death as at the moment Angela should have no cancer as it has again been cut out and still has a chance of a cure, when this session of chemo ends in early december, she will have another scan and we will see what is the result ......................
we must thanks so many friends and also many others from all over the country and the world who give us so much support in prayers and many other ways, please accept this as our way of thanks.. the support is amazing and so much appreciated
our next three weeks is no as follows.. Thursday 25th oct infusion and then 2 weeks of pills until 8th November and then a week off... so I will update then unless ther is anything dramatic. in the meantime it is just a daily slog of survival and counting of the days
Sunday 28th October 21.00 pm
Never count your chickens ! an old fashioned phrase,
I feel as if I have endured 5 weeks over the last five days and I will condense my words as so much has happened and it is the direct opposite of the previous few paragraphs.
Tuesday 16th sickness started at 05.00 , Dr home visit after lunch ,new anti sickness pills given
Wed 17th sickness started 0200,Dr admiited Angela to hospital , about 14.00 , same S.R.U ward as before, more drips, X rays and Thursday am Light diet prescribed , so hope full of improvement and at 18.00 after ward round by consultant, Angela was discharged, ward so busy. I will not comment further but possibly premature !
Friday 26th sickness from 08.00 really bad , then every few hours. huge dosage of anti sickness pills given by myself. GOOD NEWS was that the blockage was eased and she had bowel movement, do you really want to know all of this. I now have charts of when she is sick, when diarrhoe, no of glasses of water taken no of paracetomol etc etc.... so on Friday afternoon I telephoned help line and spoke to one of the Bowel cancer nurses who said that I must act on sat am if this all continues
SAT 27th, continuing sickness , so at 09.30 I phone 999 . it is just amazing, by the time I had just finished the call the Paramedic was at the front door with his BMW bike ! it was a very long day but with lots of consultations with the out of hours team, the feeling was that Angela was better out of hospital and looked afteR by the ACUTE CARE AT HOME TEAM..from Serco the out of hours provider. Their DOCTOR ARRIVED AT 1045 AM AND SET UP A DRIP ETC, MORE INJECTIONS AND THEN it was decided to monitor her over the weekend..... more S !all this at home.
Sun 28th nurse at 10.15 for observations and blood test. results at 17.00 Anjo is not dehydtated but is still in pain, very bloated abdomen. cramping, sickness and diarhoe now again... these are classic features of ADHESIONS . they are a band of scar tissue that may cause tissues or organs inside your body to stick together, they commonly form after surgery.
it is now 2150. Angela not a happy bunny, I have decided to reduce all the drugs as she seems almost to be delirious, but has no temperature...... I will monitor situation but may have to call a help line in the night, the Acute care team have a help line... I am full of help lines and it now becoming difficult to work out which one is best... just as you are given no course to go on about parenthood etc etc , I am certainly ignorant on nursing skills and am doing my best in a very difficult situation. I do know that as far as I am concerned it is hospital again tomorrow... but should I be counting my chickens.... at least a little humour helps... more later
now Tuesday 6th November 2012,
Angela died very peacefully in Treliske hospital at 17.25 pm.
a few notes about the last few days,
Monday and Tuesday, Anjo in bed, noy much pain but still some sickness, monitored by a daily visit from our G.P.
Wednesday 31st October, woke up with high temperature and shivering, Doctor arrived and then ambulance to A and E in Treliske hospital, arrived about midday. incredible service if you are really ill and very quickly she was in a side area with full crash facilities, almost one to one Doctor supervision, no pain and then a battery of tests of all sorts plus chest X ray and then CT scan Advised she is seriosly ill but no conclusions. evening taken up to the recovery area next to operating theatres as intensive care full but no problem as this area was empty and one to one nursing, our daughter Eleanor and myself talking to Angela all the time, she was very peacefull, fully with it and about midnight the consultant surgeon finished an operation and came in to report on the results of the CT scan
the news was that Angela had extensive cancer which has cut of the blood supply to her bowel and part of it has dead. Two options..(no one ). do nothing and life expectancy was minutes to several hours, it could be up to 12 or 24 hours.
( no two) her was very happy to operate , take away the dead part of the bowels, re- connect.. life expectancy now in weeks BUT very strong possibility she would die on the operating table.
now early Thursday morning Nov 1st, this amazing compassionate surgeon then told us that there was no hurry to decide, he had another operation to perform and if needed , He would operate on Angela about 0230 to 0300 am
remember that up to this moment we believed that following the bowel operation in Treliske on 26th July when the cancer was removed and strangulated hernia sorted out that Angela wasclear of cancer and the chemotherapy was preventative treatment for the future., so it was a bi tof a shock!
''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' it took my lovely brave Angela only a few minutes to decide..
one in her words she was never one just to give up, so option one was NO
two... if she died on the operating table, she would know nothing about it and she hoped that the operation would perhaps show that it was not as bad as the thought and she would have a fighting chance.................... we signed all the consent forms and agreed the level of resussitation if she had a cardiac arrest and then waited for the operation.
Angela was at peace with her self, so serene, in full charge of her surroundings and her outlook.
she spoke at length on the phone to our sons Christopher and Charles, they said there good byes and she was taken away to the operating unit about 0230.........................
we went home and were telephoned about 05.00 am Angela alive and conscious. On arrival back in the recovery area, we learnt that on opening up Angela it was found that the Cancer was in all her vital areas except the lungs, It washpeless, the Cancer was very aggressive. so the surgeon did not operate but just stitch her back up again..... again no pain and very able to talk
we told Angela that the two boys were driving down, Christopher from Yorkshire 386 miles and Charles from Teddington London.
The anesthetist then dicussed the options as to whether to carry on with treatment or not ?
we agreed no treatment and as the various drips etc completed, they were not replaced and Angela was left with no pain and just oxygen with our full approval
She was moved to a side room in Poldark ward, facing south and overlooking the truro golf course first green, this amused her very much, the dawn came up with the sunshine shining on her face, it was about 07.00 Eleanor and I continued to talk to Angela for the next 10 hours joking and reminding her of our long life and fun and laughter together plus the arrival of our three children and over the last ten years our Grand children we first met over 50 years ago and were married on 12th June 1965, many years ago.
Angela drifted into unconsciousness about 10.00 am , we kept talking and reminding her that the boys were coming,
Lunch provided for us by her bed, what amazing treatment we received by all staff members. I noticed a booklet about the Liverpool pathway which had been added to her notes. It had been followed exactly with us being informed every step of the way.
it was such a privilege to be with her as she fought every step of the way with her breathing becoming shallower and more frequent... Charles arrived and he is sure that she knew he had arrived.
by about 16.00 I thought the end was close and asked for a Chaplain , . She arrived very quickly and conducted a very personal and wonderful service , anointing Angela and then returning about 20 minutes later with a personal copy of the service.
............................ Christopher arrived a little later, again we are sure she knew that he had arrived and I spoke the words of the Service again asking her to Go in Peace with our Blessing and reminded her that there would be No more needles or Cannulas !
it was about 17.00 and I remembered a Yoga technique of relaxation by talking about each part of the body in order to aid relaxation. I started at the head,, moved down to the eyes, the nose, cheeks, faces, mouth and peacefully when I arrived at the lower jaw, she relaxed and went to a better place... we all found it quite wonderful, 17.25 am
I read the Service again, we each in our own way, said good bye, a few tears and I called in the Doctor to pronounce her dead,... again he was amazing, the end of a long and busy shift and he was so compassionate, asking me for permission and advising me of each step he must make by law.
I do hope that these few words have not upset you,... death is the final journey we all take and I am so very lucky and pleased that at the end, as Angela did say to me " my time has now come " and in her case it was without pain, very peaceful, she was able to see all her Family and die with dignity.... What a brave and wonderful Lady, I am so proud of you my Darling !
now late Tuesday pm and I am exhausted, it has been a long day of meetings and formalities. more later
many thanks for continuing support in so many ways, please do not be worried about telephoning us,01872 863537 or email firstname.lastname@example.org it is the best way in which you can help and many thanks to those who are brilliant in supporting us in this very simple way. It really does help Angela so very much and is so much appreciated as it helps by keeping her mind in touch with the real world ( your world ) even if her body is wrecked by the drugs !
tim ( determined tim )
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