Just when we thought 2020 was done with and all its challenges 2021 feels like groundhog day, I am sure many people feel the same as well.
Sorry it has been so long since I last posted on here, I actually started this post a few weeks ago, but didnt feel at the time it was right to send.
We had a pretty quiet Christmas and New year, trying to navigate through what and who we could see with the new Covid restrictions. For the time between Christmas and New Year we decided to go away, we did actually manage four nights away before the restrictions changed and the campsite we were on in Cornwall had to close. However, we became tourists and fell in love with the new van even more. We cannot wait for opportunities to go away again, once restrictions are lifted. We are planning already short trips and longer ones away. Planning and dreaming of trips away are what keeps us going.
Simons health seems pretty good at the moment, he has regular blood tests and oncology appointments, his CEA levels continue to rise, but as he is pretty symptom free we are waiting still for the optimum time to restart chemo. We have regular blood tests for him and keep in contact with his oncologist via video call. On the whole he is ok, we do have days when he suffers with fatigue and generally feeling unwell, but we will take those days.
Now for the challenges we are currently having. Just before Christmas I contacted my GP with fatigue and bruising, our GP practice (we are very lucky that our GP practice have been wonderful with the care they have given to both of us), requested blood tests etc, this started a series of events, referrals and appointments for me, I have been diagnosed with something called ITP, this is an auto immune condition where your body destroys its own platelets, after initial treatment failed the next course of treatment is a form of chemo, which I have started. This comes via weekly injections. This is going to be a long term issue and another challenge for us to face. We are hoping this treatment will work, the Consultant has told me he has other treatments up his sleeve should this not work) we will wait and see what happens in the coming weeks. We have been very thankful to the haematology team at Derriford who have been amazing. We have kept this very quiet, and it feels very strange for me to be writing about my own health issues, but they are part of what we are going through and as ever we will deal with this and carry on.
So as lockdown 3 starts we are again shielding, we have gone into this new lockdown quite easily, Simon is classed as extremely vulnerable and so on-line grocery shopping has started again. We are not seeing anyone and have quickly got into the routine we had earlier last year.we are so fortunate that from our home we can walk onto the moors and so when the weather permits we walk for an hour a day. However, we have found this lockdown more challenging than last year, I am certain a lot of people have, whether its the time of year and the weather that has affected us more, but motivating ourselves has been different. The “chore list” has made a strong reappearance to keep us on track and busy, we are also planning garden projects as well as “rainy day” projects. For those that do not work, or even if you do, it is so important to keep yourself focused on tasks, for us lists work really well and ensure we get things done. it is very important that we have individual projects and things we do together. We both feel more anxious about Covid now than we did last year, I am sure most people feel the same. Where as last year knowing people with Covid was a pretty rare thing we know know many who had had it, have it and are still trying to recover from this virus. Simon has been lucky enough to have had his first vaccine and so that give us a little bit of confidence going forward.
Now we are in February it comes with some pretty big anniversaries for us. It is now five years since Simons initial diagnosis, this comes with different reactions:
- Where have those five years gone, and how much have we gone through in those five years.
- How fortunate we are (yes I did say that), so many people are not given time after a cancer diagnosis and I am grateful we have been given this time we have had.
- Cancer ………. it has taken over our life, it is in our life every day. Even on days when you try to forget it we can’t.
Our second anniversary for us is three years since Simon had his HIPEC surgery at Basingstoke, and the start of this blog. We know without that surgery Simon would not have survived and be with me.
Anniversaries are not something we celebrate as such, but rather have a quiet reflection on where we are and how far we have come. Throughout these five years there is one thing that has shone through for us, and that is our amazing NHS, the team at University Hospital in Plymouth have been absolutely life saving. Surgeons, Professor Mark Coleman, for his surgical skills and putting us in contact with Mr Tom Cecil in Basingstoke, our Oncology team, headed by Dr David Sheriff, Specialist Nurse teams, Radiology teams, not forgetting the administrative teams who have gone above and beyond for us. Thank you just does not seem enough.
So we will carry on with lockdown 3, look forward to hitting the road in the van but in the mean time we will crack on with our chore lists and take every day as it comes.
Onwards and Upwards Mr C