Phew! work is harder than I thought…….

[Originally posted in August 2011]

Breakfast with AlfieOk, not harder exactly but  way more taxing than I had imagined. I am slowly getting back into my stride, but even with the best will in the world this old body will only go so fast. It was lovely to be back at work though, I am so happy to be out of the house and back to some sort of normal activity, that whole princess thing is really over rated except of course the breakfast in bed, which can stay forever as far as I’m concerned.However, on returning home each night I flopped into bed the minute I walked in the door. Honestly I felt like such a wimp. This next week will be better I’m sure.

Peter got laid off on my first day back which is a mixed blessing. To be frank, it will be great to have him home again, he is such a help and really the job was one he hated and the company was pretty worthless as far as I’m concerned. So as long as I can get up to speed pretty soon everything will be peachy.

It is the full moon tonight and there was a little broken mirror burying ceremony that took place just a short while ago,under the tree at the end of the garden, Peter digging of course, me flashlight in hand so, no worries on the bad luck front ……at least I hope I’ve done the right thing (probably find out you’re supposed to burn it in a fire on the new moon instead of bury it under the full one) my memory is not what it used to be, fingers crossed.

The sun has got it’s hat on …hip hip hip hooray!

[Originally published in August 2011

Happy Labour day weekend everyone, what fantastic weather huh? Oh wait a minute isn’t this supposed to be the end of summer? Good grief, things just aren’t what theyused to be in the weather department are they?

Well, I am gearing up to go back to work and I have to say it is with mixed feelings. On one hand I cannot wait to be back behind my chair, seeing all my clients and feeling normality creep back into my life (not to mention the money will be very welcome) On the other hand I am really worried about my stamina. I think my muscles might have atrophied with all this lying around. I get very tired very quickly and my fear is I won’t hold up very well at first. But , having said that I’m back at SPEX on Thursday and very happy about it.

I had a marathon visit to the hospital to see both my oncologists, get a blood draw and see the ostomy nurse last Wed. I will be starting back up on the chemo next week. Two weeks on one week off for about 6 months. I love my oncologist Dr G because he almost always swears during our appointments and really who doesn’t love a doctor that can call a spade a spade. I have never in my life had a Doc use a four letter word in my prsence…..it’s so refreshing. I will tell you though, it was all I could do on returning home to stagger upstairs and fall into bed. I seem to be zapped of all my strength. It will be exactly one month tomorrow that I had my surgery and I fully expected to be turning cartwheels by now. I am taking walks everyday to try to get my body in working order but don’t be surprised if you catch me napping in the shampoo chairs at work (just joking…sort of)

Now, one thing I do have to talk about is my ever shrinking vagina (look, I said it again and I didn’t even flinch) Yes, the old tunnel of love is now a mere shadow of its former self. While in theory this sounds as if it could be a good thing ……it is definitely not. I have been forced to talk to all these men doctors about this (and I thought all those men taking photos of my bum was bad) Ha! that was childs play in the arena of embarrassment. The trouble is nobody really has any idea what to do about it. Oh, the radiation oncologist Dr M thought it might be a good idea to have a gynecologist insert a speculum and manually try to break up the scar tissue…….Waaaaaaa! not on your nelly. In fact when I told Dr G he laughed and said “Under general anaesthetic maybe” So you see my problem. I am being referred to a WOMAN..gynecologist at the hospital, so maybe she will have another suggestion. Like it or not, I’ll keep you posted.

I

Oh horror of horrors………..

[Originally posted onThursday, August 25, 2011]

I only went and broke a mirror didn’t I……Oh crikey! Us Britts are a very superstitious lot. It was a stupid little thing with suckers on the back and my friend Traci and I thought I could use it when changing my ostomy bag. But the suckers didn’t suck and it fell to the bathroom floor. If my superstitious memory serves me right I think I have to wait until the next full moon and then bury all the pieces under a tree. Oh brother, when is the next full moon? I cannot take the chance of seven years bad luck. Who came up with this ridiculous superstition anyway? was it the Romans, I think they are the ones that first made a mirror.

I spent my first full day alone yesterday and look at the trouble I got into. Not only the mirror incident but I also had a horrible bag leakage problem. (will the humiliations never end?) I saw the ostomy nurse (number 1 bag lady) after the Dr on Wed and we tried a different bag set-up as I am not quite getting a good enough seal around my stoma…..well this one was even worse. So now I have more skin erosion to conquer.Don’t think I really explained what happens when you get a leak but there is alot of bile (very acidic stuff) in this poop and when it sits on your skin it burns it away, you can’t always see a leak you just start to feel it as a slow burning\tingling sensation  Thank goodness for my Kindle, my ipod and my lap top, these are the diversions of my life.

I am a STAR…………

[Originally posted on Wednesday, August 24, 2011]

Went in to see Dr B the surgeon yesterday for a follow-up session of poking and prodding…..the conclusion… and I’m quoting here…..” you are my star Tina everything is healing extremely well”…. The bad news ……….I am not to go back to work quite as quickly as I had hoped. I need at least one more week to let all the clever stitchery that’s inside heal properly before I start wielding my blow dryer around. I must apologise to those of you that have appointments that now will have to be moved but honestly, it’s probably better if I can be off all this pain medication before I start snipping on your lovely locks. I am bound and determined however, to be back behind the chair after Labor day.

Those lazy days of summer………

[Originally posted on Monday, August 22, 2011]

Big emphasis on LAZY here. I am being forced into slugitude (new word ) by definition:- One who wants to do stuff but is not permitted my friends and family………I know I am not allowed to lift anything over 10LBS but come on people……that doesn’t mean don’t lift ANYTHING!!!  I’m trying to be a good patient but patience has never been a strong suit of mine. For a moment there I thought I loved being a princess but it really is quite boring and you spend a lot of time watching other do the things  you should be doing. Don’t get me wrong, everyone has been so fantastic………I’m just well, impatient and board. This healing thing takes sooo… long (God has it really only been two weeks since I came home? I don’t even feel creative. All this time on my hands I could be making baskets or knitting socks….something, but, I just don’t have the motivation or energy. I have never been a person to take naps but now I am the queen of the Nap. Alright, I’ll quit whingeing.

I had my first bag accident the other day, I somehow managed to catch the business end of the clip that seals the end of the bag on the bed sheets as I got out. Fortunately it was fairly empty at the time but OMG….if this were to happen in public I would be mortified. Fortunately we had just purchased some stuff called “POOP OFF” for unexpected doggy accidents. Ha ha ha, well, we are all animals aren’t we? Worked a treat too.

Foolish Girl…….

[Originally posted on August 18th 2011]

Note to self…………Do not drink wine when on high doses of pain pills!!!

I though a very small glass of wine would be in order last night, by way of a celebration…oops bad idea. It didn’t take long before I felt decidedly off-color. Green around the gills and shivering under a blanket. I’m just chalking that one up to experience. Now do you want to hear something amazing? When my tummor was first discovered during the colonoscopy, it was 8 cm long. When they removed  it during surgery the radiation  had shrunk the thing to just 3 mm. So, It’s no wonder other bits are shrinking. Anyway, I thought that was pretty fantastic.

I had to say goodbye to my nurse Ratchet Julie today. It was so great to have her out here. I didn’t think I would need anybody. But thank goodness I have a bossy friend who won’t take no for an answer, because the last two weeks have been way harder than I imagined. So, Peter is my go to guy now, poor thing….now where did I put that cow bell?

Ba..ba..ba..bag changing……..The nurse told me lies….

[Originally posted on August 15th2011]

This should  be sung to the Bee Gees version of “jive talking” I’m working on the new version as we speak. Right, so twice a week I have to remove this whole contraption,a sticky round disc with a hole in the center that goes over your stoma and a bag that snaps on tupperware style to compleate the ensamble, clean the area and plonk another one. Sounds easy enough. Didn’t have a problem at the hospital with the ostomy nurse breathing down my neck so why not throw a quick shower in between removing and reapplying the bag just to be sure everything is super clean………and I really need a shower…..Thank goodness my friend Juls has a strong stomach because there was some mighty raw skin once all all that sticky stuff was pealed away (no wonder it was hurting so much) Oh well it’ll heal, I must not have got the seal just right……..a person with shaky hands or bad eye sight would really have to have help. The problem with showering without the bag on is that you continue to leak…..er….stuff out of your stoma…..oh God this is all just so gross I wish I hadn’t started this post. Needless to say between the two of us we got everything put back in place for a few days. Deep breath Tina there are worse things in life. Today I had a call from the medical company that sends me the ostomy supplies…..guess what?……my insurance company does not cover cost…….Grrrrrr….sometimes it is just not worth being self employed.