As the bank holiday draws to a close, a rather nice Yorkshire lady pours me a glass of wine. A pleasant evening in is planned and then the pelvic pain screams at me.
First drug, paracetamol. Failure, but it gives me a chance to pay a visit before constipation causing drugs have to be taken.
Second drug, slow release morphine. Twelve hours of possible sleep, and a high chance of an early end to a pleasant night in.
I pack my bag ready to leave in the morning. Leaving the drugs next to the bed as some may be useful in the night. Not the motphines though. I swig rapid action morphine and it seems to numb the pain rapidly.
Amitriptylene goes unused, for now. But if my right leg starts shaking in the night I won’t hesitate.
Staying awake much beyond 9pm with this lot inside me seems unlikely. But sleep and these stronger drugs are my plan C. Plan D is get on a morphine drip at the hospital. I could do without that.
Thursday is when Oncobabe updates me on my treatment options. It can’t come soon enough. I can’t believe radiotherapy hasn’t already happened.
Oldham Athletic have been relegated. While not a shock, the bland and passionless draw at Northampton on the final day of the season summed it up. Needing a win to survive, they didn’t exactly throw the kitchen sink at it. If they had I’d probably be suffering more at the failure to score a winner. But they passed the ball around thinking they were Barcelona, created few chances and could easily have lost.
So League Two it is. For Chris it’s the first time they’ve changed division in his life. I remember them in the Premier League. Playing a League Cup final at Wembley. Being everybody’s favourite second team. But Saturday’s failure takes them to the bottom. Except Tranmere and Stockport will tell you there’s further to drop.
For me, I’m wondering will I be alive to see them next season. That’s August. Chris will be wondering will they ever go back up. May next year at the earliest.
That new owner doesn’t seem as exciting as he did in January.
It’s fair to say I feel pretty rough. The pelvic tumour has continued rumbling in the absence of any direct attack and the painkillers continue to leave me pretty wasted. That latter feeling creates a cant be bothered approach to life and apathy to medical treatment.
Fortunately my sister is still on it, and got me to my Huddersfield eye appointment today. This time they managed to dispense the sprays and ointments intended and eye doctor number three got quite excited when I mentioned eighteen months.
It seems that’s the trigger for further options. Perhaps the weight on the eye to retain vision but reduce dryness.
Apparently I’ve been added to a list for appointment. It’s never quite smooth with the NHS. But I left feeling somebody actually gave a flying **** about my eye having been wide open since October 2016. How quickly this appointment will materialise, who knows. How quickly they can weight my eye, who knows. Whether I’ll still have any life left in me, who knows. I don’t see any desire in the system to prioritise the terminally ill for other treatments.
My sister Helen drives me home. Briefs me on next Thursday’s cancer meeting which I’m doing solo, highlighting the different treatment options and anticipating and possible obstacles. She offers to feed me but my body can’t think of anything worse than being fed. That’ll be the untreated cancer. Another week before they decide what to do. I hope I want food at some stage between now and then!
i know there’s a solution to this pain. But I slept for fourteen hours last night. Seven is my standard. The sciatic shock down my right side is unpleasant. But I want to watch the football on telly and follow the Stockport play-off game on Twitter.
If I succumb to the drugs it’ll be lunch time tomorrow before I know the scores. I seem to find a mind over matter technique to stop the sciatica. At least for now my leg’s random twitching is the only problem. And I haven’t drugged myself.
The big challenge now is to allow the mysterious mind over matter technique to beat the cancer. Long shot. Hemp seed oil doesn’t seem to be doing the job. I wonder if it’s in any way possible. 95,000 UK deaths to lung cancer last year suggests not.
I wake up in something of a haze. The amitriptyline is the most likely cause. Minor rumblings of sciatica down the right leg respond well to the drug. Cognitive brilliance is pretty much wiped out by it.
Ive no idea how long passes as I drift into and out of sleep. Thanks to the Bell’s palsy my nose is running. I nearly knock over a range of drugs and water to reach a tissue. The Bell’s palsy won’t kill me but it’s been an unhelpful swine while I’ve been facing into bigger things. I remind myself I need to find a driver for Friday’s eye appointment in Huddersfield.
I lift myself carefully out of bed. My body core is weak and I’ve strained it with similar manoeuvres in recent days. But once I’m sat up I start the day with two paracetamol. I’m reluctant to do daytime opioids. But if things get bad I will.
I get a message from my stepdaughter checking when I get my biopsy results. 10th May I think. Roughly 18 months after diagnosis. Half of those who were diagnosed at the same time as me were dead within four months. While I don’t feel lucky, I do appreciate being given the chance to live a little more life. I refuse to become bitter about something I can’t control.
I haven’t eaten many breakfasts recently. Today a lemon ice lolly is more interesting than the Coco Pops. I’ve lost more weight which is probably not good for me. The fruit bowl may supply lunch. Paul, friend and landlord, will doubtless cook me a half decent tea.
I’m really wobbly when I walk. This is strange as the last pelvic scan suggested stronger bones. But I often walk around the house with a walking stick now. Oncobabe fears me breaking bones. She’s certainly scared me. A bit of cancer, fine. Spending my last few months with broken hips waiting for the cancer to kill me isn’t a prospect that appeals.
The strained back reminds me I should probably rest today. The problem is I’ve done a lot of resting recently. I’d prefer to get out, but getting around just tires me. Building my strength up for Saturday’s big football match at Northampton is the target. Lose by nine goals and Oldham are relegated. Get a result worse than Rochdale and the trap door to League Two also opens. Don’t get mullered and do as well or badly (or better) as Rochdale and season 22 in League One begins in August.
Back to bed. I’m still unsure about the daytime drugs. At least the sciatica is resting, for now.
I think it’s fair to put my recent lack of posting down to pain relief. Tramadol or morphine are my current drugs of choice. Both knock me out, if not physically then certainly mentally.
The idea of posting even a short blog update hasn’t appealed, simply because I’ve been somewhere close to semi-conscious a lot of the time.
It’s coming up to five weeks since I had any treatment that attacked my cancer. My cancer knows this. In my pelvic area it’s playing the computer game caterpillar. Racing around a small matrix at high speed smashing into the outside of the board. At night it lights up, burning pain felt in the affected area. Hence the drugs.
The good news is I’m back on the Naproxen to manage this. The bad news is that’s guaranteed constipation. I can sit or lie at many angles, but they all eventually hurt. Hauling myself off the bed is tough going and inevitably hurts. The postman came to deliver a parcel the other day. I’m deaf and didn’t hear. The redelivery option is likely to have the same result. Accessing the local post offices to collect is a nuisance of minimal parking spaces and huge demand for the blue badge.
None of this is fun. I think it’s a couple of weeks until they attack my cancer again. I really hope that’s not too late!
It’s been a day of nothing. Sleep. Paracetamol. But I’ve avoided the heavy drugs that saw me through the night. But I have been wiped out.
This raises interesting questions about tomorrow. Will my night involve more heavy drug taking? Will I be fit to drive? Will a normal Saturday with Chris work?
At present, I’m thinking yes. But as darkness falls my favourite cancer cells tend to wiggle harder. While my instinct is to go easy on the drugs various doctors are happy to dish out “take what you need when you need” advice within the confines of the prescription count.
The problem is this can create tiredness. It makes driving a dubious task and I don’t want to endanger others. It makes my enjoyment of being alive significantly lower.
It’s fair to say that I won’t know how I am until tomorrow arrives. And today’s wake up time was four hours later than usual at 11am. No chance of that breakfast tomorrow with a repeat!
Local anaesthetic. Some of that gel they put on a pregnant mother to be to aid ultrasound vision of a newborn. In my case, the second known natural child of Stringer will be born of an orifice somewhere near my neck.
A bit of prodding about with injections and then four tissue samples taken for analysis. If any show cancer, I’m assuming my chemotherapy won’t restart. In that case we can train Oncobabe how to do the paperwork to prescribe my new to NHS miracle immunotherapy drug. We have the document with her instructions. She seemed unable to find her copy previously, saying its not yet available. It really is!
If there is no cancer in this sample, chemo will continue. I’d be amazed if this was the case, but ignoring medical opinion isn’t really an option. Logically, this option means I live more months. Not a lot. But better than nothing.
Right now, with no treatment, I feel dog rough. Moving is tough. Thinking is tough. Doing things I enjoy is tough. Managing my bodily functions continues to be a challenge. Maybe the next drug will restore confidence in my own dignity for many of those extra months. Tough to find that information online.
Meanwhile, despite best intent, I’m struggling to be social. There’s a good Saturday routine going with Chris that we amended last week. Even if the season ends, as seems likely, in relegation I want to see the last two games. One in Oldham, one in Northampton. Travel for the latter may be a problem. Travel is tougher than ever.
Too many things are a problem. This isn’t a state of mind. It’s my current reality. I don’t like it.