Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Don't laugh

I read on an website that this guy prefers telling people he has a "Brain Tumour" rather than "Brain Cancer" I so agree. It just sounds milder. At least mine is low grade. Still dangerous but I have more time for treatment than most.

I have this terrible dilemma. When I get nervous I laugh. So when I walked into the chemo room, I really had to control myself from laughing or even smiling excessively. (Don't want to cheese anyone off) It is something that has got me into trouble many a time!! I managed by looking around at the reading material which I have read 1000 times already.

The people in the chemo room (having IV treatment) seemed to be in good spirits. They had their books, friends and snacks. It is quite surreal. It almost appears normal. Like you are at a pub, just have IV drip instead of beer. (Probably has the same effect) There are some people I know that would rather be able to drip the beer into themselves.

We all know that they have life threatening diseases. I am just so glad that I don't have to have a drip. Needles and I are not friends. Taking a pill seems quite insignificant. A glass of Champagne would go down better.

Eating for life

Chemo has been fine. I think it is too early to tell just yet. I get this strange cold feeling running through my veins. It seems to last about an hour and then go away again. There is a little bit of nausea, but I take the anti-nausea and that seems to work. I take a regular afternoon nap so tired ness seems manageable.

I have been eating up a storm. Our fridge has never had so many health foods or been so full. I keep looking for chips and chocolate. Has anyone every got fat while on chemo? I think I might be the first one in history.

My blood counts is very good. I am so impressed. Obviously my body is not as week as I thought!! Must be the health food and the tons of vitamins I am consuming... Can't someone invent a super health food that is in a chocolate. I prefer Cote D'Or (dark with nuts)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Cyborg II

Well the first day of radiation and chemo went quite smoothly. They put me in an alignment machine first to insert the plates and check that the radiation beams would hit the right spot. Well I really do feel like a cyborg. The mask they put on is really tight and all that sticks out is your nose (something like Hannibal) You get rotated around the room with red alignment beams. Because you can't see you have no idea where you are in the room. Thank goodness I am not claustrophobic.

The actual radiation is fast - about 10 minutes start to finish. I have 3 main beams that come from different angles into the left side my head. The radiated area is about 10cm x 10cm (This is LARGE) They took the size of my tumour before the surgery and have built a margin on that. It is a cut out area so its an odd shape.

I was told again that I will loose my hair in that area. (I really don't want to hear that) So I am going to have a big 10cm "hole" where there was once hair. NOOOO.... What is it with brains, chemo, radiation and hair?? Then they added that there is a very small risk of your hair never growing back. (I ignored that) Any ideas on how to manage that? If men can have a comb over, why can't I? James suggested that I just shave everything. Then I will have to shave the other half of my head everyday... Maybe I can just use that spray on hair...


The ladies complained that my hair has grown so much since I had the mask fitted (6 weeks ago) that they had to adjust it because my 3cm hair was pushing it out. Thank goodness I didn't put hair extensions in!!





PS James is a budding photographer and has not learnt the art of how to take a photo without making your arm look huge or your toes skew. Of course these things are usually perfect.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Back to reality

Last night was plagued with weird dreams and concerns. I can honestly say that for the first time I felt really worried / nervous about the radiation and chemo. I felt like I did the night before the 3rd operation. It just seems like the reality set it and hit me hard. (Yes I am slow)

Besides the normal side effects that concern me, this means a change of lifestyle. Even if it is temporary. All of this is quite daunting. Being out of control of your own body is really horrible. I have never been keen to do it but I am reluctantly going forward. I am at that stage where "this better work" Tired of being messed around and having my emotions on a roller coaster.

I have learnt one thing through all of this, never look at stats just before you embark on treatment. (I mean look at it long before you start) Otherwise all the negative stuff flies up to greet you with a bang!!

I will have to have blood tests first to check my platelets. Then it is all go. Physically, I am feeling good. I have enjoyed my holiday, eaten well and I am looking forward to relaxing at home a bit. It is still hard not to feel like "used goods"

So my most important new year resolution is to get healthy (total healing being the optimum!)

I had a good laugh, James' Aunties have recently moved into a retirement village. The sisters went to the normal end of year Christmas dinner. Not knowing anyone and feeling a bit awkward, Glenda's opening line was "Isn't it bloody awful being old" .........No-one found that funny?? I wonder if I can use that line?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Some Christmas pics!




Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Hey all... Just want to say that I hope you have a very merry Christmas. Enjoy the kids, the presents and the food! I am going to eat up a storm in preparation for radiation and chemo on Monday :(

It is great being at home where I can see the family and everything is so cheap!!

Lots of love d:)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Burj Al Arab (Tee met Koekies)


This has been the highlight in Dubai. Don't even ask how much it cost to have High Tea on the Sky Lounge on the 27th floor. The food is great and we had our fill of sandwiches and cakes. James tried one of the large selection of teas - Gun Powder tea. (This is no joke) This made him feel manly and connected with the tea. I settled for something a little more feminine "Lotus Blossom" A glass of Moet to go with the tea and cakes and the most awesome views.

The building is very impressive. Interior and exterior are entirely opposite. The outside is very modern and high tech and the interior is full of every colour and looks almost baroque (in English this means too much stuff) You can see the islands they are building in "the World" and "the Palm"

It is really amazing how Dubai has grown from just about nothing 15 years ago. I wouldn't live there though. Like I said, it feels too commercial and doesn't really have history. I was expecting a lot more Arab influence, but it is very cosmopolitan.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Dune Dinner

We are only going to have a look at the buildings today. Yesterday we went on a dune drive and dinner. Actually it was a dune bash and a REALLY BAD idea. I thought we were just going to go on a type of 'safari' I was sitting in the far back when we started and immediately didn't feel good. Head clicking went into overdrive! They put me in front which helped slightly. I spent the whole drive praying it would finish and that I wouldn't throw up.

Traditional dinner and belly dance was great. We were rushed around and told we should try to run back to our 4x4 before the crowd, We weren't sure why there was such a huge sense of urgency as we finished at 7:30 pm but I was quite happy to have the whole ordeal over.

I am really missing my home and kids, We have been relaxing and will do a bit of shopping and sightseeing for the next couple of days, I am not booking anymore tours!



Departure from Cairo

This is what the train looked like!! Cool hey...

The departure gates at Cairo International Airport are much better than the arrivals. Which unfortunately is not saying much. There are no boards or announcements telling you when your flight is ready for departure. There is a food court in the centre. We were wondering why this guy kept walking around shouting. We soon realised that he was making the boarding announcements!

Dubai feels almost oppressive. The airports are quiet, probably because they are well designed. But also with the economic meltdown, they say tourism has dropped by about 60% We wonder who all is going to stay in the buildings they are making. There are 1,5 million people living here of which only 300K are locals the rest are all foreigners.
Jokes, that was the train next to us ... ours was just a little bit better






Thursday, December 18, 2008

Brain tumours & environment

I have been following Mark Miller's blog. There has been cases of clusters of people with brain tumours appearing in close vicinity to one another. There is currently a study going on to see what role the environment has played. Considering only 20 000 people are diagnosed with brain tumours per annum in the USA, this is quite interesting.

Anyway, I won't go into detail, but if you want to find out more visit Mark's blog www.markmillermusic.org/blog

It really does make you think though...I grew up on a farm so I am not sure how that works. I always knew I shouldn't have run after those sheep. It was probably their stupidity that destroyed my brain cells!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Alexandria




Its a very pretty town (excluding the soot, dust, carbon ) If you don't want to see all the dirt, go out at night. Which is what we did. We have seen the normal sites and decided to go to the Fish Market restaurant. It is overlooking the med. The amount of salads was intimidating. We picked fresh fish, but I made sure there was no face or eyes when it arrived.

We get alot of stares. I don't know if this is because I am the only woman with really short hair or super white by comparison. Who knows, maybe they like James! Did you know that James kissed a man! It was really funny because the men kiss each other on both checks with a light hug. Sometimes they stroll hand in hand. This is custom. The tour guide grabbed James & did just that ,,,much to his surprise!

Sleep in?

I always feel guilty if I sleep in or stay in my room if I am on holiday. Its like it is a waist of money. When we were in Paris, we had spent the whole night out and the next day decided to sleep in and get room service. When we ventured out at 3pm, the manager was disgusted and asked "Why you sleep all day"

Last night was one of those. I didn't feel well at all and decided to rather not move and stay in bed. So this morning I am taking it slowly. We actually came to Alexandria to have a break from the rushing around touring. Our hotel is in walking distance to most of the sites... providing you can cross the street

Some interesting things...

This is going to be our last day touring in Egypt. I can't believe how quickly the time has gone. We have learnt some things the hard way but we have slowly started to smarten up!

The place is very dirty by our standards. The floors, streets, doors, walls, seats are all full of soot. It doesn't seem to bother anyone either. Most of the work force are men. They do everything, housekeeping, maids, cleaners, waitrons etc. (maybe thats why it is not so clean!) Only about 10% seem to be women.

Don't greet or look at anyone if you don't want to pay them money. Its nuts. The traders here are absolutely bullet proof. They will follow you for miles and don't seem to care. If one approaches James now he just raises his hand and says "No" Even that doesn't deter them.

They have every type of vehicle on the road, even horse drawn carriages. We are right on the beach front, on a main road, so the hooters and cars go 24hrs per day. You won't believe that one guy on a cart stopped in the middle of 4 lane traffic, got out of this cart and ran after us asking us if we want to get in!

Yes, we do feel like we are living inside a computer game like Mario Brothers. You are dodging, diving, hiding, avoiding, running, watching --- :)

I wouldn't come here on my own. Get a tour group, they do everything for you. Pick ups, drop offs, tours, tell you where to buy food, carry your luggage. As I said before, their service is great. You will have to tip for everything, but it is worth it.

I have had a great time here despite all the little quirks... d:)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

DNA

We took a walk to the Alexandria library today. (crossing roads and trying not to be run over- we looked like we were playing Mario brothers game) It is impressive. The architecture is interesting, it is shaped like a tilted disk and represents the sun rising out of the sea. We were there for a few hours and didn't even get past one area.

We looked up some books on DNA, brain tumours and various brain issues. I have been doing alot of research. I have found some fascinating facts.
  • The oligoastrocytoma and oligodendroglioma has a potential to have defection on the 1 & 19 th chromosomes.
  • There is alot of research on the 19 chromosome. There are about 1400 genes relating to various disorders/ functions view on website: https://www.llnl.gov/str/June03/Stubbs.html
  • One of the disorders is called Familial hemiplgic migraine. This type of migraine displays all the types of symptoms I have. Plus I have a few members of my family (especially my Grandfather) who get serious migraines like this (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Familial_hemiplegic_migraine)
  • It also links this type of migraine to chromosome 1
  • There is also a link with lack of vitamin b12
I don't know if this has any significance and I haven't had a DNA test yet (my oncologist told me they only do that type of thing in the US) but it is interesting how things are linked. I believe that all these things are linked somehow.

Maybe my interest is because I had a seriously bad headache on my left side, I had to come back to the room and slept for 2 hours. When I woke up, my whole body was in pain.

Otherwise, looking out at the Mediterranean is awesome...

In Africa

We have been chatting to our tour guides & coordinators about South Africa. There is alot of crime in SA and we were asked why do we stay there? A hard question to answer. What we did tell him, is that it is very beautiful and our living is good.

Our food is better and well made.Their food is about 2- 3 times more expensive compared to SA. Our accommodation is much better. I think that service, though, is better in Egypt. I cannot find another place that I would prefer to live.

One guide asked us if SA was full of cannibals! They assume we live in rural villages with people running around with pangas eating each other!! Another guide didn't know why a black woman was talking in clicks. He thought she was mentally unstable... he didn't know that was her language and walked far away from her!! We had a good laugh..

Chemo & radiation confirmed

My chemo and radiation has been confirmed for the 29th December. I have not thought about it much, but every now and then it pops up! They will have to check my platelets first to make sure they are high enough. I am trying to eat more than usual, but the food doesn't always help the cause!!

James has become addicted to their cinnamon jam breads and it is the first thing he runs for at breakfast. They seem to like a lot of milky products and it doesn't taste like cow milk!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Tour Guide


Our guide was very kind to welcome him into his home and have a traditional Egyptian meal. We enjoyed it. We had pigeon! (Well James ate that & I stuck to the lamb) We were put at a table to eat by ourselves and they waited till we were finished. It was a bit strange for us to not sit and talk to our hosts while we ate. I do find that the culture gets very upset if you don't finish your food! I am not a big eater so this is always a challenge. They only eat one meal per day and perhaps a small snack some other time. I tried to explain I can't do the one meal a day thing!!

He has 3 kids, 2 girls and a son in the middle of the two. The houses are very dusty and unfinished on the outside, but the inside is clean and neat. I suppose that it is futile trying to fix the dust! We walked back at 11pm and the streets were still buzzing. He is an archeologist and has worked and traveled to the USA. He says that there is more money being a tour guide than working for the state.

His name is Ahmed Dewy Hassan, he speaks English, Arabic and Italian. If you are interested you can contact him ahmeddowi@yahoo.com (don't worry I am not getting anything out of this!!)

Sound & lights



This city at night is really beautiful. There are a lot of lights and festivities. The cars even stop at a red robot!!The temples lit up are really amazing. The city really comes alive at night. It is quite amusing because it is about 18 degrees C at night and they think it is really cold! The shops stay open till later than 10pm. They do close in the afternoon to allow people to have a nap. I do that anyway, so this would suit me!

I haven't been able to load my blog on the internet because the reception is really bad when going down the Nile not to mention that our agenda is a mile high... We are flying back to Cairo today and then taking a train to Alexandria.

Stuggling

Today I have really struggled. I canceled my afternoon tour. We are both exhausted, physically and mentally. We are not sure if we can take in anymore hieroglyphics. In the morning we went to see some of the tombs. I was feeling dizzy and very weak. The tombs are really high and the steps very steep. I waited outside while James went in. I didn't want to go into a hot and stuffy tomb and have the risk of fainting or worse having a seizure. I think I haven't had enough sleep and need to catch up. Anyway, we are going to see a light show tonight and have supper with our tour guide, which I am really looking forward to.

Belly Dancing


Last night we had a party on the boat while we were sailing to Luxor. I got persuaded/ forced to Belly Dance on a 'stage' I was really embarrassed, but James says I did well! I think he is just trying to be nice. It was so funny to see people dressed in traditional outfits. Everyone got into the spirit of things. No I did not wear a traditional belly dance out fit.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sailing down the nile

We are floating down the Nile. We are stopping at a few temples and sights. We were given a wakeup call at 7am breakfast and then the first tour at 8am. The boat sets sail at 9:30 and so it goes on during the next 2 days. James & I packed a little kit bag with water, sun block etc, expecting to walk. As we stepped out of the boat, the temple was about 250m away. We felt a bit stupid.

There is a party on the boat tonight. We can drink as much as you want and crawl to our room. (these days it is not a very good idea for me, but the thought is good) Although, drinking here is not cheap. About $10 per drink. We were reading this book, the author was asked if he was an alcoholic. He said after years of time, money and effort, he would hope so!!

Temples



Saturday, December 13, 2008

Nubian Village


Some of the food is really strange. We had a Nubian traditional meal. This consists of a SUPER sweet honey, bread & a milk that has been left standing till it forms cheesy chunks. Makes me gag. Don't order tea. You will get frothed milk with very little water and a tea bag! Euw, thinking about this too, makes me gag. I would rather have the water from the Nile. I found out that it is called a Lipton Latte. I am sure they have camel milk. The meals on the boat are really great and well cooked.

Each Nubian has a pet crocodile, this is no joke. They take them from young. It is a tradition that has been passed down for a long time and no-one knows why! James is holding a baby one with another one on his head!

Going to the Nile

Well we left Cairo at 5am to go to the airport and take a plane to Aswan. At the airport there is only one terminal. We all just pile in and sit anywhere, floor, table, chairs & steps. It doesn't matter what flight you are on! Someone shows out the flight number and everyone pushes to the front.

You won't believe this, the airport buses hoot each other out the way on the airport runway! We saw a plane land really close to us while we were waiting to take off, James was wondering if planes hoot at each other? I do find that when I fly followed by bumpy roads, my brain feels “bruised'

Aswan is beautiful, it is like the Egypt that you read about. Lots of people in cotton clothing, great weather and of course the Nile river. We whipped around the city, dam, Isis temple, Nubian village, onto the boat.

James & I feel like we are on “tourist boot camp” Up early, running around, bargaining, climbing etc etc They said that we could leave on a tour at 3.30am tomorrow – Umm “NO” This is taking “holiday” to a different level. Sorry to say this, but we now understand where the word “gypo'd” comes from. We feel like our money has been sucked out of us at every corner. “Bargaining” is tiring and the traders will not let up. If you stop or look at them, you will have them follow you till you break down and buy something to get rid of them. We eventually paid 40LE (Egyptian pounds) after being told it costs 150LE. It all part of the experience...

Now our boat really is 5 star. We have a beautiful room, flat screen TV, 5 course meals & entertainment. Now this is what I am talking about!! I could get used to this! We set sail tomorrow...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Luggage

Forgot to tell you that our luggage arrived last night at 9:30! I was so excited to have some clean clothes and cosmetics!

Crazy

I cannot tell you enough how crazy the traffic is here. We just came back from the biggest shopping centre. We decided to avoid the markets. James & I didn't need to buy anything and really didn't want to be haggled. Serious, its on every street corner. PLUS I needed to go to a coffee shop - some words are international and in any language - coffee being one of them (most alcoholic drinks too!!)

So back to the driving. We took a taxi back, this guy started by charging $10 and ended up charging us $20 because he "didn't realise it was that far". PLUS he couldn't speak English so he "explained" this increase by means of shouting and waving his arms. When we arrived at our hotel, we were just so grateful to be alive, we didn't bother to argue. James says he couldn't care about the money.

He went in and out of traffic like there was no tomorrow. He played his Arabic music seriously loudly, smoked and screamed at the other drivers whilst holding his hands almost constantly on the hooter! With the final day of Eid, there are alot of people going to Mosque and on the streets. He was nearly trowing a few of them off his bonnet. His car is old (like from the 70's) and black and white. The trip took an hour! I can honestly say I have fully experienced being in Cairo. All good fun!!

One thing I still can't cope with is the women wearing all black. Some of them where black shoes, socks, gloves, veil - you can't see any skin. The men walk in front of them wearing designer labels. BUT most women seem fairly liberated and just wear a shawl and dress conservatively.

We leave the airport at 5am tomorrow. The travel agent phones and says that he will give us a wake up call at 3:30am - WHATEVER - I 'negotiated' for him to call at 4am - we are so excited to be up before our eyes can open.

He said he will give us a 'breakfast basket' We don't know if we want it. The food is cooked so badly we are living off bread. It makes me realise how good it is in South Africa. Our tourism is much better.

I am excited to be heading off to the Nile boat. We are taking a flight to Aswan and then going to cruise down the Nile to Luxor. What a fun time so far....

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Day one

Well we were up at 6 to get dressed (I changed my underwear) It wasn't really hard to make a decision! Our luggage arrived tonight at 9pm - the locks were broken but all seems to be there. I ended up buying shoes at 9pm last night. Shops are open from 6pm - 10pm here

Man, when you are on a tour, it is GO GO GO! No waisting time while you zip around looking at the sites. First tour is at 8am and we only got home at 4pm ...NO LUNCH! But we loved it, it is the best way to get around. Weather was great, no wind, not too hot and to top it off, it is Eid here. There is alot of singing. This is like a Christmas so the whole country is having a 4 day public holiday.

So we haven't experienced the "true" traffic in Cairo. Even so, they manage to fit 7 vehicles in a 3 lane road. NO robots are in sight and if there are any they just flash orange. Hooting is everywhere. I don't know how it helps when everyone hoots?

Everywhere there are guys asking for "Baksheesh" which is like a tip or bribe. If you look at anyone or get them to take a pic, they will ask for money. One poor Japanese tourist really got sucked. Someone came up to him to offer to take a pic of him and his 2 small sons. Well one pic made way to about 20 with 3 more "helpers" arriving. We dashed leaving the poor guy trying to fend off the masses.

Egypt is not clean. But you feel like you are in a different time. The museum is awesome. The pyramids are a marvel. Even though it looks so basic, when you see the scale of things, you just wonder how they did it. I tell you, going through all these sites, you realize they were no fools. All of this happened 5000 years ago - amazing. What was surprising, if you look at the tombs etc, the people were really small!

I got suckered into buying. I feel post purchase depression. Well not really, I am happy with the purchases, just wish I didn't have to pay for it. We tasted hibiscus tea. It is actually quite divine. Looks like Fanta Grape! Bought some pure purfume, put our family names in hieroglyphics on papyrus and got some "golden" mugs.

So now we are just going to hide in our room and try to avoid paying anymore tips to the masses outside.

Pyramids



Standing in between the 3 pyramids. This way we can look like the largest pyramid! 2:)Here we are at the entrance to the large pyramid. We only went into the second one. 3:)You can see the scale of the pyramids to a human. I get vertigo just looking up and it has nothing to do with the anti seizure medication! 4:)At the Sphinx

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Arrived

We have arrived in our hotel. Let me tell you that the airport at Egypt can't be compared to that of Dubai. It looks like it was built in the 60's and NOTHING has been done since then. They seem to be building a new one, so they are forgiven.

There were only 3 families that had trouble with their luggage. (well our trouble is that we don't have any! It is wondering in the air somewhere) And guess what – 2 are from South Africa. Good ol' Johannesburg! We have underwear and another top, with a few toiletries but not much else. Well you know, we like to travel light!

I do feel odd with such short hair. Its easy to travel will though. Everyone speaks to James and not me. I find this amusing because he has no idea what is going on!! He didn't make or look at any arrangements – he is just here. So in the end they have to speak to me... We saw a blond woman at the airport in a really mini skirt and high heals. It seemed really disrespectful.

The roads are crazy. It is a free for all. We were told that we are very lucky because it is time when everyone is on holiday and really quiet. Well thank goodness for that because it is mayhem out there. My head really wasn't happy being bounced around. Lately I can touch a part of my head and it feels like it is pulling the whole scar. Something like pulling on a thread. Plus with the bouncing I start to get head clicking again. It drives me nuts.

So while driving in a blazing fury with my head clicking in regular annoying intervals, we saw the pyramids! We don't know what to say about it, it is just strange to look at them. Our hotel is quite close to the pyramids and took us 45min to reach from the airport. Our tour starts at 8pm sharp for us to see them– no rest for the wicked!

PS Could someone courier me some shoes? Lets hope the insurance pays HUGH so that I can get some designer clothes in Dubai!! You never know it might arrive!!

Dubai Transit

We managed to get earlier flights – standby helps! This saved us 8hrs of sitting in airports and time to catch up with some much needed sleep. It is quite eerie at the airport. It is so quiet and large that it feels empty. I think that we are just used to the chaos at the SA airport. Plus people speak really loudly in SA. James says the airport building reminds him of a Gothic cathedral, just made in modern materials. I have to agree with him, but then again he is an architect. The place is brand new and everything is still sparkling.

We are really surprised at the amount of Asians working here. It seems as though the work force make up about 80% It is definitely very cosmopolitan. We were amused by the amount of people wearing surgical masks. They seemed to be doing this to stop viruses! We felt like we were in a series of ER. If they really want to stop bacteria, they should use gloves instead. Not that I think it is truly necessary.

The temp is 19° C 5am in the morning and in winter ... not cold in my opinion. The aircon makes up for it though – it is freezing. I think that is because the winter fashions are in and they have to make you feel cold!

I need to sleep as all of us do. The only reason I make such a big issue of it, is that when I get too tired, I have a higher chance of having a seizure. It is hard not to let that be at the back of the mind!

Monday, December 8, 2008

On the way

Well we are sitting at the airport in PE, on our way to Johannesburg. It is going to be a really long trip. We arrive in JHB at 2pm and then wait till 10:30 pm to depart to Dubai. We then wait for our connecting flight to Cairo arriving at 5pm on Tuesday! I brought my mini laptop (I am so organised) The other one is too heavy to lug around and has my docs that I don't want to loose.

We are both so excited to be heading off. We left the kids will a long itinerary of activities, so that the time will fly for them! I will keep you updated on what goes on in Egypt.

I especially want to see what food we are going to eat. It is so funny how it differs in every country. The worst I have heard is that the Australians like beetroot and put it on everything, even burgers! James says it looks like its bleeding. We have eaten strange things in every country so don't know what to expect! I always think you should try new things...

For all those going on holiday, travel safe and have a good break!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Lets talk about it

I must say that there have been many people who have helped me deal with my situation and shown much kindness. I "met" someone who has helped me alot during the years. His wife had a blog on her tumour and it really inspired me to tell my story. I email him questions from time to time on what they went through and he has been very happy to answer. It has really helped me see things from James' side.

Dan, thanks for all and to your wife Sandy. Her blog is www.sandybeardsley.com

Alot of people think that modern communication is terrible because there isn't face to face communication. I disagree. I think it is great. I have the whole world to find people who are struggling like I am.

Well my kids are fighting so I better get back to the front lines!!
d:)

Don't speak too soon

I definitely spoke too soon. Yesterday the "bug" hit me. So now the whole family has had it. It lasted about 12 hours and now I feel alright. I said to James that I really hope this is not what chemo is going to do to me. Plus we are off to Egypt and the bug is there too.

My stomach muscles had a real work out yesterday. At least they will be firming up a bit!! Great ad for "Ab master pro"

I have to go to the GP to get antibiotic to take to Egypt. I hate going there... the queues are always long and the doctor is NEVER on time. So I decided I am just going to haul all the kids at the same time. This way I can check that they are clear before we go. I know he is just going to give us 5 minutes and a heap of medication... You may notice that I really don't like him. He did mis-diagnose me for almost 3 years! I remember the final straw for me was being told I was just stressed. I tried to change GPs then but my medical aid was sticky. At least I can now.

I went to another GP when mine was on leave. (much prefer him but now he is on leave) He became super interested in giving me time when he heard I had a brain tumour. Probably because he is "sick" of people having a cold! He could finally do some "brain" activity. I don't blame him...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pirates

I really laughed this morning ... they were chatting about a cruise ship that ventured to the coast of Senegal. They have pirates in Senegal. YES they do, and anyone who lives in Africa knows these things exist.

So... the cruise ship start heading towards the coast. The pirate ship heads their way. Now because there are mostly old people on a cruise ship, could they not see the cannons and AK47s coming towards them? Or was it adventure sports on the sea? Maybe reality TV from 1786 ad?

Anyway, do you think they were sipping cocktails while watching the sunset and mass of pirate ships!! (the ship is fine by the way)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Eating

I am attempting to eat more and healthily in preparation to start chemo and radiation in 26 days! It is seriously hard, I love chocolate and tea. (not together) I am an addict. Why does healthy food taste so bad? Those veggie smoothies are not for me. (Especially when they are green) Some people say they loose weight during chemo from healthy eating! Some have told me that their taste buds change completely. It is like the body tells you what it needs to heal.

Since my operation, my skin has been incredibly dry. I think it is weeks of using antiseptic on my skin and scalp. I am taking some vitamins to try to get my oils up.

I met a woman, this weekend, who has had a breast removed due to cancer. She has a very positive attitude and advised me to eat as much good food as possible. She went through full treatment, operation & radiation. After a year of treatment she is now cancer free.

How is this... her mom has a low grade brain tumour! She has had it for 15 years. She is 65 now. It is really nice to hear some positive news of brain tumour survivors. It is scary that people die from it. It truly amazes me, that when you are open about your condition, how many people tell you what they are going through. Perhaps it is about getting older that it becomes a reality of life.

I believe in being completely honest. It is too much of a burden to hide. People know anyway. Sometimes this does mean that you are shunned. Generally they are scared or they think, in some bizarre way, they will get it. I was always afraid that people would think less of me. I didn't want to talk about it for 2 years.

So what did I do? Publish it on the internet... Mmm it must have affected my mind.

I am working on mentally preparing for chemo and radiation and loosing my hair (again). At least it won't be all of it. I am not sure what I am going to do with the Goth patch look? Any ideas?

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Bug

This weekend, my entire family got a bug and subsequently spent their days vomiting. I asked Adam this am how he is feeling and he said he just had a little bit of cholera! (He meant diarrhea) I on the other had am fine?? How does that happen? I think it has to do with all the berries I have been eating.

Poor James has become the in house medic. He is looking a bit tired... I think the holiday is going to be much appreciated.

Now they say that it is almost certain you will catch a bug in Egypt. Hopefully I will maintain a stomach of steel.

PS... I am touching wood with one hand, the whole time I am writing.

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