Chemo 1, Vix 29

Dear Friends,
 
Yippety-skippety-doo-dah-day! Feeling in a very celebratory mood today, to the extent that I wanted to do some flick-flacks and skipping down the corridor as I exited the Radiotherapy Department this morning at 9am. I had bacon and eggs for my Last Supper on Final Fry Eve yesterday and was in early this morning, hoping to beat the queue, sneak an early fry-up. Now, I’ve graduated from my Imaginary Frying School, and am allowed 4 weeks off…. my next planned visit to hospital is not until Valentine’s Day. How nice… how will you be spending yours?!
 
The solidarity between us on the radiotherapy journey is something quiet special, and my daily morning chats with my radio-brothers and sisters in the treatment suite waiting room have been both an education in Glaswegian slang and a fantastic support. It’s OK to talk about fatigue, vomit, diarrhoea, nausea, and even Jeremy Kyle it seems. Nothing is out of bounds. I’m not very good at the day-time TV small-talk though, I think Jeremy Kyle would have made me give up the will to live long before the tuna. In a perverse way, I know I will miss both my radio-siblings, and my lovely Radiographers who smiled and joked as they gimped and fried.
 
It transpires that chemoradiation has taken its toll on me a bit, my Vix vs ChemoRad Tournament scoreline was looking exceedingly good until last week when I finally lost a meal. After a swallow-it-back-down struggle (does that count as a home goal?) the defence wasn’t organised enough and chemorad slipped in a vomit. I think there may have been some off-side stuff because the defence have been so strong, and they’ve been good ever since. Overall though, Vix is the outright tournament winner with the final score: ChemoRad-1, Vix-29.  They’ve told me that after a cumulative 60Gy of radiation to my brain, I will likely feel the side effects at least for the next couple of weeks, but there isn’t another match for a bit, so will hopefully be back ready for more by the time they want to kick off the chemotherapy tournament in March.
 
So heading south tomorrow for my ‘NHS holiday’, first stop with Iain’s family and friends in Hadfield for Burns’ night supper, where I have been instructed to learn a poem to recite. I think I will adapt one, ‘Ode to a Haggis’ to be re-written to ‘Ode to a Tuna’.  Then onto Ragdale Hall with Mum and Julie for some pampering, scrubbing, floating, massaging and that stuff that us ladies like. Then south to Hertfordshire to spend some time in Barkway, and then staying at Hotel Hensby, catching up with southern friends, looking forward to going into the Roche office, up to Leicester for a rugbyfest as the Six Nations kicks off and generally making a nuisance of myself for those with jobs to do.
 
A massive thank you for the ongoing shave-related ripples of support for my chosen healthcare charities in NW Scotland (http://www.justgiving.com/Vicky-Galbraith ). We’re pretty close to target  and in combination with postal donations to the Scottish (air) Ambulance and Friends of Broadford Hospital we have raised about £7000. Pretty damn amazing and impressive for hair-loss: massive thanks and big wet sloppy kisses for those who have supported both in donation and in hair-loss.
 
The next fundraising project is coming along nicely: ‘Vix Big Walk to Clinic’ along the West Highland Way which is ~100miles. Dad will be doing a He-Man endurance walk, from Portree on Skye to Fort William, where I will join him for the second week, the West Highland Way southbound http://www.west-highland-way.co.uk/ . We have added one day onto the WHW to take us all the way to the Beatson (West of Scotland Cancer Centre) in Glasgow where I’m being treated. Dad will be leaving Portree on Saturday 16th April, arriving at Fort William on Saturday 23rd April, Easter Eve. On Easter Sunday, we leave Fort William and head south, arriving in Milnganvie Sunday 1st May, and the final leg on Bank Holiday Monday 2nd May. You will note it’s a fine way of missing the Royal Wedding hype. We’ll be doing this as a fundraiser for cancer-related charities and more information will follow. If you would like to join in all or part of the walk, the invitation is there, the more the merrier…. I can give you more information on where we are staying and departure points. Whilst Dad is being tough and camping, I have put my foot down, and am having proper accommodation, as I reckon a bed and a bath aren’t too much to ask for whilst I’m on chemotherapy. Also, I have been assured that the Easter Bunny does go to Fort William, so no worries there.
 
A few recommendations for leisure time….
Read ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ by Elizabeth Gilbert, probably one for the ladies but possibly very educational for the boys if they want to get in-touch with their feminine side. 
A couple of great YouTube viewings to enjoy with the sound on:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FFRoYhTJQQ : A hilarious lesson in Glaswegian.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAg0lUYHHFc : Cheap flights – we’ve all been there…. the utterly fantastic Fascinating Aida.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0YzHOIeUv0 : Nobody’s going to rain on my parade.
 
Lastly, a bit of philosophy for the day from Vivian Greene: Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.
 
Live, love and laugh,
Big kisses and bone-crunching hugs
Vix xxxxxxxxx
 
P.S. Please keep your news and updates flowing as they are a massive help to stay in a positive state of mind and remember what normality is all about.

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