I hope you and yours are well and enjoying some signs of Spring. It’s been hot, hot, hot here in Glasgow, so much so that the crocuses have popped up and the daffodils are on the brink too. We have almost-ripe lemons and bananas growing here too (in the massive greenhouse in the Botanic Gardens across the road from me). The sky can mostly be described as “soft grey”, something for which I think Glasgow has a reputation.
My extra week of pseudo holiday has flown by and today has seen the opening ceremony of the Chemotherapy Tournament, scheduled to last for the next six months. At clinic yesterday my neutrophils were not perfect, but good enough to start the next onslaught. I’m sure Guinness certainly helped. My morning routine of anti-emetic, wait half an hour, oral chemo, wait half an hour, and then breakfast, has begun. I get five days of chemo, then 3 weeks off. The plan is that that should be repeated six times, with some dose increases, blood monitoring and brain scans along the way.
It’s been an odd place to be in psychologically: a mixture of post-holiday blues, adjusting to being on the anti-seizure medication, which by definition should be doing something to my brain, and the perverse excitement and anticipation of getting on to the next phase of treatment, on top of the total ambiguity that is my life following the diagnosis. My short-term plans of friends and family visits, rugby matches, mini trips and adventures, be they in Glasgow, the environs, or further afield, are what is keeping me going. I won’t deny it, there have been an increasing number of emotional wobbles lately. Be prepared: if you are nice to me, you may well get tears. I’ve started an expressive writing course at the Maggie’s Centre, for which I even have homework, and that assists with the tear flow too. Seeing something written, and reading it back does something to solidify my feelings and emotions and make them seem more real. Even if the highs and lows are relatively transient, there’s permanence about them being captured in writing that is quite cathartic. So writing my updates is part of my self-administered therapy.
Fundraising activities continue to gain momentum: the VixBigWalk to clinic will leave Portree of Skye on Saturday 16th April and goes via Fort William over Easter weekend, and arrives in Glasgow on Monday 2nd May 2011. If you would like to support us by joining in the walk, or by sponsoring those taking part, or adding to it in some way, that would be much appreciated: we are very open to ideas and enthusiastic and diverse methods for involvement! For those southerners who fancy joining in remotely, a day walk in Bedforshire (ish) is being planned by Amanda for those walkers who want to join in both physically and in spirit, but can’t make it up to Scotland. The southern walk is in its embryonic stages at the moment, so as details firm up, I will share them.
Please do feel free to forward the information for participation and donating (www.justgiving.com then type Vicky Galbraith in the “find my friend” box) as far and wide as you like. We are fundraising for three charities: the Beatson’s Pebble Appeal, Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres and Macmillan Cancer Care. More information on this and about me and the fundraising exploits can be found on https://vixbigstuff.wordpress.com/ where all are welcome to sign-up for these updates.
You can also support Macmillan by taking a look here: http://e-activist.com/ea-campaign/clientcampaign.do?ea.client.id=70&ea.campaign.id=1294
For your leisure time, some silliness and music making that makes me smile on YouTube (to enjoy with the sound on):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNlmn7vbXBQ Jack Johnson and Upside Down. I won’t be trying this with my precious uke.
Scottish pussy fun: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiDtpWfSKeo
Newport http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dx8CZyFM4b4 a great parody of the better known New York http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UjsXo9l6I8 version
And a serious one from work: http://www.youtube.com/user/ClinicalTrialsForMe
Live, love and laugh
Big kisses and bone-crunching hugs
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.