Throat feels like I’m swallowing razor blades,
sinuses so blocked it’s like my face is about to explode.
How are you guys?
I’ve mentioned Pilar & Pilar here before. Pilar (daughter) has been a dear friend for many years, and I’ve also had the pleasure of getting to know Pilar (mother). Usually over a delicious lunch that inevitably includes sherry, as both of these fabulous ladies are from Jerez. In fact, their family was in the sherry biz years ago. Well, this time was no exception. Fab food, wonderful wines, lots of great conversation (and lots of laughs). We even went up to the top of the Setas, which Pilar (daughter) had never seen before (!!). It was great spending an afternoon off in such splendid company. Gracias chicas! xx
This was my view most of today (vertical moments were rare as I kept having to return to my bed). No idea what this is. Went to bed last night feeling fine, woke up at 2 in the morning sick to my stomach and with violent ‘dire-rear’, which lasted until about 10 o’clock, so not much sleep. Of course I had a very busy day planned – I’d been invited to a special food event at midday and had a Flamenco & Tapas Tour booked for tonight. But clearly, as even sitting on the sofa was beyond me, I had to stay home. Lucky for me, Aldara from We Love Tapas was available to help out this evening, so she took my group and Peter took out his (both going to the same places in case Aldara needed help). Anyhow, aside from feeling like crap, I’m also bored out of my mind. Can’t hold a book in bed, can’t sit upright long enough to watch TV, everything hurts, whinge-whinge-whinge…
Whatever this is I hope it passes soon. I’m thinking some kind of bug since various muscles are aching including my eyeballs. Ick. Hope you’re having a better day! Back to bed for me.
It’s baaaaack. And as usual my back “went out”, as they say, while doing nothing at all. It happened yesterday just before the Triana Tapas Tour. I’d gone to the market to chat to some people there and go over my route (since it was my first time) and then I stopped for a coffee before meeting my clients. I don’t know if it was because I got a chill in my back, or because I was leaning forward too much, or both, but suddenly there was that telltale AAAARRGH feeling in my lower back, and when I tried to stand up it was very painful. But after walking around a bit it seemed to loosen up and felt more “tight” than painful during the tour. Same after I got home. Ouchy without being too bad. But then I woke up in the night in agony, so I must’ve pulled something in my sleep.
Today I am on painkillers and slathering on the BioFreeze, and need a crutch to get around the house. Luckily Peter is available to do my Flamenco & Tapas Tour tonight as I don’t think I’d even make it down the stairs. Hope it doesn’t last too long this time. On the bright side, at least I’ll get some work done on the blogs, etc. Oddly, sitting at my computer (and getting up to stretch regularly) is one of the two positions that only hurts a little. The other one is standing. :(
It’s gonna be a fun three days… and then I get a tube up me bum. I didn’t actually remember following this diet the last time I had a colonoscopy (but apparently I did). Though I seemed less informed back then than this time (no red meats, etc). Also, I’m not on chemo this time! But the weird thing is that it’s been almost six years since my last colonoscopy, which is, well, weird. I can’t seem to get a straight answer from my “substitute” oncologist, but it looks like they just forgot to do this on a more regular basis. And so … this Friday I am having the nasty done once again and will see the oncologist on February 4th to get the results. And finally – I hope – I’ll find out what the new plan is for me. PET scans every year? Every 8-10 months? I’m also still waiting to get the chemo port out, but I understand that those waiting to have one put in have priority, and rightly so.
On the bright side, I will probably lose a kilo or two over the next few days. Tip of the iceberg, I know, but better than nothing…
Today marked a very important milestone for me. I had my “5th anniversary” PET scan – which came back clear! – marking five cancer-free years (I finished my last chemo at the end of July 2009). I almost couldn’t believe it when Pilar texted me while I was out having coffee, saying that everything was okay. In fact, I burst into tears. This one is a game-changer. I won’t know exactly what they have in store for me now until I see the oncologist again next month, but today should be the last of the every-six-month PET scans (will switch to either once a year or possible every 10 months) and I will finally be able to get the chemo port out. That last one will be a relief and I won’t have to make my monthly visit to the hospital to get the thing cleaned out. So it’s all good. I mean, I’m not “out of the woods” yet. The 5-year mark is kind of random and my case is more baffling than anything. Most stage-IV people don’t stay in remission for this long. But hey, I’ve made it this far and at least for now I am fine, so it really does feel like a fresh start.
As always I want to thank my amazing Nuclear Medicine team – Pilar and Isabel (Ricardo retired last year) – and also all of you for being there with me through all of this. You can all take the next year off. ;)
A side note: October 28th is the saint day of Santo Judas Tadeo (Jude the Apostle) patron saint of lost causes. Coincidence?
The windows in the oncology waiting room are the one source of beauty there. I had to go see my oncologist to set up my next PET scan and was surprised to find out she wasn’t back yet. In fact, I haven’t seen her for about a year, but put that down to her being out of town or otherwise busy whenever my routine check-ups came around. Since I get my PET scan results in the same day as the test I don’t need that follow-up appointment afterwards.
Well, not only did I find out that Dr Ana wasn’t there, but I was also told she might not be coming back. Turns out she had cancer (!!!) and although she seems to be physically recovered now it looks like she isn’t psychologically well enough to resume her duties. So I had a chat with the new guy and was impressed that he’d read my file and seemed to know my whole story. I told him that both Dr Ana and Ricardo had recommended I do the PET scans every six months for 5 years (after finishing my last chemo) and this guy agreed that this was a good thing to do. Though he did surprise me – when I suggested I might also get the chemo port removed – by saying I could have had it taken out ages ago. When I asked him the obvious, he said if the cancer comes back they’d just put in another one. Well!
So I am now waiting to find out when the next PET scan will be. If all goes well I should be getting the port out soon and will be able to stop living within six-month segments of time. Meanwhile, I keep on working and playing as best I can.
As I mentioned the other day, I decided to visit my dentist after losing yet another filling (along with large chunk of tooth). I was sure I’d lost five fillings, but it turned out there were only four missing (it’s possible I lost bits of filling from the same tooth twice) and my dentist wasted no time in getting down to work. I have to first explain that I think I have the BEST dentist in Sevilla. He is always about saving teeth, and will fill and re-fill teeth rather than opt for more expensive options like crowns. He has repaired my old fillings many times now, even replacing them for free if they fall out again within a year or so. But the truth is that some of my molars don’t have much tooth left to work with after old crappy fillings fall out.
This morning I got to the office and told the assistent why I haven’t been there for over two years. She remembered the cancer and so I explained my reasoning about not wanting to spend whacks of money on dental work until I (hopefully!) get the five-year all clear after the next PET scan. But my dentist had other ideas. He was going to fill one lower molar and said the other lower one (the one I lost last week) needed a crown. I asked if I could wait until October and he said better not to considering how damaged it is. Apparently the top two teeth can wait but not this one. What can I say? I trust this guy.
So he got work, giving me lots of extra freezing because he remembered that I have very sensitive teeth and tend to get nervous (who me?) in the chair. At one point the assistent commented on the lovely gentle music playing and he said “Yeah, I put it on for her to help her relax”. To me “Is it working? Are you relaxed?” Cracked me up. And so I now have a new filling, actually a semi-reconstructed tooth with two pins to hold the filling. And next week I go for the first step for getting my crown. I was almost too scared to ask the price but it ended up more reasonable than expected, and they even said I can pay it in two instalments. On the way out I was given a few tubes of special toothpaste for extra-sensitive teeth… really glad now that I didn’t put this off.
How’s your dentist? I’ve never had one like this guy.