Throat feels like I’m swallowing razor blades,
sinuses so blocked it’s like my face is about to explode.
How are you guys?
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…
Celebrating 5 years of being cancer-free with Peter, Kyran & Claire.
First stop La Azotea…
Then we went to La Pepona…
It is still slowly sinking in. And in some ways it’s as much as an adjustment as when I did this in reverse. Except I hope this new feeling doesn’t ever go away – that feeling like it’s Christmas when I wake up in the morning.
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.
Morcilla overseeing the printing
I’ve often thought that September feels like the real “new year”, rather than the first of January. Summer holidays are (mostly) over, shops and bars have reopened, there are lots more people out and about. This week especially has a distinct “back to school” feel to it as I get things organised for the whack of Sevilla Tapas Tours booked over the next couple of months and settle back into a routine of getting chores done and going to the gym. Meanwhile I chip away at the iceberg of blog posts and articles that need to be written or updated, including editing the 3000 or more photos I took over the summer. Any spare time is being spent on putting together my new Trip Planning biz, which is pretty much ready to go but still needs fine tuning before I properly launch it.
It’s also a time for taking care of practical matters like tax stuff (ick) and finally seeing the dentist. I had planned to put the latter off until the next PET scan, but after having lost a fourth filling (plus much tooth) last month, another fell out over the weekend and, well, FIVE half-gone teeth seems like too much to ignore. I’ve got my oncology appointment on the 22nd, so blood work will have to be done before that, and then the quite possibly scariest PET scan of all will be sometime in October. So much hinges on this one coming back clean as it’ll mark five years since my last chemo and – if all is well – a change in how I’m monitored. Most likely I’ll switch to having annual PET scans instead of every six months and maybe they’ll even remove the chemo port. Both of these would be such much-needed positive changes in my life (I can’t even bear to consider the alternative) that I’m almost too scared to hope. I’ll let you guys do that for me. ;)
But at least so far, it’s all good this September. Lots to do, lots of new stuff coming up. Very exciting. How about you? How’s your “new year” coming along?
So to speak. Yesterday I found out that my physiotherapy appointment wasn’t going to be until July 9th, so I decided – FUCK IT – and went to the gym. It was also my first time out and about without using at least one crutch in almost five weeks. Checking back on my last sprain (which was actually a fracture, though I didn’t know it at the time) it took just over a month for me to get back to the gym, so I guess I’m healing at about the same rate as last time. The main difference, of course, is that it’s both of them.
I had been worried about my Málaga getaway last weekend, especially when on my first night there my right foot was in terrible pain. The next day was a bit better, though. And on Saturday I even went out on my friend Victor’s walking tour. Since then the pain level seems to have dropped a bit, with my right foot still hurting more than my left ankle. It’s still very tiring but it’s good to see and feel some improvement.
Anyhow, the gym was fine. I took down my biking level a notch (only going up two “hills” in 40 minutes instead of the usual four) and that didn’t seem to stress anything. I also got a chance to do some work with the hand-held weights and a couple of the upper-body machines. And it felt good to actually break a sweat and feel like I was getting some proper exercise. My gym was also kind enough to give me a free month so that I didn’t have to pay for the time I hadn’t been there.
Tonight I have a Sevilla Tapas Tour and I reckon I will no longer need Peter’s help with “tag team” tours anymore. But I really appreciate that he was there for me and could help out as much as he did. Onwards…