A little update...

Hi everyone,

It's first day of Chemo Round 5 so that means steroids and that means being wide awake at bedtime. So I thought I may as well type a little update. All bloods were good today, enough white blood cells and everything else OK, so treatment went ahead. I'm having extra stuff to counteract the pins and needles so with that, and the other pre meds, there are plenty of bags to drip through even before the main event of the chemo drugs are started. It's calcium and magnesium to help with the neuropathy and it seemed to do the trick last time so hopefully it'll be effective this time too. Despite the extra meds, it was all done and dusted and I was back home in time for tea. I have an at-home wearable pump that now delivers more chemo drugs over 48 hours. Quite used to this now, and so far, haven't dropped it this time...

I get messages to say how good it is that I'm writing about the treatment and being open about what's happening. Can't really think of any other option! It would be quite weird to pretend it wasn't happening. I wish it wasn't, don't get me wrong. When I see my name on the treatment list, and my name on the drugs, it still hits me quite hard that it is really me that's the patient. But it is, so let's just be open about it. This is my new normal after all.

But I'll not go into all the gory details about the other side effects. Those of you who've gone through chemo will know their predictable unpredictability. It's a veritable pick 'n' mix. The tablets are good and seem to work. I'm not being brave, I'm taking what's on offer. My hair is suffering pretty badly. I can't dye it while on treatment, yes folks, I'm a natural mouse, not a natural blonde! and I'm horrified by how many grey hairs I have, surely that's just since the treatment? Ugh. This type of chemo won't make me go bald, but my hair is coming out by the handful. I thought I wouldn't be bothered, but I am a bit. It's also crispy and drier than a bale of hay. I think a drastic haircut might be on the cards.

My treatment bay was right next to the weigh-in scales today. Pretty much everyone else seems to be losing weight on their treatment and having visits from the nutritionists to advise them on what's best to help with appetite. Meanwhile, I'm still a ravenous beast. The nurses are delighted. I'm enjoying cooking again after losing all interest when I was so under the weather with the anaemia. This weekend it's been a curry feast with a particularly delish Bombay aloo with potatoes and tomatoes from the garden. It'll definitely be a regular addition to our repertoire. But yes, too much curry, too much pear tart (also homemade with homegrown pears), and the steroids has put pay to my cheekbones and added a few kilos on the scales. More walking is required!

But it's not all bad. I'm getting days where I feel perfectly ordinary. So I do go on a good march around the fields and woods. And I've been doing quite a lot of making. I'll photograph what I've been up to and blog again with all that. And of course I'm sewing stars. The nurses expect this quilt finished each time I go, so I have enlightened them that hand piecing 1" diamonds it quite a slow process! I've not even explained that it will then need quilting!!

Great news on the Ruby Star Quilt Project is that my good friends at Husqvarna Viking and Madeira are supporting me with donations of some wonderful products that I'll be able to offer as raffle prizes along with the quilt. Husqvarna Viking will be donating a sewing machine and Madeira a chest of threads. How exciting is that? I will tell you more about both when I have the details. So if the chance of winning the quilt wasn't enough to tempt you to buy a raffle ticket, hopefully the chance of a sewing machine and oodles of thread will be!

Back soon,

and don't forget, any weird symptoms, go to your doctor and pester them to have some tests. There was talk in the news of bowel screening programs being offered in the UK to anyone over 50. Do go if it's offered to you. Early detection is key to survival.

Love and light to you all.


  1. We are all cheering for you!!!! Positive attitude is a must and you have that! You are facing your challenge head on and doing a great job at it!!! Best of luck!!!!

  2. Many years ago now, my friend was facing her second C onslaught. ( this was over twenty years ago, and she has since had another , but that's another story). Between surgery and chemo there was a gap. So we had a mini break and took the kids to Deal in Kent. It was a lovely week. The children played on the beach, we ate crab ( which we had to break jnto with a hammer!) and Wet Wet Wet were everywhere on the radio. My friend wanted to go very blond, streaked blond too. 'Hilary, will you dye my hair. I want to be blond highlights.' " Well, err, yes I could but I'm no good at this sort of thing." "Oh, it won't matter. I'm having chemo and my hair will fall out anyway." " Oh, go on then!"

    I seem to recall wine was imbibed during that hair dyeing session and we had a laugh! And, well, it wasn't the best look! Less streaks of beautiful subtle blond, more piebald pony.

    And like you, my friend's hair did not fall out and she had to live with this unusual hair effect until it grew out! There may be a moral there somewhere but that's my chemo/hair story. Bonkers because of the circumstances, but I have a very fond memory of that week.

    All the very best. Hearts and kisses. Hilary

  3. Thank you, your courage gives me strength.

  4. You are so amazing. And yes to the yonger screening. Hubby has been doing it for several years but it should be a lot earlier than 60. If there was a good, around and very thorough medical that included all screening available to everyone the cost would probably be offset by the catching things early. And grey and natural is the new best colour anyway. 😄

  5. So glade you keep us update my dear friend. Love to hear from you. I said already so much to give you some strength and I am still thinking about you. But for a change I am tell you something about me, that will hoop fully help you thru the night. I am going to the USA in a month that why I wasn't in Birmingham this year. Miss I a lot but . I am going for tree weeks. First a few days NY, than Nashville, with the car to New Orlaens and from there with the car to Houston.Yes I will have The quilt festival in Houston. And that the reason I didn't go to Birmingham. Want to spend my money in Houston instead of Birmingham just for this year. Further I am sending one of my quilts of to SAQA in the category Forced to Flee. Hope it will be selected And I just finished my quilt for the contest for ore one National Patchwork happening here in Belgium. Theme was Log cabin. Because they still work very traditional. I did make a optical illusion with Log cabin Cubes in it. I hoop I do get some attentions. lol. So I hoop that I did get you started dreaming of journeys and quilt. If it isn't for this night maybe for an other one. Be strong you get there.
    I am off to the aqua gym, to get in form for my journey.
    Big hugs
    And lots of love fromBelgium.

  6. How refreshing to hear you talk about your treatment. It really must help others going through something similar but who perhaps don’t have a similar support group around them. You do look really well too, hope treatment continues to go well and I can’t wait to see a star with my name on 😀

  7. Thinking about you and wishing you strength, resilience and a continuing good appetite! Glad to hear you're still enjoying your food. Lots of love to you and keep writing!

  8. Sounds positive. Keep the faith!

  9. Never mind the hair and cheekbones... you are looking fabulous Laura!

  10. Big hugs and lots of prayers still Laura. When my sis-in-law's hair grew back, it came in very curly. But only for a while. Then started growing straight again.


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