Well the good news is, the head honcho of the trial and my oncology consultant, doesn't believe the trial is the problem. If it was, I would also be suffering with similar symptoms in my hands. I'm pleased to say I'm not, I think I would find that quite distressing. I can ignore toes, but fingers? Nah, I don't think so.
So, what is it?
Well, regular twitter and Facebook friends and readers of the blog, do you remember the saga of #BrokenBum? You know, the one I whinged about for months to anyone who would listen (and plenty who didn't!) The one I visited my GP about several times and would told it would just get better? Well, it did actually get better, after 15 months, so they were right on that score (although it pains me to say it) However, it might also be the cause of the numbness. As it healed, resulting scar tissue may be pressing on nerves which run through the coccyx, making the tootsies feel like pin wielding fairies having a field day.
Simples! And I may not have been a hypochondriac after all!
And even better, he's prepared to investigate why, so I'm now waiting for an MRI scan. When asked if I had any metal anywhere I replied with "no, and no homemade prison tattoos either". He laughed, so must be a House fan. Either that or he was just being polite........
Either way, I'm to start back on the drug next week, so happy days. Now all I've got to do it find a way to keep the fairies at bay........
I've enjoyed every little bit, learnt a lot about myself and other people (maybe too much about some, you know who you are......!)
In all that time I've
- Had just 7 managers, which I think is a record (so few!)
- Two office location moves (Exeter and Plymouth)
- 15 desk moves (yes I counted them!)
- 11 episodes of sick leave
- Became an MBTi Practioner
- And a first aider!
- Have three different site passes
- Took my CTP
- Learnt to use Excel and now love a fabulous spreadsheet
- Made hundreds of friends (maybe one or two enemies but we'll brush over that one......)
- Worked in four different divisions
- Carried out too many induction courses to remember
- Managed two teams
- Grown into a better person
- Had the honour of being a Divisional Voice Representative
- Loved Tap
- Hated Oracle
- Have 736 saved contacts in Outlook
- Had perms, long hairstyles, short hairstyles and lost it altogether (but its growing back now)
- Visited 21 different sites
- Am in heaven writing a process
So its on to pastures new and to find a new roller coaster ride. Job hunting will start in earnest in February (keep your eyes open for the LinkedIn requests!) Am taking some time out to just get plain bored before then.
I would love for you to leave me a comment below, something I can remember you by, to look back on and match up with the memories.
And on that note, I'm leaving you with a process, one I live by, which is why I've been here for as long as I have.
Anyone remember the Business Dreams initiative? Should I take this memento with me or leave it for later generations to admire and wonder?
Fabulous words to hear at my appointment today! Great news, I'm very happy. It even helped when I went to Slimming World weigh in and I'd put on five pounds. Just didn't care, didn't give a flying f*ck. The good news today was, I've had the all clear. Again.
It's not without some reservations.
I'm part of the Sorce Drug Trial (click link for details. In my eyes it's a wonder drug!) which means I get regular check ups and looked after really, really well. I've actually been told to stop taking the drug for a couple of weeks, due to concerns with magnesium and potassium levels (aren't they the two elements which in Chemistry lessons we'd set fire to with glee and bright flames??? No idea what they're needed for in the human body, hope I won't be going up in flames anytime soon....)
But also because of damage in my feet. My toes and balls of my feet are numb, they don't feel like they belong to me. And you'd think being numb, you'd feel no pain and be able to wear those killer heels with no problems. Wrong! Heels are killers, but not in a good way.
And although numb, they hurt as well. It's hard to explain, but imagine the start of pins and needles, combined with frozen toes. And remember how it felt to come inside from throwing snow balls and your hands start to thaw out? They smart a bit as they warm through. It's that. But add onto that breathe taking cramps. You know the ones, which make you sound like a plumber giving you a quote "Shffffff, that's going to cost you ....' All of that on bits of your body which don't feel like they belong to you when touched to actually check they aren't on fire, frozen in ice and/or with tiny fairies sticking pins in them.
Did I mention a 'favourite' time for this is 4 in the morning? You getting the picture?
Well, that's my tootsies. Most of the time.
Regularly I walk out of my shoes without realising it. Not so bad in the middle of the hallway. Not recommended in the middle of the High Street. And it's very annoying climbing into the shower still wearing the socks I couldn't feel! Not a great look
Also had to explain to my Danish Doctor what ' No shit Sherlock' meant when he said I may have some damage, which caused a few giggles.
Back in two weeks, more blood tests and decisions as to wether the damage is permanent or not and if I can carry on with the drug.
However, that's ok. I got the all clear and that's what matters.
It's not just the words though
Some don't know what to say or do, prefer to delay or sidestep the encounter altogether.
Others it's all about avoiding direct eye contact, a quick wave maybe, an embarrassed 'see you and good luck', not knowing what to say, eyes downcast and dark.
The next person it's a jaunty slap on the back, 'keep in touch', all smiles and show followed by a quick turn and moving onto the next conversation, brushing off the encounter.
Or the heartfelt, tender touch on the arm or back of the hand, warmth in the eyes, concerned words full of 'Are you ok's', 'We'll miss you'
And then there's the huge hug, full of meaning, arms enveloped around each other, holding, saying it all. The depth of emotion felt, experiences, soft murmurings in your ear, whispered advice, we'll always have this connection, memories, shared experiences.
People do goodbyes differently, they mean different things to different people, but whichever way they're done, they're needed. They offer closure, a small ceremony to acknowledge what has taken place, an ending to enable the move onwards.
I've had lot of goodbyes over the last week and they've all hurt in their own way but I'm ready to move on.
Thank you to everyone who allowed me the privilege of saying goodbye, no matter how it was done.
This week's menu, and linking up with Mrs M's Meal Planning Monday, was driven very much by 'what've I not used up in the fridge?'
Chickpea rice and vegetables (Syn Free)
Bolognaise sauce with pasta (Syn Free)
Egg Salad (Syn Free)
Gnocchi & spicy sauce (1.5 syns for the gnocchi)
Potato curry and rice (Syn Free)
Grilled chicken with mushroom and tomatoes (Syn Free)
Homemade burger, slimming world chips and mango salsa (6 syns for the wholemeal roll)
Had loads of potatoes, tomatoes and peppers nearly on the turn, so they helped with the curry and the bolognaise.
Wish me luck with weigh in next week and if you've any low syn goodies I can enjoy to keep me on the straight and narrow, please let me know!
For other meal plans, click the meal planning image at the top of the post
My meal plans have been written down, but not posted recently as I've been all over the shop, at sixes and seven's, and just not gotten around to publishing.
Here is this week's
Tomato burgers & vegetable rice
Cauliflower and broccoli cheesy bake
Burger and sweet potato wedges
Chickpea rice & veg
Potato salad, chicken & salad
All syn free, which is a good job, the weight is still creeping up. Feet are swollen too, seeing my GP next week so will see if this is usual and try not to worry until then.
In the meantime for more meal plans, take a look at At Home With Mrs M
It's been far to long since I last linked up with Michelle from Mummy From The Heart and her wonderfully inspiring Reasons to be Cheerful. I couldn't have gotten through the last couple of years without a positive outlook and silver lining thinking. Reflecting on the past week is a great exercise in keeping sunny and powerful.
I haven't stopped keeping topped up with positivity, just the recording of it. For some reason I felt compelled this week, and I usually go with my gut ( keep the comments about the size to yourself, those of you at the back!)
The weather has lifted everyone's mood I think. My internal temperature control is way off at the moment (its the drugs is my usual lament) Normally I'd be a sweaty Betty (not pretty) but as I'm usually cold, the heatwave is making me just right. I still can't go out in it, still too high risk for skin cancer from the drugs, however it makes me want to start walking again.
Had a fabulous couple of weeks at work, a simply brilliant work conference which has inspired and lifted me. I'm full of ideas to implement and make some changes. It's wonderful to spend time with like minded people and make connections.
I've been told I know everyone, it's not true by the way, however I was surprised by how many familiar faces were there. Plus plenty of new friends to make. All helped by the fact it was held at Alton Towers!
I indulged in my love of exciting rides with wild abandon, forgetting the fact I'm a middle aged woman, getting over cancer! There's life in the old dog yet.
I was also proud of myself on Monday, when it became evident I'd made a big mistake a work. The old me, would have beaten myself up, made myself feel terrible for the rest of the day. However, I sucked it up, and gave myself a talking to. I literally said, forget about it and move on, don't let it ruin anything else. And went on to have a productive, fruitful day and was happy and chipper once home (which certainly pleased MrC who does get the brunt in bad days. But then I think that's in the job description, you're there for your partner no matter what)
And the real reason, the heart of the cheerfullness? It's plainly obvious I'm on the placebo. My drugs trial was designed with three groups, group one which are on the placebo for three years, group two on the drug for three years and group three on the drug for a year and placebo for two.
I'm guessing I'm group three ( I won't know for definite for eight years when the study concludes, but to me it's obvious)
My hair is growing back, my feet are less sore and the feeling of fatigue is lessening. It all means I feel better. There's a part of me, a little bit sat in the corner worried that I won't have the same cover of the cancer coming back now I'm not taking it. But. And it's a big but. I CAN'T CHANGE THAT. So I can't let that dominate.
What will be, will be and the meantime enjoy the good times.
I'm so very late with this post and linking up with At Home With Mrs M (click the badge to see other meal plans) and was feeling guilty. Until I spotted Mrs M herself had only just posted. Guilt melted away and I was determined to get this written.
I was very Virgo last weekend and sorted through the freezer to figure out exactly what was in there. It's full, but of what? No idea. I created a old fashioned paper list a couple of months ago, thinking I'd add and cross stuff out as I used and restocked. Never happened, I lost the list.
So this time, it's saved to notes on my phone. Now if I can just work out how to sync it to my iPad and I'll be sorted!
It's a fairly long list, we're not going to starve so this week's menu is planned around the freezer contents
- Stuffed baked potato with homemade coleslaw and salad
- Pasta with sauce ( sauce is really just the soup below )
- Homemade butternut squash soup and bread rolls
- Sausage meatballs, vegetable rice with tomato sauce
- Cauliflower and broccoli cheesy bake with salad
- Homemade burgers with potato wedges
- Bacon stuffed pitta
All low in syns, mostly from the freezer, which has meant my food bill was just £38. I say food bill. Had to make it upto the minimum for free delivery, so there was a lot of cleaning products, fish stocks,three types of soy sauce and a pair of tweezers (chemo is wearing off so I've eyebrows again!)
Over to you, what's on your menu this week?
I posted this on Twitter earlier
" There are a lot of films I can watch more than once. Thor isn't one of them "
Some people agreed, although it was suggested 'I could mute it and watch the pretty man' ( thanks @Jooleroo :) )
I love watching films, I love TV. I love watching my favourites again and again. But there are just some things which don't really warrant a second showing. Although they were great the first time round, some are just downright disappointing.
A favourite is comforting, you know what you're going to get; excellent acting may inspire, make you chuckle, or just an enjoyable way to spend a couple of pleasant hours relaxing. And a great film just gets better the more it's watched. From anticipation of the killer one liner to quirky characterisation, spectacular scenery or just being downright entertaining, here are a list of my 'can be seen more than once' films
- The Matrix, one and two (but not three)
- Dirty Dancing!
- Time Traveller's Wife
- Casino Royale and Skyfall ( not so much Quantum of Solace)
- The Piano
- Schindlers List
- Kramer Versus Kramer
- Any of the Transformers films
- Any Star Trek film
- Wizard of Oz
- All of the Indianna Jones films
- Forest Gump
- War Horse
- It's A Wonderful Life
- Any of the X-Men series
- The Postman
It's not a complete list, but it's a start.
So what makes a film 'a one to watch again' and what'd be on your list? Post a comment and let me know!
Homemade burger and chips
Meal Planning this week was delayed until I went to weigh in. Was touch and go whether I stayed in group or not, I've just not been feeling it. Got a few things on my plate at the moment and a terrible comforting eating habit which I can't see improving. However once I'd got over the bad news (a massive 5.5lbs on!! A record even for me) staying to group gave me lots of inspiration for my menu. Thank you everyone for all the ideas
Mushy pea curry with rice (syn free)
Bachelor rice quiche chips (syn free)
Vegetable stew(syn free)
Vegetable stew & cobblers (8 syns)
Baked potato beans, cheese triangles (syn free)
Smash Pizza (syn free)
Mushy pea curry and Smash pizza are new recipes for me so wish me luck!
I'm going for a roast at my parents this week, so will take my own roast potatoes and will just have to be careful out for lunch at Wagamama's. Will need plenty of willpower and no dramas this week but will give it my best shot.
There's very little chocolate in the house, plenty of yogurt fruit and sugar free jelly so fingers crossed it'll be a better week
I'm linking with Mrs M, so check out the other menus on the links.
The trial is a double blind study, so the hospital team don't know either until end of the three years or if I get cancer again. If I should become ill my status is checked & I'm offered the drug if I was in the placebo group.
There are three groups, placebo for three years, drug for three years or drug for one year placebo for two. I'm trying to work out my scenario.
Think it's safe to say I'm not taking sugar tablets.
The human mind is an amazing thing and can manifest itself in numerous aches & pains. I know I've developed dreadful headaches & sicknesses when I've had exams for example. I remember feeling poorly before having the contraceptive cap fitted. The thought of lots of internal exams freaked me out. I felt I was coming down with the flu, aches, pain, headace, hot and cold, shivering, but forced myself to go and dragged my aching body to the appointment. Miraculous recovery when the appointment was over and it wasn't as bad as I thought. I practically skipped out of the room. Think that was the first time I realised I was making myself ill.
I'm not sure though my body is clever enough to cause widespread hair-loss on the body with dramatic thinning, bald spots & colour change on my head!
Been bald since September and I'm rather used to rocking a scarf, plastering on the eye make-up, walking with attitude and meeting eye contact with a 'pretend' confident smile. But I've mixed feelings about changing onto the placebo. I'll know pretty soon if I am. Hair will grow back and I'm obsessively checking.
On the one hand I'll feel so much better when I've got my energy back, feet hurt less, I can find out if the nerve damage in my toes is permanent or not, no more grumbly tummies and rushes to the toilet. I can be more me without the crushing fatigue & low spots.
But can't help feeling the lifeline of Sorenfib could be being pulled away, knowing the drug helps lessen the reoccurrence rate.
Suppose though, I can't change the outcome. I'm either on it for another two years or I'm not.
But wonder if I've got the balls to have a purple skinhead if it does start to grow.
I was due to get my one year all clear last week (notice the positive language there?) but the conversation didn't go as planned.
I get checked every three months because I'm on a drugs trial called Sorce, and the doctor usually says, 'scans have gone to be checked, but looked OK to me.' This time I got just a 'they've gone to be checked'. I asked questions as she had viewed them, but the same answer and nothing else forthcoming. Add to that I've low phosphorous levels, which need rechecking and alarm bells were ringing in my head.
The plan's for me to take supplements, then another blood test, to rule out (or confirm) the problem lay with my diet. Now, I may not be one of the slimmest of specimens, and eat more chocolate than I should (it is a bean, so one of my five a day surely?) but I do have a varied and mainly healthy diet, thanks to Slimming World. I don't feel my diet is lacking in any nutrients (it's found in chicken AND bacon for goodness sake!) so I suspect something a little harder to fix.
Plus a little bit of googling later, my suspicions are confirmed. I'm not alcoholic (last drink was probably Christmas) and my seemingly life long membership to Slimming World was testament to not being anorexic (although MrC did say I could be a not very good at it anorexic. That was his attempt at humour, because let's face it, we both had something more serious in mind)
So no scan results + suspect blood results = worried me and MrC
And that feeling drags you down. You can't do anything about it but wait and see, be positive, think on the bright side and all the other cliches. For me each day was me trying to be Piglet when inside I was Eeyore.
You hope for the best, but are really planning for the worse. Would it be more surgery, recuperation, time off work, stress, financial constraints, you name it, it ran through my head. And there was nothing I could do other than take the supplements and carry on.
However, a week later than planned, I've gotten the call I wanted. The all clear. Didn't hear much else of the conversation. The low phosphorous is still an issue, one to be resolved, but taking the scan out of the equation, means its a nothing, a blip, something I can deal with.
I'm all clear and have been now for a year. That's the important bit, the rest is inconsequential and will be dealt with as and when.
I'm all clear
A brilliant word, one to cherish, savour and enjoy.
And to celebrate I'm republishing my celebratory picture from last year, my happy picture.
I'm linking up with Michelle at Mummy from the Heart, check out other Reasons to be Cheerful
(Verb) the feeling of trepidation or anxiety preceding either attending a scan appointment and/or follow up result consultation
Sometimes it's also accompanied by 'a feeling of vagueness', 'mind wandering' into 'what if's and maybe's', 'sweaty palms' , 'sleeplessness' and 'jelly belly visiting toilet multiple times itus'
Sound familiar? I've got it, well and truly.
If you've ever had to go for tests and then waited for the results, you'll know exactly what what I'm talking about. And if you've battled cancer, it's all too familiar. Every consultation, every blood test, every x-ray or scan, you're hoping for the best news, but secretly preparing for bad.
I get my results on Wednesday, one year down on the drug trial, (2 more to go) one year all clear, I'm sure (I hope)
But until then, if you should see me walking briskly in the direction of the lavatory, please excuse my rudeness.......and get out of the way!
Chicken breast, bacon, broccoli and barbecue sauce (2 syns)
Jamie Oliver pasta (2 syns)
Chickpea rice and chicken (syn free)
Wedges, quorn sausages, beans (syn free)
Slow cooked beef, roast potato and vegetables (syn free)
Something quick and easy, maybe a fridge frittata
I've become a bit obsessed with using dried beans, but they go with nearly everything! I've discovered so far, if you'd use minced beef, you can substitute a mix of beans and it still tastes fab! It means I'm eating less red meat, less fat and increasing my fibre. The only thing it doesn't work with is a homemade beef burger, but then the clue is in the name.
I've felt reasonable well this week, plus I made sure to have yogurt after my main meal, which seemed to stop sugar cravings in the evenings, which will have helped with a 4lb loss.
Cue .........** little happy dance **
I'd like to say, long may it continue, however if it doesn't, can you guys remind me to not beat myself up? It's more important to be happy and eat well most of the time, than unhappy and upset with myself when I don't.
Don't forget, I'd still like to know what you've been getting upto, and have planned.
(Check out the other plans over at Mrs M's!!)
Bit late writing and linking up with Mrs M, but was having a bit of a melt down today following weigh-in. After a guilt free Chinese taking away, I'm back up and running and ready to go.
This weeks menu
Slimming world beef hash
Baked potato beans and cheese
Mixed bean casserole
Roast chicken and the trimmings
So lets see if I can reverse the trend and post a loss next week!
Ps. I've just ordered takeaway!
How's it going? So you are in the doldrums. It's probably a little bit weather related what with the UK appearing to still be in winter and all. You'll be hankering for some nice Spring weather with lighter evenings and warmer days. I reckon that might buck you up a bit, a least in part. Have you tried staring into 100 watt light bulb while humming the theme tune to Happy Days? No? Then I am all out of ideas. No wait, here's another one. Have you tried going to your nearest play ground,selecting a suitable swing and having a go? Just one swing for the swing averse adult creates nausea but if you stick with it at the very least when you put your feet down to stop swinging you can pretend you are Superman coming in for landing. Sam forces me to go on the swings all the time and I often make excuses like I'm an adult or I'm five times his weight and I'll break it but eventually or there's half a pint of dew on the equipment but I always wipe it clean and have a go and enjoy it. Once the nausea has stopped. Do it! Do it and blog about it! "My time on a swing" I double dare you.
Strangely enough I'm kind of wanting Autumn to get started properly here. After waiting for ages for last winter to finish (when we had no hot water for six weeks too) we had a glorious Summer of dust sucking drought but it's got to the point where it's time to move on. Maybe that's human nature. I've got the wood pile finished, I've got the blankets all stacked away for the beds. I'm prepared to be stripped to the waist shoveling wood into the fire like a stoker on the Titanic, sweating bullets, as it steams it's way to it's own inevitable watery grave. So I'm a little bit looking forward to roaring winter fires and hearing the rain lashing on the windows again. Six months time I'll be all like "Where's Spring?" but right now, I'll take a bit of cold weather.
This week I handed over all the money we made from selling Girl Guide biscuits. As Eva is in the Pippins we're now required to help raise funds via the annual Girl Guide biscuit selling business. You're allowed to choose how many boxes you want to sell (they're stacked up in Guide Hall like the warehouse scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark, I am amazed the forklift trucks fitted through the door) and luckily I plumped for just about the right amount to make it look liked we'd made an effort but not so much that we thought we wanted to found a biscuit empire to rival McVities. We had one box of chocolate biscuits, one box of mini-chocolate biscuits and one box of plain biscuits to sell. That may not sound much but there's anything from about fourteen to eighteen packs per box and the total cost to buy all of them was a hundred and seventy two dollars and fifty cents. That's a lot of money and just a bit too much for us to just purchase all of them in one go and do zero work (which was obviously the first choice because who wants to sell biscuits to strangers). In the end we sold most of them to Juliette's family and only had to buy about half our stock ourselves. I need to convince who ever runs this funding run that they need to change stock to perhaps selling stuff that people need and not just think as a luxury item. MIlk perhaps. Everyone buys milk. I'd buy Girl Guide milk if it meant raising some cash. Or beer. Can you imagine that. Yes, I bought seventeen Girl Guide crates of beers. It's for a good cause and party on! I don't know if the Pippins give badges for number of biscuits sold but I reckon I should get one for packets of biscuits eaten. I should be biscuit arkala or something with the number of Guide Biscuits I've put away this last month. I bought some petrol last week and a mum and her girl had set up stall next to the pay in desk. They were like "Would you like to buy some Girl Guide biscuits?" and I was like laughing in their faces like Arkle the Racehorse.
This week an e-mail has come in to the SCA asking if we'd like to take part in an opening ceremony type thing for a National Archery Competition. Apparently they have Kyoto archery and Mongolian Horse Archery booked so if we stumped up to do a show we'd have to up our game by oooooh, about a thousand percent. Last public show I did was in 2008 under the Major Oak in Sherwood Forest. It was a Robin Hood themed show because apparently that goes down best with the tourists in the area for some puzzling reason. There was one bit where the bloke playing Robin Hood dropped the chest full of "tax money" and it fell open to reveal all the coins rattling around in there were modern 1p and 2p pieces. As they'd spilled our Robin ad libed and grabbed two handful of coins and threw them into the crowd while shouting "Here's some money poor people!". I wouldn't see that many Japanese people clutching their heads again until the earthquake/tsunami of 2011.
So, waiting for the cold weather I'm basically living the tag line of Game of Thrones. Brilliant.
Love Mark xxx
This started as a Barbecue style bean stew, using diet coke, but didn't work out for me; ended up as a tasty bean stew instead! Sorry if you don't do 'a bit of this' or a 'handful of that' type of cooking, but I didn't weigh of measure anything.
A selection of beans, already soaked, and cooked as per the packet instructions
I used a couple of good handfuls of the following
Large roughly chopped onion
Couple of peppers - I had green and yellow
Stock, about 400ml or a can of diet coke
Half carton of passata
Couple cloves of chopped garlic
Balsamic vinegar - couple of good glugs
Salt and pepper
- Gently soften the onion for a couple of minutes, using either fry light or water
- Add the roughly chopped peppers and stir for another couple of minutes.
- Add in all the other ingredients, stir, bring to a simmer and cook for 1-2 hours to reduce down to a thick sauce. Stir every 20 minutes or so to stop sticking
- Check the seasoning and serve!
I had it the first day in a big bowl with lots of black pepper. Leftovers went a bit further when I added the rest of the passata, reheated and served with brown rice (and more pepper, chemo has dampened my taste buds a fair bit!)
I think for Extra Easy the ingredients make it Syn Free. You can spice it up and make a chilli or curry and imagine it would be nice with some lemon running through it too. How about stuffing it in beef tomato's or peppers? Lovely!
Let me know if you give it a go, I'd be interested in knowing what you think.