Apologies it’s been a while…
It’s been 10 weeks since the last chemo, which has flown by! Week by week I have improved and many kindly say “You are looking good”! Funny, but no one said that to me before I was ill, haha!!!! I have been very lucky in that I haven’t lost any hair from the chemo, so my appearance hasnt changed that much!
Now current treatment is over, I am focussing on my fitness and diet (well trying to anyway!) Ali has got me on daily Nutri-bullets, I am walking more and more each day, I have exercises from a personal trainer and have signed up to a weekly exercise class run by Macmillan. I will be fitter than pre-diagnosis! Having attended the Mesothelioma conference in May, I was connected to a programme in Manchester which helps cancer patients on recovery. It’s run by Macmillan in partnership with the Manchester basketball team “the Giants”!
I was apprehensive, as I didn’t know what to expect and its part of ‘our new world’ but I have really enjoyed it! One of my aims (subject to medical advice) is to do a 5k run later on this year! Watch this space… After my first session I was able to jog (albeit very short distances in a room), but it felt another hurdle was overcome. Even though it felt very strange (with my left side moving up and down – do they do sports bras for lungs???!!!), it was another step forward!
My symptoms now post chemo are fatigue & tiredness. It hits you when you least expect it, but it is improving. After 8 months of many many drugs it feels so good not having to take any (apart from hayfever medication) and to have a few weeks free of any hospital visits & repeating my date of birth!!! We’ve been able to start socialising with friends again and all be it return home early or sober it feels good. I’ve been able to cheer Josh on at football and take the kids to and from school and swimming lessons etc – again all be it very tiring – it’s just great to do normal family activities – it’s a cliche but never take these for granted!
The Easter ‘holidays’ were very tough, I was on chemo & we didn’t get to spend much time with our kids or have any ‘holiday’. This time during the school holidays, it was great. A colleague at work was very generous and lent us her static caravan for 2weeks in North Wales. It was just what the doctored ordered (even though poor Ali returned home for 3 days to work). Wonderful weather and on the beach everyday bar 2! This holiday consisted of the 3 B’s – Beach, BBQ, & the odd Beer! It’s great to have the taste back, even though I can only manage a few. I have more of a tan than when I go abroad for 2 weeks and I’m almost browner than Ali – another first!!!
During my hospital stay in Leicester last November, a nurse advised that I might not be able to swim again due to the imbalance/ buoyancy of having one lung. Well last week in Wales, I was happy, in a polite way, to prove him wrong & on my first attempt I was able to swim – another hurdle ticked off! Emotions hit us at weird times and I had tears in my eyes in the pool just being able to swim and play games with the kids. It felt fantastic! Ali had her tears on the beach behind sunglasses just enjoying ‘normal’ family life again and pure escapism.
So it’s now back to scan anxiety….CT scan tomorrow, with follow-up appointments on 28th June with Mr Waller (my surgeon) in Leicester & Dr Taylor (my oncologist) on 6th July. We really hope results show no sign of the tumour or at least it’s stable. I will keep you posted!!
We thank you all for your continued support, positivity & generosity. It really makes a huge difference and keeps us smiling.
Love & best wishes
Dave & Ali