No, I haven't got a dog yet!!!!! I have one more chemo to go and then after Easter and my baseline scan I will review what I am going to do with the rest of my life. At the moment I cannot imagine being able to go back to work as I cannot get my head around the idea that anything I do there matters! Mind you with two teenagers in the house you do start to wonder if anything you do at home matters either at times!!!!! Bless them.
Once the chemo has finished I am going to start looking properly for a dog. I haven't dared to go and look yet in case I fall in love! Like you Angie I live in a beautiful part of the country, South Cumbria just a few minutes drive from Windermere, and have had some fabulous walks over the fells. Blue sky, sunshine, snow topped hills and the lake like glass beneath...just missing the dog.....
All the snow drops are out everywhere and crocuses now as well. My tulips and daffs in my tubs and window boxes are not far behind - as sson as I have something decent to take a picture of I will change my profile photo for Spring flowers.
Keep walking and enjoy the sunshine whenever you can.
Hi all, hope you dont mind me posting on this thread. The dog & walking connection attracted me! Not the cancer for a change.... I have two westies, Mac & Dougal, they both look very similar to the one in the pic except both of mine only have one ear that sticks up! Hardly crufts material but then I wouldnt want them to be!
I too like long walks & live in a farily rural area halfway between Glasgow & Edinbrgh. Its only half an hour from the beach too so handy. Just back from a long weekend in highlands (Achiltibuie) - absolutely gorgeous, long, sunny days, endless white sandy baeches & beautiful mountain scenery. Doggy heaven.
And another good thing was that no one there knew i had cancer, was just treated 'normally'!!
Anyway, onto the caner... i am 42, was diagnosed in Nov 2009 with primary & secondary (sternum & pelvis) at same time. I had had virtually no symptoms until then & was the 'fittest' I had ever been in my life (go figure!!). Treatment is hormone (Zoladex & Tamoxifen) & bone strengtheners (Zometa). No chemo or radiotherapy as yet. Totally emapthise with what you guys are saying about taking things in chunks & not knowing what each day holds. I hate the fact that I can feel so well one day & so completeley floored the next (and I'm not even on chemo!). Stress still has a lot to do with it i think tho, its early days.
I too am trying to go back to work next week (went back too soon after diagnosis & went a bit loopy!!). I'm a nurse but they're going to let me do some non clinical stuff to ease my way into it. Its hard to know what to do - on the one hand I dont want to lose my working 'self' but on the other hand, I feel that if my time is limited (and it may not be, who knows????), why waste it working all the time? Anyhow, at the minute I simply cant afford to stop working so will go back next week & see how I go. The distraction may well be a good thing.
Louise - I dont know much about these things & I hope you dont mind me saying but if you are registered disabled (which i presume you are?) - you can make it very hard for a workplace to turn you down I would think. Thats certainly the case in Scotland - dont know here you live but it might be worth checking out the Disability laws. Your head legally cant turn you down just because you might need chemo in the future (altho I appreciate how hard it is getting teaching jobs thse days anyway).
Take care all, roll on spring...
Hope you don't mind me joining this thread, I can empathises with the ups and downs everyone is experencing. I'm not working at the moment and neither is hubby as he took a year sabatical after my secondary diagnosis last summer. We have had a great time since my chemo ended in October and are making the most of my good health now. However he will go back to work in July as I am clearly not dying just yet. I'd like to get a part time teaching job but don't know how a head will take me on with the very real possibility of needing more chemo in the future.
In terms of mood swings I can go days feeling great especailly now spring is here and then some small thing will bring me crashing down to 'reality' and the whole cancer thing. My councellor who I see through Macmillians says I should let myself have bad days to get it out of my system, cry, be angry etc and then the next day I feel much better and a long walk usually restores my mood. This way I save my bright happy side for my family. It works most of the time!
Certainly the sunshine helps - wasn't yesterday fantastic? I'd love a dog too much don't have room really. I've taken to walking my Dad's wheaten terrier who is a ball of fluf and doesn't object to big muddy walks and then I can send her back home and not have muddy pores at home!
Roll on Spring
Yes, I am much perkier this week. Went a bit mad ysterday and probably walked further than I should at this stage after chemo so I was very tired last night - but good tired from fresh air and sunshine - yes, sunshine at last, so much better than grey with rain!
I have a nice day planned, short walk then massage (provided by the complementary therapy team from my local hospice) then I am taking a friend out for lunch.
Yes, six month chunks sound good to me. I have my last chemo on 15th March (providing bloods are okay, if not it will be 22nd March) so I hope to be able to get back on my bike by Easter time. Hubby and I are planning a short break to get some sun /R & R in early May. We just can't decide where to go. Half the fun is in the planning so I shall just keep surfing until I find something that takes my fancy.
So, off to enjoy myself.
I know exactly how you feel and I think it's very typical as you go through chemo - and even more so when you're dealing with secondaries. I really felt like I could only deal with the chemo when I had it and I was very selfish and really only thought about myself because that was my way of dealing with things. Once chemo was out of the way I felt I could focus on other things and life in general. It took me quite a while to get over the effects of chemo so don't set yourself too many big goals at the end - just lovely little ones and plenty of treats! I carry on in 6 month chunks at the moment and hope to for some time. These are my in-between-scan ones and I make sure I enjoy them because none of us know what's round the corner. It's not as depressing as it sounds, honest, and I do have a great time. I'm lucky at the moment that my bone mets don't affect me so I'm continuing at work although I only do 3 days a week. I didn't think I'd want to work once I had my secondary dx but OH is at work all day, kids are at uni/college so I thought I'd keep on earning whilst I could so we can have a few more holidays and things. It is each to their own but for now it helps me and as I still work less days than I have off it is a good balance, giving me time to shop on the internet as well LOL BTW I hope you've got the 15% off code for Boden! Have you got many more chemo's to go? I seem to remember you've got one more - but maybe that's wishful thinking? At least there can't be many more and then you will feel much better without having to deal with the 'bad' days. Also I'm sure you will be your normal cheery self by the time you've read this as you come out of the chemo week so I hope you continue to pick up. Good luck with your appointment on Friday and make sure you get your questions answered.
Yes, feeling better since yesterday, I have managed to stay upright all day and again today!! I have been buy composing a long list of questions for my Onc for my appointment next week Friday and sent them in via my BCN so that she has time to think about them. AND ordering clothes that won't fit me from Next and Boden!
I am brighter and more positive again as I have been out walking and making plans for next week. The Ukelele Orchestra Concert on the 19th Feb was fabulous - a real laugh! If they are near you do do and see them, a great night out. We have just bopoked tickets to go and see Beth Neilson Chapman in Manchester next Sunday night as well. I feel tired at the thought of it at the moment but know that I will enjoy it by next week.
Sometimes the planning and organising is more hard work than the doing and I am just trying to keep up with having little things to aim for and look forward too otherwise I just feel like life is on hold while I am having my chemo and that drives me nuts!!!
Julie's advise re the bite size chunks is a great idea! I will try and adopt it. I think it will sit better with me than a 'day at a time'.
OOps hit the submit button before I meant to. Probably just as well you have probavly had enough of my ramblings.
Just to say try to keep smiling Sue. Hope you feel better soon
Love Julie xxx
Hi Sue & River
Sue I'm sorry you are feeling down today. I know exactly how you are feeling. I keep talking about going back to work full time once things have settled down but then sometimes I think who am I kidding I dont have the same energy and drive I had before all this c**P took over my life. And although I would like to think I am going to get it back I dont think I will ever be the same person I was. I havent worked since before christmas and actually I am enjoying it.
The pain doctor actually gave me what I thought was some really good advice he said to me that I need to live in chunks. he said right now I have to deal with chemo and I shouldnt think any further than that. after the chemo the next chunk will be recovery and getting energy back. and after that maybe I can go back to work or maybe I wont want to. I think he is right and that's what I am trying to do. live my life in bitesize pieces.
I think I said to you before I am not making any big decisions until I have to ands maybe you just need to put the work quuestion to one side for a bit
Just thought I'd let you know that somebody is here, even though I'm not Richard...
Yes, for me anyway, time is needed and during that time, just let things happen and don't beat yourself up about what you might or might not want in the future. Or, let that positive energy bubble up sometimes and go through the opportunities that you might want... for a lot of people, cancer can be life changing in a positive (oh I hate using that word too much) way
I haven't had chemo, so can't empathise totally, but I think the whole BC thing puts us all in these places at different times. I've had a horrible lonely week this week, but get back to more work next week so I'll have something to focus on and structure my week. Too much time on our hands isn't always good.
It's the weekend at least, which means our hubbies are around, (even if glued to the rugby on TV) and hopefully the world will feel better for you.
Sorry, I've rambled!
Hi all No, I haven't got a dog yet but I do have the okay to get one once I am over the chemo and on the up again. But I am just so mixed up with everything.
I have always been an optimist but I am also a realist. I don't suppose I am unusual to have all these confusing thoughts, I know the chemo will be causing most of it but.......I just cannot get used to the idea that my 'normal' life is over. Is it just time I need or what?
One day I think yes, I am going to carrying on working and try to keep things as normal as possible. The next day I am thinking why bother with working, should I stay at home, walk the dog (when I get him/her)and look after the house, bake etc. The children are at school most of the day, hubby has another two years to go before he can retire, I was going to carry on working until March 2011 when the funding for my current post ends and then decide what to do........it's all what if's??????
I am so used to being able to plan and organise things and now it's like stepping off a cliff each day and not knowing what is at the bottom waiting for me. It doesn't help that it is grey and pouring down here and has been all day! Hubby has day off but has had to go to visit his elderly parents with his brothers for a big pow wow re putting mother in law in a home as she has Alzheimers and father in law hardly fit to look after himself, never mind her. We are as a 3 hour round trip away from them. I really want Richard here with me but.......
Sorry to moan and whinge.....going for another lie down. I wil be better next week.
Honestly...? I wouldn't have a pug. I feel sorry for them. The one I know is so noisy with his breathing... and I don't think it's fair.
Hope I'm not offending anyone...
We are really missing our weekend lodger - my friend says Kira is attention seeking all the time hmmmmmmm - I wonder why?! LOL! She was completely spoilt here!
Ah Mel, for me that is the best bit - having to go out when you definately don't feel like it. My dog a spollie - spaniel x collie -saved me after the chemo, because I know I wouldn't have forced myself out if I didn't have to, and you do talk to people about trivial things, which is really good especially when you don't want to talk about cancer. ~They've got the ski-ing holiday Susie, you go get the dog - it's only fair.
can I just say that I have 2 dogs and yes I love them to bits and would not be with out them but they are a tie. when you are tired and in pain and all you want to do is go to bed and sleep, they look at you with their big eyes begging you to take them out
but i love them
I am trying to resist the temptation to ring up and go and meet 'Barney' at the Animal Rescue place. My hubby would have a fit if he came back from holiday and I had adopted a dog! I am really going to have to wait.
It's so hard as I have just got back from a long wait at hospital today only to be told that I couldn't have my chemo as my bloods are too low, red & white! So, I am having another week to recover.
I have made a big pan of veg soup and am having steak, broccoli and a can of Makeson for my dinner!!!! Do you think that might help!
My hubby and kids have had a wonderful day skiing in brilliant sunshine in the Alps and it has been grey, foggy and wet here all day!!!!!!!! So much for Spring!!!!!
Do chocolates help to increase blood cells??????
Oh I want a dog now!!! Jenny, so happy to hear about Bonnie -- know how much you'll have missed Mr DB.
Bonnie will be lovely. Think of all the fun and training and curling up on the sofa - will you let her up?
We live in a 1st floor apartment and I'm aware of Kira feeling a bit cabin feverish this weekend. She's used to having a black lab for older brother company, and having a big garden to chase squirrels and wonder where the foxes went.
Having her has proved to me that we can't have a dog of our own here. We are out a lot - I work part time - and I'd want a back door and garden.
But I'll dog sit any time!!
We seriously thought about getting a Labradoodle recently (our last dog looked just like one but was far more Heinz 57). Instead we have ended up with a Springer spaniel pup (called Bonnie, because she is...). She has just finished her jabs and so this weekend we have taken her out for the first time. It is great to have a dog to walk again. I am so glad she is able to go out now as both she and I were suffering cabin fever and now we have an outside chance of wearing her out a bit, life - and the house - can get back to something like normal.
Update on our weekend with Kira, the Cockerpoo. She is just sooooooo gorgeous. She turns heads in the park. I never though my hubs would tolerate a dog on the furniture but even he can't resist a cuddle with her! Only downside is she loves muddy puddles and it takes so long for her feet to dry off... She needs a lot of grooming - the fur gets very matted. But if you stay on top of it, it's not a problem.
It's been lovely talking to people as we walk around - a dog is a passport to friendly chat, esp here in London. We met 2 mini Shnauzers (sp?) on our circuit - they're gorgeous too.
Carol - I'm really envious!
River x (and Kira, sitting right by me!)
Have just come back from walking my 2 elderly dogs along the beach. No fells here! My 2 are a springer spaniel and a retriever, and their company is wonderful, there isn't a day when they don't make me laugh. Just what I need. We were in the lakes in october with the dogs. Wonderful but the fells were a bit too much for me and Daisy, the retriever, so we stuck to low level walks this time!
Hi Carol & Finty
Don't you think he should be called a Cockerdoodle! He sounds great and good luck with the walking. I have just been for a walk up to a friends house, we were going to do a proper walk but it started to rain so just did coffee instead. If I had a dog I would have gone and had the proper walk!
Just looked in the paper and Animal Concern have a Bearded collie X that needs a new home hmmmmmm wonder what the hubby would say if there was someone else moved in with me whilst he was away skiing!!!!!
Might have to make a phone call!!!!!!
Defo, a cockerpoo, I picked up my puppy yesterday, he is a delight and cant imagine life without him already, he is chocolate brown and is called Ozzy and is 8 weeks old
my treatment is all finnished and its so lovely having something to look forward to again and the great seeing my boys excited again
he should also help me lose some weight that I put on with all the walking ill be doing with him
Susie - me too about he skiing - mine left this morning - it is heartbreaking. But that's why you need a dog!
Bearded collies are great dogs - but do be prepared for LOTS of grooming. One of mine is a wheaten terrier - often mistaken for a beardie - with similar grooming issues. It is quite big commitment. Good luck though - I would be lost without my dogs. Have kicked my husband into the spare room for much of chemo, as don't sleep well - and have the dogs on the bed instead instead.
Thanks for the endorsement re the chocs. The shop I get them from is in a tiny village in the middle of the Lake District here in Cumbria. They have a website and you can fill your own box of chocs on line - Kennedys in Orton - truly divine chocs.
I ate quite a few last night as all the partying I had planned hasn't made up for missing my family dreadfully. They have gone to the Alps for the half term break and are skiing as I type - I should be there too but chemo for me tomorrow. I very bravely sent them off.....the hardest thing of all about this disease is coming to terms with the fact that they will be doing lots of things in the future without me...I am so sad at times it hurts!
Off for a walk up the fell now to get rid of these maudlin thoughts!
I have seen a Labradoodle (Labrador & Poodle Cross) that was gorgeous and a Cockerpoo sounds wonderful especially as our best friends keep hens and they have a Cockerel called Shubert! He is massive!! They have a Bearded collie who is getting on a bit and so they will have a share of the one we get, you know, when we go on holiday and stuff. I will look out for cross breeds, they are often more fun than full pedigree dogs.
On the dog thing - we're looking after my friend's Cockerpoo (cocker spaniel/poodle cross)for the weekend. She's gorgeous and so lovely to have around. Oh how I want a dog of my own! It's a brilliant idea - they are such a diversion and a tonic and so lovable.
Have a great fun weekend
PS your fundraising sounds impressive - good luck with the summer party
I don't want to be facetious but I saw some research results yesterday on German teletext that said dark chocolate and red wine can work against cancer! So fill your boots with the chocolate (obviously the wine only works within reason!)
The nights are getting lighter and the mornings.
The birds are singing.
Even though I am feeling a bit 'wild' from the chemo (I can't bear to say tired) I feel that things are on the up.
TWO more chemo's to go and trying to do something every day on my good days weeks in between. Trips to the 'Chocolate Factory' for lunch and selcting my own favourite centre chocolates - cinema yesterday for an ogle at George Clooney - out tonight for an Italian, tomorrow for a Chinese and an Indian on Sunday - pefect build up to chemo on Monday AND I am going to have a gin and tonic and some wine!!!!!!
I should know this week about whether or not I can get the use of a large marquee to hold my charity paty in the Summer - raising funds for my local Hospice. I can't wait to get it organised, that will keep me out of mischief AND
I haven't told my husband yet but I am going to get a dog! Yes, I have decided that is what I need at the end of my chemo, as well as the new car, holiday and new wardrobe.......maybe..... But defintiely the dog! Does anyone know any breeders of Bearded Collies, preferably the working ones?
Off to try and glam myself up!! Have a great weekend everyone I will raise my glass to you all.
Love Sue xx