Three days post

It’s three days post my third session and it seems to be ok (I don’t want to speak too soon), I just about swerved the constipation part of it (with a little help from lactulose) and I also have the sickness under control. The pain killers I mentioned two blogs ago seem to be working or I’m not experiencing any aches and pains this time around. However, it is only day three and like I said I don’t want to speak too soon. 

Saturday (day of chemo) was awful, although, Darren keeps telling me I did so well, towards the end I was a mess. My eyes virtually close, I start crying (for no reason at all) and I just feel so sick like a bad hangover. Like always, as soon as I can go home I leg it out the door and race home to bed. I have noticed my hair is falling out lots too… The wig will most definetely be making an appearance soon – very excited about that Adele @ So Glam (Epping). 
As for my appetite its been absolutely fine, infact I eat a lot more than before. Last week the cravings were stewed chicken rice and peas (thanks to Juniors mum I have managed to have lots of that – thank you) then it was a bacon roll and Saturday it was wedges, although I didn’t get my hands on any!! Even though it’s important to eat healthy I have adopted the attitude that food is food, I have lost quite a bit of weight, so  when I’m well I like to put the calories back in. 

Not being able to go to the gym and train how I use to makes me sad. I try to do light exercise of my own, but I’m so careful that I worry myself – one day I will have abs again and maybe biceps too haha. 

I don’t like to make my whole blog a list of the things I’m doing day to day because that’s boring, but I do like to list a few things that I have done that I haven’t been able to do lately as an example of progress. 2am this morning I was awake for an hour or so, apparently, chemo can give a little insomnia. Today, I woke up with the rest of the working class in the house, had jam on toast with a cup of tea and  I swollowed my pain killers and anti-sickness tablets. I then decided to change the sheets on the bed, hygiene during chemo is vitally important. Even though it took me longer than usual, I did it! Those who know me pretty well will know how much I hate strands of hair that have fallen on to the floor or anywhere infact, so I took my time with hoovering my bedroom floor. I dusted and wiped all the surfaces down and now I’m laying on my bed sharing this story with you all. Generally speaking I’m happy, of course I wished I didn’t have this and I was well again, but I’m not. I do have my down moment and when I do they are bad, yet I don’t waste too much time being sad. 

To wrap this up i’d like to thank everyone that continues to support me on this journey, it means a lot. Hope you all have a good day and remember… 

“It never rains forever”


Do what you love 

Happy Friday…Today I wanted to blog about my thoughts and feelings, actually, all of my blogs are my thoughts and feelings, so maybe more topic specific. 

This morning I went to the hospital to have my bloods taken to see if my neutrophils have increased, if they have ill be having my chemo treatment tomorrow (waiting on results). I planned to train today, wait, when I mean train I do not mean lifting heavy weights and grunting to helping me along haha. I trained with my Friend Francesca who happens to be a very qualified personal trainer, we together discussed how we would alter the training to suit my current physical state. 

The session was more mobility focused and ultimately to make me feel good doing something I absolutely love! My mum in particular and a few others worry when I say “I’m going to train” which is totally understandable. I like it when people are concerned because it means they care, but I don’t want people to worry. I think it’s very important to remember, although I am unwel and my body is under a lot of strain, it is also important to do things you love with, of course, a lot of thought and planning to ensure safe practise.

So, today’s sessions Francesca included upper body exercises (as my back is aching a little) with either light weights or no weights at all. It was also very slow and sustained to keep my heart rate low. One thing I would like to point out, if you suffer from lumber (lower) back pain then it’s very important to have core stability in order to protect and support the back… Today I most definitely activated my abdominals without doing 1000 sit ups haha. 

Tomorrow, I may possibly be back in hospital and laid up for another week. I have just had an nice chicken lunch and now I’m chilling in the garden with a bottle of the hard stuff (water that is). I’m in a much better mental state than I was yesterday which could most definitely be because of the light session today.. So here’s to the bank holiday weekend..enjoy! 

It never goes to plan 

Currently I have a terrible ache in my lower back which keeps making me jump haha. I have taken some painkillers (new ones that the consultant gave me yesterday) fingers crossed they work. 

Yesterday I had a busy day of medicine planned. Like planned myself and Darren left home at 07:45 and arrived at the hospital for 08:45, we grabbed a bacon roll and a cup of tea. I saw my consultant, she said I looked quite well and she said liked my new do. I told her I would never take codeine for as long as I live, she laughed. She prescribed me a painkiller called Diclofenac Sodium (75mg), again we are not sure it will work, but I have to give it ago and I should avoid constipation. Once we have seen the consultant we left and headed over to the chemo unit. The nurse explained that my bloods that I had taken at Newham Hospital (NUH) were not available as there was a problem with the lab machinery over at NUH. The nurse took my bloods and I sat patiently waiting for the results to come back. Time past and the blood results were still not back, Darren suggested that it maybe an option to leave and come back today as time was getting on. My chemo takes about 5.5hours to go in, which meant we wouldn’t leave until very late as the time was already pushing for 13:00. We left with the understanding that we would come back the following day to have the chemo (I ran out the door haha) although it seemed that way it never goes to plan. 

I left the hospital, my dad went to get me some stewed chicken, rice and peas (as I craved it really badly) I ate it and went to sleep for a few hours. I woke up around about 17:00 with a few missed calls, one being a call from the hospital. The nurse was calling to explain that my bloods had come back, unfortunately my neutrophils (a white blood cell)  were far too low for me to start my chemotherapy at this point, this meant I had become neutropenic and was at risk of infection… back in the car and on the road to the hospital for the second time in one day. 

So now I have 7 days worth of the GCSF (growth) injection. GCSF is a protein which triggers the bone marrow to build more white blood cell. Unfortunately for me, a side effect of the hormone is back ache and of course I have that at the moment. 

Although I do have a back ache I do get an extra few days off from being sick. Haha. 

Oh one thing before I stop blogging today, a lovely lady called Laura came to visit me yesterday she was a social worker from Clic Sargent. They are a charity who help younger cancer sufferers, she has directed me to lots of exciting opportunities.. Thanks Laura! 

The little things… 

I was thinking whether to blog today or not, but I thought I may aswell. It’s the day before my second cycle and the day is going far too quickly I’m a little tearful but still standing strong!! 

I went to get my nails painted (blue) then popped to get my bloods done for tomorrow. I’m feeling very tired today and craving a gym session badly!!! My hair isn’t too bad either today, which is a positive. 

An obviously the main focus of today was receiving a video message from Anthony Joshua with words of support!! Thanks Anthony!! #MadeMyDay

Thank the Lord that’s over 

New day, new week, fresh start… Lets go! 

Thank the lord I am over the awfulness of last week. From Monday to Saturday afternoon I battled with constipation, trapped wind and painful aches in my arms and legs. I ran on very little sleep and it was so uncomfortable to lay down as the wind would travel up to my chest and make me feel sick. When I did sleep I had to sleep sat up right – not the most comfortable. To ease the pain of my stomach and back I ran a bath every morning with loads of radox and bath salts and I would jump in and out atleast 5-8 times a day. Emotionally I was breaking, I spoke to myself through the pain “you can do this Hannah, keep going”, but needless to say it was becoming harder and harder. 

Not only did I suffer physical pain I began to feel depressed and angry that I was so ill and weak. It hurt a lot more to learn that my hair was beginning to fall out lots. Every time I stroked my head I pulled a handful of hair away and each time I would try to stay strong but it was very difficult. To look in the mirror was even more destressing, I asked Darren to put some fabric up in the bedroom to hide the mirrors, I didn’t want to look at myself. Every time I looked into the mirror I could see a thin drained Hannah, with dark circles under her eyes with the palest skin… This made me cry more haha. 

Every evening after work Darren would encourage me to take a walk around the block, a few times we did, although I got out or breath very quickly it was good to walk. Saturday morning I woke up with big smiles and with the biggest determination that I would go to the toilet, my aches and pains would disappear and then everything would go back to normal, so I could go and support Lee Markham & Paul Kavanagh at the 02 with the rest of the gang. Darren made me tea and toast, I had a glass of peppermint cordial that Liam kindly bought me the night before and I was ready for the day. Unfortunately, an hour later I was doubled up in pain and scared that I would have to do this all again. I tried light exercises on the floor (child pose, downward facing dog, cat stretch) but nothing worked. Once again I was sat on the bed in tears wondering when this was going to pass. 

Darren went to get me some prunes and fresh fruit and insisted I got myself ready so we could go for a long walk. We got in the car Darren put some music on, we had a lip sync battle and drove to Wanstead park. We walked around the park I had an ice lolly and Darren had a cup of tea. Although I still had miled pain in my stomach, it felt great to move my legs and to get some fresh air. We sat on the grass for a little while and then walked back to the car. Before going home we stopped for a drink and a bite to eat. To be out and about felt amazing!! 

When I got home it was time to get ready for the night! At this point I felt confident I could battle the world! I got in the bath, however I made a big mistake of washing my hair, because my hair is falling out it matted with the rest of my hair, I had no option but to brush it all out…I put my face on and felt ME again! 

Sunday I jumped another hurdle… I HAD MY HAIR CUT SHORTER! Ok it was sad, but Sophie my hairdresser is incredible and made it a happy experience. Amy sat with me and kept giving me updates that it was looking great (as I couldn’t see it). 

Today is a good day, it feels so good to be out of pain and feeling normal again. Today and tomorrow will consist of lots of laughing, lots of eating and drinking and fresh air before I go again on Wednesday. Wednesday will be the first session of the second cycle… Wish me luck!!!

Nobody could have prepared me for this

I have neglected the blog over the last week…since Monday I haven’t been too good. The codeine AGAIN binded me up and left me incredibly constipated to the point where I couldn’t stand straight. Monday I stayed home alone and struggled, thankfully mum has taken time off to care for me – thanks mum! Wednesday we called the hotline and after informing them of all the medication I had tried to help they advised us to take a trip to the hospital. After an x-ray and some more meds I went home.

The last week has been so difficult (I could not have done it with out my amazing mum and caring, supportive boyfriend). I have been incredibly tearful and feeling generally low. I have sudden outbursts of tears that go on for ages, and to top it my nose hairs have now fallen out, so it can become a bit of a snotty ordeal. Haha. 

My hair is falling out loads now, as much as I am being strong, it is killing me to know that soon I could possibly have no hair at all. I can’t bare to look in the mirror either, when I look through I see somebody who looks underweight and unwell and I feel like I’m in another world. 

Today my stomach is still very sore and uncomfortable I hope it starts to shift by the end of today – I’ve already had 3 baths this morning. Baths are soothing the discomfort and I feel more relaxed. 

Nobody could have prepared me for this journey! Back at the hospital on Wednesday to see my consultant and to start cycle two. I’m so grateful to all my family and friends that make sure I’m ok with kind words etc but I’m incredibly grateful to have my mum and boyfriend who have done everything they can to help me this week. 

Mum & Darren if you read this: I appreciate it, sorry for keeping you up through the night Darren and I’m sorry for making you run up and down the stairs mum! Thank you. 

It has been three days since I last posted, I’ve done a lot more resting than my first chemo session. Yesterday I went to see my uncle and his family and after myself and Darren went to our friends for Dinner. Through out the day I could feel aches and pains creeping up on me, mainly in my upper back and my left arm. My mouth became really uncomfortable too, although you can’t physically see any sores in my mouth my tongue and gums feel swollen and they sting. I have been taking a spoonful of Manuka honey (which was recommended to me) every day and I mouthwash to help keep my mouth clean. Anything I drink or eat gives me a stinging sensation on my tongue and down my neck – it’s quite painful. 

Since Thursday evening I have developed a routine of checking my pillow for my hair (even during the night). It’s really making me sad to know that eventually I will not have hair of my own. I do have a beautiful wig, but it’s not the same I guess. Every where I go I leave lumps of hair around. When I start to feel ill (like today) I feel really emotional and just can’t help but think why? Why did this happen and how? 

I know I’m strong and I will get through, but I just can’t help my thoughts. Today I’m on my own and it’s not very nice, but life can’t stop, everybody needs to continue with their lives. I don’t want others to stop because of me. When I’m better there will be no stopping me!!!