Friday, 27 July 2012

Chemo #2 - Update

I decided not to bother with the Cold Cap in the end, so much hair has fallen out that I really don't see the point of it any more. Means chemo can be over and done with in under 2 hours which is much better for me too.

A nice surprise was that the Olympic Torch got brought to the chemo ward. A lady who raised funds for the Crawley Comet chemo ward and other parts of the hospital got chosen to carry it as one of the local heroes so it was pretty cool to get that close to one!

Those of you who know me well know that I HATE the smell of bonfires when I'm in a car and that they make me feel sick at the best of times, unfortunately on the way back from the hospital we passed a particularly yukky one which caused me to fill a bag with vom - nice! Other than that SEs aren't too bad, just wish it wasn't quite so hot!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Chemo #2

Getting set for chemo number 2. Feel a lot less nervous than last time as this time I know what the actual process is but still bloody worried about the SEs as I've heard they can be cumulative.

Think I'm not gonna bother with the Cold Cap any more though as last night a crazy amount of hair came out...

At least I have Erika ready, I've also ordered a couple of bandanas and I have my eye on a lovely hat (which typically is the most expensive item on the entire suburbanturban website!)

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Lovely Louise

Fantastic feel better package from lovely Lou containing:

- Wagamama Voucher
- Snuggly Pyjamas
- Lip Creme
- Dynamo DVD
- Paul DVD
- Easy A DVD
- Sanctuary Facial Set
- 3 x Magazines
- 3 x Puzzle Books

Spoiled much? :) Thank You Lou xxx

Monday, 23 July 2012

Shedding (pardon the pun) Some Light On Hair Loss

My hair is really starting to fall out now :( It's really hard to describe how hair loss actually feels to people but I'll try...

My head was itchy and hot like I'd sunburned it for the whole of last week and then on Thursday it started to feel like I'd applied hair removal cream to my head and the hair was simply melting off my scalp. The actual hair is becoming wispy and if I even touch it, loads falls out. This sucks :(

My nose is also on permanent drip mode. I thought it was hayfever but have since realised that my nose hair (yes girls have nose hair too!) has fallen out.

I made the decision this evening to have my mid-back length hair cut to just above my shoulders. I felt that the weight of the hair couldn't be doing it any favours.

This is so bloody difficult psychologically. The hair is now cut and I don't feel like me any more. At secondary school I used to get bullied about my hair and I just feel fecking miserable about the whole thing. I suppose at least I have Erika (my wig's style name) for when the now inevitable happens.

I am now deciding whether or not to keep going with the cold cap on Thursday or just say bugger it and go without hair full stop.

Annoyingly I still have all my leg hair! Wish that would fall out instead.... :)

Sunday, 22 July 2012

One Month On

Wowzers. It's already one month post diagnosis. The world is a massively different place. I am having chemo, shrinking the FEC out of the c (not giving it the privilege of a capital letter), I'm losing my hair, I've bought a wig & I've raised over £1,000 for Cancer Research. Let's see what the next month brings......

My lovely personalised I-Pouch from Sarah:

Saturday, 21 July 2012


Given the fact that I'm currently moulting more than Fagin, I thought it was probably a good idea to sort out a wig.

Before today for me, the word wig = toupee, pink afro, shiny obvious fakeness. I am more than pleased to say I was very, very wrong.

Rob & I turned up at TrendCo Hove and to be honest I was very apprenhensive, unsure what to expect but also felt like I really didn't want to be there. But Phoebe who looked after us was absolutely fantastic. She put me at ease right away, talked me through all my fears, worries etc and gave some fantastic advice.

I ended up coming away with a wig which I am actually really happy with, I wish that I didn't have to buy one but if I do end up 'needing' it (which at the rate I'm shedding hair I think might be fairly soon), I am pleased with the one I have. I actually managed to fool Amanda, Amy and Michelle by sending them photos of my new "haircut" and they all said they thought it was lovely, when I told them it was Erika (my wig's brand name!) they were all really shocked - which can only be a good thing....

I'll post the photo when I'm feeling brave enough....

December 2012:

Friday, 20 July 2012

Teeth & Wedding

So yesterday on the way back from the Oncologist, joy of joys I chipped a tooth. Luckily the dentists were able to see me first thing today and they sorted it with a simple filing rather than a filling - phew.

In the evening was Luke & Jen's wedding do which was lovely, Jen looked v pretty and Lukas dashing :)

Thursday, 19 July 2012


Had my après-chemo meeting with the oncologist this afternoon and the great news is that the cancer has already shrunk by 0.5cm :)

Lovely flowers on my desk at work from Anne as I helped her with some Excel work - thanks Anne

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

A Good Day

Today I'm feeling the best I have felt so far since chemo :) I managed a complete day at work without feeling totally shattered which was great.

At 10h30 everyone from work watched as the London 2012 Olympic Flame came past the office front door - fab!

After work went for dinner with some workmates. Verity kindly bought me & Sarah a scrummy chocolate cake (V it had defrosted so was all good - ta muchly xx)

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Birthday, Blood Test & Bolnore Fete

Friday 13th was my birthday & to be honest I hadn't really been looking forward to it, I'd found the thought of it quite challenging given the circumstances.

First thing I had to have a blood test to check my white blood cell count (WBC) which was a lovely way to start the day....

Had the afternoon as holiday so Rob & I saw the new Spiderman (which is actually kinda depressing!) and then in the afternoon Michelle came over with a homemade birthday cake & awesome (red letter day voucher) pressie.

Phoned the hospital at 5pm to check on my WBC & got told it was perfect = no more hermit Jo :)

In the evening Mum & Col & Rob's parents came over & we had dinner (& more pressies.

In the end it was actually quite a good day :) Thank you to everyone for all my fantastic cards & presents

Yesterday Rob & I had a lazy day as we both felt mega-tired so other than Fagin walkies we watched tv, played games & read.

In the evening I had a bit of a funny turn, I went a bit "slow" & felt totally exhausted; apparently this is a side effect of the FEC affectionately known as "chemo brain". Was bloody weird but it's reassuring to know that it's a known SE.

Woken up this morning & still feel pretty tired & headachey but as the weather is a bit better taking Fagin for a good walk should alleviate it a bit.

It's the Bolnore Village fete (dog show, plant stalls, bric-a-brac, cake stalls etc) later today which should be sweet so am gonna pop along to that with Fagin & Michelle :)

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Simple Pleasures

A week on from chemo and so far things are going okay, a few SEs but nothing too horrendous.

My head has been itchy as anything but I've still got all my hair. I'm hoping the itchy feeling is because of the lack of washing it - twice a week - driving me crazy! Last night was hairwash day - total bliss :)

Currently a bit housebound (because my white blood cell count is dropping so am super prone to infection) but have my laptop so can at least wfh and not go totally stir crazy.

On a mega positive, my Just Giving page has now raised £1,001 which is fantastic so thank you if you spared a few pennies to sponsor me.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Sans Steriods

First day without steroids & so far so good....

Went to hospital today for the ECG which was yet another boobs out session. To think before I was nervous about getting them out topless sunbathing on hols, now it just feels normal to be showing them to every doc I see :)

Sought out Carole my chemo nurse whilst I was there & she said I wouldn't be having the second biopsy on Weds as it too close to the "risk" days, that was good as I was a bit worried about that.

A few cards that arrived recently that I haven't said thanks for, so thanks Carol, Anne & the Wadies :)

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Fagin & the Beddie Puppy

Michelle came over today with a Beddie Puppy for me :) You put him in the microwave & his tummy is full of wheat & lavender & it's good for sore tummies.

Unfortunately my real life puppy has taken a shine to Beddie Puppy so I'll have to keep a close eye on Fagin to make sure the little blighter doesn't steal him away :)

Friday, 6 July 2012

Feeling Strangely Fine

Actually feeling okay at the moment, a few side effects but nothing too bad at the moment. Hoping & praying that this is not the calm before the storm....

Lovely bouquet arrived from Mum & Col this avo:

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Chemo Day

It's an old adage but a true one that the greatest fear is fear itself. Today was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be, just waiting for the side effects (hereafter SE) to kick in.

Here's a photo of me (with chipmunk style squashed cheeks) looking scared in the Cold Cap. It was as the name suggests blimmin cold & I had to have it on for 45 mins, throughout the chemo (bout an hour) & then again for another 90 mins. When I took it off my hair was speckled with ice so I have my fingers & toes crossed that it does me some good.

FEC Off Cancer I'm Coming To Kill You

In less than 3 hours I'll be starting round 1 of FEC chemo. Bricking it doesn't even begin to explain how scared I'm feeling but as a few people have told me, I need to think of it as the start of getting better. This is so true (but easier said than done!) I'm still bloody determined through my fear though (hence the title of this post). So cancer - Prepare To FEC Off!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Awesome Amy

Lovely & thoughtful goodie bag to take to chemo arrived in the post today from Amy - huge thanks to Rich from work for bringing it to me :)

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Little Dose of Normality

Today felt a little like starting school, all I was doing was going back to work for a day but I was really nervous about how people would react, if I'd have to explain things over & over & if I'd actually be able to hold it together.

Turns out I needn't have worried, everyone was awesome. Most people had read this blog & those that hadn't were great anyway. TBH work was a welcome distraction & a good dose of normality that I really needed.

Had a really good chat with a fellow BC warrior who has gone through same treatment as i'm going to, also with the same oncologist & she is a real inspiration.

Lovely things from today:
• Lunch with dad
• Good hugs from good friends
• Wonder cream from Jimbo & Kate
• Postcard from Mum & Col
• Postcard from Hannah
• The fact the sun shone for a bit :)

Monday, 2 July 2012

Comet, Chemo, Cold Cap & Chips!

Today Rob, Mum & I went to Comet Ward to understand about more about the chemo I was having, where it would be, procedure etc etc.

Tried on the Cold Cap for size when I was there (I've got a huge head so was the largest size they offer!) which is what I'm going to use to try and save my hair. Apparently it works in 50% of cases so let's hope i'm lucky. The vain part of me is really scared about losing my hair but it's a small price to pay I guess!

Was all a little overwhelming but at least I'm more informed now :)

In the evening Dad came over and it was great to see him & chat everything through. We had fish & chips for dinner & watched some episodes of The Inbetweeners which was lovely & normal - just what I needed.

The florists continues to grow: Lovely Orchid from Mum & Col & gorgeous bouquet from Dad.....