Saturday, 3 October 2015

My cancerversary.

Last week was my cancerversary; one year since the day I was diagnosed.
I was unsure how to ‘honour’ the occasion since I didn’t want to celebrate it but I didn’t want it to just pass me by either. I was worried that I might feel bummed out so I decided that I wanted to do something enjoyable to take my mind off things and encourage the day to be a happier one.

Cosy cuddles with my love the night before my cancerversary.

Matt and I had bought all the men in my family tickets to a rugby world cup game in Cardiff for Christmas so they were out all day and night. My sister took the day off work and along with my best friend Ellis, we decided to go to one of my favourite places in the world: IKEA. I love it there. I can spend hours locked inside that place and never fail to spend a fortune. It baffles me to see someone at the till spending less than £50. Ellis once spend £17. Crazy.
Ellis is currently writing up her PhD and she lives a two minute walk from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital where I go to my weekly clinic appointments and where I also had my stem cell transplant and two subsequent admissions for shingles and GvHD. She accompanies me every week to the clinic and then we go for a nice lunch somewhere or do a bit of shopping. I really love our Wednesdays together, it’s proper quality time with my bff.
So we went to my clinic appointment early as usual and then headed off to IKEA and we ended up having a great day. My spending was even more excessive than usual. In fact, for the first few weeks out of hospital after an admission my spending always gets a bit out of control. I think it’s a combination of not spending any money for weeks on end with the exception of the extortionate hospital TV packages and having a bit of a detached, disregarding and almost “fuck it” attitude towards a lot of things. I read the side effects on the Prednisolone tablets and they said that you mights have symptoms of feeling high or hypomania, so I am going to blame them. After an admission I actually have a very passive appreciation about a lot of long-term ideals: I spend loads of money and I eat loads of crap food (usually whatever I’ve been madly craving while staring at another dry cheese or egg sandwich while in hospital), or just becoming generally a bit obsessive about food.
Anyway, IKEA was great. We went straight to the restaurant where Ellis and Katherine had the meatballs and I had the veggie meatballs followed by a cuppa and the most delicious fudge cake I have ever had in my life (see photo above). I bought loads of stuff including a lamp table for the lounge, a new side table also for the lounge, lots of candles, four bamboo place mats, a white enamel jug, a small lamp for the conservatory, a new lampshade for the other lamp in the conservatory, two blue cushions with a beetle on one and fossil on the other for the bedroom, a tray for my perfumes, four bowls, a frame for a gorgeous Cat Coquillette print I bought from society6, a white letter storage caddy, a wooden storage box for the bathroom, six throws for Leo’s side of the sofa, a lambswool throw for the footstool, a plant and a fruit bowl.
Don’t judge me. I know it was excessive.
We got there at 12.30 and left at 5.00. Then we went to Boots where they had started to put the Christmas stock out (eek!) because I needed to get some skincare stuff to attempt to deal with the folliculitis on my face. I’ve never liked putting a lot of harsh chemicals on my skin and have always tried to use as natural products as possible. I’ve actually always had good skin without having to do much to it and it’s always been one of my best features. I usually just remove my makeup by washing my face with a face wash (usually whatever is mild, not tested on animals and on offer or cheapest) followed by moisturising. For the last year or so I’ve been using a natural honey moisturiser that my mother-in-law-to-be got for me (and subsequently repurchased) while on holiday in Devon. But since I’ve had the folliculitis on my forehead, eyebrows and slightly on my cheeks, I just feel like I need something a bit more. So I bought an exfoliating face wash, some tea tree and witch hazel night gel and a botanics clay mask. I think the redness and amount of sebum has been reduced but until the steroids are low enough I’m just going to have to put up with it.
Afterwards we all came back to my house, Katherine brought her doggy, Leo’s cousin Oscar the cavilier King Charles spaniel, and Ellis’s boyfriend Josh came over too. We watched The Great British Bake Off and ordered a takeaway curry. There are about seven curry houses on our local highstreet and all of them are pretty good but “Dreamers” is my current go-to favourite. It has loads of really diverse and traditional dishes on the menu rather than just all the usual korma, bhuna, dhansak, madras, sagwala etc. I had Jumbo prawns in pomegranate and dill which came with griddled peppers, onions and new potatoes served with roasted coconut oil and shared a ginger and lime rice with Katherine. It was SO GOOD and everyone was really impressed and happy with their meals.
Katherine bought me a lovely bunch of flowers and Ellis got me a card which I’d championed and admired since I was first diagnosed, designed by Emily McDowell who creates cancer empathy cards which are actually empathetic. The one Ellis bought for me reads “When life gives you lemons, I won’t tell you a story about my cousin’s friend who died of lemons”. She also bought me a pretty little pot of Whittards loose leaf Earl Grey and a tea strainer in the shape of a whale which is probably my favourite thing I have ever owned as I am completely whale obsessed.

So in the end, my cancerversary was a good day, and I really didn’t think about cancer all that much at all. In fact, since then I’ve been doing really well and I have been feeling way more positive and full of energy recently. My liver results are continuing to improve and my doctors are continuing the taper of my Prednisilone (I’ll be reducing to 60mg per day on Sunday). And this week I had some fantastic news in that my haemoglobin level has risen again (more significantly this time) by itself. So it looks like my blood group is finally changing or the EPO injections are starting to really kick in, or a combination of both. Either way, it was was perfect way to round off the week.

No comments:

Post a Comment