Wednesday, 7 January 2015

A thank you to O2

Due to my private healthcare I have had my CT scan, I now know where I stand and I have arranged to start chemotheapy a week on Friday. I will then start to have my treatment again in London in an private hospital on Harley Street.  If it was not for going private I would not know this yet as my NHS CT scan is on the 14th Jan.

Dont get me wrong, I love the NHS, and I am thankful for such a system, but it is also nice to have the support from private hospitals.

I am one of the lucky ones, I am not rich, I haven't got a lot in savings, but due to O2, my employees, I was given a package that included a very good health care insurance and to put it bluntly if it was not for this the chances are I would not be here now. Thank you O2, and with this backing I am going to do my best to beat it again.

I talk about my street food business on this blog, but I also work for O2 part time.

I remember getting my healthcare number through the post years ago. I put it aside and forgot about it, not thinking that one day, that card will be a pass to save my life. Now when it came to bonus time! well, instant gratification, but health care! well, lets just say I enjoyed the bonus more. But now I realise how important this card is to me, I have used it quite a few times in the past 2 years, worth more than any bonus. I am thankful O2 have contiually supported me on my cancer journey.

Also messages from friends and family, they are all empowering, they help me stand tall. Robs Mum and Sister came to see us today, this was therapy and due to not been able to see them at Christmas it was great to see them.

I am about to go to my step Mums and Dads house in Portugal for a couple of days. I have had good news and I can start chemo and I can have the ablation (the treatment in London), but I do feel a bit of fear, at least this time I know what chemo can do, and I can arm myself in everything possible to be able to cope with it, everything from hypnotherapy to sickness drives to a sea band (I have been recommended this but not used it).

Also Michelle, a friend of mine as recommended some cream called uddermint, from mole valley farm this is for my shoulder. I am getting pain from the liver cancer which is passing the pain to my right hand shoulder. This is quite common and nothing seems to be budging it, but this cream really helps and seems to be better than deep heat.

I have just had my haircut which seems a bit of a waste of money due to been prepared to shaved it all  off in a couple of weeks (this time, i will do it, not chemo). When the hairdresser said to get the style i require I needed to grow it more, it did kind of kill the conversation when I said, theres no point it will all be gone in two weeks! he listened, while talking scissor or any other sharp objects from arms length away from me.

So right now I am looking forward for a few sunny days away, yet again, thank you for all of your emails and messages.

Thank you x

Friday, 2 January 2015

Action plan

Right this maybe a long one....

I have had time to think about it now, and I think I have worked it out...

This is a rough draft, but bare with me. 

I was interviewed for an article for pancreatic action websites January campaign, I was asked what my wishes were for the new year, I was back at the gym, and for the first time feeling a little more towards normal than I have been in the past two years. I had plans for my business in the new year,  I talked about how I try and face life and not anything negative, and my new year hope is to carry on with that, two days later, I failed, I stopped that path when I was told it had come back.

Our plans of seeing friends and family over Christmas and New year seemed to get taken over by my lack of sleep and pain, in all fairness I know I could not have changed that, but still it's annoying, and it got in the way.

The cancer charity wanted me to do an online video to talk about any messages They wanted me to give someone who had just found out they have pancreatic cancer advice and meanwhile I had felt I had gone back on my word.

I have been told with this type of chemo that I was on in the past, you can only have it every 6 months.

Now I have talked to the doctors about the situation, the response was surprise, but not because it had come back,  more that it's had not come back in 7 months and that's an achievement.

I think I know now what I am going to talk about on the pancreatic cancer video. 

When you first find out you have cancer it's a shock, you then find out it pancreatic, you then slowly find out what that means, you find out the percentages, you find out that this is truly a terrible situation to be in, and mainly how a cancer can come and simply take your life away. 

But, what they don't tell you is, it can also take your life way while you're living, it can stop your dreams, limit your living, consume your thoughts and push you off course. I know this, as it has done this to me in the past week. But, my personal advise is this, do everything not to let it, everything.  Don't get me wrong, when you are being sick in bed, I know you can not live life like nothing is wrong. But if you don't let it win taking your life way, every now and then In life, you will have moments when you will smile, you will have joy and you will still have dreams and with that, you're free and it's not winning. 

My body has done something remarkable, it as allowed me to live cancer free for 7 months, thank you, it has now allowed me to have the time to get over my last chemo sessions and have the energy and fight to do it all again, and given me the 6 months time to be able to do it. The only difference is I know what chemo can do, so this time I know what to expect, which will empower me.

So, I am not sure when the chemo starts or any other treatment, I don't want to do it, but I also know I can and I'm ready. 

But on reflection about the written interview, and the advice to others, I am also going to go back to my plans, push my dreams,  and live as cancer free as I can, living with cancer, and at the same time, aim to live cancer free again.

CT Scan results

Thank you to all of your support, the messages we get do give us strength, so just wanted to say, a very very big thank you.

I had the CT scan, due to it been Christmas time we could not get one on the NHS Until the 12th January, so I went private and had one on the 29th Dec at Nuttfields hospital.

Now to be fair to the NHS, within the 29th to the 14th, I don't think the situation would have changed much, but at the same time what helps me and also Rob and my family is been proactive about it all, it just makes you feel a bit more in control of the situation.

My surgery in London, Proff Leen made the request to see the scan to see if there was anything he could do, like he did last time. To use type of Nano-knife technology (ablation) to cook and kill the tumour.

I had a copy of the scan on disk and the day after we then sent it to Prof Leen in London (this was at 4pm) Prof. Leen was also on holiday so I was surprised when at 8pm that night he called me with the results. I must admit I am a fan of Proff Leen.

It looks like I have a 2cm tumour on my liver, and also a small second tumour, with maybe a possible third. 

Of course I wanted to hear, it's all a mistake and there's nothing, but with the pain I have been in, I knew there was something.  

But, due to where it is, I can try again. 

So, this involves going back on chemo, and then Harley Street. He thinks it works best while on chemo, so I have to call them today and start that again. 

I always knew the chances where high it probably would come back. I wish they didn't. But right now I'm glad that at least it can be done something with.  

Slightly off course there's a BBC article on the web today about  cancers (pancreatic) been down to just bad luck. I have always blamed myself, reading this article, I guess it's time to stop blaming myself and just get on with doing what I have to do to survive. 

I feel angry about it this time, I had so many plans with Market Wraps for the new year, we was starting a new business and everything was set up. I haven't given up yet on the plans, but may be just a slight delay.

Yet again, thank you for all of your support. I hope you don't mind but they will be more blog posts as it helps to get my head around it all, and it just keeps everyone in the loop too.

Happy new year too! 

Carl xxx