Fancy Feet Blackpool
Hi - Thank you to everyone who has commented and enjoyed reading this so far. If you are dropping by for the 1st time please start at the bottom. -My 1st entry dated 27th August. Most recent posts have been added to the top of the page
As you are probably realising my treatment has now come to an end. I now am still supposed to take it easy.
Will probably feel tired now and again.
They have said this could take up to 8 months,.
My feelings at the moment are very mixed. Going from relief to anger and frustration.
It feels like it was a dream and has not happened to me. I have been watching from the side lines.
I suppose this is normal
Frustration because I have so much work that I put on hold to catch up on. I feel so out of routine.- In fact I don not know what my routine is.
Anger - Because financial situations have occurred and why did it have to be me?
Everyday I count my blessings. A few years ago it could have been a completely different story. I now feel I have been in this journey to empathise with others. Everyone has there own journey but a small part is just the same.
I have made so many new friends through this journey and become closer to acquaintances both work wise and personally.
I now have plans for the future- Have great ambitions at work and plans for a great year in 2016.
We have booked our holiday in the sun once again- Goa Jan 2016.
I now am able to do Nanna duties for my grandson having him on a Monday. Its WONDERFUL!!!
Last week my oncologist said they dont want to see me for 12 months.
There is one hiccup - I have found another lump which is at the moment being tested. I have been assured it is nothing. Yes at the back of my mind I am worrying but I really do trust the Medical staff at Victoria Hospital . I suppose again you always have the worry it is going to return. If it does I am sure I will fight it head on.
I have been approached by our local newspaper about my journey , the dancing and Fancy feet . There is a story going in tomorrow with some very embarrassing photos.
Professionally done I will add. Posing this way and that - I am sure you all know having my picture taken is my worst nightmare.
I even had to stand in the middle of the road . The photographer was on one knee. The cars came & thought he was proposing- I do get in some embarrassing situations. And yes I have a cowboy hat on and a USA scarf.
Well thank you for reading this once again.
I will add updates now and again. But most of all thank you to each and everyone of you for your prayers and support. Please feel free to share this journey if it will help any of your family and friends.
Lots of Love and happy dancing
p.s we have opened the shop now- so if you are coming to Blackpool with a group of dancers please give us a ring for discount vouchers etc.
Easter Sunday -4th April
Good afternoon- I bet you wondered where I ve disappeared too.
All I can say is that it has been so hectic, not just with classes but also the new venture -Fancy Feet Store,
not forgetting my final treatment in the journey- Radiotherapy.
I have woken up many times thinking I will get this journey diary updated etc. but time has just ran away with me.
So going back a few weeks - I was so relieved to get some routine into my life I have been very good not lifting, trying not to work so hard . I have had amazing support with unloading and loading my van. All I have had to do is conect the wires and off we go.
I have made sure I have a chair to sit on at work. When I am home I do try to rest. I just limit myself to a few hours then I have been strong and finished . It is not something I want to do but I know I have to do it. The energy level has been a battle. I am normally so full of energy. MOre like a marathon runner than a sprinter, I normally can just keep going. But I have to keep reminding myself that I am fighting an illness.lol. So I have given in a bit .
One if the side effects that i did not believe i would have- Chemo Brain. It has been so funny. I do not know what I am going to say next. What clumsy thing I am going to do next. But I have to say as frustrating as it is I have done a lot of laughing. and for thise of you who come dancing thank you for your understanding and joining in the laughter. It has been anything from getting wrapped up in the curtains to teaching 3 dances at the same time. I have realised the dances I taught whilst on my chemotherapy I cannot remember. Did I really teach you Geronimo? I haven't got a clue..
I still get plenty of personal messages wishing me well. I will always appreciate what support people have shown.
I have seen an oncologist - He said I was a clinical success. I am now on Tamoxifen tablets for 10 years. What are the side effects?
Weight increase. Now this I am not happy about I only have to walk past Greggs the bakers to put on half a stone.Maybe in time this will settle down -apart from that everything is fine with the tablets.and fingers crossed they do the job.
I have just done 4 weeks Radiotherapy . I have had a bonus week, ( I am getting full value for money from the NHS)
Yes I have had to travel to Preston everyday.
Yes it was very out of routine
Yes there were early mornings-road works everywhere
plus parking was sometimes a nightmare but 4 weeks in the scheme of things is nothing.
I did suffer with extreme tiredness, collapsing into bed once , a suggested telling off from a radiotherapist because I wasn't resting enough . Slightly itchy skin. But E45 cream and anti hystemenes have really helped. My skin is just slightly red.
The staff , The Rosemere Unit, the volunteers with those wonderful cups of tea and coffee have been totally amazing.
8 beds , a patient every 15 minutes, from 8am to 7.30pm at night .that is a lot of people. Makes you think. ......
Thursday 2nd April - My final day.
What a strange feeling. I came out of my appointment and cried.
I do not know why as I am happy. I have no more treatment. I have to believe I am better, I was emotional /weepy all day.
I have slept and slept, watched tv , Had a day out with my daughter and grandson. Now I just wnat to get back on with my life.
Get into routine. Follow my ambitions which I have many, Look forward to a great future.
I have so much to be thankful for.
Here is a short list.
My family- husband, son, daughter, daughter in law ,brother and girlfriend. in laws plus my distant family cousins etc
My friends- Eileen Marjorie,Jenny, Vic and Carole and many many others
My home- It is always untidy when I am in it but Andy is amazing at making it tidy again . It is our home.
My work. - I have the best job in the world with my classes. -the people, the music the dances. but it does not end there.
We have the new venture with the shop selling dance shoes and accessories, party stuff and fancy dress- It is going to be the best t can be .
Plus joining up with Rob & Liz to create hopefully the best events in LIne Dance . Looking ahead to the future and remembering the past.
All in all a very busy future.
I have become closer friends with so many people because of my cancer journey, Paul Bailey, Rob Fowler, Liz CLarke, Pedro Machado,
Pauline Butler,Keith Jackson, Rick Culley, Ann and Bryan Ward, Pete Stottard, Chris and Steve Jones, Scooby and Wheety.
There are many many more. THey have always been friends but now they are more than that. I will never forget what you have done for me. Thank you,
My religion- I am not a person to show my religious beliefs on my shirt sleeve but I do want to thank HIM for the journey I have been on I am still traveling. Becoming a better person and hopefully helping anyone else going through it too. Life is looking good.
So even though I will try to continue with my journey I have so much to be thankful and excited for.
I hope you have a great Easter whatever you are doing. I am off to work on some other stuff on my list. PLus that leg of lamb cooking in the oven is making me hungry.
Saturday 14th February
Happy Valentines Day,
These posts are becoming more irregular? I am not sure why ? Maybe the weather, Maybe the fact that I am at the right side of my journey. Is normality coming back into my life. Probably a few things. Thanks to those who had prompted to say they had missed the posts and they had enjoyed reading them. No my journey isn't over.
Yes my operation was a success. -I could not return to work the day after like I though. I had drains in which had to be removed.
My new shaped boob is great. MR Kiri is very proud - I have a 30 year old boob now. ( my other looks lie a 6o year old he said lol)
I am now cancer FREE! that is wonderful to say. It has taken a while to realise.
I did return to work within a week. But that is me. I need to have my normal life. Very selfish attitude sometimes. anything that interupts it or gets in the way really upsets me.
My next step is Radio therapy. - 3 weeks plus a booster week with weekends off. Not many side effects I don't think . just the travel to Preston everyday. and my favourite word of the moment - Inconvenient.
Just to add for those worrying. - After my op I have been a good girl - (when I remember) No lifting, do my exercises, no ironing , hoovering and other similar stuff. I have no problem leaving them alone.
I am now on Tamoxifen for 10 years - All my treatment now is to try to keep the cancer away, so I suppose it is still a battle going on but a silent one. A side effect from tamoxifen can apparently be weight gain. - Just what I need. lol. I only need to look at a chocolate cream eclair to put on half a stone. That is something I need to battle against. I need a body to match my new BOOB.
My hair has now started to grow back. - I am not sure of the colour yet . You may be smiling now because I definately know what colour it will be . colour shade 52 light blonde. So I am again very fortunate to actually know what colour my real hair is. So many positives.
I am measuring it every morning. One strand is over an inch long.
My finger nails turned black from the chemo . ( they look like dirty nails ) . they are growing back nicely apparently it takes 6 months to replace. No pain but I do put my hands in my pockets a lot.
So apart from a couple of well timed appointments life is returning to normal. In all honesty my energy levels are still very low. I have yawned for 3 days literally but I can cope with this. A few "Nanna" naps along the way. prescribed energy drinks, plenty of fruit, veg and metatone tonic.
My brain is on overload with so many plans fro 2015 /2016. New ventures. New projects.
classes are back into routine with their dances. I had a wonderful weekend in Scotland last week at Lizzie Clarkes Birthday Bash. even had a couple of Bacardis .
We have opened our shop which has been an ambition for a while. ( I loved my little sweet shop when I was a child) - A blatent advert now- check out www.fancyfeetstore.com
And now we are looking forward to Liverpool Adelphi next weekend. - Hope i have some Bacardi left.
I will soon be able to look after Mason and have him for a sleep over again soon. - He is walking , climbing, feeding himself and generally ruling the roost at his home. I love him to bits!!!
I will keep writing on here with my journey as it is not over yet. But neither is my life. When I think of the future and what I want to do I get excited. I can't wait untio my body is able to cope with what my mind has planned.
Off dancing this afternoon with the wonderful Darren Busby. then again tomorrow afternoon Line Dancing on a Sunday.
Andy is cooking tea tonight. We may even have a candle on the table too.
Hopefully see you soon.
Sunday 25th Jan
I've had my op!! The 1st one. It all happened very quick. My original date was cancelled the Monday. A slight disappointment as I just wanted to get the job done. So off I went to class instead thinking I would be going the following week I made my plans for dances etc. Preparation for the week oh and I would see Mason.
Then Tuesday afternoon I got the "Golden " phone call .Could I go in Wednesday afternoon. - Of course I would. Sounds very strange but I was smiling from ear to ear. - Excited. Stage 2 here I come. I think some people must think I am strange feeling like this but I do have the ability to think of the end result and not the process. I do not worry about things that I have to trust others know what they are doing. The operation had to happen whether I get stressed or not. Thinks tend to be easier and smoother without stress if you know what I mean.
Wednesday Morning (my day off lol) off I went to the hospital. checked in - oops my name wasn't on the list.
I was prepared for a sit in not going home til the job as done. I have to say the girl ( that is a sign of old age) behind reception was lovely. I'll just check on the computer . mmmm.. I'll ask the Sister in charge. Take a seat.
they called my name - -no worries . I was having my op . It was on the system but because of the late booking hadn't quite got through to the front desk and they needed to find my notes .
From then on everything was so highly organized and I will say stress and worry free. If the breast care team ever need character witness I will be there!!! front of queue.
I was checked in , my bags labelled , issued with my gorgeous gown and "sexy" stockings to put on later
then half hour later I saw the anesthetist- Another lovely man, with a great smile .
Then next visit was to see Mr Kiri my consultant who then went to draw all over my boob. x marks the spot. I think he must have had a new pen .he went to town.
Then off to the Breast care centre to have a wire fitted and final check of where my tumour was.
A walk back to the admissions ward to await my op.
they called my name , showed to a cubicle to get changed into the sexy hospital gown . Within half an hour I was on the operating table.
All very calm and relaxed.
Next thing I knew they were calling my name , I was off to the ward.
Sunday 11th January
As you can see I am having problems my website wants to highlight everything. Samantha please can you help lol?
Back to the beginning of December I had Chemotherapy.
This was to be my last working one. The recipe had been adjusted. I was looking forward to preparing the classes for all the Christmas Parties. I spent a lovely afternoon with Mason and Samantha at Barton Grange Garden Centre with all the lights , trees and displays.
I was in the Christmas mood.
3rd December- Off I went for Chemo. then the evening I was going to Panto at Dean St.
Christmas was beginning even though I realised it would be different.
everything was going fine until my arm started to hurt. I tried to cope once again with pain killers but by Friday I had to phone the 111 service once again. I ended up back in hospital. I had got infection in my PIC line with no immune system it was quite poorly.
I did end up being in for 8 days. This ward is amazing Ward C . I did go through one or two traumatic incidents whilst in there , some experiences trying to get cannula in my arm etc. these are just side effects from chemo that I had to go through.
Oncolgy department do look after you so well. I did end up with septicaemia in my arm but with all the antibiotics, pain killers etc I am still recovering now. But without the pain.
We had to postpone a couple of parties until the following week. I only actually missed 2 which is amazing.
I had done no preparation for my own family christmas as I was still on for having my final chemotherapy on 23rd January.
This year though I received one of the best Christmas presents ever. I did not need the final session. My tumour had reduced so much ! I was told I was a clinical success.!! The pain,illnesses etc was worth it. I did not need to have that final session. I had done better than they anticipated. Christmas was going to happen ! I bought my turkey.
I am onto the next stage! My operation/
January - Happy New Year
I am due to go in any time as the the time scale is between 4 and 6 weeks from your final chemotherapy. return visits to the hospital to see Mr Kiri, Mammograms and Sarah my Cancer Nurse. Hopefully have my operation on the 12th January. Perfect week really as its Keith Jacksons happy week for covering my classes.
Not apparently such a big operation as I only need lump removing and lymph nodes. I may only be in over night. I can dance the day after . Everything is set in my mind. I also have had my pre op assessment. But I am not having my operation tomorrow. It will probably be the week after, Never mind - A slight disappointment as it would have been done and dusted. My brain was set etc. It is not worth worrying about things you cannot change. I will be at classes next week.
I have also found out that I need 2 operations. - this was not in my timeline plan but by Easter I should have a completely new image.I'll be uplifted and smaller . so my other boob may need to match up. otherwise I will be walking lob sided. etc. Your imagination may be working overtime now.
Another bonus ( I know I have to be careful)
I cannot lift for 3 months, hoover, iron,
I need a new handbag so that I don't carry so much around. I don't know what's in it any way lol certainly not money.
Not sure about driving- I forgot to ask.
It does feel very strange being here in January as we are normally off to Goa for our holidays.
Yes I did get upset especially a couple of days before. But fortunately I do have the ability to realise - foregoing 1 holiday does mean I will have many more times to go. I am a very lucky person with everything/and everyone I have in my life. this journey could be so much worse. Inconvenient I think is more appropriate.
all our classes our back to normal now. Plenty of laughing and singing.
Plenty of people suffering with Flu and colds. I suppose this is January in reality.
Over the last couple of months I have gone through the normal stuff and tears- Why me?
I wish it was over and done with?
worrying about the last chemo because everyone has had a reaction.
But I have done it!
The 1st part of my journey is done. The light is at the end of the tunnel . I am looking forward to this New Year.
Spending more time with Mason. Looking forward to supporting Samantha's new venture. Spending time with family and friends.
Most of all being here to tell the tale.
It could have been so different.
Off to get ready for Sunday afternoon dancing now. And having Mason with us for the 1st time .
Tuesday 25th November
Its took a while but thankfully I am back. Not the best off 2 weeks regarding reaction to the chemotherapy but a fantastic ending .
I will not dwell on what I went through. It was painful but as I have been assured this is not normal .Chemo is supposed to cause inconvenience to your life not interfere totally. I was totally shattered and did end up on quite high level pain killers. But always look for something good. It is working and what are the options ? I am back with the consultant this Thursday at noon for a review. Fingers crossed it will be better this time. If not I am prepared !!!! Only 1 working one left and then the 23rd December . Yes we are having a quiet Christmas this year. I am not bothered or upset. Our plan is just to postpone our family Christmas until January. Going away to centre Parks or something similar. Will Turkeys be half price in January?
All the time I was ill I just wanted to get back to work - I missed it. I miss the music , the happiness. You all got me through it - Andy and Samantha were by my side throughout making sure I didn't give up . This is not just a 1 woman journey..
I had to get back for our mini festival - I was looking forward to it so much..........!
And I made it. I did a bit on Thursday - my beginners. I love them !!
Then with determination I went to St Annes Friday .
Before I carry on this Line Dance family we have is not just Blackpool and Fylde. It is Uk and Worldwide. - Similar to having distant cousins I suppose. How amazing is is that the one day I cannot do my Thursday class as planned we are sent 3 fabulous instructors to stand in and teach you great dances. Thank you so much Dawn Sherlock, Joyce Plaskett and the amazing Keith Jackson . I will always remember what you have done.
Back to last weekend- Yes I made the festival and so did so many of you,. I cannot believe how far people are travelling just to be at Fancy Feet. The day was amazing even if I say so myself- It exceeded all expectations. The artists, the dancing, the laughing, the friendliness.
It started off great and finished off Fantastic. thank you. I have always wanted to do a festival but thought I would wait until the time is right, gained experience , all sorts of things - It was PERFECT . Cant wait for next year now. ( A more detailed review on face book with thank you for everyone involved)
Back to talking about family - Saturday was extra special because of one person - LIz Clarke. Coming out of retirement to support me . I love her and Roger to bits and would not be where I am today without her support and guidance. Again Chris and Steve Jones are proving to be friends that only few people are lucky enough to have in their lives.
So this week I am going to say Angels really do exist!
This journey has made me more emotional , Natural I suppose but I am still smiling , and still laughing. The finale to the week was going to the Grand Theatre with 26 other Fancy Footers to see Nancy Ann Lee in my mind supported by Marty Wilde, Edan Kane and Leighton Randall. It was so good!!! Yes I ended up embarassed once again.
My wig fell off.---
Fortunately I was sat in my seat when I bent down - It fell off. I stayed down cos I could feel the draught . I am still laughing now. I did now know if I had put it back on the right way or not . Thanks Eileen and Andy for saving me from more embarrassment. Angels again!!
Thanks for reading once again . Im off to get ready for class -
Tuesday 11th November 3am
It has been another long gap between telling you what has been going on. Everything has been ticking over with a few highs and lows.
My chemo last time was fine. They are so busy on that ward ,hardly having time to have a decent break but they are so efficient and the staff are always smiling. that one meant I am now half way through my chemo therapy. a mile stone. next time it changes .no more FEC . now onto the T drug.
Reactions to the chemo were different again, nothing too major just uncomfortable having infections and water infection. Quite embarrassing too . Nearly went and bought some incontinence pads. but I think my bum would have looked big.
The other thing I am struggling to cope with is the tiredness or really lack of energy to do stuff. I really do like to keep busy so sitting watching tv doing nothing becomes quite annoying. My nanna naps are no longer 20mins but 2 or 3 hours.
As you are probably realising I always end up with some mishap along the way. Every Monday I have to have my PIC line cleaned and the bung changed. well the bung did not want to come off. Was this going to be a trip to A & E.
Fortunately our household possesses numerous pliers in all sorts of sizes. Off Andy goes to his shed. The Mans Domain.
My nurse had to ring her boss for permission and I had to sign another form. The operation began without anesthetic
Lots of hygiene and sterilizing the tools first but the bung came off. What a relief.
My classes have once again been wonderful. A great social evening with Magill plus my beginners & improvers now have a full table with Patsy as their Matron making sure they behave . (Well I think that's the plan).
With Christmas coming it was a panic to get all my leaflets done and tickets on sale.We did it. I can feel the excitement of everyone planning their outfits. As I keep saying everything is late.this year. I will get their eventually. Sam as usual has been a great help so has my brother Peter. Andy keeping the home spick and span.
I had a lovely Sunday Morning out with David Mason and Andy. Going for breakfast . Mason is so entertaining. He has discovered the new game off dropping everything on the floor for David to pick up. He has taken 2 steps. Plus he managed to eat half of Davids breakfast too.
He is a real little boy playing with cars, going brum brum, climbing , and has that smile that gets him out of trouble. Steph must have a difficult time with 2 boys in the house with that skill.
Well I suppose you are wondering what I am doing writing this in the middle of the night. As I said before I am starting my next chemo tomorrow morning. I have had to take steroids before hand. I think the side effects are insomnia. I cannot sleep . so I am on a different path.I have had some warm "Pobs" (hot milk and bread or cereal-my mother and Nanna family recipe)
Hope it works soon.
So after tomorrow I will be 2/3 of the way through my chemo. The last one is 23rd December so it will all be done by the end of the year.
I am unable to have my holidays in January this year. I will miss everyone in Goa and Whispering Palms but it is so lovely to receive message form the lads each week They are such genuine lovely people. We will miss Jackie and Paul and hope they manage to stay out of trouble as Andy will not be there to keep them on the straight and narrow. I think my op will be February hopefully after Liverpool.
I am going to end on a good note. I had an appointment with the oncologist. They think I am fantastic to try and keep working. LOL. I would not have coped without you
But the best thing is my tumour has shrunk to less than 1cm. Not sure about the one at the back but I would imagine with the amount of drugs I have had it hasn't stood a chance.
I came out smiling from ear to ear and rushed back to class !!!!
Sunday 26th October
Another week gone by very quickly. I feel like I have slept the week away. Monday I was at home, very strange still not working but I know at this time in my treatment it was the wise thing to do.
The rest of the week has been taken up with Chemo therapy. I know it is going to make me better but I have to say this time I was nervous. 1 st time ever. - How would I react to the side effects? I do not want to be back in hospital, most of all I am missing my normal everyday life chaotic as it .
Anyway I can say so far so good nothing to bad except sleep, more sleep, and then I need another nanna nap.I don't think I have ever felt so tired from doing nothing so starts another feeling.
Feeling frustrated that I cannot do what I want when I want. I havent really got a choice I know and in the scheme of things it is not a long period ( 18 weeks) but as I have said before I do not have any patience.
I love doing things, that is my relaxation. I love to cook, love to sew, just love doing anything. I am not a person to sit and do nothing such a waste of time. So sleeping probably turns out to be the best option.
I have watched TV a lot this time too . Spent most of the time in my Boudoir - Andy has been so poorly with flu and chest infection he is in quarantine in the lounge. I can't wait till we are both fit and well again maybe we will have one of those special date nights . texting is not quite the same.
I have now become an expert on sleep but I do not know why I want to be awake at 3am in the morning. Whats that about?
a couple of hours chatting to friends across the pond. Technology is amazing. In fact James House is coming back to Dean St in March .
I am looking forward so much to going to classes this week. I know I am still tired from chemo therapy but seeing everyone, again is so exciting.
I have made the parkin with Sams help. Started the Christmas Program had some quality time with Samantha, made plans for 2015. Now I feel relaxed. and you've guessed it ready for some sleep.
Sunday 19th October
Is it really so long since I have written anything. I cannot believe how quickly the time has gone.
It has been an eventful fortnight to say the least. I have done a lot of laughing, embarrassed myself,done a bit of crying, had a surprise visit from an ex dancer, been ill, taken to hospital and now looking "forward" to my next chemo.
So going back to Thursday the 9th ,the day I realised how much like my mum I am , or is it the fact my wig is blonde?
Thursday is a long day at classes but it was also local bi election day.
Walking into Dean St to say hello, being asked for my polling number by the party representatives. Like walking the gauntlet .
I go into introduce myself but was made easier by a "Name "badge. What an usual name I thought. I had never known anyone with that name before or where my glasses playing up. John I have known for many years - he always does the voting booths but not the other guy.
in I jumped 2 feet as usual , then the realization that I am totally stupid whilst I am talking. His name was not
Mr Poll Clerk but in fact his badge of office. Anyway it did make him laugh, and the assurance that he had been called a lot worse.
I know Panto season is coming but I did not want to write the script.
That same thursday -Lunch time- What a lovely surprise . A head around the door and a beaming smile.- Pat Francionni.
She was on Gauntlet duty. she too has been battling cancer and is a continuing battle for her. a big hug, some tears and catch up on life grandchildren ,and who still dances. 5 minutes soon became 40. It was lovely and such a boost to me.
Pat if you read this - Thank you and I hope your treatment was succesful last week.
It is lovely to say that this part of my cycle I felt great. Was looking forward to a great afternoon of dancing on Saturday and even a Saturday night out.
OUr artist Amy Morgan was great, It was lovely to be part of the fund raisng for Clatterbridge on the Saturday evening.Thanks Bryan for driving us. Hope you can still work your sat nav.
Sunday i cannot remember what I did must have involved housework and other boring jobs,
Sad to say my week went down hill from Tuesday.
I developed a problem which was and is still painful. However I have achieved a few 1sts in this journey.
Please don't be alarmed this does not happen to everyone. I started with violent pains in my stomach and being sick . At first I thought it was because I had had chocolate (blame my brother lol for the lovely box ) . It started to get worse. So after advise from the cancer helpline off we went to A & E.
Without going into too much detail, I had Morphine ( a 1st) , x rays ,scans etc Tramadol and other drugs and treatments.
I know chemotherapy cannot distinguish between good and bad cells so attacks everything. I think it is at war with my body.
It has taken the lining off my stomach, inflamed my gall bladder , and effected other organs too. after 3 nights D, B& B i was eventually allowed home.
I escaped at 7pm at night. the nursing staff and doctors were amazing on ward 10 , I do not know how they do their job.
I have been confined to the house, advised to take it easy to prepare for chemo Tuesday, Everything is on track to keep to the timetable. I hope so because everything works perfectly for our christmas parties. I am being GOOD! I think I am being allowed out for half an hour this afternoon .
My family have been an amazing support, I think this week was the 1st time my positivity had wavered. but they were there with the hugs, kisses and words to put me back on track.
Andy is my rock to lean on, Samantha is holding the business together and doing a fabulous job with my loyal band of helpers
David the link to keep us all sane.
I have to say I have an amazing grandson who is going to be so full of mischief, personality and entertainment. For as young as he is (10 months) he knows when he has done something he maybe should have not.
David brought him to visit me but he likes to investigate everything himself. Some how Mason was on the floor by my bed.
He discovered the lever that when he pressed it the bed started to rise,. He stood up to check he wasn't in trouble with his big smile to wrap us around his finger then continued to press it further. I have to say that mischievous smile is firmly lodged in my memory bank. The story I will use to embarrass him in later life.
This morning I realized even though I have felt bad the chemotherapy is definitely working . It must be fighting the cancer. In the end I will be fit and well. This is just a blip. This journey should be over by May. A short time in the scheme of things.
I will be having this week off completely. Samantha is doing the classes. Keith and Polly are going to be revuing the recent dances to keep you on track Monday and Thursday eve ,Denise at Larkholme on Tuesday I am missing everyone so much. I have received so many messages of support. and prayers. This is the 1st time I have been off sick from work in 24 years,
I will be half way through my chemotherapy treatment this week. It will all be done by the end of the year.
66 days til Christmas 64 until my final Chemo. everything to look forward too.
We are having amazing weather this year. The sun is still shining. and I am off to visit Eileen and Marjorie for a short trip out.
Fingers crossed for my blood test tomorrow and continuing this journey.
Wednesday 8th October
The sun is shining-bitter cold wind but I have decided to have a day in the office -catching up. I do however get side tracked very easily plus i have to keep finding stuff that has moved from the safe place.
I am at all my classes this week plus I could feel myself returnng to "normal" by the hour. My word for early this week has been wishy washy. Not knowing how to explain how I am just that I am not myself. I know last week I was a bit down but it is amazing where you get that extra bit of support from to give you that fight back.
It happened to me this week on Monday. I had the wishy washy feeling, no energy and actually was worrying how I would get through the evening. Do my job, not take advantage. etc etc. Actually wishing I had a magic wand or my knight in shining aromour would send me home and take care of everything. This didn't happen but a smiling face did.
One of my new beginner walked down the hall , with flowers, card and a letter she had taken the time to write just for me. The flowers are lovely and the card but that letter was amazing. She was actually telling me that I had changed her life . She had had cancer plus lots of other personal trials. I am not alone (which I know I just felt it) . I have reread that letter half a dozen times already , she has been on this path before me and got through it.
as I said before I am so much better than Monday evening evey half hour I feel that bit better. This reaction to chemo was very different from the 1st one same cocktail but different side effects. I have felt tired and I have slept, nice sleeps too just not for very long
. My hair has finally all gone. I quite enjoy my wigs. I have a long one and shorter one depending how I feel . I wear a hat in the house and while I sleep . I do always wake up without my hat on. The weather has changed a lot at night so i woke up cold. couldnt find my hat. I put my hand on the floor. Ah there it was. - All whilst half asleep trying not to wake Andy up.
Very strange I did not realise that my hat had ear holes. I had put a pair of nickers on my head. So glad there were no cameras about.
Last night I was awake half the night so decided to get up and have a hot drink. My brain is now fully functioning again. Planning events, classes parties and Christmas. so now I have to put them all in action. the rest of 2014 and 2015 are so busy - no time to be ill.
Sunday 5th October
A very strange feeling for me this weekend. I left my baby (classes) in the hands of others.
I know it was the right thing to do but at the same time turning away and going for a snooze. Not easy.
I have overwhelming pride for my daughter Samantha who held the classes together during the week.
I have an amazing family. - Andy Sam, David , Steph, Mason Peter and Pauline. without you all this would be a very difficult journey. I have though realised that my other family ( Fancy feet and Line dancing ) are equally as amazing and full of love whether you attend my classes or not.
I may have said before my mother believed if you didnt dance you had no life. I don't really agree with that statement as a whole .people have many different interests hobbies activities etc we are all different and want different things. But for me to part of a huge world wide social activitiy is so important.Where would I be.
I have always believed that our form of entertainment has been about the people and everything follows. This weekend proved it to me.
2 people who I have known for many years, known that we have the same ethics and beliefs regarding dancing country or not, and maybe our paths don't cross as often as if they were down the road but they came along and looked after my "baby" as though it where there own. Not only does this show great courage, huge hearts and a love of a good life. It proved to me I am so blessed , fortunate, and any other word you can think of. Chris and Steve I cannot thank you enough.
The icing on the cake, Natalie Thurlow in the evening. - Gosh she can be bossy lol.Sending me for a rest . This talented lady entertained, sang, just generally was amazing. Watching when I could sneek out for a peep.She sang for the people! The dancers, It was great to stand back and just watch her watching you haing a great time. No them and us . Everyone together for a great night.
So best foot forward. No more being grumpy Jean, feeling angry and fed up. Pull your socks up . Look what you have! A wonderful family life!
p.s I 'm off dancing this afternoon!! Hope you can too!
Just to add our 2 raffles so far for Hint of Pink Breast care at Blackpool and also - Blue Skies Oncology Blackpool have so far raised £305-
Friday 3rd October
Had my chemotherapy on Tuesay as planned. Everything seemed very different. Hard to explain. Nurses where so busy!!
seemed to be a bit of waiting around but as I have no patience this is probably more me than them.
I am finding it quite difficult that nothing what is said to me is not written down to compare my notes. Little bit confusing.
More to do with the anti sickness etc. However Maybe I should or shouldnt I took some tablets aftern my breakfast to see if would help.
The nurses are lovely but just so overworked. One thing that was very surreal was watching the episodes of 4 in a bed Tv programme that I was in whilst having my chemo. Never imagined that would happen.
eventually I was sent home. Another beautiful sunny day. Waiting for me to feel yuk. Nothing happened -very strange. Wednesday just the same. I even baked a cake not very well. (not like me at all) . Did my knitting, crochet etc. plus special visits from Eileen , Marjorie and Brother Peter. A lovley day.
Thursday- grumpy Jean . I felt yuk, sickly, probably my tea from last night. decided to have a ride out for lunch with Andy as it was such a lovely day again. Came home and slept the clock around. I was quite tired but had lovely sleeps no strange dreams.
I still think the feeling of not being in control is driving me mad. Not been able to do what I want when I want. Planning to cook meals then not being able to face to do it. All very unusual to me. I know I will only be like this a few months. but as I said before I have no patience.lol. I love making plans and acheiving them . and most of all I am missing my classes.
Looking forward to a great dancing weekend, taking a back seat but seeing everyone . Cant wait. x
Tuesday 30th September
A short post today - Off for round two of chemo.Not particularly worried but hopefully will not be as sick.
Had a great class last night - everything prepared for no new dances Monday eve next week. My classes are in safe hands with Samantha, She does make me so proud. I know she is overcoming a huge fear, shyness at public speaking and all other emotions worrying about her mum. I will never forget what she is doing for me, Andy and her family. ( oh no I am crying again) this seems to happening a bit this week. Going from being so angry at being limited to what I can do to feeling frustrated , Self pity not one of them thankfully cos I know I am going to get better.
Missed seeing Mason yesterday because of a mix up with district nurse but apart from that I am feeling good. ( more tears)
It is a Pennington thing ( my mothers side of the family) cry for everything happy , sad, overwhelmed and angry lol.
Off to get ready now - see you soon. x
Saturday 27th September
Well I am now wearing my wig permanently from Thursday. Plus I do love my new make up. A whole new image- It hasmade me feel good. No more bad hair days lol. My hair has more or less completely come out.(it is a bit tender similar to being head sore) Not as stressful as I thought it would be . Just a new chapter.
thank you to all the comments from the readers. I did not realize it would be read by so many and enjoyed- Sorry about the spelling mistakes.
Had quite a productive day today- changed bed and done housework Prepared meals for next week . feel I am organized for the chemothearpy. Including arranging playlists for all the classes. That done I needed a nap.
I am sure everything will run smoothly whilst I am absent - I have every confidence in Samantha but it does have that feeling of taking your child on their 1st day at school.
2 more days of work -looking forward to Sunday. Rob Fowler has always been my favorite instructor/ choreographer .
The weather is great Liverpool are winning - A great weekend. !!
Wednesday 24th September
Where has the week gone? I cannot believe I have not written for a few days- One problem not an excuse is I cannot update my website via my i pad. plus I had a busy week at work and a fantastic weekend in Carlisle.More about that later.
I am sure you want to know about my PICC line . well I am keeping it in- Last wednesday I visited the oncology unit to have a chat a have the thing removed. Off I went with Samantha feeling very assertive and wanting to know why I had one in and no one else I knewhad one. We were met by Sue - alovely sister who sat me down for a chat. She explained everything- and I mean everything. The reasons , the side effects if I didn't have it and also if there would be an advantage of having a hickman line fitted . In the end we decided I would try another week. , wear a bandage over my arm so people thought I had a sore elbow, and by some haemeroid cream ( this would be embarassing) to soften the tissues in my arm. I lot of this PICC line is all about image. walking around asda with a horrible dressing on. despite my job I am quite shy and do not like the feeling of poeple looking at me. - can I say now I am keeping it in - the risks to later life where to great to have it removed , plus I am now wearing a cut down fishnet stocking (skin coloured) which for me is cool to wear and stops me catching it.
( you will see them for sale leater on ebay- a patented design)- I have started to crochet and knit.
As the week has gone on - So has my energy increased. In fact suddenly my brain kicked into overdrive to plan the christmas parties. I feel great. I suppose acceptance of my arm has helped. I was then looking forward to our Line dance weekend in carlisle.
I was unable to travel on the coach- I was going to pick up my wig. My hair is slowly coming out - My plan to start wearing it last weekend , A big step. Emma at the shop another lovely lady looked after me. I am meeting so many kind lovely people during this journey. I stuck to my plan to wear my wig. Out I came from the shop feeling like a million dollars. worrying would it blow off ? Can people tell? I will tell you it felt very strange and yes it came off when I returned to my van. They net cap was not quite big enought for my head. So i just put it back on again and set off for Carlisle. - Its amazing what habits I am discovering - I think i must raise my eyebrows up and down a lot when I drive - Off the net came again along with my wig. I then had the most embarassing experience ever.-
We decided (sam and me) to pull into the service station and try again. I parked in the furthest corner possible. there was no one around me. Sam toddles off to the loo to leave me to sort this wig problem out. Can I say there was no vehicles near by at all. I fitted the net cap on - tucked all my hair up I looked like i was preparing to rob a bank - Then suddenly beside me in the next parking spaces appeared 3 mini buses full of army guys - I was surrounded. , Mortified embarassed. I did not know I could squeeze under my steering wheel so fast. Amazing what you can do when faced with a situation.
So I decided to pack my wig away and try again at a later date.
Following that we had a great weekend! I had my energy back! lots of laughing ,great fancy dress outfits etc.
This week all my classes are running as normal. I feel fine I think I see my oncologist sometime to review my chemo ready for next week. Plus now my hair is falling out in big tufts. This morning I went to the hairdresser with intentions of taking it all off. I did bottle out. I have had it cut very short. I just could not take that plunge perhaps its not quite the right moment.it will come very soon I am sure. Another thing I have noticed my skin colour seems to have changed- My make up does not suit me . I think a lot of this cancer battle is about self image - not letting yourself go.It means you are thinking about yourself and giving time for yourself too. I am off up town to Debenhams later to treat myself to new make up .So from tomorrow- I will be wearing my wig , wearing my new make up they wont recognise me at class ! Another step in this journey.
I loved Saturday !
I do think music and dancing are up there with the top 10 ailment remedies. !
the smiling faces/the waves recharged my batteries ready for round 2. There are so many paople to thank along the way that I am not going to in case I miss anyone out. But no matter what you say , do or don't do it means a lot! I am focusing on a big Party in May.
Sunday I was tired but we (andy and me) went to Lidl. Steak for tea - I have to say at the moment my taste boods are fine. the plainer the food the better. It tastes lovely ! It is a good job I am know I am not pregnant cos I have a craving for tomatoes- Jennys are wonderful!!
The district nurse has been. She was lovley made me feel so special .
I rang Sarah this morning to be honest I was surprised to have an answer at 8.30am - I was planning leaving a message for her to return my call. ( A brill system for me) . She is so understanding , helpfull and coming back to someone blubbering when you have had a holiday can't be the best start. Hopefully they will let me have this thing taken out of my arm. I am not coping very well with it. I cant crochet, knit or write very well. Not for me.
And yes I keep crying , then I feel stupid. Then Andy says Do you want a cup of Tea?
He is amzing! Off for my cup of tea now xx
Made a decision to cancel my Ashley Class on a tuesday evening.Flier done!!
Also we have Rob Fowler coming- my favourite Line Dance ViP! Hope you can join us to that.
We need to keep dancing!!!
Well I cannot lie to you this has been harder than I expected and a shock. I know I am a strong person but this chemo thing has floored me quite a bit. Going back to Tuesday.
I went with Andy to our welcome meeting. Watched a DVD had a cup of tea all very nice. The big thing always ring the help line number if you need it !!!! you will not be sick just feel it. and other important stuff. I had an appiontment at 11.30am for a PICC line to be fitted. Time was getting nearer and the other patients were still chatting about there 1-1 complints and ilnness - Personally I did not want to know how many times she went to the loo lol) Any way a quick tour of the oncology day centre and I went for my appointment. ( I do not like being late -I do get worked up)
Then they said I was not having my chemo therapy- But I had rung up to check (:
Have a word with Maria - She may be able to sort it- What would I do I had cancelled my classes.
MAria was Lovlely- She understood my predicament - She got it sorted - I could have kissed her with relief. I was all organised you see.
She thinks I am mad wanting to return to work but she does not realise how nice you all are.
Any PICC line fitted - Ugly dressing on my left arm for 18weeks. - Glad its winter coming up. Lots of does and don't to do.
Visit to X ray - grab a sandwich. Everything perfect- Back for my chemo.
The nurses were lovely. YOu would have liked them Jenny the discussion was all about cats. One had 5 the other a burmese- I am now an expert.
I must say I was glad to be getting home at 4pm - A long day. I felt great.
Not for long - Andy mad me the most gorgeous tea. I was sick.......
I was mortified,. Not me they said I would not be sick . Eventually I rang the help line at 2am- Out the doctor came a lovely man - For an anti sick injection and something magic to make me sleep.
It is now Friday - I think - Non stop sleeping lol. I have never felt so washed out. but I have loved reading the text messages the FB wishes please don't think I am ungrateful. I do feel better today - Yesterday I did go for a walk around the block- I have driven to see Mason and his mum and dad for an hour. return for more sleep.
Andy makes a wonderful Beef and tomatoe sandwich. He is looking after me really well!
I have decided today unfortuantely that due to how I feel today I will have to cancel Sunday afternoon LIne Dance.this weekend. Also my chemo and blood tests do not fuit in with Bournemouth- This will have to be cancelled. I am sorry about the inconvenience I am going to cause. I was looking forward to Bournemouth.
Don't forget dancing tomorrow. I will have to sleep in between I know but I am determined to do it!!!
I knew I wouldn't write everyday lol. I have great intentions which somehow goes awry,
I am a person who always seems to have something to do and a list to write, so I will imagine this week that is going to be the hardest thing to cope with.
I have just had an amzing week learning and teaching new dances- Lots of different dances. then a great weekend of dancing. I did wonder if Nigel Slater was going to be as good as his reviews - guess what he was better!!
I have received to boquets of flowers this week- I do love flowers ! Thank you so much- In our house they last longer than a pot plant. ( mind you we are doing better since Andy started watering them).
I have my bag packed ready for tomorrow, I am not sure what to expect, but I will be there a while. A chat 1st with the Sister, I am having a HIckman line fitted then my 1st dose of chemo- I have packed my butties!
I have even got some wool tostart to crochet a blanket, I did not think I would concentrate enough for a jumper, My Ipad, a book and ipod. THink it should keep me amused..
I do plan to return to work in 4 days - Maybe you think I am stupid. It is what I want to do. I really love my job and want to be there as much as possible. I do realise that I will be tired so for the 1st time I can remember I will be a sit down DJ. I will be staying on the stage to avoid infection etc.
No hugging and kissing for a week!
Off to learn tonights dance and try and remember the ones we started last week,. Excited for tomorrow because I am beginnig to retake control of my life again . The fight begins........... !
After spreading the good news yesterday to family and friends next question is what happens now. More waiting?
For once the post man was early - My letter has arrived I start chemotherapy next Tuesday. 2 days in a row I feel happy - My journey is going to begin! All my plans will be put into action.
However it is also probably the worse week of all- Samantha is on holiday with her friend. So even though I said I was going to try and keep my classes going unfortuantely next week I am not.
Looking on the bright side this weekend we have partner dancing followed by a social evening.
Class will be as normal Monday night. 4 days to recover from my treatment Then another weekend of dancing including Sunday.
This cancer is very inconvenient . Causing a disruption to all my plans. but not for long I hope !!
Oh I have also had my hair cut shorter ! I am ready for the battle lol!!
Great news today - A lovely phone call from my cancer Nurse Sarah- My CT scan was clear. What a relief.
I felt like crying- the relief. It had seemed to be a long week when in fact it was only 5 days- 2 of which was the weekend so they don't count.
I had had a lovely weekend don't get me wrong. Partner dancing saturday afternoon. Cuddles from my Grandson Mason. A walk along the prom with Samantha but I suppose I could not settle - worrying in the back of my head. Whatever the outcome of the scan I would fight it. Good or Bad but not knowing is sometimes hard to cope with. So once again - A wonderful phone call- One of the most important in my life!
30 August 2014
Firstly I am overwhelmed by the beautiful messages, words of encouragement , text messages, cards. from all around the world and from home too. I know what people mean when they say I am truly blessed. Thank you . If I don't reply or respond please don't be upset. I will get around to it. rest assured I appreciate and treasure it. I am starting a scrap book. Sticking in my cards , messages etc. I can read them on down days which I know I will have but hopefully will be on a minimum.
Wow Thursday a busy day. Appointment at 8am with my Oncologist. A lovely man with a name I cant say (let alone spell-so sorry) . He was so gentle, understanding and made sure I was understanding of whatI am in for. A smile that was genuine. - Can't ask for more. I am in good hands. Followed by a half mile walk to the other end of the hospital for bloods to be taken. of course back again because the car was parked at the other end lol. ( Note to self-never wear high heels to appointments- Good solid walking shoes )
Arrive at Dean St just in time for myThursday morning class. - A cup coffee in my hand within 2 minutes. Ann And Bryan had done all the setting up. Think they are 2 of my guardian angels at the moment.
I do love this class. No pressure. Sometimes its busy sometimes its not. But it just doesnt seem to matter on a thursday,. We have a trip down memory lane. Not just the geniuine classics like just for grins, pot of gold etc.But others, east to west, Oklahoma wind, our latest review Kate Sala's Bye Bye Piccolisimo. and Pat Stotts Baker st. to set your minds into overdrive.
After class return to the hospital for my Ct scan. Another walk down the long...corridor. But this time I don't get lost. I know my way around.Go to the check in desk and they say hello Mrs Webb. no letter of introduction required.
This was going to be another new experience. but 1st drink a jug of water. The problem is not drinking it . Its keeping it in. Don;t they know what my bladder is like? It changed overnight when I became 50. There I sat in my lovely blue designer gown . At least it was stitched up at the back. Drank my water and waited my turn.
the scan was fine. Lie on a bed and it slid you through a huge polo mint looking contraption with a voice from above shouting breathe - hold your breathe .then it was done. I could go. I was not standing up until I knew the directions to the nearest loo. Grab my things and run!!!
Thats it no more tests or apointments until my chemotherapy start.
Return to Dean St in time for my evening class. - These are the good dancers! They know their stuff . The dancers that have been dancing for ever. Whatever I throw at them they can do! ( I am creeping a bit) Like all other classes they sit in the same places , dance in the same spot. BUt who cares they make me laugh, smile and every other great feeling you can think about. plus it was Colin's Egg night.
Now I get to relax a bit for a couple of days. - Fridays at st Aaannes. My posh class. - What a lovley suprise- Joyce and Kath changed their routine and came along because they missed Tuesdays class because it was cancelled. - Yes Fancy Feet will survive the inconvenience of my illness- Another reassurance. Its the small things make the biggest impact. x
Just another comment about Fridays -What a busy fun morning and night- The numbers have doubled. I really can't believe it. HOpe they get the lift mended soon.
Sat hear finishing this off looking forward to partner dancing- doing my play list ( keep putting it off) hoping my daughter has made a brew. Plus I am going to see Mason too this weekend . I count my blessing every day. ! Where is the sunshine they promised us?
27th August 2014
Welcome to my special page- This is designed to keep you up to date with my fight against my breast cancer.
You my Fancy Feet Family are very important to me and now more then ever I will need your prayers and support.
It is not going to be a sad page! But hopefully I will be able to portray how positive I feel to beat this illness. I have a wonderful life, great family and a wonderful job! I am so lucky.
I did not realise when I was 1st refered to the Breast care Unit at Blackpool Victoria Hospital how organised I am , I seem to run my life in a disorganised chaos from one event to the next. Learning about myself along the way I now realise I am organised (not so with my housework ) but definately in planning and organising my life. I now know what chaos feels like. I brain is whizzing trying to work out where I should be when and with who. A totally alien feeling.
Out I went and bought a diary . I normally only use one for my accounts, dances and events. I can remember dentist and hairdressers appointments. Not any more.
I have received so much advice and words of encouragement. Other cancer stories. all positive and living to tell the tale. .
My plans throughout the journey. Laugh a lot. Eat healthily, dance a lot and cherish my family and my wonderflul grandson Mason. I cannot wait to look aftern him when his mum returns to work Most of all I want to keep my classes running as much as possible. Samantha ( my daughter) is going to take the reigns for the next few months. - She is a fighter too.
Concertrate on myself is the most popular advice I keep receiving- I will be but Fancy Feet is just an extension of me. If thats is fine I will be!!
The updates will be irregular to this page. May be just one word, maybe 1000page essay but Lets begin the journey......
(Here is the letter sent to all my Fancy feet Dancers)-
Yesterday I went for my bone density scan and last week my heart scan- I received a mesage this morning everything was perfect- Great news!!
Today spent in the office creating playlists for stand in instructors , (so they know what we have been up too) and to make Sams job easier.
Fliers for upcoming events. and weeknd breaks. Hopefully email all this out to my mailing list.
Tomorrow I meet the Oncologist then I will beable to put my plans into action for my chemotherapy. 10am class as normal. I love this class dancing the oldies. Afternoon Ct scan returning for my evening class.
Thats it for today - The sun is shining!!