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Posts Tagged ‘cancer’

I’ve been catching up with Desperate Housewives of late, working my way from season 1 right through to, the currently airing, season 6. I have just started season 4 and Lynette’s struggle with cancer has had me bawling like a baby, so here I am blogging about it!

It has been about 7 years since I lost my Dad to cancer, non-hodgkins lymphoma, and yet it is only now, being older, that I can appreciate his struggle. When he first told me that he had cancer I was only a child and I remember running from him and blaming him for it. I soon came round of course and life continued as normal with me seeing him at weekends (my parents divorced when I was a baby) and us going to visit places, it was like there was nothing wrong. As I got older he got weaker and weaker, we spent more time just at his house chatting instead of going out, I visited him in hospital once, you get the picture. Despite having watched him battle, and boy did he battle, it has only recently occurred to me just how strong he was.

Every time I saw him he had a smile on his face, he was chatty, he wanted to play and do things, not once did I see him moping or crying or even thinking about giving in. Looking back I can see that as the years went on he grew more desperate for a cure, he switched to goats milk/cheese, cut out all sorts from his diet, tried herbal remedies, the works, but as a child I never noticed. Being older, and more intuitive, now I remember one time in the midst of an organic, goats milk phase, sitting in his kitchen while he opened the door to the fridge and I can see the look on his face, it was a look that was both despairing and desperate. He wasn’t just looking at the food in there, he was begging it to make a difference and yet he never turned to me and cried. I can’t begin to comprehend the strength it must have taken for him to see me sat there, knowing that he wouldn’t see me grow up, and still put a smile on his face. I could never imagine having that kind of courage. I admire him so much for managing to hide, what I now know to be, a huge burden from me in an effort to give me a childhood.

When I think about him now it is always fondly, and rarely with tears, but watching Lynette’s struggle has made me wish that I’d been older. I wish that I had known what I know now and that I could have understood and empathised. I wish that I could have been there for him in the way that he was there for me, and it saddens me greatly that I’ll never have that chance. I would give anything to be able to see him one last time and tell him how proud I am of him, and how much I respect and admire him for his strength and courage but this is the best I can do.

Of course I know that he understood, I was a child, he didn’t expect anything from me, even when I promised him that I would find the cure! I know he knew I did the best a 7-14 year old can do and I know that he never felt I’d let him down, but sometimes I still wish I could have done something more so that he knew he wasn’t alone.

Anyway, less of the emotional stuff! I did the race for life last year in his honour, and, if I’m in the country, intend to do it again this year. It was a fantastic experience and I would encourage anyone to do it, you can’t imagine the feeling it gives you. I am constantly amazed by how many people have been touched by cancer and what they will do to in the battle to beat it. It is something that everyone is united to beat and I know that eventually we will. Some of the girls on twitter have organised the #twitsfortits trek to raise money for breast cancer, you can donate here. The fabulous, and now famous, BubblyBex has created the #kickcancer campaign that is providing hope to everyone on twitter fighting cancer. Her unstoppable positivity and great humour in the fight against “little c” can be supported here. Everyone is on board to fight this disease that ruins lives and I think we need to take the lead from those battling with it: don’t stop fighting, that way, we’ll win.

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Heidi – A mini tribute

Sadly we lost Heidi this morning. She had deteriorated somewhat rapidly overnight and was struggling with breathing, we had made an appointment at the vets to have her put down but we didn’t make it, she passed away on my lap being fussed by both Stuart and I. We had done everything we could for her but the cancer was too much for her tiny body 😦

We are having her cremated and possibly buried in France where she’d been on holiday twice and enjoyed herself greatly. She is going to be hugely missed, especially by her sister, but we are glad that she isn’t suffering any more. She has been a fantastic pet and companion and she was so loved.

There are some videos here and photos below, she was so beautiful.

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01/02 I am officially hating 2010, if it carries on like this it is going to be a horrendous year. Today we took Heidi (the guinea pig) to the vets because she’s had a runny nose and eyes for the past two or three days and has been a bit legarthic. The vet checked her over and found a lump in her cheek pouch and thinks it is either a serious infection or lymphoma, she’s pretty much ruled out a tooth infection as her teeth are so healthy, but has taken some cells from the lump for analysis and given us some antibiotics to give her. I am hoping and praying that it’s not cancer but from what the vet said it sounds like it’s the most likely option given her age and overall general good health. Fortunately she’s eating and drinking ok but I just wish I could make it all better for her, poor baby.

Heidi is the black and white one, the other one is Henrietta

2/02 The vet phoned this afternoon with bad news, Heidi does have lymphoma. We are carrying on with the antibiotics so that she doesn’t catch something else and the vet is looking into options and will phone tomorrow. She didn’t sound too hopeful though and said it was just a matter of when she begins to deteriorate. She did recommend steroids to give her some strength and make her feel better but we’re waiting for tomorrow to find out what other options, if any, we have.

Get praying folks

04/02 The Vet has spoken to an exotic animal specialist from Edinburgh who said the options are steroids twice a day alongside antibiotics, chemo or nothing. After much deliberation on the pros and cons of each option Stuart and I have decided to try her on chemo which involves one injection monthly, the side effects may make her worse but if it is successful then her quality of life should be better for the time she has left. The vet has said we’re looking at about 4 to 6 weeks depending on treatment and things.

05/02 Heidi has had her chemotherapy injection and has been home for about an hour. She seems as well as can be expected, no worse at least. Sadly she’s not eating so we have to syringe some extra calorie food into her mouth and we’ve got to give extra vitamin c in her water but she seems more comfortable. At the moment we have to handle her with rubber gloves on because some of the injection leaked and may be on her skin, it also means that we can’t put her back in the cage with Henrietta either so we’re having to keep them separate for the next 24 hours. I’m hoping against hope that it gives her some strength and quality of life for a little while.

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