2nd January 2013
A look back at 2012 and a look forward to 2013
Yes it’s been a while since I updated this but there’s been a lot for me to get my head around. This time last year, despite my best efforts, I was so very sick. My dog Rodney was also on his last legs and it was an awful time for us both. I decided that the only way to get through this year was to book a holiday for Oct/Nov, a week in the sun anywhere, I’m not fussy but something for me to look forward to beyond this awful drug. The Oncologist in my Nov visit following 3 weeks on 9 miu’s reduced the dose back to 6 miu’s thinking I would be feeling much better. On my last visit to the oncologist, Jan, I yet again told his nurse that my confusion was getting worse, I was slurring some of my words and becoming more and more forgetful. She, yet again, replied – Oh that’s a side effect! It wasn’t even charted and I now know that this was a significant side effect which should have set sufficient warning bells ringing to be taken off interferon immediately. My weight loss is also dramatic and overall I was feeling just awful. A few weeks into the new year and I had decided that on my next visit which was due to be March I was calling stop, I’ve had enough, I’ve given it my best shot, I want my life back. Oh but life, as usual, has it’s own way of dealing with things!
After a number of very stressful weeks Rodney was put to sleep on 30th Jan, I was heartbroken then our daughter was made redundant on 1st Feb It was a huge shock to her as her team were looked upon as being untouchable. She had already made plans to move out and, having paid her deposit, feels she will get a job and it is worth making the change at the end of Feb. So life motored on with me looking forward to my appointment to finally come off this awful drug when my life was suddenly turned upside down on 22nd Feb. I will not go into details, just can’t put it into print as I’m still in shock, but it ended with me being taken to hospital via ambulance, coming off interferon immediately, more tests and scans the outcome of which is I’m not allowed drive until May 13. In the space of 3 weeks I lost my beloved Rodney, Daughter made redundant, Daugher moves out, with our insistence and I end up back in hospital. I sat in my kitchen and cried the day she moved out, I was happy for her that she was going but I felt that day that my life was spiralling out of control.
So what is it like not to be allowed drive? Its crap! In one foul swoop I’ve lost my independence. I feel a prisoner in my own home needing not only permission to leave but also a reason why I want to go somewhere! Men you really don’t have a clue. My OH is happy to drive me wherever I want but it’s followed with the question why do you want to go there and what do you want to get. Grr! He just doesn’t get it. My golf has more or less fallen by the wayside as am totally dependent on other members giving me lifts. I’m the worst in the world to ask. The side effects of interferon take a minimum of a year to leave the system so it was really the end of the summer before I began to feel normal again. Some side effects will linger forever and if I knew then what I know about this drug I’d never have gone on it. I also feel I am suffering from survivor’s guilt. So many people I know have died this year, either from MM. an online supportive friend of mine who had similar side effects to me and came off the drug after my experience in February died in May. Another lady I have known for years was diagnosed with a tumour in March and we buried her last week. There must be some reason why after 6 malignant tumours I’m still here but I’m struggling to find a reason why. There is nothing special about me, I’m just a normal, stay at home Mum who has been unlucky with her health but yet I’m still here whereas others with better prognosis than I are gone. Really don’t understand it at all.
So the year continued. I got a puppy called Rupert who is an Airedale Terrier who by default ended up attending dog shows and doing very well – this is worthy of another blog because the show dog scene really is another world! Rupert, however, was neutered before Christmas so that’s the end of his career. We celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary in the Cliff House Hotel, Ardmore which was wonderful and had our anniversary meal in The Tannery in Dungarvan, again wonderful and a 2 night break I hope to repeat. Michael, @DiamondsIrl organised my present to my OH for me and kindly wrapped and delivered to The Tannery for me. I got him a set of cufflinks and a tie pin made in the shape of Africa, long story but he’d been looking for them for years. You can imagine my surprise when, for the first time in 35 years, he actually managed to not only surprise me but also made me cry by giving me a present of a trip to South Africa. We are flying to George in less than 2 weeks and driving through the Garden Route, into Cape Winelands, have a few nights in Cape Town before boarding the Blue Train and finishing our trip in Sandton.
Our daughter settled into her new apartment only for her boyfriend to get a transfer with his job to Dublin and for them both to get their own place in September. So I guess she is on her way to being settled. She was only out of work for 3 weeks in the end and also in September was head hunted by 2 different companies so big changes this year for her too.
Our Son is settling into student life, studying, working part time, planning holidays and social life. He is still as steady as ever and I’m in shock to think that he is only days away from his 20th birthday. He is my gentle giant and will make a terrific husband one day.
In Nov we went on that holiday we had planned in Jan. My cheap week away ended up a Caribbean Cruise which was fantastic. I will post my review to my blog.
So that has been 2012, quiet for me not being able to get around by myself but I’m feeling so much better than this time last year. Hair has fully grown back and I’m now at a good weight, don’t want anymore thank you!!! So I now look forward to 2013 – I will be driving again!!! I’m planning on doing a twitter tour as so many of my twitter friends have been my rock during this past 2 years. They have no idea how much they helped get me through the dark days of which there were many. I tried not to moan and indeed looked forward to my twitter chats to keep me interested in the outside world. Twitter pals I thank you more than you will ever know.
After SA I’m heading to Crufts for a day, something I’ve always wanted to do and I am really looking forward to this. I am also hoping to do fun stuff with Rupert, Agility, dog club etc but again until I am back driving cannot really plan. I am also planning on staying healthy despite what my team think, they’re expecting another tumour at some stage in the future and something is being monitored now, if it happens it will be disappointing, however, I will fight to the end!
So 2013 please be a nice year, I and my family have now had 2 bad years and could do with a good one. My wish for everyone is for health and happiness in 2013