John and I have settled in to our “house-sit” in Brisbane – a huge thankyou to Andrew and Anne! It is a beautiful comfortable place, and we had a restful day yesterday after gadding around for the last 3 weeks (travelling to Apollo Bay and back, and holidaying with Evan and Helen.)
Today at the hospital I signed the consent form for participating in the Farletuzumab research trial, and I was checked over to give a baseline. This involved a variety of tests – physical, ECG, blood test, CT scan, blood pressure, height, weight, urine test, and completing a funny little questionnaire about my quality of life.
Back in 2009, when I first checked in to the Mater Hospital, my family was very amused by the sign over my bed, “Alison Bird NORMAL”. (The kids said they never believed it, but I felt it was an advantage to have my normality affirmed in writing by the doctor!) This time, from the moment I handed over my appointment card this morning, we heard the staff organising my test bookings, saying “Alison Bird – she's a Trial”. It reminded me of “The Patient from Hell” (a book I have by Stephen Schneider).
I'm feeling fine, although by now I'm keen to get the treatment started – and over with. On Wednesday I will have my first doses. I have been studying up the handy hints that friends gave me when I started chemo the first time. Thanks Anne Marie and Maria!
It is still difficult to identify with all this. I'm very fit and well, and it's hard to believe otherwise. It is just because I feel so well and full of energy that I play with the calendar and fantasize about flying all over the place in between my treatments. John very sensibly reminds me not to plan too much till we see how I cope with the side effects.
I think we have now completely settled into a way of life that involves just taking a day or two at a time. I used to think about the popular challenge to live in the moment and doubt I could ever do it. It’s funny to think how difficult this attitude can be when the going is easy! However, at times like this it almost seems there is no other option.
As for our business, it is ‘on hold’ and we are just letting the Christmas card season go by…
The lumps in my groin have grown a little over the last month while I was holidaying, but they're still only about the size of macadamia nuts and not bothering me, except for the fact that they represent cancer recurrence. When I talk to people I have to watch out for inadvertent puns such as, “An unexpected problem has landed in my lap” and “Something has come up”. I keep thinking of that warning, “may contain traces of nuts”. Yes, it's a worry – nuts in my groin!
It is so lovely receiving messages and kind wishes from everyone and I really appreciate your support dear friends and family!!!!!! A big hug and lots of love to each of you. xxx