Thursday, May 27, 2010

Wahine in strife!

Kia kaha! (be strong!) As Clem mentioned to me when I phoned to see how Nelda was. His words have been with me and will stay forever.
It is true that Maori wahine's survival rate is lessening and the Pacific Island women are even greater. So what does this mean? Message is to be a spokesperson, be a voice and speak from the heart about the journey, an invitation to what I believe in and talk to women and men who care.
Talking is a great way for recovery, a process talk openly and ask questions and hopefully answers, to become informed and pseak your mind. Until you have been in this situation, you will know, I am living proof of this deadly disease CANCER, this is controversial, from sensitive issues and majority are favourable, however, there are women who believe in what's install for the outcome?
Cycle 4 last Tuesday and now this is Friday, my white blood count is 1.6 pretty low after chemotherapy, I believe my blood count will improve and recovery is before cycle 5 is due in three weeks time. Down ward spiral is quite common with cancer survivors, as you are aware I am in bed again, chemo brain plays havoc on your mind, reading is the only alternative, so plenty of books to read, therapeutic and great for my sanity? James is a marvel, cooking, cleaning house, vacuuming as well, laundry and folding clothes from the dryer, his only problem is ironing is not for to do, bugger! I envisioned that being a domesticated house husband, ironing is least on his mind and to iron the clothes is much better, cleaner, neater and placed in a space that I look upon as thorough and fabulous. Ironing is not for at this stage, so in time I will get back to enjoyment in life a cleaner, healthier household. Anyway, James cleans the ceiling as the mildew is everywhere and does a fabulous job of cleaning these areas, the house is a older style home, so every year is one of our tasks to clean this place, he achieves this without any problems, superman my hero husband.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Blood test?

One of my pet hates to have blood extracted from my arm. My first cycle of blood tests, and every two days more bloody blood tests, my body was reacting to the chemotherapy, so I had to endure this continuously for three weeks, dreaded every second day of more blood tests. As time prevails my body, mind, weight dissipated and the last thing I had to do is give more blood, weak and fragile I forced myself to have a shower, cool myself off, while waiting for Roslyne to show up. By drawing the curtains, door wide open, the breeze helped a lot, the cool air gave me hope to carry on. Cycle 2 of chemotherapy, Karen from the Oncology Research Team gave me three sheets of blood to take, I jumped for joy knowing the blood tests were three lots less, instead of nine bloody blood tests that I had to do beforehand.
One of these many instances we drove to Apollo Drive Labtests for blood to be taken, so one of the Phlebotomist was extracting blood and kept inserting the needle, feeling queasy and sick, she summoned one of the nurses to come and help, I was to sit on the floor and mentioned to the nurse once you put me on the floor it is awkward for me get on my feet, so they found a bed and blood was taken, thank goodness! Feeling better we arrived home without any hiccups. Two weeks ago another test was done, once again the same Phlebotomist was extracting blood from my vein and felt sick again, so the nursing staff came to my aid and l was to lie on the floor. A nasty bruise appeared and developed into a larger bruise that took about one month to disappear, so no more bloody marks on my body otherwise bruising is on the increase. When I came round I vowed that I wouldn't have this problem again and yesterday Shirley summoned me into the room, extracted the blood without any problems, feeling fabulous we drove home. James & I drove over to the Janice of Wyoming super yacht and met up with Shelly to watch 2 movies and junk food for us to munch on, quenching our thirst with bottled water? Movies were mediocre, in between did the crossword puzzles, television is tolerably and I allowed these two to watch without any interruptions? We left around about 7:00 pm loaded with goodies from Shelly, thank you so much dearest friend. A comfortable evening and slept well that night, my body is coping with the drugs and JR is watching me at all times monitoring my temperature, and any drugs I need to take if I am unwell. He is my savour a dear man that enjoys my company in my unfashionable manner, spoiling me too, love you sweet pea, love of my life.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A spoonful of sugar!

This article is in the New Zealand Women's Weekly I received by post on Tuesday, waited anxiously for the magazine to arrive on Monday and still nothing had happened! I waited excitedly for the mail to arrive on Tuesday morning to read about myself in the magazine.
This is Monday evening, and played against the ladies in the club who I have played for years, I qualified to play next Monday evening at 7:00 pm for the champion of champion ladies singles event, lady luck was on my side. Feeling elated and couldn't resist, so I drove to Food town supermarket to peruse the aisle until I came across the magazine, lo and behold there I was exposed to the elements. The photographs were professionally done thanks to Martin who caught me in an unexpected moment while Vicky was interviewing me eating the pre-chemotherapy strawberry ice-cream, and a million dollar smile too. One of the ladies said to me that I am Hollywood material, and replied that I am Hollywood period? Plenty of chuckles as well, a star is born and more will follow.
This article A Spoonful Of Sugar makes the medicine go down in a most delightful way, as Julie Andrews would sing with her melodious voice, birds will join in and whistle and chortle or two. Thank you so much Vicky Tyler for a job well done, you receive a AAA+++ in my book. I wore my waka blond and people commented how well I looked and the wig suits me and has made me look at least 10-20 years younger? (Ha! Ha!) After all I am the fountain of youth, Ponce de Leon has nothing on me, this Maori wahine is ageless and beautiful too. I was hoping that Roslyne would be in the picture, so this was not to be anyway the next magazine article will be in October, Cancer Awareness Week. Catherine Findlay from Mana magazine has confirmed this and I will be interviewed by the Assistant Editor for the magazine.
On Wednesday & Thursday I bought along with me the article of the magazine and showed this to everyone at the Browns Bay and Takapuna Stroke Club, people were impressed with my attitude to life, staying positive helps a lot. They commented how brave I am to believe in myself and because of the impact I made by presenting my happy stance to life and will remain this way for the next 50 years or longer!
On Wednesday afternoon was miserable, raining, stormy weather, and I had to either stay home or venture outdoors to brave the elements and face the walk to the bus stop which is a few minutes away, so I did! The rain had dissipated thank goodness, and with my waddle I walked the few hundred metres to the bus stop, waited patiently for the bus to arrive. Twenty minutes later I boarded the bus, the driver drove to Takapuna and arrived in plenty of time, seated comfortably, sipping on a chocolate milkshake, read the same article over and over again, feeling great about myself.
Arrived at Women's Citizen Club next door to the library in Takapuna and was greeted by Mary Anne another cancer survivor, and met other ladies in the group, quite a mixture of talented women. Janice Wood and Jan Breast Nurse Specialists were present to speak about their roles on the North Shore area and Northland region. So the word "C" was on the agenda, where the group spoke about their experiences with cancer. I spoke to the group about Jane a breast cancer and spinal survivor, mother of two, one grand child, talked briefly about her situation and so on. Interesting listening to other women's experiences, that intrigues me a lot, so Jan and spoke about the repercussions in life, the dreaded "C" word. I listened about how devastating this disease is, hope and possibility is my option to life? I asked Janice why there are so many wahine deaths in New Zealand? This baffles me, our wahine need to become informed about the facts of breast cancer, knowing that information is available, be involved and know how detrimental it is to their lives! I am impressed and ask all kinds of questions so I can become familiar with the dreaded "C" word and comfortable with it too! Eventually Jan and Janice were leaving and I approached Janice so she may read the article in the New Zealand Woman's Weekly. She came over and gave me a big hug, reassured me that I have made an impact on this deadly disease, as I have mentioned before "there are no guarantees?"
There was a mention in the North Shore Breast Friends News from our President Jenny Short and this is what she wrote. There is a very interesting article which you may want to read in the latest NZ Woman's Weekly about one of our (BSC) Breast Support Cancer members, Violet, looking stunning as usual.

Anyway, this Dr Andrew Shelling will speak at the Domain Lodge on Wednesday evening at 7:30 pm about the role of genes in Breast Cancer, I definitely will go along and listen to this interesting speaker. My body has had enough for today, besides playing with Paul for 2 hours of table tennis, lunch, meeting at BSC that evening and a ride home by Mary Anne, a night of being a social butterfly and now it is time to retire to bed are on the agenda and my electric blanket waits for me to be snuggled into bed for another great night of sleeping. Adios amigos! Hasta luego baby!!!!!