I am not one to do things by half. And the cancer it seems is the same. Over the last few weeks, I have been attending the Mater to get some CT and MRI scans. I got told last Thursday at chemo by a registrar the cancer is in the bones. Now the fella was hot as usual (the Mater have a strict good-looking DR’s only policy) but it was like he was telling me there was no milk left not that the cancer had spread. I was on my own and a bit shocked. Even though I wasn’t shocked if that makes any sense. My best Ally at the moment is my brain. Adversity they say makes you stronger and my life experience certainly allows me process life’s shit in a collected way and approach it with all the fight I have. But recently I think I was getting carried away with very kind hearted people telling me “ Mrs smith down then road had an identical cancer to yours and is still here seven years…” now this is not helpful for me personally, it may be exactly what someone else needs by for me I got carried away on a wave of possibilities only to fall flat and hard when I got the news. I am much better suited to positive thoughts and realism. It’s just what works for my bag of crazy. Not that I don’t really appreciate everyone’s kind thoughts and only trying to help me out x
Anyway, I was in hospital all day by myself knowing this bomb not knowing what to do with it. Luckily, Emma my friend who works in the hospital came down to me and we cried for a little bit. I hate crying on the day ward it has dozens of very sick people on recliners getting chemo, so crying is just unnecessary (in my mind). I texted my brother in law to tell my sister Siobháin, I WhatsApp my girl group and told my family in person when I got home. This is news I am not telling Seamus so that is a first. I am really open with Séamus and like to be honest but don’t feel this adds anything for the moment anyway. The doctor said the cancer being in my bones does not alter treatment yet either, so we just have to carry on. I am still hoping for a few years though. I dream of being at Seamus’s school graduation so hope I can make that happen.
I work for Irish life as you know. Haven’t been in the office since January 2019. I was working to go back in September gone but obviously now I am legit finished work for ever ever… Isn’t that mad at 35 and here I thought I’d be retiring at 70 … I qualified for the invalidity pension and a disability parking permit. Oh the glam… I was just looking up my college course and professional exams. They have gone off (definitely not how I say the qualifications need updating but hey chemo brain is real) due to me not working and keeping up with cpd. I was thinking of fixing it but for what reason? Who cares…? I do. I am a nerd and worked so hard to get the qualifications I have I kind of want them when I die. Isn’t that soooo weird.
So how am I medically now?
This was something I wasn’t going to share because I thought I’d be judged and thought a bad personality, but I’m feel it’s important for anyone else starting the journey. I currently take a painkiller for the back pain, morphine for the breathlessness and some tummy tablets. A couple of weeks back the bloods show my liver levels were less than favourable and I was at risk of not being allowed take the chemo. So that week I went home and tried to reduce taking unnecessary pain relief and substituted it instead with weed chocolate and oil. I really hope I don’t get arrested. Now I won’t lie when I was young, I may have tried it bit but it was never my personal bag, I loved the wine, the vodka… the list is endless. But anyway. Back to now, one weeks taking the weed stuff my liver function was back to completely normal (not cancer normal), like healthy. Then stuff gives me an appetite,
Pain management is next level and I function so much better. I know it is illegal and that’s it. But I do hope the legislate for medial use properly.
The pain can flair now and then, but I just have to listen to the body and nap. I have made an effort when I wake to get out of bed and it has made the world of difference, trying to get a routine going. Even if the routine is move to sofa for tea 🙂 my stomach is rough in the morning like I’ve hit fusion (nightclub in Drogheda) although who am I kidding I’m too old for fusion would much rather JF Keoghs pub (my parents local). I do hope I might get a sneaky pint for Christmas. I feel so bad for all the publicans trying to balance books with close to nothing coming in. I know for people like my parents who live in the sticks the banter they have with their neighbours in the local is so important. My parents aren’t church goers, so it is where they meet friends and it’s so important for Rural Ireland, I just don’t think the government are thinking ahead yet but sure they never do.
After my all clear in June 2019 I actually told my cousin Louise who also has cancer I just did not feel like my cancer was gone or that I was finished with cancer. Now I had no symptoms had a pet scan and the lot, so nothing was missed I don’t think. But I do feel I know my body. This is something I would urge woman (and men but my experience is limited there :)) to do. Spend some time understanding what your body does and why. Feel comfortable giving the boobies a good exam, check moles, check your groin area out. If your embarrassed, make an appointment with the doctor ask her/ him to show you how to do it and then have a shower regularly and do a self-check checklist. I am hoping to demonstrate more in this area in the future, the more we talk about things the less embarrassed or uncomfortable we are with anything the crops up. As I get older Nature really does wow me. The fact I made a human still gets me. And I am watching my sister and best friend go through pregnancy and I am so excited for their journey and to meet my new niece/ nephew. The way the body changes to cater for a tiny human is magic. So exciting although I do wish I had experienced again. I loved being pregnant. But for now, I am sooo grateful I did have him in first year of college and that I get the time I am having with him. Now don’t get me wrong I often want to murder him. Elaine and Helena my friend s both have teenage boys and it is a saving grace to hear stories of A) how wonderful our teenagers are to B) what wankers they are and often all in the same day…
This coming Friday is one of the biggest dates in my calendar. The Toy Show. Seamus is too cool so luckily my goddaughter and her mam are minding my Friday. So, me and Ava will have a party! I am making a chocolate lasagne which nobody seems to have heard of, but it is a toy show staple here. The countdown is truly on for my brother, sister in law and most importantly my niece Saoirse and nephew James to arrive home. They are here for a month and will be following all restrictions. I’ve been spending a mini fortune on Saoirse who is 4 going 25 and reminds me so much of myself… (basically a little bit of a b*tch sorry Laura) also I clear as day remember being around her age and my aunt Joan bringing me to Dunnes stores in Stephens green and letting me buy any dress I wanted. I felt like a princess. I want to jam pack Saoirse’s trip home with memories of me so that a new wardrobe, toys but most importantly time. I am crying now thinking of her sweet little face and the fact that her brother or my other future nieces and nephews will not know me. So, while the card will tap, I am going to keep spending on her. Although I had picked what I thought was the coolest toy a vetch secret diary, but I have been told it’s not great. Any suggestions? I need it to be cool but not too large (in size) as it need to go to Canada.
Séamus is another fella I am ruining but this is. Debate I have with myself every year. Currently Séamus is saving and buying parts to build his own gaming pc. So, I’m giving him money which is sooo boring and not something I would usually do. But hoping to surprise him with a few bits. I was delighted with all his Christmas clothes but because I bought online, I had to give them to him to check sizes and he was as enthusiastic as a sloth. I love Christmas. Always. Have. This Christmas all going well we will have all 13 of us together for the first time in you know I do not actually know, YEARS! I have been buying a lot of Irish products where possible. There is a Facebook group called shop in Ireland and deadly artists, retailers etc… post stuff up affordable (also some pricey bits) but different. I am currently waiting on bows for my dogs because you know they just HAVE to have them…
I think this one is a bit waffly and I am sorry. My chemo brain is real, and I struggle to remember what I was just talking about. I was bad before with names now I’m terrible. I was talking to my friend Carly and I wanted to say her sons name Jake I said your child!… how bad is that. It has not helped of course that everyone seems to be pregnant or just had babies so we are not firing on all cylinders, so the conversation level is something out of little Britain.
I suppose I want to mention the fundraising, but I also get so embarrassed about it.
I am a single parent and managed to provide a decent life for myself and Séamus. There wasn’t extra like most people at the end of a month, but I am so grateful to have what I have. The fundraising to date has provided us with a cleaner two twice a week, a new cooker, (my cooker broke and I was able to buy one without stressing about what bill I wouldn’t cover this month), paid rent, bills, Christmas shopping, clothes for me and so much more. The relief of knowing I don’t have to worry is more than you will ever know. I am not able to go into much detail, but I am also able to fight for myself and how I was treated with the help of a solicitor. This I will explain when it is done but will hopefully protect future woman just like me.
Money is not everything but the fundraising being done blows me away all day every day.
I cannot thank everyone but Andrew and Scott Hageman who own and run A&S fitness are organizing Run for Eileen and raised thousands. It’s on this weekend and if you wanted to partake visit www.facebook.com/groups/376552050215682 I am aiming to walk from Bettystown square to the golf club and back.
The group has such a supportive bunch encouraging each other. Very proud of my big brother Eoin who is doing the run in Canada and is flying with his training. It is hard to speak about things like him living abroad and me dying but I know it is extra tough for him and think the running group is great to motivate the running and also the chats.
The second fundraiser I would like to mention is the Christmas Raffle organized by my sister Siobháin and her husband (still sounds weird to me, we are way too young to be adulting like this) Seán. I have literally pasted the details below… massive thanks to EZLiving, pm blinds and Eirkoo recruitment. Considering how tough business is right now this is extra unbelievable (amazing quality of English)
The Cancer is a bitch Christmas raffle
Siobháin Gibbons is hosting a raffle with some amazing prizes thanks to most generous donations! All proceeds will go towards assisting in care, living and treatment costs for my gorgeous sister @eileenrushe who is battling a terminal diagnosis to get as much time as possible to watch her courageous young man Seamus grow.
To be in with a chance to win you just need to purchase tickets from the link below 1 ticket is 5 euro or 3 for 10 euro! Enter as many times as you like!
My heart Séamus and our cat Chloe
Wishing everyone a lovely week. Please keep the candles lit they mean the world to me