Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Best News!

I am not going to beat around the bush or draw this out. I have just got back from seeing the consultant at the hospital and I have been given the best news! My thyroid tumour was a benign Hector! This means no more surgery and no nasty treatments!

I was so pleased when I received the news I could have hugged the humourless consultant. My joy must have been catching as he even broke into a smile. I cannot begin to describe the absolute relief I am feeling right now. It has been very stressful living with the thought that I might have had cancer, although at other times I have been so full of the hope that it would be benign. My hope has been realised and I am so happy! :)

Thank you so much to everyone that has left supportive comments, prayed or sent positive vibes. I have appreciated them so much. Right now I am off to get on with the rest of my life without the weight of Hector hanging over me.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Waiting Game

I've never been very good at waiting. It's not that I'm impatient. When something is worth it I can be very patient. I worked five years for my Masters degree, I can save for things I want rather than use credit, I have coached staff, I can leave presents unopened until Christmas and birthday mornings. So I guess it's just that I'm no good at waiting when waiting leaves me in the "Great Wide Unknown".

When faced with uncertainty therefore, I hate waiting. I get frustrated. I hope for the best, imagine the worst and vacillate between accepting my fate (whatever it turns out to be) and railing against the gods. The various roads that could play out lay before me and I mentally travel each one, trying them on for size but knowing that only one of them is the road of my future. In short, in times of quiet, when my mind is meant to be resting (like when I wake at night or have some idle moments to spare) it is rushing around trying to remove the uncertainty and hasten time to no avail.

I see these potential paths before me now. The one to the left is marked 'Benign Tumour Ave' while the one on the right is labelled 'Suspicious Hector Boulevard'. This road is far more treacherous and has various branches where there might be more surgery, there might be radio-isotope therapy, there might be hormone replacement therapy, there might be complications, there might be time off work and... there are too many 'mights'. 'The Great Wide Unknown' is a noisy junction in which I currently feel immobilised. It is not up to me which path I tread.

Most of the time I am fine. It's just the waiting sometimes. I see the consultant this week coming. Then I will know which way I am going. Best foot forward...

If you are here for Camera Critters, then please visit my photo blog by clicking on the photo in the side bar or *here*.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New Year Freeze

New Years Day was cold. Very cold. However, a hazy sun was making a valiant attempt to break though the cloud and through a little warmth our way so we decided to go for a walk. We settled on climbing up the Sugar Loaf Mountain near Abergavenny in Wales and so off we set. The Sugar Loaf isn't particularly big, being a mere 598 metrs high but is a popular destination for hill walkers.

As we neared Abergavenny the sun became fainter and we noticed that the frost was thicker on the ground and the freezing fog grew thicker. Unperturbed we carried on as we had stout hiking boots, thick warm sock, warm coats, hats and gloves and so we set off from the car.

The Sugarloaf is a gentle walk at first, starting out flat and rising in 2 stages. The first two being more gentle than the last rocky ascent to the summit. We thought we might see few other people but there were quite a few folks as mad as us, out for a climb and to wear away the excesses of Christmas. It wasn't long before our cheeks and noses started to go numb and I was glad of our warm gear. When we reached the top, the view was simply fog and the rocky hillside that sloped away from us into foggy nothingness. By now my hair had frozen and my jacket was also covered in frost. I didn't care though. I was thrilled to have reached the top but didn't linger long before starting to descend. It was too cold!

Everywhere around me was frozen and beautiful and as it wasn't snow, everything still kept it's form. I had my mobile phone with me and couldn't resist taking a few photos. As we descended it got colder as the sun (out there somewhere) started to finish it's own trek across the sky and the light became weaker. We got back to the car park in good time and never, have I been more in need of a hot drink. I literally needed to defrost! We went home pleased with our days exertions where I made hot chocolate and appreciated the comfy sofa more than ever.

Friday, January 16, 2009

'D' meme

Todays post is bought to you by the letter 'D'. I always quite liked word games and word play, and while this isn't strictly either it is a meme based on words, based on an assigned letter. I happened across it on one of my regular jaunts to 'Imagine' where the delightful Kenju had just been assigned the task of completing this meme using the letter 'M'. It's deliciously simple too. If you would like to play along simply ask me for a letter and then list as many or few words starting with that letter that mean something to you and say why.

Kenju gave me 'D' which perplexed me at first. A lot of words beginning with 'D' have negative connotations. Flicking through my dictionary it was all 'dis' this and 'dis' that. I was at first a little dismayed and disillusioned (see what I mean?) but only for a split second as I love a challenge. Heck, if it was easy there would be no fun. This is what I came up with:

December ~ This is a month I always love. I always had wonderful Christmas's as a child and the joy and warmth of them has always stayed with me. I love giving gifts, and of course receiving them. I love the whole anticipation of the advent period. People are perhaps a little nicer to each other and I just wish this goodwill could last all year (yes, I can be so naive). Is it really that hard to say please and thank you and to hold a door for someone the rest of the year too?

Degree ~ I have one! In fact I have two as I got my Masters Degree too. My first degree was a BSc in Psychology and I swore at the time that that was it for me and exams, then five years ago I started studying part-time for my MBA. I passed it last year and because of all the crap going on in my life it is only just coming home to me now that I did it. I guess I needed space in my head to notice my achievement (if that makes any sense). I actually attend my graduation ceremony this May. Why shouldn't I have a bit of pomp and ceremony?

Demonstrative ~ Something I'm not unless I know you well. I know I'm European but we don't all go round kissing each others cheeks. I'm British don'tcha know thankyouverymuch. I have also never been one for grand gestures either. It's the little things in life that count to me. Letting someone know they are appreciated, saying thank you, sending a cheer up text when you know someone is down, a genuine offer of help, a compliment, a phone call or email, a card on someone's birthday or just taking the time to listen to someone. These are all things I appreciate and which I try to bestow on those I love. I can do the grand gestures too, the big presents etc. but for me at least, it's the little things that say 'I care'.

Doctor ~ I've seen a lot of these over the last 3 years. First I had Fibroids which I needed surgery for (twice) and lately I have had thyroid surgery. Add into the mix three chest infections this last year (one bout I got a secondary infection and it lasted 6 weeks!) then I should have frequent flyer miles. Needless to say, I'm hoping my future will involve far less doctors than of late, though first I have to find out what Hector (the thyroid lump) was and if I need more treatment.

Diet ~ Something I was constantly on from my mid teens all the way through my twenties. Dieting formed an unhealthy relationship with food and since then I have come to understand that it's more important to eat properly and to exercise.

Divorce ~ A very messy time of my life which left me hurt and bewildered. I still don't know how you can be with someone for 14 years and not know how awful they can be. Divorce is far more than the break-up of a marriage and the division of assets. It's about loss. The loss of things you previously believed in, the loss of your stability and security and the loss of friends. It's also about a new beginning though.

Doll ~ I Hated them! I was (apparently, as I do not recall) bought a beautiful doll for Christmas when I was about 2 years old by an aunt. To this aunts horror, I unwrapped the gift, opened the box and grasping the doll by the leg, flung it over my shoulder and proceeded to play with the box it came in until it fell apart. I never caught the Barbie bug and much preferred my Lego, or to draw, paint and read. I loved my Teddy though.

Donate ~ I'm not one to harp on about what I do for charitable causes. There are many people out there who do far more than me but I like to think I do my bit. I have long supported some charitable causes of my choice through regular donations via direct debit. They can always count on my money turning up every month which (along with other donations) helps them plan projects far more effectively. I also support Operation Christmas Child which sends shoe boxes full of small gifts to underprivileged children. I co-ordinate this for the team at work and this last Christmas we sent 28 boxes. It feels good to help.

Drama ~ Throughout my twenties I worked in the theatre business doing Stage Management and Lighting (and some Sound). It was without a shadow of a doubt the best of times and the worse of times. I started by doing voluntary work with a Youth Music Theatre group and ended up getting my Equity card. My first show was 'Maggie May' by Lionel Bart and my first professional show was 'Singing in the Rain'. Since then I have toured and worked such wonderful shows as 'Fame', 'Les Mis', 'Phantom of the Opera', 'Buddy', 'Evita', many operas and ballets and so many more. It opened me up to many things I would never have otherwise seen, both on stage and off!

And finally:

Discombobulate ~ A state I sometimes find myself in and a favourite word of mine.

I am now Done! If you would like to have a go simply tell me in the comments and I will assign you a letter (or you could pick a letter yourself but blogging is all about the interaction for me). Easy peasy lemon squeazy right?

Health update: I will be back at work on Monday but have arranged to do shorter days building up to full days with some working from home. The wound is healing nicely :) Thanks again for all the well wishes. I really have appreciated your thoughts. Thank you.

If you are here for Camera Critters, then please visit my photo blog by clicking on the photo in the side bar or *here*.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Scar Neck

The staples come out today (Thurs), hoorah! I really cannot wait. They are getting quite sore now and I am sure it's because my body is rejecting them and wants them out as much as the rest of me.

It will be so nice to move my head properly again as the staples pull when I move it. In fact, it will be nice to move my whole body properly again. You don't realise how much you use parts of your body until you can't any more. Simple things like sitting up and turning over in bed have become quite awkward because I haven't been able to twist my neck. Thank goodness my tummy muscles have been strong enough to compensate!

Still, I am on the mend nicely but have been oh so sleepy! I have never napped so much in my life and apparently it's due to the pain killers and the vestiges of the general anaesthetic in my system. I have spent my time dozing on the sofa with films playing. Never have I watched so many half films but on the whole I have seen them before and most favourites I can pick up and put down again like a much loved book and know exactly where I am.

Anyway, I will post a pic later of how my neck looks once it's destapled! I'm not looking forward to the process but I am looking forward to being staple free!

Update: I have now dispensed with my retro punk look, however there is no pic as promised as I have a dressing on for the next 48 hours to protect the wound. It didn't hurt too much at all, and I only felt discomfort on one or two. I'm a little sore right now but the nurse assured me that I was healing nicely and didn't think the scar would be too bad. Fingers crossed.

I also have my next appointment with my consultant now to get the path lab results. I find out exactly what Hector was on 28th January. Fingers crossed for that too. I really don't want to have to go through this again any time soon.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hector has left the building

I'm back. I'm sore. I'm tired. I'm drugged up to the eyeballs, but above all my consultant assured me that the surgery went well and that is excellent news. Hector has been evicted.

I have been so out of things (generally dozy, nauseous and dizzy) that I haven't done much but nap. This afternoon is the first time I have felt up to going online so thanks to those of you who have stopped by and let me know you are thinking of me. I really appreciate it.

I currently resemble the sister to Frankenstein's monster as you can see from the photo (don't look if you're squeamish). Think I'm going to have to get some scarves to wear when I'm out and about (when I'm up to it). The staples come out at the end of the week and I get the results from the path report in a couple of weeks. Right now, just this bit of typing has worn me out so I need to lie down. Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


January the 9th is rushing towards me like an out-of-control train. This Friday I go into hospital and Hector (the thyroid lump) is evicted for good, which is a good thing. The fact that this involves invasive surgery and a short stay in hospital is not so good. I am in fact dreading it and I feel a right wimp as people go through far worse than this. But here's the thing, this is happening to me. I have to go through this and I do not like the prospect one little bit. As I said to my humourless consultant 'Do I really have to be there?'

The weird thing is, that as much as I am not relishing the surgery and going under anaesthetic and spending a day or so with a drain in my neck (due to post op bleeding) I am dreading the whole staying in hospital thing so much more. I do not like anything medical and hate hospitals. I am a very private person and the thought of spending time in a ward with strangers is filling me with dread. I am also a light sleeper and so I have been looking for a way to make the unpleasant a little more bearable.

Enter the iPod Touch. I have just treated myself to one of these little gadgets and it is way cooler than I ever will be. I have loaded some films onto it and some music as well as games and have an immediate entertain-Bobkat-during-her-stay-in-hospital kit. The beauty of it is that I can shut out things around me as much as possible with a pair of earphones and if the person in the bed next to me snores I can simply pop them on and drift off.

This will be my last post before I go into hospital as I have lots to do around the home and at work before I go in, so wish me luck. Thanks to everyone who has left supportive comments, offered well wishes or said prayers for me. I have been touched and appreciate each and everyone from the heart of my bottom (or perhaps that should that be the bottom of my heart!). I will post as soon as I am back home and let you all know that the waiting is so much worse than the actual event. Fingers crossed!