Archives For grandma

The 11th of January.

It’s been a much less productive day. Since the spinal injection, I wake up with a kind of pressure headache and am fairly useless. Dr. Allan warned me about “post-spinal headaches” and I think I have a very mild form of that. It can be so bad that people can’t get out of bed, and I don’t feel quite that bad. Just start off the day feeling quite shit but it wears off by lunchtime.

So, quiet morning, wrote up a blog post, little bit of crochet. Mommy went to hospital to see Grandma who is doing better, on much less oxygen, but will be in for several days.

She came back for lunch, and we gave my hair a wash before going to pick up the kittens after their spaying and chipping. They were all very quiet on the journey home and fell upon the food like they’d never eaten before. I stayed and sat with them for the rest of the afternoon and watched the last three episodes of Big Little Lies. I can see why it won all the Golden Globes! Really bloody good.

The 12th of January.

The headache was not so bad this morning – hopefully in a few days they will have abated.

This morning, after breakfast and some time for the headache to pass, I started on a blog post I’m writing for Anthony Nolan that will be used to formulate a press release for Still Standing. I’ve found that I cannot write if I am distracted by any noise, even music, now. I can’t compose my thoughts into sentences if there is noise.

This afternoon, I took a break, and did some crochet of another bear while watching some Bones. Then a lady and her daughter were coming to see the kittens with a view to adopting them, and it went really well. To begin with, Amber and Ava hid under my chair, but they eventually emerged and by the time they left, all three had allowed themselves to be petted and did some purring.

It’s a yes, and they’re coming back next Friday to pick them up. I’m glad I have another week with them; I love them so much!

The 9th of January.

Well it’s been a curious day. I had to get up at quarter past five to ensure I had time to drink a litre of water before 6am, from which I had to be nil by mouth.

We arrived at about quarter to seven, and had to wait outside the Short Stay Wellcome Unit until someone let us and the two nurses without working passes in. Then we sat in the waiting room and watched Good Morning Britain until someone came to take me to my bedspace.

I was in the corner of the room – it used to be the ICU when it was the main hospital, so the bedspaces are massive and it means I am not crammed next to loads of people. I have been here before but we can’t remember what on earth for.

Mr. Titley came to see me, and he ran through once again what was going to happen. Examination under anaesthetic, possibly biopsy, possibly smear, possibly photographs. In the end, none of those things happened, just the exam. I signed the consent form, and off he went. Then I met with the anaesthetist, Dr. Allan, who was very nice, as all anaesthetists are. We talked about why he didn’t want to knock me out – same as Dr. Thompson, in that I’d end up stuck in ICU and if they ever did wake me up, my lungs would be in worse shape than they were going in which we can’t have. He had to talk me through all the risks of epidurals and regional blocks etc, which I was happy to take, then he went away and I finished being admitted by the nurse.

Miss Byrom wasn’t expected to arrive until about ten, so I didn’t get changed until twenty to, and I’d not been ready long when a porter came to get me so my timing was impeccable. I started off in the little anaesthetic room, where the trainee anaesthetist got stuck up against a valve in my wrist, so Dr. Allan had to stick the cannula in halfway up my forearm. I needed it so they could give me a bit of antibiotics and fluid so there was a balance against the spinal injection when he did it. When it came to that time, I had to sit with my legs over the edge of the bed, and hunch over my pillow on my lap. I got sprayed with super cold cleaning spray all over my back, then there was a small amount of local which felt the same as always, and then he did the regional block injection which I didn’t feel at all. All I noticed was a spreading feeling of warmth from my bum downwards, which was sort of nice but also disarming. I could move my legs to get them back on the bed, then I had to wait for them to get heavy before we could do anything more. I didn’t expect the sensation to be so acute – despite my brain knowing that I have the muscle strength to move my legs, I physically could not lift them, not even using my arms. It is absolutely bizarre.

At that point, we could move through to theatre, where my legs were put in the stirrups, and nine strangers got to see my vagina. That was interesting, because I could see them being flopped about into different positions, but I had no feeling at all; it was like they were broken, like they belonged to someone else. Then my vagina got sprayed with the cold spray to test if I could feel anything, which I could not, so they were able to begin. As far as I could tell, Miss Byrom tore through the adhesions again, then there was just a lot of shoving – I was aware of pressure, but no pain. It is entirely scarred, so no biopsy would tell us anything, and Mr. Titley cannot do any surgery to help. It took them about 20 minutes of shoving and looking to decide this, then some packing and a catheter were put in, and they started discussing what might be done next. It sounds like I’m going to end up with some kind of custom made silicone dilator but we will have to see. Emails must be sent.

Once covered up, I was taken to recovery, where I got a hot blanket which was so beautifully toasty, and we waited for my theatre notes so I could come back to the ward. And here I have sat since twelve, waiting for the anaesthetic to wear off and the catheter to come out. I have had coffee and a panini, and can move my legs independently again, which is nice. It still feels like I am sitting on a cushion of jelly, five hours later, but the catheter is out and I’m hoping to be able to pee in the next half an hour so I can then go home.

For all the NHS crisis talk, you wouldn’t know it here. I have been taken care of wonderfully, they are showing no signs of stress and I haven’t got angry at anyone.

The 10th of January.

I was woken up by Mommy telling me she had to go to Grandma’s because she was being taken into hospital. The cough she seemed to be incubating has definitely matured into a nasty chest infection and as the day has gone on, she has had tests and been admitted to have IV steroids and antibiotics while being on 5 litres of oxygen. That’s more than I was using even when my lung collapsed so she is really quite unwell. Apparently the doctor was not exactly optimistic.

My day has been a pretty quiet one, as one would expect the day after surgery. I was supposed to be going to a clinic at St. Giles but I cancelled that – I’m not sure how productive it would have been, and we’ve agreed I’ll reschedule once I’ve had my fancy MRI.

I had a couple of other phone calls; one with Adam from Black Sheep about my hair colour, one with the eye department at the QE to sort out an appointment, one with Lucy from Anthony Nolan to discuss press for Still Standing, and one with a lady who is going to come and view the kittens on Friday.

Speaking of them, I watched some more of Big Little Lies with them asleep in my arms. I’m almost reluctant to allow their adoption!

The 7th of January.

Today I have been a much more comfortable temperature. Put the cashmere socks and Uggs on to begin with, and a polo neck Superdry jumper that is warm but REALLY ITCHY.

This morning I watched Aisling on Sunday Brunch while I wrote about yesterday (didn’t have time before dinner last night) and put together the bear I made the parts of already.

I got kicked out of the living room at the end of the show because Grandma came for lunch and seemed to be brewing a cough of some description. Can’t have me catching that days before surgery.

I ate lunch with everyone, just sat at the opposite end of the table to Grandma. Then I was back in the kitten room for the rest of the afternoon. They slept on my lap, and occasionally they woke up to watch terrible films on the Sony Movie channel. Godzilla from 1998 which is just hilarious, especially considering how scared of it I used to be, and S.W.A.T. which is action movie nonsense. I left them when I ran out of water. Fluids are more important than relaxed kittens.

The 8th of January.

It has not been quite as chilly today, thankfully. I stayed in my pyjamas this morning, as after I wrote up my blog post, I took off all my nail varnish prior to surgery tomorrow, then I went to have a big exfoliate and moisturising session for the same reason.

I decided to do all the moisturising in my bedroom, after last time – I stayed sitting up for too long with no support and it was excruciating to the point where my only instinct was to get to my bedroom and lie down. I thought I’d skip the pain this time.

After lunch, I sat with the kittens for a bit and watched Big Little Lies until Now TV had some sort of small fit and stopped working. I saw the first two and a half episodes. I really like all the houses.

Tonight I’ve got to make a list of stuff to take to hospital tomorrow and make sure I get an early night. I’ve got to bed up in time to drink a litre of water before 6am or my veins’ll be shit and after that time, I’m nil by mouth, despite me not having any sedation, let alone a general anaesthetic.

The 15th of August. 

Quiet day in the Cartwright household – I’m on my own because Mommy and Daddy took Grandma up north to see Aunty Audrey, so it’s been a day of carbs, crochet and crime drama. Well, only a little bit of crime drama but I enjoyed the alliteration. 

This morning I did a blog post and watched the last three episodes of Glow. I finished off the little teddy, but because the wool is mainly pink, it looks more like a pig than a bear. 

I sorted myself out some lunch, and had got engrossed in trying to de-pig the bear when the doorbell rang. I had a chap coming to view Betty and had completely lost track of time. I let him in and took him to see her – very much your average viewing, as she is an excellent kitty and showed herself off to the best of her ability. They’ve had a cat for twenty years so I know they can look after one. Just got to confirm, but I’m pretty sure we’ve found Betty a home!

Since then, I have been trying to write a blog post for tomorrow. It will be ten years to the day since I was diagnosed with leukaemia, since this all started. What a decade it has been. 

The 16th of August. 

Happy 10 year anniversary to me!

It has been a lovely day. I had a good sleep, woke up at an acceptable time, and had my breakfast and coffee while I put together a blog post about the day. I put my new charm on my Pandora bracelet, which I think we can now say is full. Convenient – ten years is a nice round time to stop. 

I wanted to make cinnamon buns, so when Mommy got back from Grandma’s, I printed out a recipe I’d found to make them in 45 minutes and we gave it a go! To be fair, Mommy did most of the work, and I did the easy bits, like sprinkling the cinnamon sugar all over the dough. When they came out of the oven, I poured the icing over the top, and let them cool while we ate our lunch. We tore them apart for pudding and have to say, they have been a success!

This afternoon, I went to Black Sheep to get my hair dyed. I had taken inspiration from Love Symbol #2, the colour Pantone released to honour Prince, and mixed it with a dark teal. I have unintentionally matched my glasses and sunglasses. No bleach today, so it didn’t take very long, so there was time to come home and get changed before going out for dinner. 

We went to Water’s at Resorts World, because we’ve known Andy for a long time and know he doesn’t do weird food. I ordered a peach and passionfruit bellini, and set about perusing the menu. I decided to go for a saffron risotto with chorizo and deep-fried squid to start, and a marinated duck breast with spring onions, creamed potato and pak choi to follow. While we waited, we were given tiny tomato soups as an amuse bouche which was delicious. I love bonus food. My risotto was really good, although quite filling, so I had to leave more than I would have liked because I had more food to fit in. I was very glad I did, because my duck was excellent, soft and pink, and I’d been worried that it might have been spicy but I had no trouble. At this point, I had to stop – there was no more room in my belly. I think if we go back I’ll skip the starter and have a dessert instead because Mommy and Daddy were both delighted with theirs. 

I’m very tired and very full and very grateful to be alive.

The 22nd of July. 

Writing this on Sunday morning because I was not exactly in a fit state last night. 

This morning, after breakfast and coffee, I had a lot of typing to do – two long blog posts done. When I have to write very long ones, I use the laptop, but it’s not good for my wrists. My body is so broken. 

I had some lunch, then got myself ready to go to Becky’s for her birthday barbecue. When I arrived, I was presented with a glass of rosé and took a spot in the garden, under the gazebo. It wasn’t super warm, but it was at least not raining. All of the usual gang were there – Chris, Alison, Jamie, Lorna (and her boyfriend Will), Micky and Stuart, Michael and Barbara. Other people were going to come and go as the day went on. 

We managed to soldier through the first shower, but after about 5 o’clock, it was getting a bit chilly and we decamped into the living room. I sat next to Luna, one of the cats, so I always had someone to talk to. We played Cards Against Humanity, which I have not done before, but I won three black cards so I was pleased with myself. 

By the time I had started my third wine, it had got to about half past nine, and I was quite sozzled. Decided it was time to go home – I needed carbs and water, and if I’d stayed, I would have continued to drink and things could have ended rather messily. 

The 23rd of July. 

Hmm well rosé does not agree with me. The last time I had it was at Jill’s when I also had Four Loko and some kind of apple shots so the hangover could have been attributed to any of those. Today I haven’t been hungover, but I’ve had really unpleasant heartburn since last night. Had some Rennies today but it still isn’t 100% gone. Ugh. 

I had a nice morning watching ol’ Nish on Sunday Brunch, writing about yesterday and trying to ignore Rita Ora. I don’t know why, I just find her incredibly irksome. Grandma didn’t go to church, so she came to us for lunch, which we actually had at lunchtime, not mid-afternoon. 

Afterwards, I went upstairs for an hour or so to have a lie down and stretch of my stomach, give it a bit of a rest, while I listened to some podcasts. I came back down to say bye to Christine, and crocheted some more of the minion while the cricket was on. Then I went to see the floofs, and watched one episode of Orphan Black. I’ve got two episodes left of season 4, then I’ll actually be on the current series. 

Grandma has gone home, and I’m starting to think about some tea. More carbs, I think. 

The 10th of June.

Is been a weird sort of day. Back home, back in my own bed (which was beautiful), but outside of our lives, the world is imploding. Part of me wants to avoid the news until it is all sorted but part wants to get up and fight for what is right because five more years of what we have been enduring is a death sentence , and that is not an exaggeration.

I might be feeling buoyed because I have just watched Wonder Woman. I am ready to kick the asses of a thousand men. We went to a 2.20 screening, and about five minutes before we were due to leave, Mommy got a phone call from Grandma’s home because she had fallen (her dining chair broke), she’d hit her head and was refusing medical treatment, so she had to go down there to convince her otherwise.

There was nothing Daddy and I could do, so we went to the film. There were some pretty terrible people in the screen (who takes a seven year old to a 12A?) so I had to ignore them but that wasn’t too difficult. It is a decent film – there are some holes and I had major issues with continuity and Ares just doing the whole “villain explaining his plan” – but I still enjoyed Gal Gadot being super badass. I liked the beginning part the best though. All the women being strong and awesome. More of this all the time! Show little girls we can fight.

Grandma has gone to hospital and is having a CT. I think she is going to be okay.

The 11th of June.

My bed is so great. I won’t mention it again (until my next admission). I have just missed it a lot.

This morning was Sunday Brunch and apparently the finale of season 2 of Scream, although there is another one left on Netflix? I don’t really understand. However, I feel quite smug as I had thought that Kieran might be the killer since he showed up at the funfair (sorry if that’s a spoiler but oh well). He was too quick.

Grandma came to join us for lunch – she is fine, just a bit bruised. I say “lunch”, but it wasn’t until five. She sat in the back room and watched the tennis (good thing we have no kitties at the moment), and I did much crocheting. I’m making another bear, this time for Jodie who was in the year below me at school and is expecting her first child.

Got my hair washed, and I had a really nice lie down with traditional Sunday afternoon radio. I also achieved quite a milestone – I climbed the stairs without oxygen and didn’t feel like I was going to die! Well done me. Maybe there is some hope for the rest of this year.

The 9th of January. 

No joy from the postman, nor is there anything on myhealth to show any upcoming appointments. Maybe on Wednesday morning we’ll ring a clinical nurse specialist, or try Andrew Willis’ secretary. 

I’ve had a very quiet day. I did a blog post, then iced three lots of cupcakes for Mommy to take to Grandma’s for her birthday. I got very chocolatey, sticky fingers. 

We had lunch, then Mommy went to Grandma’s and I went upstairs to do some extra moisturising because my skin has become really dry with this flare. Discovered that I could peel all of the skin off my left big toe, which was the worst affected area. Classic GvHD. 

For the rest of the afternoon, I watched two episodes of The OA while crocheting my jumper, but I’ve had to stop because the skin between my thumb and forefinger is so dry and painful. I need some seriously heavy-duty hand cream. 

This evening I have to prepare answers to some questions I’m going to be asked tomorrow. I’m taking part in a radio programme for BBC World Service about death. It will be more uplifting than it sounds. 

The 10th of January. 

Definitely going to ring someone in the morning about my arm – the upper arm has grown to 29.5cm in circumference (compared to 24cm on the left). This morning I did some Cats Protection admin and had a look through the questions for the interview this evening. I don’t need to prepare much, it’s all stuff I can answer off the cuff. 

I had a follow-up appointment at the dental hospital at 1.40pm, so we went out straight after lunch. I saw one of Mrs. Richards’ registrars who I’ve not met before. I explained what I was doing with the steroid paste and my concerns about it not staying where it should. She said that I’m doing it right, but it probably won’t stick because it is on the tongue. She went to confer with Mrs. Richards, who came in to have a look and decided we should put a little bit of steroid in the two sites that are being problematic. More painful this time, right in the raw tip of my tongue and on the top. Thankfully the swelling has gone down enough for me to be able to speak. 

Afterwards, we went into town so I could stock up on facewipes and toothpaste, and we went to Lush in search of hand cream. Ended up talking to the perfect sales assistant who has a similar problem so knew exactly what to recommend. Got a tub of Helping Hands. Let’s hope it does the job!

I’ve had the pre-interview for tonight’s 9pm one (another one cropped up for BBC WM randomly), and at half six the chap is coming to record me for the one about death. In between then and now, I’ll eat dinner.