I have had the most amazing afternoons, with one of the most important friends in my life. Emma and I finally got to have our hot air balloon ride, after 5 cancelled attempts. We got a message yesterday afternoon telling us that there was some space in a balloon taking off from Rutland Water today - if we wanted them. Boy, did we want them! What an afternoon we had, well, only any hour or so in the hour - but what an hour. We were treated to the most beautiful of views over The Waters and across the neighbouring villages, the colours in the trees were just wonderful. We both made another tick on our buckets lists today - and we did it in style.
The landing was fantastic, very controlled and smooth, but now I am home, I am most definitely coming back down to earth with a very large metaphorical bump.
For tomorrow at 2pm, Shaun and I have to take ourselves back to the Arden Centre at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire for me to start yet another course of chemo - for those who have lost count, this is my fourth battle with the bastard that is cancer. Or, looking at it a different way, after using all of my fingers and thumbs, this will be, I think, my 45th dose of chemotherapy. Yep, 45th, no wonder my memory is shot and my brain and body dont work quite as fast or effectively as they once did. But, still, I am a glass half full person, so I can still see that I am still one of the lucky ones. Im still here, I got to celebrate James turning 17 on Saturday and saw him take his first driving lesson. this is a huge landmark for me as when I was first diagnosed, one of my main fears was that I wouldn't get to see that momentous occasion, but I did. I still get to text Lucy in Sheffield everyday, and thanks to work, got to spend a special evening in London with her last week. I really do appreciate that we all still get to make memories and have good times together. Shaun and I have had a great year, travelling in our campervan, taking in out first festival and just having a great time, but this just makes me greedy. the more good times I have, the more I want, im a long way from being ready to give up this fight, I just wish the bloody cancer would get the message and fuckety fuck off to somewhere else. This doesn't help the nerves tonight though. I think i can be bold enough to say that im not scared of the cancer - I really don't think I am, but I am petrified of what the next 4 months or so have in store for me. Im not sure if it is better knowing what is coming - or at least having a bloody good idea or going into the whole chemo thing with no knowledge. probably the first option, but that is still a crap option. I already know im going to have days and days of constipation, followed by days of the reverse and being to scared to move over 5m from the nearest toilet and no option of daring to leave the house! Then theres lack of appetite, loss of taste, tingling in fingers and toes, constant sickness, 20 tablets per day to try to ward off the side effects and no doubt a whole host of side effects that ive managed to push to the back of my mind over the last few years. oh yeah, the sleepless nights due to the steroids, just to add insult to to injury of the weight gain the steroids also bring. But, im one of the lucky ones, I have friends queuing to come with me to my chemo sessions, to help them go quickly and with a little amusement and no doubt a small amount of childish behaviour. I got home today, to a wonderful home baked pie for us to have for tea tomorrow when we get back from the hospital (thanks Lee and Deb). I have a fully supportive workplace with wonderful colleagues and friends. If I had to thanks cancer for one thing it would be the ability to step back and assess how blessed Shaun, I, Lucy and James are to have such wonderful friends and family in our lives - im not sure how we will ever be able to say big enough "thank you's" to everyone. Even Ralfy had been thought of with people offering to walk him. I am one of the lucky ones. Im going to try to update this blog on a weekly basis (under instruction today from Emma!), so if you get bored, blame her.