My Blog is mostly about my hobbies, ie Model boats,Cross Stitch, Gardening, Days out and about and Photography with pictures taken at and around our Model Boat club at Etherow Country Park, where I can be found quite a few days a week on the landing stage, you might recognize the hat and the dog rather than me. My models and other hobbies can be found in the tabs at the top above the header picture.
There will also be entries of days out with my long haired Chihuahua "Pepe", weather permitting of course.
Well yesterday was Velda's birthday and what a birthday !, in hospital and due for her 3rd Chemo session.
She has been walking down the corridor with a zimmer frame the last couple of days and is now using the en-suite toilet in her room which is an improvement in it-self, we are doing the exercises the Physio's showed us and she is getting stronger each day.
The eating is taking a little longer, after not eating for so long its hard to get back into the habit they tell me, there are problems with the stomach not used to food and the rumbling and grumbling from same, the sickly feeling from the Chemo doesn't help.
The C T scan she had on Thursday afternoon show things still on track and reducing the tumour.
It was a disappointment to hear that her 3rd chemo yesterday had been cancelled as her blood count was not right and the white cells that fight infection were down so to introduce the chemo would have been too dangerous so its a wait until next Tuesday now, still its another week to get her walking better ready for home, which I think everyone there wants as they don't usually have patients in for so long.
Will have to start thinking about the hire of a skip to pig out the place and get rid of all the ready meal cartons.
Well that's the news for now, will see what to-day brings hey, talk about swings and roundabouts!.
The nose feeding didn't work, again too rich for her, so its back to the porridge, that used to mean you were in prison, oh well I suppose its a bit like that, isn't it?.
Done 90 trips to The Christie now and at 15 miles a round trip and two trips a day, that's 1350 miles, soon mounts up doesn't it, I couldn't understand why I had to keep filling up the tank. but she's worth it! and I like driving, bit tricky though at night with the kamikaze cyclists with no lights and ignoring traffic lights.
It was the Team rounds Thursday and they are still happy with her, though not her walking progress and putting on weight.
She was walking a bit better in the afternoon and walked halfway down the corridor with the assistance of the nurse and zimmer frame. Had another C T Scan in the afternoon, at least I was there with her this time and it was a bit easier for her having had the procedure before, they reckon ITS still shrinking,so that's good news.
Yesterday was a bit better with the walking as she didn't have any drips up so no drip stand to drag about.
Its amazing the amount of patients stood outside the hospital holding on to their drip stands with one hand and a ciggie in the other! , a nurse told me once that the smokers were the quickest patients up and walking after their operations, only because they had to get out for a smoke, at least Velda is spared that as she stopped before Christmas.
Yesterday (Monday) Velda had another good day, a bit down in the afternoon but with my wit and charm soon had her back smiling!
The doctors have now decided to put a food drip up her nose to try and boost her intake, they said the porridge in the morning,tapioca and rice in the afternoon and teatime was good and got her eating again but was not enough to build her up, only keep her from going back down, just hope it works and not too rich for her. Can't have Pepe dragging her round the living room can we!.
She had porridge 3 times yesterday, I think it was the thought of the up nose job that frightened her, but the decision for the nose feed was already made. She also had a unit of blood given her last night whilst I was there, her blood count was a bit low, I think it was all the blood they took out of her months ago in the Manchester Royal and St Mary's that they were giving her back, I think it had a definite Blue tinge!, like her mother hinted at.
The physiotherapist asked Velda "Is your husband helping you with your physio", I asked her to come to the ward and asked her what I was supposed to do, I'm more than willing IF asked and as I'd not seen her before that was difficult, so I was instructed what to do and now I'm doing sessions twice daily! will soon have her like Arnie Schwarzenegger now, (Good job I had a video to be abell to spell that hey) Abell ??
So as was shown in the Fawlty Towers show "don't mention the Germans", to-days visit will be a case of Don't mention Pinocchio!
The latest up-date on velda is very encouraging, she is now only on two patches and an overnight drip bag of food supplement whilst she is sleeping, perhaps it would be a good idea for us all, no going shopping and getting obese hey, seriously though she is still getting porridge in the morning and my tapioca in the afternoon and rice at teatime,its not a lot but it amounts to about a full can of food daily and most importantly its staying put and the doctors have finally got the message, no rich food, she isn't used to it.
Yesterday was a good day in that she walked down the ward corridor to the bathroom and was given a bath (bath! he said,"the last one I had the midwife gave it me!") and had her hair washed, ah ah thought I and on the evening visit took my scissors and had a go on her fringe, looks better now, doesn't suit her forehead without a fringe.
Which leads me nicely into the video that son John had put on his blog earlier in the week do you remember it.
I have to take her a mirror in to-day, so will tell you if its alright!, its not as bad as the video, I think!
John fitted a handrail on the stairs earlier in the week ready for the home coming.
and I've just finished giving it numerous coats of varnish,took pictures of it to show Velda and its passed the test! she likes it.
I said in my previous blog on Tuesday "No drips up", me and my big mouth, there was no drips up at the hospital, but one up in my bathroom!!, so it was a call for help to John again and has he was only working local was soon round and found the cause, a leaking screw in the turn off valve under the washbasin,so it was a new one fixed and I made my hospital visit on time, don't need her to know and start worrying do we, Just need to dry out the kitchen ceiling now, but its getting there, things like that we don't need do we, thank goodness for a handy son!
A mechanic was removing the cylinder heads from the motor of BMW Car when he spotted the famous heart surgeon in his shop, who was standing on the side, waiting for the service manager to come to take a look at his car.
" Hello Doctor!! Please come over here for a minute."
The famous surgeon, a bit surprised, walked over to the mechanic.
The mechanic straightened up, wiped his hands on a rag and asked argumentatively,
"So doctor, look at this. I also open hearts, take
valves out, grind 'em, put in new parts, and when I finish this will work as a new one.
So how come you get the big money, when you and me are doing basically the same work? "
The doctor leaned over and whispered to the mechanic......
Velda has had a good weekend and been given sleeping tablets at nights now to help her get a good rest and its made all the difference, she is a lot brighter and alert.
She is eating porridge in the mornings and I take in Tapioca and rice pudding, she only has about 3 table spoonfuls of each but at least its staying down!
I made the effort and took Pepe to Etherow on Sunday morning to see the Help for Hero's Day and we both enjoyed it and chatted with members of the club and friends on the cafe balcony.
I took a video of Martin's pedalo on the big lake and you can see it here click to see video
It did me the world of good and relaxed me for the next round of events at home and hospital.
The doctors have said that Velda is ready to come home as soon as she can walk properly and manage the stairs, so Son John has installed an extra handrail on our stairs this morning,so now I only have to stain and varnish it.
I've been checking out Scooters again and found this one
More of a ladies one don't you think?
There has been no drips up since weekend, so that when she is ready for home all her medication will be oral.
I found out how they measure the tumour in the blood !, it seems it creates an enzyme in the blood CA 125 that's not normally there, so they they can measure that and see if its reduced and to what extent, but still need to do X-rays after a couple of days.
Hope you are able to catch this in NZ Babs, I know you said you would try an internet cafe if you could,
I met Velda in the 1950's and she was in the Girl Guides, yes I was a sucker for uniforms even then, at the time we played records on wind-up portable record players ( size of a small suitcase really) and the records were 78rpm about 12" across.
One of my favourites at the time was Sammy Davis Jr singing " Because of you" and it had him taking off singers on one side and actors on the other.
This 78 got broken over the years and I'd never been able to replace it, and then I bought an I-Pod and there it was in I-Tunes store,which I promptly bought.
The video below is one of his stage shows and its not so good as he tells you who he's taking off, but I hope you like it.
My sentiments are still the same as then, along with Dean Martin singing "How do you speak to an angel" and Al Martino singing "On the street where you live". They don't write them like that these days do they, AND you can hear every word.
Velda was sat up doing a crossword yesterday evening, its been on her bedside table from the first day in The Christie and she's not looked at it, so it was a surprise to see her doing it last night and she had some Tapioca pudding I'd brought in , Frog spawn we used to call it at school, still looks like it, but if it slides down who's worrying, been stood up with the aid of a zimmer frame as well (her not the Tapioca) , so things are looking good.
The sickly feeling from the chemo isn't too bad she said, after enduring the weeks of pain and vomiting.
Another woman goes with the same problem to see the same doctor and the Doc listens to a few blow off's that register 6.2 on the Richter scale then asked her to lower her bloomers and hop up onto the couch
She is alarmed when he reaches for a long pole with a hook on the end.
"Goodness, what are you going to do with that" she said
"First its necessary to open some of these skylights " he replied
On my visit yesterday I found Velda was feeling a bit sickly, though not too bad, that's the chemo kicking in for the 2nd time I was told, but there was no pain!.
The team was round on their Thursday main visits in the morning and Velda asked her young ward doctor in the afternoon to fill me in on what was said at that meeting, just think she wanted to talk to him, he's her Dr Kildare, do you remember him in an early TV show!.
The outcome was that the consultant was very pleased with her progress and the blood check showed a 50% reduction in the size of the cancer, how they do that though the blood I don't know, but he said in a few days after the 2nd session had been doing its job they will x-ray to see the difference better.
So good news and she was very up beat with it even though she felt sickly.
I'd taken some rice pudding and sago pudding in and she had eaten some of that, (the toast though she likes it is too rough on her throat) so the doctor was pleased and said he liked my picture idea!
So it will be a long trip back to eating normally again but she will get there I'm sure.
Watch and listen to this video "Hero" , as there are "Hero's" all around us in all their personal battlefields and I certainly have mine in Velda!
As soon as she can walk unaided, we have been told she can come home again, so yesterday morning I was out buying a couple of nighties ( for Velda I hasten to add ), and looked at a scooter for her, calm down you drivers its only one that goes on the pavement!
I can just see her scootering up the prom at Llandudno with Pepe on the running board , as long as she doesn't do what Colin's Auntie did and drive over the sea wall!
No she's not broken it just looking at the pamphlet, this is the breakdown to go in the car,
When to the hospital yesterday full of worries thinking about the after effects of the second treatment, didn't need to bother as Velda was sat up with big beaming smile and then ate a bit of toasted baguette I'd taken in
It was only one piece but as they say a marathon starts with one step first, and who could resist that food, eat your heart out Jamie Oliver! The apple pie was bought and its all mine! got to keep my strength up.
She asked for a piece of KFC chicken to be brought in in the evening and I shared my 3 strip meal with her, Bad idea !, but I try not to argue too much as it might upset her, She ate one piece of chicken and a couple of chips, not a lot you might think but the first real food not in a tube for weeks, and as John and I thought too much at once and spicy to boot. It's rice pudding to-day whether she likes it or not, perhaps caviare next week!
Can you count all the marks and pin holes in this blank wall ? I think Velda can tell you as its the wall she is facing in her one bedded suite after she was moved with the chest infection last week, enough to drive anyone daft, so I put my thinking cap on and decorated it up a bit.
there that's better isn't it, but not many boats I hear you say
You hadn't let me finish had you!
They won't like it Velda said, rubbish John said they might ask Dad to do the other wards!
Its a way to take peoples mind off things and give them something to look forward too I think, don't you.
They will probably move her back onto a 4 bedded ward now and I will have to move all my art work, still it gave Velda some pleasure giving me orders like "up on the left a bit with that one and down a bit with the other one
Yesterday there was nothing connected on the drip stand and the TEAM said as soon as she is eating by mouth properly she will be abell to come home and finish her treatment as an outpatient, has was intended in the first place.
There has been one good thing about her being in hospital, I've been abell to leave the loo seat up without any complaints !!
I know how to spell "able" by the way, its just a thing with my mate Bob.
Well as I said the Team were so pleased with Velda's progress over the weekend than they gave her a blood transfusion on Monday, with the idea of her 2nd Chemo on Tuesday!! which the thoughts of that frightened her, I told her it was just changing the silver bag on the drip for a red one and you don't have to even look at it!.
She fell sleep whilst that was happening, perhaps it was my foot massaging. Women!
What a turn up hey.
I was quite surprised when they tested her blood for the transfusion as it was Red! her Mother had always given me the impression that her's was Blue! and I was marrying into royalty, Well I suppose I did as least get a lady.
Tuesday arrived and so did I, to find she had refused the chemo that morning, I had a talk to her and found out she was so frightened she didn't know what she had said. I contacted the Doctor( Yung ) and he and another came to see us and we talked it though and she finally said YES, If I stayed with her whilst it was done instead of going home for tea, what can you say to that.
Then wouldn't you know it the twin shunt in her arm, (you remember White for food, Red for drugs, There will be a question paper when all this is over) the red one had blocked and the people who do that had gone home, so it was another shunt in and then a wait for the anti sickness drugs to go though and then the chemo.
All the cafe's had closed but I was given a drink by the staff, which was very nice of them.
By the time Velda's special cocktail of chemo was ready and had been run though it was 10-00pm and I got home at about 10-30pm to find Pepe doing a dying fly act with his legs front and back crossed in the air, and like a blacksmith made a bolt for the door!
So all in all a very long day, but then you can't sleep can you, as you rerun all the events of the passed day.,it didn't help by me going to the opening of the new ASDA round the corner in the morning, I only went to see what the prices were like compared with Tesco's and Morrison's. see what a sad old g*t I'm turning into Bob!
Still as the Lo'real advert says " the lady is worth it "!
So we are back on the original timetable who would have thought it, after the chest infection earlier, still nobody said it was going too be easy.
This weekend has been quite good in the fact that Velda has been painless and most of the consultants and the TEAM are not on duty over the weekend (Even they have to have time off) so there was no poking and prodding going on, but as I said to her that's not solving the problem and we need to get to the next chemo session, but that's not doing to happen until she is stronger! Should have been this Tuesday (6th) but too poorly on Wenesday last, due to a chest infection!.
The previous Wednesday evening my son and I were told she might not make it though the night, and would we want her resuscitated if her heart stopped !! What a bomb shell that was.
I think the Team will be pleasantly surprised in her condition and up beat frame of mind when they see her to-day after the better weekend we've had, and the talk the three of us had after Thursday's recovery.
The fan shaped wafer biscuits mentioned in the last blog didn't hit the spot has she said they were too sweet, "a bit like me" did I hear you say or was it "A twit like me! still I will keep trying for that illusive elixir that will get her eating again, there again Pepe has always been a better eater than Velda
He's not keeping me brushed as good as you do Mum!
It was discovered that Velda had developed a chest infection over the weekend!
Wednesday evening we ( Son John and I) were told that Velda was so ill with the chest infection that she hadn't long to live and it was passed sending her to ICU as she was so ill.They had stopped her medication, we were even asked if we wanted her resuscitated if her heart stopped, to which we both said no,as she had suffered enough. So I went home and took the two phones to bed with me thinking that I might
get I call in the night.
We were told that the medical team would be doing their rounds at 9-00am the following morning and told to come then for an update with the consultant!, we arrived to find her sat up in bed!!, after they had been to all the other patients about 6 doctors and the chief consultant checked her out and said that the chest infection was nearly over and that the massive dose of antibiotics had done the trick and she was back to the stage before the weekend panic! Better in fact.
He said that she was going to get back on all the medication, but cut down on the steroids which were making her feel bad, glad about that, didn't want her knocking me about when she gets home!
He said that she would be fine even if it took a couple of weeks to get her ready for her next chemo, and as she had started to use the toilet the blockage was opened and she could be started on fluid food and work up to solids soon, and a good workout by the physio's was called for to get her on her feet again and out of this negative state which John and I told him she was in since finding out about it way back in St Marys!
He seemed in no doubt that she would get better and said it was always up and downs with this sort of illness, but was very positive and we left both feeling a lot better, and I think Velda did as well for the first time since being in The Christie. Talk about ups and down the BIG ONE at blackpool as nothing on us!!
This was the state of things last night when I went, she was sat up talking to me for the first time in days and had had half a slice of toast and half a glass of milk for her tea.
The staff nurse who had spoke to us the previous night was amazed and said the night doctors who had diagnosed her as near death were too!!
The nurses coming on duty last night were all coming in the see her and were amazed at seeing her again as they didn't think they would.
It's to the supermarket to-day to get her some of those fan shaped wafers you put in ice cream as she has a fancy for some of those, all this fancying !! if she wasn't 71 and been to St Mary's recently I'd be getting worried.
So that's another hurdle she has cleared, what a woman!!