Monday, 29 March 2010

a chart over two chemo cycles - since mid Feb:

17-50 hrs: Cool or what?? The blue line is the wellness score with a dotted line for the trend line. The arrows are chemotherapy days with the new capsules. The red line is the number of 'social contacts' in that day - includes electronic methods. The black line - a five day moving average of the 'contacts' line. The dip in the blue line - a day when I felt ill.

OK people - make what you can of this! I quite like it because it has fewer ups and downs than previously.

rescue duty

12-00 hrs: Yesterday - I did a rescue duty for the Deben Yacht Club - very enjoyable but cold. A spring tide, so the river looked like a lake. I drove a mega-rib, so fun all round. I was a bit tired after - but not surprising. Main problem - getting up at 7-30 BST (6-30 GMT!).

Thursday, 25 March 2010

the other end of the line

9-45 hrs: The other end of the line - Liverpool Street station in London. I had lunch here yesterday with Rhoda - and went to a couple of shops.

On Tuesday - after playing with a bonfire at the sailing club - I had another review at Ipswich hospital - no sign of nasties on the Xray and a helpful conversation with the consultant left me more cheerful than I expected. I continue to take the capsules - which seem to have fewer side-effects. I was worrying that this meant they were not working - it is amazing what one can find to worry about!

I was so pleased by this, and by having lunch out yesterday, that I have bought a new radial sail and lower mast section for the laser - so I will be sailing it! I also discover that the club seems short of rescue crew - so have already been allocated a duty (on Sunday)!

Sunday, 21 March 2010

more boats emerge

16-30 hrs: Boating activity is increasing on the Deben - several yachts and motor boats went up and down the river. Here the dinghies of Deben Yacht Club jill about before a race - in light wind and bright sunshine.

I jilled about in the boat yard getting a laser ready to sail. I fear I may get too out of breath - but the only way to find out is to try. I also ate traditional sailing club food - bacon butties - yum. It was so warm for a short time that I wore only a tee shirt (and trousers!) - but had to put on all the thermals again when the wind got up after lunch.

More days like this please.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Woodbridge end of the line + an update

20-00 hrs: A train from London coming into Woodbridge station. This picture has no particular relevance to the post! I just took it yesterday.

If you have not heard from me lately - this is because I have a new bad habit. Time was when I wrote blogs, letters and emails at various times in the day and especially in the evening. Now I watch TV and DVDs (at least in the evening) - I am hoping the novelty will wear off without a big effort.

I am feeling a lot better than I did a couple of weeks ago. I hope this lasts! I am pottering around doing the usual things - domestic stuff, going to University of the Third age groups and messing about a little bit with boats. I am hoping the boating bits will increase as the weather improves. I continue to go to the fitness centre and am still improving my muscle tone. The big problem is still breathlessness if I do not pace my walking speed.

I started on a different mode of taking the chemotherapy a couple of weeks ago. I get capsules from the oncology unit in the hospital but take them at home. This is much less hassle and seems to produce fewer side effects - which I also hope will last. Obviously.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

signs of spring - again

20-35 hrs: This is of the start of boating-life awakening along the river - heralding the spring. The crane is lowering new pontoons into the river - to be followed in due course by boats currently standing in boat yards and hard standings. The moorings are empty, but for a few overwintering boats. There are still very few spring bulbs in evidence but the weather is getting better.

The spring seems to have a particular importance this year because I really want to get on with my outdoors life and (like everyone else) I am truly fed up with winter weather. I have a Laser to sail in a couple of weeks. It would be lovely to sell LA Girl so that I can also have a small cruiser to explore the rivers. And I have my eye on a few nice bits of beach for lounging around on.

I find it strange that there are very few boats on moorings and those in the marinas do not seem to go out for a sail, even when there is a good wind and some sunshine. I am wondering what they know that I do not know.

I have felt a lot better for the last couple of weeks, although I have not blogged much. And why is this? Because I have been gawping at the tele and DVDs far too much. I hope I shall get over it soon and go back to normal amounts of writing and gawping! There seems always to be some bad habit to deal with - - .

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Camden Lock

20-42 hrs: Camden Lock, London.

A very enjoyable time walking round the market here today. Good to see Camden market so popular - even if it means pushing our way through crowds of people. I am now back home in the quiet of Woodbridge - but glad to have felt the vibes of the big city.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Monday's child - -

9.30 hrs: I expect there is a more idealogically sound ending - this is the original - thought to have originated to teach the days of the week. I was born on a Monday apparently. Cool.
Mondays child is fair of face,
Tuesdays child is full of grace,
Wednesdays child is full of woe,
Thursdays child has far to go,
Fridays child is loving and giving,
Saturdays child works hard for his living,
And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay

International Women's Day: Thursdays Child

14-15 hrs: anything to get away from housework - - took their pictures instead of hoovering.

These are my 1970s 'women's lib' earings - and I do try to live my life by feminist precepts. So remember folks - I do not burn bras (and you are allowed a brief laugh here) - but I do vote. Women did not get the vote when my mother was born in 1916 - the dates 1918 but really 1928 when all women could vote. Reliable contraceptives - 1961 when the pill became available.

So recent! Still far to go - thus Thursdays Child (has far to go).

Spend a day noting bad gender things in the media - you will be shocked.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

signs of spring -

21.40 hrs: The bike and the boat represent the possibility of spring. I have painted the red anti-fouling on the boat - and mended the rope rubbing straik. And I am intending to ride the bike often - it has been shut up indoors due to rain and snow.

There are not many other signs of spring - a few snowdrops and crocuses - no daffodils yet - a few green shoots on shrubs - birds all doing winter things. I am still wearing thermals when I walk along the river. The sun has shone a few times lately - which may encourage buyers for my boat.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Some more figures -

20-20 hrs: As I have reported previously - I have found (for all that I have serious experience of finding information) it pretty difficult to find even outline figures that are reasonably up to date. I don't have access to University library resources. Are the figures deliberately not summarised on the web because they will upset people or does this illustrate that lung cancer is not as well-researched as it should be?


I have recently found the following:-
Survivial rates in randomised studies (of platinum-based drugs taken with another drug) over the last decade = median survival of 8 to 11 months in the studies. No figures about patients not in trials.

There are improvements in survival reported with second line therapy (ie after the cancer has become resistant to the first lot of chemo:) The mean of these is reported as less than a year, although they may also improve quality of life.

You will be glad to know that I am now going to give up trying to find figures. Back to pictures and the trivia of everyday life - and possibly my worries about disease progression (observed as happening with a median of three to six months of initiating chemotherapy- - ) - this really is the last figure!

Dear friends, followers and family - thank you for reading my blog - it is unspeakably helpful to me to know you are all out there - even (as Meemee did yesterday) if you argue!