Thursday, 29 December 2011

Not So Good News

So today we had some news which left dad a bit red around the eyes. My histology results. If these were just like my history results it would be ok.

Histology results are the results about cell necrosis. Cell necrosis in the histology results is looking at the percentage of cancer cells that were killed by the chemotherapy. My oncologist was hoping for a 90% kill rate, unfortunately we have only got a 40% kill rate.

This sucks as it means that the next lot of chemotherapy is going to be much harder as stronger and even more potent chemicals are going to be added. Joy to the world.

On a happier note, the operation went well from a oncologist point of view! So I am very happy and I am home for another 10 days to 2 weeks before I start the next round of chemo.

NB Oncologist is the person who controls my chemo, not a vag doctor.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas


I GOT TO GO HOME FOR CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This was actually amazing, the entirety of my mums side of the family also came out to our house! It was soo lovely as some of them had to come from Aussie. I was soo spoilt as well this christmas!! It was such a wonderful day and I enjoyed it so much! I hope everyone else had as amazing day as I did! Great food and amazing family. What more can you ask for?

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Happy and Home!

I made it! I am back in Wellington! I have set up residence in Bed 1 on 6 North. I am so happy to be home. Auckland hospital was something very special. It was... useless. completely and utterly useless. Don't get me wrong my surgeon is amazing, he did such a fabulous job but the nurses...

I had this one wonderful nurse Sarah and I was very lucky to have her for as long as I did because most of the other nurses were useless. On the first day after the surgery the epidural did not work properly so I was in soo much pain.

I had involuntary tears pouring down my face and I was like this for about 2 nearly 3 hours while the nurses were trying to find a doctor. My mother was very unimpressed. She became like a mother lion protecting her cub. I would not have wanted to be on the end of that rampage.

It was so different to Wellington. In Auckland we had to ask to see the physio's. In Wellington today I have had so much help from 2 physio's who have spent a lot of time with me my leg has got better in leaps and bounds just today.

In Wellington when I call for pain medication they actually bring it whereas in Auckland I was sometimes waiting up to an hour. I had to have help getting to the bathroom, then the nurse would usually wait outside and then help me back to my bed.

However, one lovely nurse decided that while I was on the toilet it would be a great time to go for a break and leave me sitting there while my legs got progressively sorer and sorer as all the blood was pooling in them and making them go blue.

But it was amazing to see Jess and Nick (my friends who lived up in Auckland). They are some of the nicest people you have ever met!! :) They helped to keep me sane along with Pan and Ollie who flew up from Wellington to keep me company!

I was very lucky and managed to get a ride home in the medical airplane.

It was such a weird feeling as you can see in the beds face backwards. In the photo above you are looking from the front of the plane down to the back. It was such a weird thing as it felt soo weird taking off as you were pushed forward and you were leaning on your seltbelt which sort of led to me having a little freak out that the bed would come unlock and roll into the back of the plane!! I think I prefer going the right way!!

Today in Wellington I have been soo lucky and seen soo many friends. Seeing everybody makes me soo happy as I have missed all my friends terribly!! So I am very happy to be home. In Wellington now lets just cross our fingers and hope I am out in time for christmas!

Friday, 16 December 2011

My Big Outing

Today I went on a HUGE outing!! Since my surgery (which was on the 6th of December) until today I have not left my room. I have barely even left my bed. So today my mother and my lovely nurse Sarah managed to get me into a wheelchair and I managed to get down to muffin break!!

This is such an achievement!! I was soo happy, I mean how many people are cool enough to go to muffin break in a hospital gown and fist pumping in the wheelchair? If only some grandma's had decided to accept  my challenge and raced me...

I have also been really lucky up here because my friend Nick and Jess have been amazing in coming to visit me heaps! Otherwise I would get rather lonely!! I am rather excited though because I should be coming back to Wellington on Tuesday! On Tuesday I am just being taken to Wellington hospital but hopefully home before x-mas!

So, overall I think that we deserve a nice drink. Take heed from my mother...

G&T coz they're classy like that

Monday, 12 December 2011

Tomorrow Is Always Better

The morning of the surgery I awoke with my family and surgeons around me. My family was giving me words of encouragement. The surgeons were trying to make sure I understood the procedure. In me there was a war raging as the nausea was battling with the feeling of "curling up like a baby and refusing to go”.

As I am now 18, I thought that this battle raging inside me was ridiculous, as I wanted this surgery to happen so I just smiled and nodded.

Luckily for me, I didn’t  have to do this for long since I was soon surrounded by bewildering blue creatures which probed me with needles (even one in my SPINE) and then BAM!!!! All went black.
9 Hours Later… 

Please Note before I start my explanation all surgeries had the same end goal, to remove the tumor.

The tumor was located in the bottom of my left femur. The surgeons when they got into surgery realized that the tumor in my femur was too large and if they saved the joint surface the minute I put weight on it, the joint would break so that was a bummer. Then they tried to put in the bone graph with the knee joint from another person BUT the bone graph did not fit with my leg properly. In the end I have a knee which is a mixture of metal, donor bone and my au natural bone. It’s a bit of a tight fit to have all three in there so lets hope the party doesn’t get to ruckus!

This new knee is awesome in the way that I might be able to put weight on my leg by January rather than November!!! This is an amazing advantage as it means that I can go and visit my friends around the world, wherever they are! But as with any replacement there are disadvantages.

One disadvantage of this surgery is that it is a partial knee replacement so there is metal within my knee so I am going to look like a fool with my pants on the ground (in airport security).

Another disadvantage of this surgery is that I will need another knee replacement in 10-20 years and I will always have to be careful and after that knee replacement I will have to have another one and then once that knee replacement has worn out I may have to get my leg amputated.

I have to live a careful life, this means no skiing, no running. I always will have to be careful of my weight. That’s perhaps is not such a bad thing, but I love food sooo much!!

Plus I hear scars are pretty impressive and help us get them boys. Who needs milkshakes?

Over the past couple of days I have been in a lot of pain as we have had some problems with the pain medication but finally we have sorted most of it out. I have been really lucky though because my whole family and Pan (my boyfriend) and Ollie (one of my seriously amazing friends) and my cousins (Sophie and Alice) and lots of other friends and family have visited me here in Auckland hospital.  

I went through a dark patch while my pain medication wasn't working.  I felt this huge weight was on my shoulders and I could see no way of ever getting past it but I was so lucky that Pan and Ollie were there reminding me I wasn't alone.

I would then think about 'The Hobbits' and it made things easier. I was going through a hazy consciousness and Pan and Ollie and my friends stuck with me through it reminding me that it would get better because things always do. 

Today with the physio I managed to walk one metre on a grandma walker to the seat but I MADE IT. It is getting better, I never thought it would but it is.

Lets see what tomorrow brings.

PS Thanks to everyone who sent flowers, chocolates, presents and cards! They are all so lovely and they mean a lot to me!

Monday, 5 December 2011

From The Ridiculously Happy To The Ridiculously Nervous

I am lying in the hospital bed looking out across Auckland. I am in a room with four elderly old ladies. Two of them are rather sick and have been sleeping all day but there is one old lady who is lovely. The room looks out over Auckland city.

I have the most beautiful view of the sky tower and the city as I happen to be on the 14th floor. Ward 75 represent. Even though I am surrounded by such a lovely view I can't help but wish the sky would just  come and rescue me.

I am so nervous I want to cry, scream and put my foot down about the surgery tomorrow. I do not want to do it. I want to be a child again. I want to be able to walk, I know that for at least the next year I am not going to be able to walk.

My life is going to get harder. The chemo is going to intensify after the surgery, I am going to be in hospital more and I am not going to be able to put any weight on my leg AT ALL for the next year. My life is already hard. Excuse my french but this is not f**king fair.

The worst thing is I know that I have to do this. It's either this or I will die. That sounds overly dramatic but it's the truth. Those are my options and I have no intention of letting myself die. I can't do that, not to my family, my friends and most importantly I have a Euro trip which I have planned to take on my parents credit card.

Next year is going to suck but I am lucky I have the most amazing friends. Life could be so much worse. I could be a hermit and have no friends. I am lucky, my friends have literally not let me be lonely.

I have been out of hospital for the past two weeks (the first time since I started chemo that I actually stayed out for my full two weeks) and for that time I have been out for lunch and dinner nearly every meal, been to soo many parties.

I have spent so much time with friends that I will treasure as they have made me feel normal. It gives me strength to face tomorrow.

Life would be easier if I didn't wake up tomorrow BUT there are so many good things in life you just have to be strong and get through the bad. The bad may be ridiculously hard but when I think over the last two weeks or over the last year I have had soo many good times that it vastly outweighs the bad.

"I am richer in one moment with my friends than if I had all the money in the world" and I am so lucky because I have so many moments so thank you. You make me stronger than I thought I ever could be.