The rainbow after the rain

I can’t believe my last post was so long ago. Sorry! Well, I’ll get the rubbish news out the way first. The lesion on my liver is definitely cancer. Fuck. 

The multidisciplinary team meeting agreed that this was the case but aren’t able to work out exactly how long the intrusive little bugger has been there. They can trace it back to October but only from a CT scan (the MRI scan is the one that gives the most information). It doesn’t appear to have changed in that time period but the only way to be certain is to do another set of scans 3 months after the last ones then make a choice regarding my treatment after that. Until then, I’ll continue with the hormone inhibitors, the bone juice and the truck load of painkillers. Oh, and waiting. You know how I feel about waiting. 

My anxiety levels have been getting pretty out of control and I decided it was time to try to deal with it. Obviously in my situation, it would be a little bit odd not to feel anxious or scared but I refuse to let it dictate how I live my life. Last week I attended a 3 day residential course called ‘The 7 steps to Health’ run by a fantastic charity called Rainbow Valley.  They aim to improve the quality of life of those affected by cancer and help with all aspects of ‘wellness’ be it exercise and nutrition or holistic and alternative treatments. They are currently fundraising to relocate to their own building which will be able to offer multiple courses, events or just a place to go and get a bit of support whenever you need it. I can’t tell you how comforting it is to know that a place like this exists. Cancer can be a very isolating illness and while there are teams of  people committed to healing and helping you physically, there are very few places concerned with your mental health. So, if you or your work/club/team/group of mates decide to do any fundraising activities or you’d like to, please consider donating to these guys. For more info, please check them out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rainbowvalleycharity/ Or on their website: http://www.rainbowvalley.org.uk

I found it very cathartic getting away and focusing on finding methods to help me deal with my overall health. It’s really hi lighted areas that I need to work on and gave me some of the tools to get started. Getting to spend time with people who are following a similar path always made me feel less lonely. Since my dear friend Lindsay passed away, I’ve avoided making new connections with people ‘like me’ but I know she’d hate for me to go on feeling isolated and she’d be proud of me for taking this step forward.

As you know, Steph and I made a New Year’s resolution to do at least one ‘Nice Thing’ every month and we’ve had a fab time sticking to it. In January, we had our Wonderland night in Edinburgh (see the previous blog). At the beginning of February we went to London to go to the Star Wars Identities exhibition at the O2. We stayed at the Raddision Blu just across the river so we had a fab view of the venue. We upgraded to a suite which was fantastic. It was such a fun weekend and a real treat for us both. 

Later in the month we went to stay at Norton House Hotel. We started the day by having a treatment each at the spa. I had a luxury facial and Steph had a full body massage (I’m not allowed to have a massage because of the metastatic cancer in my spine and hip. Thanks cancer. You dick). After this we had a champagne high tea then spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing in the spa. They have a relaxation room there so I took myself off for a nap for an hour. Bliss! Later on we had a lovely dinner and a couple of drinks. The spa and the food had left us in a chilled out stupor so we headed back to our room and had a fantastic sleep, one if my favourite hobbies at the moment, in our beautiful (upgraded) room. 

Living so close to Edinburgh, we’ve never really done anything ‘touristy’ so for our first March ‘Nice Thing’ we decided to go and visit the castle. On the Sunday night we stayed over at the Village Hotel which had an amazing deal of a two course meal for two and an overnight stay for £50. What a bargain! On Monday we headed off to wander (hobble) up the Grassmarket, then onto a nice little pub for some lunch and off to the castle to join the hordes of Japanese tourists in taking selfies at every available opportunity. The weather was fantastic so we really couldn’t have chosen a better day to go. 

We enjoyed being tourists so much that later in the month we decided to stay in Grangemouth at a nice old fashioned hotel called the Grange Manor then visit the Kelpies. Apart from the weather, this was fab. I’ve passed by loads of times on my way to and from Glasgow but had never been up close. They are absolutely amazing! There’s a little visitor centre there that’s worth a visit (if only to hide from the rain and have a coffee and a tray bake). 

So, that pretty much takes us up to date. It’s been a really difficult couple of months scattered with periods of genuine fun and happiness. I look forward to reporting on a good deal more. My friend Mairi recently reminded me “when it rains, look for rainbows”. I’m trying. 

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