[CANCER] Celebrating your birthday whilst having #Chemotherapy #BreastCancer #LoveTheNHS

This cancer ‘experience’ continued with an ‘opportunity’ to have cancer on my birthday … but although, as with most of this treatment, I feel a bit like I’m watching from above… it managed to be a very pleasant day! My (2nd cousin, or 1st once removed) Izzy (and we were pen-friends for years) arrived the evening before and we went out to A Tavola, and had a lovely meal (very grateful that I’ve not lost my tastebuds, as many do on tax-based chemo).

It was an early start, with bloods due to be taken at 8.30am (very swiftly!) …

Happy birthday to me! #chemotherapy #cancerlife

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The bloods trolley:

You spend much of your day confirming name, date of birth and first line of address – and see sudden realisation as they note the date, though this may have made it hard to miss (and note the hair, although v flat, is still holding on – although my eyebrows and eyelashes have thinned out a lot):

That photo was taken whilst we were enjoying a full on breakfast whilst the bloods results were being sorted, to give the go-ahead for chemo (they allow about 2 hours for this)

Every medical professional I have met in this process has been caring, if over-worked, and I got a great surprise when I was just chatting away with Izzy, cold-cap wedged on my head, to hear the tune of Happy Birthday start up, and a cake had been pre-ordered from the kitchens (was lovely, although left it for the nurses to enjoy once we’d had our slice each):

I got sung to and cake 🙂 #cancerlife #birthday #lovethenhs #chemotherapy

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And here’s my face not long after the cake had arrived (note, new dress, with POCKETS!):

Cake! #birthday #chemotherapy

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I had taken them cake too!

We carried on chatting away for the 3-ish hours it take the cold/cap and chemo to work – and taken what has now become a bit of a tradition – a treatment selfie (didn’t do the early ones though!)

10 minute defrost and we’re done! #chemotherapy

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They do put it on quite tightly (but that’s why it works!):

We then decided to follow the advice from the MEN re ‘5 of the best hot chocs in Manchester‘, as Cocoa Cabana was just ‘down the road’. Half-a-mile is surprisingly tiring post poison-filling-session, but we made it, despite a slight ‘eek’ at number 128 where they clearly were originally, then looked back on the website – phew, number 168!

Very nice salted caramel dark hot choc, and a couple of chocolate truffles, plus enjoyed watching Frank watching the traffic go by:

Hot chocolate post treatment. #birthday #chemotherapy #cocoacabana

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Wet hair (did you know the nurses buy the conditioner themselves?), tired, but nice to ‘do’ something that feels a bit birthday-like!

Then the big challenge to walk back to the car park – we did wonder at points if I was going to make it, but slow, steady plodding does it!

I absolutely loved this cartoon drawn by Chris Bambrough, based on my sharings from the day (and he’s even managed to get the Keep Calm in there)

I received some royalties from Raising Children in a Digital Age in the post, so looking forward to buying the original:

Enjoyed receiving cards/parcels that was able to open during chemo and when I got home, when chilled, chatted, and enjoyed fish and chips with Stuart and Karen (sorry think my arm was tired and wobbling):

No steroids on week 3, so the lack of sleep from the night or two before chemo (when the brain just won’t settle) – and to bed…

Listening to Harry Potter read in Stephen Fry’s dulcet tones is great to drift off to sleep to, and I slept through til 10am today (so 11+ hours of sleep) – woke and tweeted the world

Post came this morning, including balloons from someone I’ve never met, but we chat on the #WIASN group:

Balloons in the post 🙂 Happy Birthday to me (yesterday)! love #wiasn

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And the rest of the day will be not moving much, enjoying re-looking at the all the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, Text, Post, etc. happy birthdays – I feel loved – thank you! Looking forward to celebrating Christmas, New Year and Birthday some point in the summer!


Keep Calm and Carry On Doorstop

Well, officially it’s a garden ornament, but I don’t have a garden! Thanks to Wendy & Suzi who gave this to me for my birthday, and Megan who spotted it! And thanks for the lift home with it…