Archive for August, 2003

Text World

Posted in Writing, Cancer Journal on August 31st, 2003

About the time Emma received a text message from me from Kuala Lumpur airport and one from her boyfriend in Venice, she received a message from G in Poona. This last was evidently the most welcome! She has a tape of G talking her through the poses she recommended before going away and it always has the effect of calming her and ensuring a good night’s sleep.

Visit to Oncologist

Posted in Writing, Cancer Journal on August 30th, 2003

Last Thursday E and I went with Emma to her oncologist who gave his assessment of her CT scan. He said it was “as expected’ by which he meant that the cancer was still very evident- in the abdomen, signs in the bowel and messy after effects of the operation- “noise of battle” to use the surgeon’s phrase but the chemo was having an effect. It is too early to say more and he is using this scan as his baseline to compare with in 12 weeks time when she will have another one. The odd thing he said is that her blood marker- the CA 125 test is very low considering the amount of cancer she is carrying. She also feels very well in herself, better than for a long time. I hope this is a good sign. Perhaps it is being contained in the abdominal area and not being spread rapidly though the blood and the lymph system. He gave no explanation. He thinks that she has the best of chances because she is young, fitter than most and can take it. He recommended more laughter and white burgundy and said she could travel wherever she wants- he seems to know all the oncologists in the world. Said Sydney was his second home and knows who will be able to look after her.

Afterwards, whilst we felt hopeful; by contrast Emma felt very upset. She had hoped there would be nothing visible I think and the report she obtained spelt it out in no uncertain terms. I reacted similarly once on the plane and just could not get myself together. It does not seem to get any easier as time goes on.

Chemo Round 3

Posted in Writing, Cancer Journal on August 26th, 2003

Emma is full of amazing strength and resilience. She has now had two cycles of chemo and is due a third on September 1st next Monday. In the meantime her blood tests are moving in the right direction: the CA 125 marker as it is called is going down fast from 125 to 66 since the chemo started. It is important not to become hung up on the numbers but it is the only thing she has to go on at the moment.

Much to think about and when the six months of chemo is over that’s when it gets really hard. But we live for the day. Last week we saw “Three Sisters” at the National and enjoyed all three and a half hours thoroughly. Doing life laundry tasks- the Humana boxes are full of the discarded clothes and toys and then going off to Marks to buy up silky lacy underwear to fill the vacant drawers…

CA 125

Posted in Writing, Cancer Journal on August 21st, 2003

Having a few quiet days in the country with Emma. She is superb and looks gorgeous! I think she must be thriving on all those nasty chemicals. Her CA125 is down to 82 (from 205 so that is good. This Friday is the scan and we see the oncologist next week. We did a Marks and Sparks lacy bra and knicker shop yesterday and a stroll around Habitat and elsewhere. She slept well this morning but was over excited last night. She is learning to say no to people who do not give her pleasure. She is getting on with life despite the horrors of chemo and the fear of what is to come. Hair still intact so far!

Non plussed

Posted in Writing, Cancer Journal on August 5th, 2003

…feeling a bit non plussed at the moment but I figure it’s a quiet time before C and you turn up. I don’t mind lounging about as it is so hot. Sort of feel I should be doing more. I can’t really plan much till something is resolved with work. I saw some courses at Lewisham college that might be interesting but I can’t sign up until I know what is happening with work.
I know that when the scar is mended I will be able to do more on these weeks as I feel fine really. Wondering whether I might be able to travel cos C will only be able to visit once more before November. Going to B’s tonight – K (work friend) coming tomorrow.
anyway best do some yoga.


Posted in Writing, Cancer Journal on August 3rd, 2003

Hope you and the kid are having a good weekend together and not too many interruptions from visiting phone calls and people. How was the beauty session?
Spoke to Charlie ][Emma’s grand father] on phone: he has a new press button reclining chair- good for his morale he says. Neil (uncle) says his breathing is getting more laboured so do not know if he is faltering or what. It would be a surprise as he is in quite good spirits. Still not satisfied with his letter to you- wants praise I think.

Do not forget to keep up the yoga relaxation. I seem to remember it was important for circulation. So in advance of the 11th August drink gallons of water and keep veins open.

Take care and be totally emma-centric for at least half the day..

Email to Emma

Posted in Writing, Cancer Journal on August 1st, 2003

The test results are so encouraging - all this chemo for some effect is good news indeed.

Hope you are resting up proper- conservation of energy remember. When you are better you can afford to give a bit- but even then not much. You have had a lifetime of giving out - time to draw it inwards- G would back me up I am sure. It does not mean withdrawing from people just not looking out for them all the time.

Saw the GP yesterday and now today off to have my scan at the local radiology centre. It takes weeks on the NHS (still waiting for the letter) and here they wanted to do it the minute I turned up. I had to put them off a day! The blood tests taken yesterday- the doctor said- well what do you want? so I am having everything and the results will be ready today.

Now about to drive off in car- first time in Sydney for me behind the wheel.