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Hitting the halfway point!



Anyone else feel this winter has been going on for ages and longing for Spring? For me, the 3rd March didn't bring daffodils and sunshine, but it did take me over the halfway mark in my treatment! I began cycle 7 in good spirits, feeling like I was now on the home stretch; okay, I've still got another 6 months of feeling really very ill, but my blood results are showing that the treatment is working and those pesky #BloodyCance cells are slowly, but surely being eliminated. Of course, along with the optimism, I have to be realistic. My type of leukaemia cannot be cured, but if I get a year or so of uMRD (Minimal Residual Disease) before it starts to impact me again, I'll be more than happy! The chemoimmunotherapy I am having can be administered for a second round, although it will be less effective, but I'll take that - it's better than the alternative. Since my last post my days have mainly consisted of medication-taking, crumbling with pain and trying to maintain my appetite through the nausea. Sounds pretty grim, I know, but there have been short periods where I have rallied and managed to get into my studio for an hour or so and coped with a slow amble to the village to at least speak to someone IRL that week. However, with my birthday (I'm a Valentine's Day baby!) looking like a rather sad affair this year, my assumptions of spending it alone and eating too much chocolate were wrong... My son, Charlie, more than compensated for the day itself by driving up on the Saturday and treating me to a day and night out in Shrewsbury! I was wary of how we would be able to enjoy ourselves, given the sub-zero temperatures and my ongoing requirements to avoid any unmasked, indoor human contact, but my lad had planned the experience to perfection. He booked a boutique hotel with an entrance which didn't require me to walk through a busy reception and a meal on an outdoor, but heated, balcony at Hickory's Smokehouse, where we were the only table. He and his partner, Ioan, couldn't have been more supportive; both walked slowly and enabled me to stop regularly to sit down to catch my breath. We managed a spot of shopping at the end of the day in M&S when it was virtually empty and I bought a few garments in a real shop for the first time in almost 3 years - I didn't have to take a chance on size, colour and fabric as I had done when only being able to shop online. The lads were such fun and, in my super wig (my eternal thanks again to Optima in Birmingham!) and with a bit of makeup on for the first time in months, I felt a million dollars. The wig hid my hearing aids perfectly, so I was able to spend the whole evening feeling (almost) normal. I had to forgo one of my morphine slow-release tablets as I wanted to enjoy a glass of wine with my meal - it's a good job I did as one glass turned into 3 and a couple of cocktails and a sneaky shot! The following morning, we had a leisurely walk along the river after breakfast and, after tearfully saying goodbye to Ioan as he caught his train home, Charlie and I set off on the long journey to Chichester where I would be staying for the next 3 days to...... DRUMROLL..... do some house-hunting! Yes, I have been reflecting a great deal on my life after treatment (cancer does make you assess your life choices, naturally); I decided that, despite adoring my gorgeous cottage, this wonderful village in the Welsh mountains and having so many extraordinarily supportive and kind friends here, that I want to spend the final years of my life close to my son.

I am feeling very daunted at the prospect of selling both my home and a large proportion of my belongings (antiques and quirky paraphernalia won't be a good look in a new-build), but I have plenty of help available, thanks to my good pals and I will just have to pace myself. I am more concerned about losing my studio and packing up my paints for several months than anything else. My consultant has said that I can continue my treatment at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, despite there being a good Haematology Department at the hospital in Chichester, and I want to do that, as I trust the team so much. So, that's the big news this month and not much more has happened, apart from the worrying weight-loss I am experiencing. I am not too concerned about it myself as I could afford to lose the 3 stone (20+ kg), but my CNS, Lucy, has 'ordered' me to try not to lose anymore. Whilst I like getting into jeans which haven't seen the light of day since the start of the pandemic and, despite eating all the yummy chocolates I was gifted over Xmas and for my birthday (59 years old, in case you were wondering!), I do understand that such dramatic and relatively rapid weight-loss is not ideal. Hey ho, one day at a time on this journey, eh? Now I'm off to munch on some nuts and muesli, wishing you all a great day and with thanks for reading and joining me virtually on this rollercoaster journey!

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About Me

Angela.jpg

Hi, I'm Angela, also known as 'Space Angel ‘, on Twitter and 'Snakey' to my family (both monikers require a long story to explain!). I'm 58 and the proud mum of Charlie, my 26-year-old son. I live alone in my cottage in Llanrhaeadr Ym Mochnant, a beautiful village in the Tanat Valley in North Wales, and the location of the tallest waterfall in Wales.

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