Thursday 25th January – Burns Night
This morning was the worst since treatment started; physically I was a little tired as I’d had some awful nightmares, Filly was up during the night with her cold and cough, and at 2am Clarence decided to join in and had a crazy 10 minutes of constant barking, but mentally I was a wreck. I don’t know where it came from but I couldn’t stop crying, as I was trying to give Filly her breakfast the tears were rolling down my cheeks, I can’t say that I felt anything other than wanting to cry, it was the strangest feeling. Thankfully, Ally arrived home during breakfast – I had text messaged him during the night when I had my nightmares, and when he read them he spoke to work and, very kindly, they let him come straight home. I’d like to say I felt better, but it just made me cry more. Filly always goes to her Grandma Alyson’s house on a Thursday and even driving to drop her off I was in tears in the car. Ally and I came home, had a chat and did a few chores (bought a shiny new laptop for uni) and all of a sudden I felt like myself again. I still can’t explain where the tears came from, I’m wondering if its hormones messing with me, but I really hope it doesn’t happen again. (I even missed riding Blue, which I don’t do without a bloody good reason.)
The rest of the week has been fairly normal, which is great, hurrah for normal! On Monday we had a fun ride in the sunshine. Meeting up with the ponies from the local polo yard is always a giggle in one way or another, especially when combined with attack pheasants and idiot drivers.
On Tuesday I was back into Cheltenham General for an ECG. Some of the drugs in my second lot of chemo (cycles 4,5 and 6) can weaken or damage the heart so the doctors ordered an ECG (basically an ultrasound of my heart and key blood vessels) to understand what my starting point is. For the record, my drug regime is 3x FEC-T (Fluorouracil, Epirubicin (which turns pee the colour of strawberry ice pops), Cyclophosphamide and Docetaxel) and then 3x Trastumazab (aka Herceptin), Pertumazab and Docetaxel – the final set of drugs are targeted therapies to my particular type of tumour, which is both Oestrogen and HER2 (a growth factor receptor) positive. My father took me for my ECG as Ally was flying and there is no way I would have made it to my appointment had I gone alone. Apart from the old man’s slow driving and losing the car in the car park, he was super! I should add that the cardiologists were ‘very impressed’ with my heart function and I have a fit and healthy heart of someone younger than my years- finally some good news.
So, now Ally is home for Burns night, which is bonny! Both Ally and I have a close connection with Scotland, my lovely granny was born a Burns in Dundee, and Ally’s late father grew up near Inverness in the family pile. But the MacLeod heritage is all about the Isle of Skye. Ally was passed the Lairdship of a beautiful village on Skye called Colbust, which makes me Lady MacLeod of Colbust (although shortly after first meeting them Ally’s friends had already christened me Lady Lou – I have no idea why). Obviously real haggis is out of the question for me, and also they’re terribly difficult beasts to catch, but last year we found an amazing vegetarian haggis made by Macsween, its crammed full of lentils, barley, oats, beans, seeds and vegetables. The texture isn’t too far away from the original and although the taste is very different, it still, importantly, is full of spices like mace and nutmeg and tons of white pepper. We had it with traditional neeps and tatties (not tattoos as my auto correct keeps adding) and a wee drop of whisky cream sauce (the alcohol was burnt off and the ‘cream’ was dairy free). Ally had a wee dram of 15 year old Talisker, I smelled the bottle for longer than is decent!