Hi and Welcome....

The reason for my blog is that Colin had Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma (secondary kidney cancer). In addition to this, his eldest brother David died in April 2008, 5 weeks after being diagnosed with Laryngeal Cancer and his elder sister Sue was diagnosed with Lobular Breast Cancer in March 2009. All that said, I am still smiling and trying to be up beat about everything because if I wasn’t I don’t think I would cope as well as I have so far. Sadly Colin passed away on 23rd Dec 2009.

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Saturday, 31 October 2009

Happy Halloween

Sorry I haven't done an update in 2 weeks but its been a difficult 2 weeks as Colin was trying to do things like walk around after his spine op. Originally we got a wheelchair from the Red Cross, but soon realised that he was never going to sit in it only use it as a walking support, so I rang the Red Cross again to see it they hired out walking frames, only to be told they didn't have any to hire but they did have one of the 3 wheeled types for sale for £10. So we loaded the wheelchair in the boot, took it back and bought the walking aid.


After a week of walking quite well with his wheels and finishing Dexamethasone (steriods) for the second time we assumed all was well.
Also I had an out patient appointment with my cardiologist, had an ECG (echo cardiogram) done, she looked at my blood test results, told me all my blood tests (liver, kidney etc) had come back normal and she was quite happy with my progress and discharged me from her cardiology.

We began talking about taking Kieran to Bournemouth as he asked if he could go to the beach there for his birthday, I had found a couple of B&Bs with vacancies, this was when I noticed Colin was not his usual self and didn't seem to want to do much. I assumed he had done to much walking since being discharged from hospital and was exhasted so didn't push him to do anything and left him to rest.

He managed to get up on Sunday, as we were going out for lunch with a friend. He had very low blood pressure and I suggested he didn't take his blood pressure tablets, also when vomited slightly before going out and just after starting his meal (which he didn't eat). Tuesday he came downstairs for Kieran's Birthday cake, but only because I insisted and we had visitors. (I took Kieran out for lunch with his Grandma, Grandad & Auntie Rachel to Bridges Carvery, then on Wed took him & a friend to see 'UP' at the cinema)

By Thursday he had vomited a couple of times since Sunday and hadn't taken any blood pressure tablets and seemed to be quite depressed and didn't what to eat or doing anything including answering text messages from friends. I was starting to worry so I phoned his Sister Rachel to see if she would come and see him and give me her opinion as to whether I should get the Doctor out to see him.
Rachel came round Thursday afternoon and came to the same conclusion as I had, so I called to Doctor and arranged a visit for Friday.

During Thursday morning I had made some soup (which Kieran said was really nice) and cooked a stew, which got eaten by Rachel, Laura, Kieran and Myself and was very nice.

The Doctor came on Friday morning and explained that Colin had stopped his Steroid's too quickly and the way he was was a reaction to that so she has reintroduced the Steroid's at 2 a day and has given him an anti-sickness tablet (Domperidone) 3 times a day.

Thankfully they seem to be working and he has eaten today and has been up out of bed and even had a shower and been to the pub. The only downside is he is snappy again (due to the steroids) but I can deal with that much easier than him being in bed not wanting do anything or see/speak to anyone.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Appointments, Appointments

Now we have to remember my appointments as well as Colin's.
Good job we both have phones with calenders on them otherwise we would miss things.

Colin had an appointment with Dr P at the QE on Thursday, who was pleased that his spinal tumor was dealt with so quickly by the ROH.
At present he has suspended Sutent until the wound on Colin's back has healed and once he has received details re: operation will decide if Radiotherapy is needed.
Colin is still recovering quite well, he can't walk very far but has got a wheelchair if he needs it.
One thing we have noticed is that he seems to have shrunk as I am now taller than him - sorry Sue he is still a few inches taller than you :)

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Home Again

Colin came home yesterday.
He's legs are getting stronger each day and he can walk a little further each time, he is still in pain but the pain killers are working this time which is a relief. He slept for 8 hours last night which is the longest he has slept in over 2 weeks, so that's a good sign that he is getting better :-) and has started to reduce his steroids again.

Also Colin's big little sister Sue will be appearing on ITV1's This Morning programme today to talk about breast cancer and her own Blog Welcome to Sue's World with Dr Chris sometime between 10.30 and 12.30. Go Sue x

Video from 'This Morning' is now on You Tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b12L4jhlgV4

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Post Op

Colin had his spinal operation yesterday and as far as we know it all went to plan. He seems to be recovering quite well and has some feeling back in his right thigh already which is a good sign. He has an epidural in place at present so isn't in any pain.



Here is an example of a titanium bracket on the spine. Colin has had something similar to this done.







What Colin's back looks like at present, the top bit is just holding the epidural tube in place.
The bottom bit is where they operated.










And he has a web shooter (like spiderman)







On a more cheerful note Sue has been invited on This Morning to talk about Breast Cancer and her Blog with Dr Chris as it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Monday, 5 October 2009

Operation Time

Since my last update on Thursday Colin has had lots of scans and x-rays and has been discussed between Dr P at QE (Queen Elizabeth Hospital) and Orthopaedic Consultant, Mr Stirling at ROH (Royal Orthopaedic Hospital).

Tomorrow he will be going to QE for Embolization of lower spinal area, to prevent too much bleeding which is the main risk from RCC then on Wednesday Mr Stirling will operate on the tumors on the lower spine removing them, then will rebuild the spinal bone with titanium and cement so column doesn't collapse hopefully leaving Colin pain free.

I am now feeling much better and able to do a bit more (not too much though) and I am allowed to drive again which make life so much easier as I don't have to rely on/ask people for lifts any more.
I would like to say a BIG Thank You to all the people who gave me lifts etc It was much needed and appreciated.

Now for the amusing bits: While I was in hospital Colin brought in the mains charger for iphone/ipod for me to charge my ipod, when I went back to hospital I knew I didn't take it with me. We had been looking for it for 2 weeks since then and really needed it on Thursday so Colin could charge his phone whilst in hospital, still couldn't find it so on Friday I bought a new one. Within an hour of getting home from shopping - low and behold what did I find in a carrier bag on the floor, YES the charger that I had been looking for everywhere.
Also because I couldn't drive last week I did an online shop at ASDA to be delivered between 4 & 6 pm on Thursday, not a problem you might think. But then we get informed that the Ambulance will be coming for Colin between 3 & 7 pm on Thursday, so what are the chances of them turning up at the same time???
Well just in case that happened I asked my Mum to come round for 4 pm, good job I did as Ambulance arrived at 4:10 and ASDA delivery arrived at: you guessed it 4:15.

So amusing things do happen even when you don't expect it and they make you laugh and that is a good thing as we all need to laugh occasionally, especially in this family.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham

Colin is now an in patient at the above due to severe back pain, numbness in his thighs and not being able to stand for long or walk very far. He was admitted at 5.30pm and had an MRI scan at 6.30pm. We should have some results and an idea of what is going on tomorrow so I will update as soon as I can.
At least I might get a good nights sleep tonight as I won't have to get up an administer pain killers during the night, someone else will be doing that and getting paid for it ;-)