Friday, 4 April 2008

2008 Apr 4th - Insurance.........or lack of!

I'm pleased to say I've started going back to the gym again. I went nearly two weeks ago on Tuesday 25th March, just a month after my operation, just to do some cardio and a couple of resistance exercises on equipment not to mention a few squats. I went again on the Saturday and then this week on Wednesday when I pulled out all the stops and did quite a few more exercises, especially on my blancmange thighs. I didn't walk well before, but my legs have definitely been protesting the last two days! Still I might drag myself back there tonight because I had a month off and I am on a mission to speed up my general recovery.

My feet are much, much worse and I really do think I might have permanent damage now. The areas of pain are increasing and I can't even stretch my legs without feeling like something is tearing or burning inside my heels and the sides of my feet or my right big toe! That's just not right is it? Thinking about it, things took a turn for the worse when I saw Dr Tom the oncologist just before surgery and he said not to bother with the Pyridoxine (B6) any more as it was only useful whilst ON chemotherapy. So was it just coincidence that when I stopped taking it things went downhill? Hmm. Poking about reading experiences from other sufferers I'm not sure so I've started taking them again, having just got a prescription filled when I stopped. I'll give it a couple of weeks and then I'm seeing Tom again so hopefully I'll have more news.

I can't remember if I mentioned in my last post that I'll be having my "1 year post op" scan at the beginning of June (ish) at which point I might finally be able to get the champagne out and celebrate being in remission or NED (no evidence of disease). Those damn spots on my liver are still a cloud hanging over me dangling the threat of Stage 4 (no stage 5 remember). At what point can I actually start getting on with my life? If the scan shows no more spots it means they were chemo damage and my liver has healed itself, if not, well I can't really be bothered to contemplate the options too much, more surgery, more chemo, radio frequency ablation?

Don't get me wrong, it's not really worrying me. There's no point worrying, it won't change anything and if all is well I'll have stressed my mind and body out for another few months for no reason at all! That's just silly! So as Angela once said: "I refuse to get excited until I know there is actually a problem". Good advice there.

Speaking of Angela, we braved the bright lights of Boston town on Saturday after I had been to the gym, dismantled a high sleeper bed and constructed a single bed to replace it...........(yeah wonder woman, that's me). Three glasses of wine, chips and mayo, a cab ride home and a chocolate eclair (bought from the kebab shop no less!) later.................I discovered red wine and my new internal system do not agree. I was up with diarrhoea a couple of hours after going to bed, the likes of which I hadn't really experienced since Tyson was still in residence.

Just in case it wasn't the wine, I had two glasses last night. It was the wine.

Onto the title of this

I got a letter in the post today with a copy of my anaesthetist's bill for £165 as a private patient telling me that my private health insurance cover (provided by my employer) expired on 31st January 2008. Remember the advice on not getting excited until you know there is a problem? I'm pleased to say I sat down and thought about it calmly before ringing work's HR department who rang our benefits department immediately. I wasn't in a panic because I rang the helpline in February to check I was covered for my ileostomy reversal and they said yes! After they refused to pay for the creation of my J-pouch I wasn't risking anything. Luckily it turns out our policies were transferred to BUPA so I am in fact still covered. I guess it's all part of the buy out of the company and major shareholder that took place around the same time.

Oh and more news - I'm going back to work on 23rd April. EEK!

I'm going to try three days that week and then do a couple of days a week after that to start with and see how I go from there. I am questioning the sense behind an early return, not because of my energy levels, but because the weather is improving and I could actually spend some time in the garden this year without being in pain or attached to chemicals or just feeling too damn ill. I need to get amongst people though. I have been holed up in this house for 13 months now and I'm going a bit stir crazy. Getting out to the gym is good, there are at least real people there even if I only know two or three to talk to, it makes me feel a little more like I'm part of society and not some imperfect outcast.

I'm going to treat myself now and watch Loose Women with a mug of something hot before I go and do some shopping (nice shopping, not groceries). I want some pretty things for my bedroom now it's decorated (just one wall of skirting and a small hole to fill and I'm done. I want a new pole, curtains and mirror and maybe something decorative on the walls. I might even post some before and after photos at some point...........oh god the before picture is horrid, it's going to make anything I've done look marvelous, sorry anything MIKE did.

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