I've been slacking, I know. Consider my knuckles rapped.
I thought I should mention my physiotherapy (can't remember if I already have...?). I started with weekly visits for the burning, tearing pains in my heels caused by achilles tendonitis. Initially I had ultrasound therapy and some manual jiggery pokery (I'd say massage but it hurt) and was given exercises to do at home. I've progressed to having more exercises to try and mobilise my nervous system and have bought a Therapy Top or wobble board to improve general leg strength and balance. I'm supposed to exercise three times a day - it's very time consuming and I do forget but it seems to be helping. Last visit a couple of weeks ago I had some sort of laser treatment and had to don a pair of incredibly UNsexy BLUE tinted goggles, just in case whilst lasering the back of my heels while I lay face down on the bed.......a stray red beam goes in my eye. Health & Safety - the opposite of the Fashion Police eh?
I've just come back from a week in Spain with one of my Best Friends. We boarded the plane and were quite excited to find two seats next to each other........until we found out why. The seats smelled of sick........some people had already moved they couldn't tolerate the stench. It was a short flight. Thankfully.
As soon as we stepped out of the plane door, whoompf! Heat. Blissful heat. And sun. Just what the Dr, oncologist, nurses and surgeon ordered.
We were a little overdressed for dinner in the evenings, the families preferring t-shirts and shorts or in one French woman's case a hideous towelling dress!!!
There were a few comedy moments - like the "underground car park". Firstly they said they had no space. Then they did. An uncertain receptionist followed us to the hire car and "tried" to remember where the car park was. She got in and, noticing my mate and me putting on seatbelts asked if she should do the same? The reply was "We're English, we like a seatbelt". Eventually after driving down a 45 degree slope which flattened out level (remember this) she got out and spent a lifetime trying to open the door. I was sent to assist. I opened it straight away and then the attempt to negotiate a 135 angle by a Peugot 207 commenced. As soon as I saw the skirt at the front about to crumple I screeched a little and made frantic "Back up!" signs. Having handed over an exhorbitant fee for the privilege of NOT being able to even access the car park we all but kidnapped the woman from the hotel to ensure we got a refund. I think they hated us from then on in.
Once I went to ask for the gym key (two bikes a pec dec and seated row machine) to be told it was shut. "Oh......what time is it open?" "9am" ......."Erm until WHEN?".......this was the same woman who led us to the carpark of death........no word of a lie, she turned around, looked at the clock which said 7.30pm and, turning back to face me, said "7.30". Yes. She hated us.
We alternated lazing on the beach with days out, including a drive to Tarragona (I drove, my feet complained the next day but it was a sort of mission to drive on the continent properly). On the way home we found ourselves driving through the streets of the old town of Tossa (where we were staying). Now I say streets. They were approximately 12 inches wider than the bloody car. It was dark. People were everywhere. They didn't move. Quite how we got out of the maze alive I have NO idea. The car remained unscathed, however we needed a stiff drink to settle our nerves and I earned myself a hi-five for zero damage to anyone or thing.
Tossa has a few beaches, again, I SAY beaches........general conclusion was they imported tons of cat litter to put where the sand should have been. Still, it didn't get everywhere like sand does.
Generally we kept it sensible on the booze, until Tuesday night. We accidentally drank a few too many jugs of sangria (red wine, cointreau and brandy in this particular bar's recipe), followed by a beer which didn't hit the spot at the hotel bar, and topped off with a mojito whilst playing pool (much to the dismay of the barmen who wanted to go to bed). I lost at pool. My mate lost her sangria. Apparently she kept banging into my bed on her way back from the bathroom several times. Me, being the light sleeper I am slept through in my alcohol coma. Neither of us made breakfast the next day and the cleaners were turned away, the blackout curtain stayed closed. Grim. Still, we made it to Barcelona on the Thursday, a day later than planned.
The Park Guell (Gaudi's park) was amazing, as was strolling down the 2km long Las Ramblas looking at the birds and small animals for sale (well the animals in cages wasn't great but we cooed at some rabbits). We had a slap up meal in a lovely restaurant and I got tipsy on an Irish coffee and half a litre of beer. If you haven't been, I can recommend a weekend in Barcelona and just hit the park and the streets, there's plenty to look at! Plus we did a little shopping in Zara and Mango...oops.
Needless to say, as I'm supposed to be VERY careful in the sun until 12 months after chemo finished (December 2008) I used factor 40 all the time. I did colour a teeny bit and have lots of freckles. Mostly I just loved being away in the warm. No housework, no need to be anywhere at any time and good company.
I'm also having counselling - from the Cancer Counselling Trust. She thinks I need more long term counselling (again) since the maximum 9 sessions won't scratch the surface of what's messing up my head. Cancer has just been another catalyst I guess. The loneliness I had before has just been amplified, but now I feel I'm in a worse position to change things. We're working on it though.