Archive for the ‘Willow Fountation’ Category



March 7, 2011

Still here!

Sorry for the rather epic lack of posting lately – we’re still here, just getting on with it really! Andy’s chemo is going pretty well, more tiring and more side effects than last time but he’s still feeling good and has been doing lots of running and biking to keep him entertained.

The main news is that yesterday Andy and his sister Sarah completed the Adidas Silverstone Half Marathon! (That’s 13.1 miles as we were constantly reminded) They did it in 2:45:13 which I just think is amazing, I am so stupidly proud of him for that incredible achievement, especially as it comes after 16 chemo sessions in 9 months. Between them they managed to raise over £4,000 to be split between Cancer Research UK  and the Willow foundation which is wonderful. We should have really posted the link up here, but don’t worry, there’ll be plenty of other opportunities to sponsor him in the future! (If you really want to donate retrospectively, you can do so here –!)

There’s also lots to look forward to in the next couple of months – Andy is racing at the Plymouth Urban DH in about 3 weeks, then another race a week after that. Plus a trip to the Alps in August and a few more DH races in the summer, should be enough to keep him busy!

He  has another chemo starting on Wednesday, and in about a month’s time he’ll have another PET and/or CT scan to see how it’s going. Please pray that the chemo works properly this time and we can defy the odds and kick this cancer’s arse! There’s far too much to do to be held back by illness!



More bad news

December 29, 2010

Well the bad news seems to just keep on rolling in.  We got the results from the PET scan before Christmas, the shadow on my liver is a secondary cancer, however there is also cancer in 4 areas of lymph nodes around both kidneys, my pancreas and my aorta artery.  This news hit us both like an express train and basically means the chances of curing the cancer are very very slim.  It’s basically turned into a battle to slow the cancer down.  I’ve got another 12 sessions of chemo starting on the 12th Jan after our willow foundation funded break at centre parcs.  The difference this time is that compared to last time when my life was fitted around the chemo, this time the chemo will be fitting round my life.  There aren’t many different side effects to last time except I will definitely loose my hair and may be a bit more tired.  Ses responded to this by buying lots of yarn and has started knitting me lots of different hats!


I’m still going to try and complete the half marathon in March and am intending to do as many downhill biking races this year as possible.  We’re also still planning to go out to the alps in the summer to get a week of biking done too.


On a brighter note we had a nice Christmas period, spending Christmas and boxing day at my parents with family, then had Ses’ family up to ours for a few days.  It was nice to spend time with both families in the wake of the news and be able to forget about it somewhat over Christmas.


We had an eventful few days leading up to Christmas as I managed to pick up some sort of flu or bad cold which layed me up in bed for a couple of days with a mild temperature.  Unfortunately my temperature then went a bit mad and we were advised by the chemo nurses to get checked out by A&E when my temperature jumped up to 39.3 degrees C (102.7 in old money). After an hour of waiting I got seen and was pumped full of fluid and anti-biotics which seemed to kick the bug.  I got hit harder than most due to having a very weak immune system due to the first round of chemo.  We convinced the A&E doctor to let us go home after 6 hours there and with no chance of a bed other than the trolley in the resus bay!  They wanted to monitor me as one of the doctors heard a heart murmur.  Instead we had a follow up appointment 2 days later, however having taken my blood pressure and pulse we then sat waiting for 2 hours before having to give up and leave due to our car parking time running out.  I think in the grand scheme of things a heart murmur is the least of my worries.  I’ll ask the doc if it’s worth pursuing and if so go down the private route again!


And finally……

In an attempt to kick start my half marathon training I bought a Wii Fit yesterday.  Such good fun and will allow me to keep doing something active even when on chemo.


Final Session is done with, just waiting on the scan result

December 11, 2010

That’s all the chemo over and done with!  The final session finished two Friday’s ago on the 3rd.  It was such a nice feeling knowing I’m not going to be back and forth every 2 weeks to get poisoned.  On the downside it does mean I won’t see the girls in the chemo centre as much (I still have to go back every 6 weeks to flush the port through).  They’ve made the whole chemo so much better than I thought it would be and are so positive and cheerful, I’ll miss them but I’m glad to see the back of it!  Side effects for the last session were minimal with only a small amount of hiccuping, however the nubness in my fingers has now spread a bit more as I guess the Oxilaplatin takes some time to get out of the system.  Most of the ends of my fingers are numb as are the soles of my feet.  It makes things like doing buttons up a real struggle and I’ve had a few balance issues due to the foot numbness.


I had the post chemo CT scan on Wednesday and get the results this coming Tuesday.  I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty nervous about getting the results as they’ll be pretty much make or break.  If you’re of the praying nature then I’d definitely appreciate some asking for good results and strength for me and my family over the next few days.


We had a nice piece of mail this week, it was the confirmation and booking details for our new year trip to centre parcs.  The Willow Foundation have thought of absolutely everything and have sent through loads of information even including personalised directions on how to get there from our house as well as some gift vouchers for us to use while we’re there.  Now we just need to choose what we’re going to do while we’re there, top of the list is a massage to relieve some of the stress from the past year!


And finally…..

Obviously my body thought finishing the chemo meant I had some spare capacity for medical issues and so again I was having to deal with a dislocated shoulder.  This time it was walking out of work on Thursday, I held a door open in slightly the wrong way and it just fell apart.  Luckily I managed to get it back in within a minute so no hospital trip needed, just some pain and aching the following day but it’s feeling lots better now.


Session 7 down, the best so far and lots to look forward to

September 29, 2010

Session 7 has come and gone and I’m happy to report that it was the best one so far, with minimal hiccups and only the sensitivity to cold.  I think this was mainly down to having things to do both during and the weekend after the treatment and having lots to look forward to.  On that front, we’ve managed to buy a house and are now madly planning everything that needs doing when we move.  Also I applied for and have been given a weekend at centre parcs through the Willow Foundation.  They’re a charity who provide special days for seriously ill young adults.  They take care of all the booking etc and money side of things and have been wonderful to deal with.  Check out their website for more information.  They’re one of the charities I’ll be running my half marathon for come March next year.

Work is still going well and besides being a little tired after a busy weekend I’ve not had any problems now I’ve been back full time for a month.  I’m finally starting to settle back into the software coding and have spent quite a lot of time putting into practice some of the design and coding principles I learnt a couple of years ago on the conversion training I did.

And Finally………

For all those who enjoy racing games, F1 2010 is definitely worth a look.