Piia Pauliina
  • scissors
    October 27th, 2009

    A special mention to Suzie who flushed and changed my PICC line yesterday.  Not only did she remind me that it needed doing, but also she did it with no complaints, smiling through it.  And may I just add that no nurse does it with such care like Suzie does.

  • Reiki

    0
    scissors
    October 27th, 2009

    It is the 8th day post the 5th chemo.  Normally this week I feel mega rubbish, and like in 50% of chemos so far, I would be in a hospital for IV antibiotics right now.  I had been feeling fine up to Sunday, when I woke up extremely exhausted.  I simply could not get out of bed, and had to sleep all day, literally.  I felt like my body needed it.  Yesterday I woke up feeling much better, not great, but not as bad as I normally would on the day 7 post chemo.  I think the sleep really made a difference!  My advice is to carefully listen to the body, and do what it asks you to do.  Whenever I have gone against it, it has gone horribly wrong.  Do not push yourself unnecessarily.

    My very good friend, Sofia came to give me Reiki last night.  Afterwards, I was half asleep, and needed to curl up in bed.  I slept really well, and feel like the Reiki has given me more energy, as I do not feel as grotty as I would normally feel now.  Maybe, I am finally learning how to manage these chemos!

    What is Reiki?  According to the International Center 
for Reiki Training:

    “Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.

    The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words – Rei which means “God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power” and Ki which is “life force energy”. So Reiki is actually “spiritually guided life force energy.”

    A treatment feels like a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through and around you. Reiki treats the whole person including body, emotions, mind and spirit creating many beneficial effects that include relaxation and feelings of peace, security and wellbeing. Many have reported miraculous results.

    Reiki is a simple, natural and safe method of spiritual healing and self-improvement that everyone can use. It has been effective in helping virtually every known illness and malady and always creates a beneficial effect. It also works in conjunction with all other medical or therapeutic techniques to relieve side effects and promote recovery.”

  • scissors
    October 24th, 2009

    I had such a lovely uplifting day yesterday!  I met an old Finnish friend (boyfriend) Jukka whom I had not seen for about 13 years.  It was like no time had passed between us at all.  We are so alike, and still excited about the same things; music, travelling, finding happy balance between work and life.  I totally feel, I do not want to go back to the rat race once I am well again.  It is not worth it, it just makes you ill.  Well, look at me!  I want to go back to work, but do it maybe part time initially, and maybe combine two different jobs.

    Jukka, his boyfriend and their two lovely Aussie friends are spending Christmas in London too.  They do not live far, and I would LOVE if we would join forces and have Christmas together, and have a big Finnish, Aussie, Dutch, English Christmas…  I will have to speak to Jukka about this.

    I am feeling excited and happy today!

  • scissors
    October 24th, 2009

    I received another letter from the Royal Marsden this morning.  They send me copies of letters they send to my GP re my clinic appointments.  I just had to share with you what they had written: “Piia will go ahead with cycle 5 of chemotherapy today.  Her last PET done on the 2nd September 2009 showed a favourable treatment response.  She has a repeat CT scan booked for this week and the plan would be to repeat a PET after 6 cycles at which point we would stop treatment assuming that she has had a complete response.”

    The words “stop the treatment” are bringing me so much joy this morning.  I can always dream for a moment…

  • scissors
    October 22nd, 2009

    I picked up some old post from my old house today, and there was a letter from the Royal Marsden after my third cycle of chemo.  It talked about the results of my PET scans: “The results of the PET CT scan prior to the 3rd cycle showed a favourable response to treatment by both PET and CT criteria with however persisting active disease with residual mediastinal mass and small volume supraclavicular, sub pectoral and hilar adenopathy.”  Adenopathy means ‘the abnormal enlargement of lymph nodes’, and mediastinal refers to the area in my chest where the mass is.

    I liked the bit ‘favourable response’, but I did not like the sound of ‘persisting active disease’… Does it mean the cancer is still active?  I suppose it is, until it has completely been zapped?

  • scissors
    October 22nd, 2009

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • scissors
    October 22nd, 2009

    I am so gutted.  I just had a text from my lovely friend Julie who is touring with Franz Ferdinand to say she has got a spare ticket to see them this Saturday.  I had to say no.  Because, I’m not feeling that great, and if I do anything extra fun nowadays, I end up ill, and possibly in a hospital with IV antibiotics.  I may sound a bit pessimistic, but I am sorry that is exactly what has been happening lately.

    Also, I had promised to go out to our local pub with Suzie on Saturday, and I want to go out with her.  It has been absolutely ages since we have been out together!  We used to go out at least once a week.  I do not even think, I have been in a pub just with Suzie since the beginning of this year!!??  The local pub is close by, and I can go home when I want to, or when I start feeling tired.  I am like a 100-year-old lady!  Maybe I should just give in, and become a full time hermit.

    My little sister and her boyfriend are coming to visit me in less than a week’s time!  I better not be ill then. I hope they do not mind hanging out with a ‘granny’.

  • scissors
    October 20th, 2009

    I had my fifth chemo yesterday.  Again, I slept most of it thanks to the antihistamines.  I finished ‘already’ at 6pm!  Ruth came to pick me up, and took me for a lovely Vietnamese feast before dropping me off home.  She is an angel.

    I’m going to have a CT scan tomorrow.  I am hoping that it will shed some light how many cycles I will need.  Although, my medical team did say, I will have another PET scan after the sixth cycle, and if the cancer mass is still reducing, I will have more chemo.  The doctor I saw yesterday had not met me before.  We were discussing the PET scan pictures, and I said: “the cancer mass in my chest was quite big”, she immediately replied that my cancer mass in my chest was “MASSIVE”!  I think she was quite shocked how big it was… However many cycles I need in the end, I should at least be over half way through the treatment.

    I am feeling a little sick today, so I might have a snooze now.  Laters.

  • scissors
    October 20th, 2009

    I had my first ever TV appearance on Saturday night.  It was the RIBA Sterling Price programme for the best building in Britain 2009, and the Maggie’s centre in London was nominated.  Kevin McCloud who presented the show interviewed me at the Maggie’s a little while back; so a little piece of that footage was edited into the film introducing the Maggie’s building.  It was really strange to see and hear myself on TV.

    You can see it via this link (only for 27 days or so, and possibly only in the UK):

    http://www.channel4.com/programmes/building-of-the-year-riba-stirling-prize/4od#3006185

    The Maggie’s bit is at about 30:30 minutes of the show time if you don’t want to watch the whole thing.

    Oh, the Maggie’s building won!!  It’s officially the building of the year 2009!  Yay.

  • scissors
    October 16th, 2009

    On Monday I had a call from the Maggie’s Centre asking if I could do them a favour and come to the Maggie’s on Tuesday morning to speak to Sarah Brown.  Automatically, I said yes.  For a second I had to think who Sarah was, but it quickly occurred to me, that of course she is the prime minister’s wife!

    On Tuesday I made my way into the Maggie’s.  It was busy there, loads was going on to show Sarah what the centre can offer.  I was asked to sit in one of the side rooms with three other people who use the centre.  Shortly after we sat down, Sarah and two other ladies and Bernie who runs the centre came into the room to listen to our stories.  I was the first one to speak, and the whole time I spoke, Sarah stared at me intensely. The other two ladies were more proactive, asking questions when we were telling our stories, whereas Sarah merely sat quietly next to me, staring at me.  Afterwards, I asked if someone could take a picture of us (please see below), and chatted to Sarah for a short while.  She seemed like a lovely lady.  It is fun to think that Sarah may mention me to Gordon when he asks her how her day was!

    I met some nice people on my visit there.  I had an interesting chat about how chemo affects the brain.  I mentioned to the other chemo patients, that I feel like my brain is not working like it used to; I sometimes find it difficult to focus, I forget things easily, I see flashes (‘things’), and numbers ‘jump’ sometimes when I read and I end up momentarily reading them incorrectly (dyslexia??).  The girls I met also reported similar experiences.  An oncologist had told one of the girls who is a medical student about ‘chemo brain’.  The research has shown that chemo can affect the brain metabolism and blood flow and thus cause problems with memory, focus, and multitasking.  I did not know this!  No one mentions this as one of the side effects.  I need to get a brain training game for my Nintendo DS ASAP!

    The Maggie's.

    The Maggie's.

    Sarah Brown is the one next to me, the tall one.

    Sarah Brown is the one next to me, the tall one.

  • « Older Entries