Piia Pauliina
  • Easter Sunday greetings from Lanzarote!

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    April 4th, 2010

    I did not have the 2B chemo last Monday as planned.  My neutrophils were too low, again!  Luckily not so low that I could not go on my Lanzarote holiday.  It is frustrating that these neutrophils keep going down regardless of the boosters, as I hate delaying my treatment.  Lucy, my lovely ‘key nurse’ reassured me it is normal for them to go down when one has had as much chemo as I have had, and they are not concerned me missing chemo.

    So last Tuesday I flew to Lanzarote to spend about six days with my mum and my step dad, Jukka.  I felt like I was going on a holiday with a child, except in my case the child is my cancer.  I had to plan and pack so much extra stuff for the cancer.

    It was important that I did not leave any drugs behind.  I was advised to pack all the drugs as hand luggage in case my suitcase went missing.  To my surprise, I had no problem getting my boosters through the security, even though I was carrying injection syringe needles with fluid inside them.  Tip: bring a letter from the hospital explaining about the drug in case you get into trouble.

    The flight went well.  I had prebooked a seat by the isle so that I could easily stretch my legs and have a little walk every now and again to reduce the risk of DVT.  Oh, and I was wearing flight socks as well.  I found these black knee high flight sock from Boots, which look just like normal knee high socks.  Highly recommended.

    It was almost surreal to arrive into ‘summer’ after such a harsh, cold winter.  As soon as I had got off the plane, I got rid of the woolly tights and shoes and wore my flip-flops!  I have enjoyed this holiday so much.  The sunshine and the warmth have been so therapeutic.  I have had to be mega careful about the sun though.  I have noticed that my skin is definitely more photosensitive, and seems to burn far easier than ever before.  I used to wear SPF 15 and be fine with it, but now I burn even with SPF 30, and really have to use SPF 50 at all times.  Also, I seem to have got brown spots and freckles, which is also a new thing.

    I have not done much on this holiday.  Every day I have gone for a long walk by the seaside, and the afternoons I have spent reading.  Perfect.  It is a quiet resort.  There are mostly families and old people.  Suits me fine.  And, I have only worn my wig twice in the evenings when we have gone out for dinner!  I love my wig, and I will continue to wear it once I leave this place, but it has been so liberating walking around without it.  Oh, I should mention that I have hair.  My hair started to grow during the second chemo, as those drugs do not cause hair loss.  It is thicker and fuller, and curlier than before!  However, I will lose my hair again with this current chemo.  But it has not happened, yet!  I suppose in London, I do not want people to know I am wearing a wig as this would raise questions (and I do not want all people to know I have cancer) if for one minute I had long hair, then short hair, and then long hair again!  Nobody knows me here and I do not care what people think of me here.

    It is Easter Sunday and I am flying back to London this evening.  I do not really want to go.  Actually, what I would really like to do is to get on a plane and fly somewhere other than London.  Maybe Barcelona!  I suppose, I would like to continue this ‘cancer free’ holiday a bit longer.  I have to go back, and continue with the treatment, otherwise how else am I ever going to get rid of it.  I simply have to plan more holidays, as they are definitely the best way to boost my moral, motivation and my spirit!

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    Lanzarote!  It was so quiet there.  Even the beaches were pretty much empty.  Lovely.

    Lanzarote! It was so quiet there. Even the beaches were pretty much empty. Lovely.

    I love being by the sea, and the sun!

    I love being by the sea, and the sun!

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