STOPPED IN OUR TRACKS - FOR NOW !

For anyone who read my posts about how we are dealing with Colin's incurable diagnosis i have an update.

We managed our Safari trip to South Africa in March, we went for nearly 3 weeks, Colin took his steroids and was really well, all things considered. We stayed at 4 lodges which were no more than 2 hours drive apart and we went on game drives twice every day that we were there. It was amazing and i know that Colin absolutely loved every minute of it.  We met some amazing people, most didnt know anything about Colin's illness and we enjoyed doing what we love without a thought for the cancer. I know we are so lucky to have been able to do this.

We have been home 3 weeks now and last weekend Colin was out having a few beers with two of his sons and managed to fall and break his hip !!! He ended up in Ninewells hospital and had a hip replacement, needless to say he has been in a lot of pain but after 5 days in hospital he got home and is recovering here. now. It has taken his mind of the incurable cancer a bit though....

I am not sure how long before he can get fully mobile but we will take each day at a time and hopefully get back to more adventures soon. We have a Motorhome sitting waiting on us to get around and do some more bucket list things. I think that might have been our last abroad trip together , well flying anyway, which does make me sad but we live in a beautiful part of the world and have so much to see here. 

Please everyone keep doing what makes you happy.  I am looking forward to Colin being well enough to get to our local garden centre soon and then we can build from there.I am back working from home more to be here for him and i had forgotten how good it is to just be here and pop my head through and maybe take a wee break for a chat and a cuppy while he is watching TV or reading or chilling. The weather is a bit warmer and i may even encourage him into the garden later if i can. I am having to brush up on my nursing skills as they are lacking apparently and my get up and get on with it attitude doesnt really work with a broken hip im told.....

I try not to think of what i know our future holds and live in the now, but it is hard sometimes.

Love to all in the same position, we can only do our best for the ones we love and try to be good to ourselves too.

Liz xx

  • Hi Liz,

    Sorry I haven’t replied sooner, we are spending too much time enjoying ourselves! We’ve been on another trip away to Wimborne and then straight on to the New Forest. Have another trip starting this Friday to Wiltshire and from there straight on to The Cotswolds, so two more weeks of fun and relaxation. Have found some wonderful walks to go on (which reminds me again how lucky we are, bearing in mind my husband couldn’t walk 50 yards just a year ago).

    I hope things are still okay with you and your husband? Is he bearing up after his hip operation? Fingers crossed your spirits are still staying strong and you have some good times planned….. big hugs, Marion xx

  • Hi Marion,

    I am absolutely thrilled for you pair! Making the most of it with everything you’ve got! 

    We are fine here, all good and having lots of laughs.

    kindest regards and much love,

    Louli xx

  • Marion im so glad to hear that you are getting away and rightly so...Colin recovered from his hip replacement really quickly and at his 6 week review he walked in without crutches or a stick and the consultant was amazed. We then took of to France in the motorhome and headed to Le Mans for the 24 hr race and Normandy to the beaches and had an amazing time. We have been home a few weeks now and set off again this Friday to RAF Duxford where Colin is going to fly in a Spitfire on the 13th July. I got him this for his Xmas and he is so looking forward to it.  I cant wait to see his face when he does it.

    We have noticed some changes in Colin over the last month and he has a nasty cough and sore chest so got some medication and this week the pallative team are to get in touch to see if they can help with ongoing issues, medication, advice etc.  

    We are not ready to give up doing as much as we can so will keep going as long as possible but for the first time in a while i am now thinking about where we are going with this but putting on a brave face for Colin as he has been amazing throughout this whole dreadful 2 years.

    Spirits are generally good most of the time, you know only too well how it is.

    Keep enjoying what you are doing and keep in touch.

    Liz x

  • Hi Liz, your message popped up on my ‘phone this afternoon, but I couldn’t reply straight away as we were out and about. I’m so sorry to hear Colin is having a few ‘issues’, despite our attempts to put on a brave face you can’t help but be affected can you.

    We are still making the most of our caravan and had a fabulous time away in Wiltshire and the Cotswolds, found some amazing walks which had incredible scenery. At the moment we are in Wickham, near Portsmouth/Fareham, from there we head off to East Hoathly which is on the East side of the South Downs and straight after we head over to Wittersham in between Rye and Tenterden. Hoping to meet up with my sister in law and her husband to spend precious time with them.

    You sound like you have had some incredible times and more to come, what a wonderful experience for Colin to fly a spitfire! He’s going to love it!

    Ron is doing okay, but I have noticed a change in him too in that he has a wheeze in his chest and his breathing is often laboured, will be mentioning it to the Consultant on our next visit in August, unless it gets worse beforehand of course. I do hope Colin’s medication helps him and any ‘infection’, if that is what it is, clears up. Both our men are amazing aren’t they and we are really lucky to have them, for however long. Like you, when I let the thoughts creep in my stomach flips and reality starts staring me in the face, but I try to block it out and make the most of life, stay strong and be as ‘normal’ as I can, if only to help Ron get through this.

    Sending out healing thoughts to Colin, but also to yourself Liz. 

    Big hugs, Marion xx 

  • HI Marion just a wee update.

    We have had the pallative team visit and our nurse is Nigel a lovely man who is here to support us through the next part of our journey..  Colin has been struggling the last few weeks and after having an Xray the other day it has been confirmed that he has a lot of fluid on one of his lungs.  He is beeing admitted to Roxburghe House in Dundee today and they are going to drain his lung at the beginning of the week so hopefully he will get some relief from that.

    We are determined to get away again in the motorhome even if it isnt far so he has that to keep him positive.

    We knew this was coming and im not sure if he can bounce back a bit, enough to let him enjoy a few more trips at least but determination will keep him going. Im feeling a bit mixed about being on my own and i do have lots of support if i need it but its still a scary thought.  I can spend as much time with him at the hospice as i want so i will.

    When we were away on our last trip i got to writing a wee poem about our journey and it turned into a not so wee poem.  If you have nothing better to do sometime you could have a read but i wont be offended if it gets too much.

    I hope your trips are still going fine and it wont be long until your next consultant visit.

    Sending lots of hugs to you both

    Liz xx

    Our Cancer journey 

     

    This cancer is taking over, for two years we’ve been dealing with it now

    I still find it hard to believe how i feel, why him and why us, its a cow

    When i think back to first diagnosis in May 2020, Dundee

    the consultant he knew without getting results, he knew because he could see

    The throat was the site of the tumour, the reason for all of the coughing

    It was clear that a battle was going to be fought, the end for a while of the laughing.

     

    And so it began, the tests and biopsy,s the scans and the chemo did start

    Just watching my partner, my lover , my pal deal with this really tugged at my heart.

    Cause Covid was rife I couldn’t support him in the ward where the chemo he got

    So Peanut and i walked the hospital grounds, just me alone with my thoughts

    It’s hard to be strong and i cried many tears but not when Colin was near

    It’s hard to get your head around this, the unknown is what gives you the fear.

     

    So the summer went on, we were in our new house and there were many jobs to be done

    While Colin went bedroom to sofa and back i was painting the fence in the sun.

    To stop all the thinking i listened to books and that stopped the bad thoughts for a while

    Every Saturday on Zoom we met up with the gang and this really helped us to smile

    Hearing the news and having a crack, the best medicine they say is a laugh

    And that’s what we did for over a year, bloody Covid didnt do it by half.

     

    Now Colin and I have not been the types to sit back and watch life go past

    We lived such a busy life doing so much, life really was very fast

     Work, Safaris our cars or the families we crammed in so much that’s for sure

    But life for everyone had really slowed down, and all that we wanted was a cure

    It was a battle to find things for Colin to eat as his tastebuds really were shot

    I was working at home so we had quality time, he was stuck with me like it or not

     

    Then radiotherapy really was hard, up and down to Ninewells each day 

    This six weeks really did take its toll, and it seemed he was wasting away

    he had a Pegg tube to feed him direct and it whirred away all the time

    If it wasn’t for this I don’t think he’d be hear, swallowing wasn’t so fine

    But rally he did and by the end of the year he went for a scan and woohoo

    Before Xmas Dr Casassola had said with delight we’ve got it, but healing to do

     

    So Xmas was great although Covid prevented us celebrating too much

    All that Colin could eat was tattles and gravy a very sparse Xmas lunch

    We hugged and we cried and the relief was fantastic and into the New Year we went

    on a zoom with the Laurencekirk gang with our kisses and hugs being sent

    No trip up to Banchory this year for us all but something to look forward too

    The year 21 was going to be special,  if we could get rid of this Covid flue

     

    So Colin got stronger, February came and a follow up scan was done

    Scanxiety set in again as it always did, waiting results really was no fun

    We strolled into hospital, Colin felt great , but well, we weren’t to know

    Your throat is still clear said the Dr but I’ve bad news, here let me show

    We looked at the scan and there plain as day were tumours on both lungs to see

    The sneaky throat cancer had hid in his body and now showed up, my oh me !!

     

    To say we were shocked, any questions they asked, what next, you can fix it, yes ?

    I’m afraid that we cant its secondary now, you’re  incurable but treatable, what a mess

    There’s a fairly new treatment called Immunotherapy we will try that for up to2 years

    It will buy you more time, they said in a blurr. This indeed was all our worst fears

    We couldn’t hear what they said after that, we left in a daze for a cry

    After all he had been though this was just so cruel, we couldn’t believe he could die..

     

    So one battle was won but on to the next, telling everyone was such a chore

    It’s funny but when you think you cant fight you muster and rally some more

    We had no choice it had to be tried and more treatment for Colin to endure

    This wasn’t like Chemo or radiotherapy and he managed it better for sure

    We went on the North Coast 500 on tour in my lovely wee purple car

    It was a fantastic trip and we saw lovely Scotland although Colin couldn’t walk far

     

    The summer was busy and restrictions had lifted so we had family round again now

    we had 2 grand daughters that we had hardly seen and now we could get to know

    The treatment rolled on and so did the summer and finally a scan was their preference

    By September we found out the treatment would stop as it hadnt made any difference

    Another carpet whipped out from under  us and now there was no more to do

    Your unlucky they said, it does work for most, but unfortunately not for you.

     

    The option to have some palliative chemo was talked about but then ruled out

    More chemo meant Colin would be ill again and he really was in no doubt

    We would make the most of the time that we had and a holiday was on the card

    To Canada on an adventure we went, after telling everyone was so hard.

    Africa was where Colin wanted to go, its our special place but was off limit

    A bucket list made with so much to do was taking good shape, so much in it

     

    Xmas arrived and the family all came and what fantastic memories we made 

    Then New year to Banchory with the crew we went except Leslie and Eleanor  stayed

    Covid had taken its toll on him now, how we missed them but all partied on

    At Cobbleheugh house we made it our base enjoying our new home from home

    We saw New Year in and enjoyed the coal fire, Colin the only one cold

    While the girls all  sweated at the back of the room, their hormones have fair taken hold.

     

    We headed to Rome for a long weekend break, armed with steroids he went

    And how Colin’s energy peeked better now, we’d have got them earlier if we Kent

    And then Africa got booked and on Safari we went to Kruger in up market style

    A treat from the camping  how we loved to be back, like home to us for a while

    Every day we spent out on drives and the smells and the sounds always mean

    This country of animals that we love so much , up at five, even Colin was keen.

     

    Going abroad was getting more difficult now so Colin came up with a plan

    Ive an idea he said one day out of the blue lets get a camper van

    So that was what happened, and quick as a flash we now had a Motorhome

    This would give us the freedom to choose where we wanted to roam

    Before we had even got it back to the house Colin had met on disaster

    Whilst out on the town, alcohol was involved his hip he managed to fracture

     

    So back to Ninewells for a spell to recover and my how he healed really quick

    And after six weeks he walked in for his check up. with not even sign of a stick

    This man was determined for sure and within days he had booked us a trip

    Off to France on the Ferry to Le Mans for the race and not a care for his hip

    A fab time was had, we both came home shattered, Colin took it all in his stride

    We reloaded the van and headed up north with Peanut on board for the ride.

     

    Now Colin loves cars but those close to him know that he also loves aeroplanes

    he also remembers his train drivers grandad and his passion for trains

    So the next trip was England to see some of both and to take on a special surprise

    For Xmas he got a flight in a Spitfire so he could reach for the skies

    Now watching him sit in the plane he so loves it made it worth every penny

    His face was a picture and his smile everything, from Colin you dinny get many

     

    So its back to the bucket list which we have emptied a bit to see what’s next on the list

    But i fear, Colin’s coughing so much and so sore that his tumours have spread in his chest

    We will do what we can though and i will chummy him on to fight this horrid disease

    We’re not ready to stop we have lots yet to do, so we really do need more time please

    I cant bear to think of my life here alone, Colin has been my soul mate so long

    It’s horrid to watch him and not be much help, i know i must try to be strong.

     

     

     

     

  • Hi Liz, oh my goodness, your poem is beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing and of course I read every word. Fun, sad, happy, heartbreaking, inspirational…. it says it all….. and what a journey you have had! My heart is going out to you right this very minute as I feel and know how hard this is, but to carry on being so amazingly supportive to not only Colin but everyone around you, including us on this forum, is incredible - big, big hugs to you Liz. 

    We’ve got two more trips booked (head off this Sunday 7th Aug)  near to two of our very dear friends who live in Devizes, Wiltshire. They’re hoping to join us for a day or two and we’ll have a bbq with lots of laughter and endless chatting, Ron has to go back to hospital for a spot of treatment in the middle of the week, but we’ll head straight back and carry on where we left off. I’m hoping another set of friends who live in Hungerford will also join us for the rest of the week for yet more laughing. In Sept we have another week booked, not far from where Ron’s sister lives, fingers crossed we have company then also to liven up our days. 

    You posted your message six days ago Liz, I hope the fluid on Colin’s lungs has been removed and he is feeling better, such a scary time for both of you. When Ron was in hospital for two months, following his motorbike accident nearly seven years ago now, it was a very strange experience to be at home on my home especially the first few weeks as I didn’t know if he would pull through and if he did what his physical and mental conditions would be, but it’s incredible how the days/weeks pass and we find the strength to carry on. I’m so pleased you have lots of support, one of my friends said to me not to be afraid to draw on the love from the people around you as it helps them as well as you, but I do understand completely that you still find it daunting. Sending lots of love and hugs, Marion xx 

  • Marion

    Im so glad you have more trips to look forward to.

    Colin got his lung drained yesterday and they took away 2 litres of fluid.... no wonder he couldnt breathe.

    I saw a big dufference when i saw him afer he had it done. The team are having a meeting today and still hoping to get him home on Friday if they can arrange oxygen and a few other things at home for him.

    I went to put a few things in the motorhome last night and just burst into tears as i fear we wont be going away again in it, 

    I will see what this week brings and take it from there.

    Enjopy every minute of your trip this week coming and i will catch up with you later.

    Thank you for being so caring and great big hugs back to you and Ron and good luck for his treatment.

    Liz xx