Since early December last year I was having a horrible time trying to stay positive, after my dad was having to go back on the chemo as his AL amyloidosis light chain results were increasing quite rapidly every month since stopping the chemo in May 2013. As you all probably know it's the fears, the what's, the why's, that rock you to the core if you let them in.
It's partly to do with how ill my dad was with the effects of the chemo and many other drugs that you have to take to keep you on an even keel. When he started the chemo in January 2013 he was fine for 3 weeks, and it was just one thing after another, haemorrhagic cystitis a 2 week stint in hospital, 3 days after being released we were back at hospital with an 18inch blood clot in his leg, followed 4 days later with a mini stroke which fortunately only lasted a few hours, finally released after another 2 or 3 weeks, he lasted I think 5 days at home before my mum had to call an ambulance in the early hours because of the fluid retention around his heart and it not being able to pump properly, this resulted in another 3 week stay in hospital, finally came home and 2 days later he was back in with his blood pressure dangerously low resulting in another month in hospital, all the while I could see my dad changing in front of my eyes the depression set in. Hospital can be demoralising the beds uncomfortable because of his weight loss, the food and staring at the same 4 walls day in day out you can understand why.
So with the trauma of the 3-4 month period at the beginning of the year still pretty fresh in my memory, I went into meltdown. I was having panic attacks which I'd never experienced before, a broken bauble was a trigger, ridiculous I know, but it was almost a metaphor for the impending doom I was feeling at the time, glass shattered and irreplaceable, it was the straw that broke the camels back. Especially just before Christmas.
Having a lovely Christmas with family helped, but in the back of my mind I was still thinking could this be his last, terrible I know but reality bites and it sucks!
Eventually New Year has arrived and dad is surprisingly doing ok, yes he's ill and has the usual side effects nausea, lethargy, weight loss and many other things, but at the moment we've only had 1 hospital stay and it was something unrelated, so things are looking good.
Anyway this blog is about staying positive, so at the beginning of the year I saw an advert for the 10Km Great Manchester Run, and thought you know what I'm gonna do this, (being a non-runner and overweight you wouldn't normally put the 2 together, but hey ho). I thought it's something we can all focus on as a family, I can get healthy & fit once and for all, I'm gonna run for a charity of my dads choice, he wants it to go into research for amyloidosis, so probably the UCL hospital as this is where the national centre is in the UK.
I'm 2 weeks into training and am just starting to run this week doing a walk/run programme and mentally am feeling much better and positive and focused. I suppose I'm trying to say that I may have found my thing, It is hard sometimes to get the motivation to go out, but I think of dad and why I'm doing it and there's no stopping me. It's good to have that time to just switch off and focus on nothing other than putting one foot in front of the other. I think it's really important to have that little bit of time to yourself, whether it's a yoga class, or doing cross stitch, or just having a long soak in the bath.
Even through the darkest days, there is always someone there for you, be it on here, on other networks, doctors & nursing support, it's important to use these to share your thought's, fears, and get answers to the many questions you will inevitably have. You will come through it. Just remember to stay positive!!!