Today was a day off and so had no intention of writing you a post but the last 36 hours have been mostly a fight that was so extraordinarily bad and fixed with more extraordinarily generous kindness I feel compelled to keep you posted before knocking up Bean Burritos with red kidney beans, onion, garlic and spinach for tea.

Last night was initially great. I had had such a lovely day at Blair Drummond Safari Park, cooked lamb meatballs with Garam Masala and Turmeric in a delicious chickpea, spring onion, fresh red chilli, garlic and fresh coriander and tomato sauce from a Jamie Oliver cook book served with a yoghurt and harissa sauce, wholewheat tortillas and a lettuce, radish, tomato, cucumber, olive oil and lemon juice salad. A real powerhouse of essential nutrients leaning towards the alkali with the large salad and vegetable sauces. This was then to be followed by a bit of chill out time with the children and the X factor once the post was written.

Day 51 - At Lochan Spling
Day 51 – At Lochan Spling

I should have been set for the night but as I was writing the post I was finding it harder and harder to concentrate. My eyesight was going funny. I started to see in 3D again. I was having to look at the keyboard at funny angles in order to find the key I was looking for. It was starting to feel like an older gentleman trying to type while looking over his bifocals. I was having to look at the screen sideways in order to see what I had written. Not wanting to worry the children I tried to fight through it and searching for each key I needed to press on the keyboard carried on with the post. Key press by key press I struggled on determined not to let this manifesting partial seizure take hold of me. The X Factor came and went while I struggled quietly away in the back of the room. The children disappeared upstairs to get ready for bed. I published the post convinced I was going to be okay and then the seizure pushed harder. There were no eels in my mouth this time but instead a type of Ivy was growing down my left arm wrapping it’s long stem round and round my arm swelling in size in it’s rapid growth down my arm. I could hear it’s leaves rubbing together as if wrustling and creaking in the wind as it grew and could almost smell that earthy smell such leafy plants can have up close. It was growing tighter and tighter and I was starting to lose the sensation in my left arm. I lost the sense of touch and was finding it harder and harder to move my left arm. I made a horlicks as a form of distraction, to keep moving, to prove there was nothing growing on my arm, if it wasn’t there I could make a Horlicks so can beat it back with the mind. My balance was failing and then I started to feel a slight constriction around the waist. It was pulling in hard so making deep breathing, which I use a lot when trying to almost meditate out of a seizure, harder. I was finding thought hard, the pressure from the Ivy around my waist seemed to force the blood from my body and into my tongue and make it swell up. Speech was becoming difficult but then I remembered the similar sensations from the seizure a few weeks ago when I felt almost blind, caught up in the undergrowth behind the war memorial, and remembered that it had passed. I sat down and tried to fight it off then suddenly felt an almost overwhelming fear that this was a premonition for what it will be like should I lose my fight with the beast and it start to switch off my cognitive and motor function until turning off the lights altogether. Was it happening now? It wasn’t I knew it wasn’t, I had to hold on to the fact that the brilliant oncology team and I had seized the initiative from the tumour, that it had shrunk a tiny,tiny bit so couldn’t be taking over now. I was going to beat it and fight it off and the seizure would pass,; but as I sat there gulping for air, gulping for whatever air I could force in to the body like a goldfish out of water, my left arm getting heavier and heavier I started to feel the Ivy creeping up my chest towards my neck. It was getting harder and harder to swallow. Previously it had been an eel disappearing down my windpipe that caused the gagging reflex seizure in the hospital; there were no eels in my mouth just now but could I stop the Ivy from constricting me around my neck or was it just going to grow into my mouth and down my windpipe. The children were surely going to be down soon to say goodnight. I had to beat this back. I was scared but then the Ivy slipped away from my neck. The seizure was dissipating; but then came back and instead grew up my spine and started to grow heavy on my head. I was starting to experience mild pains like crushing sensations on my skull. It was uncomfortable but much better than being constricted around the neck. Then the pressure eased and the seizure was passing, slowly, very slowly, but was passing nonetheless. Heather popped down to say goodnight and I managed a smile. She gave me a quick hug and I felt a whole world better. But not perfect. As my strength returned I went upstairs to bed. I had to sleep. And was out like a light but woke up about 4am dripping with sweat. I could almost have wrung out my pyjamas and had the biggest stonker of a hangover. I hadn’t been drinking and my lips were still tingling. 6am and I got up to take the dog for a walk my head throbbing like it had been crushed and my lips still tingling but hoping some exercise would sort me out. It was a chilly but beautiful clear morning with the sunrise visible over the horizon. Still the lips were tingling. I was feeling nauseous so dived straight in to a quiet breakfast so as not to wake the children. Still the lips were tingling and the head throbbing but the nauseous feelings had gone. Church followed and it felt so good to be in the bosom of such a warm congregation and friendly faces. The sermon was a fascinating one on Saints being made Saints for the size of the window on to God’s wonderful world that they opened through their good works and reminded me of the appropriateness of my prayer for those I know who need God’s help or heeling touch in which I pray that that person might feel the warmth of the shining light of his son Jesus Christ on their face in order that they might turn their eyes towards the warmth and discover God’s heeling love. But despite such a good sermon, good hymns and the warmth of friendship still the head was throbbing and the lips tingling. When was this going to stop!?!?!? A poached egg on toast with the rest of last nights salad followed yet still no improvement. I had promised to go and help finish off building the cricket pavilion this afternoon. And was torn. Couldn’t I just stay in and watch a Sunday afternoon film? But then I had made a promise and something told me that it would make me feel better. As I left I learnt of a dear old friend speeding in from Glasgow on his bike to come and see me. That made me smile so arrangements made to meet at the cricket pitch I set off. Once at the pavilion the team there were struggling to find me a job I could do then it dawned on them that it was lunch time. I offered to do the brew run and was dispatched for 4 bacon rolls and two white coffees. Not quite what I had been hoping for this afternoon but the guys had been working hard all morning and perhaps they would find something for me to do on my return. Still my head was throbbing and lips tingling. I was feeling sluggish but as I walked in to the buttercup café I learnt of great news. An old friend had just walked in to the Buttercup Café to let them know that she couldn’t come to the fundraising tea so could she leave a £30.00 donation instead. Wow – thank you very much, that was hugely generous. My head felt better but the lips were still tingling. Order complete I went back to find a task found and prepared for me to do. Complete with a cordless drill I was to secure down the decking as they laid it. A quick bit of instruction and I was off. Then Pete turned up. A hug followed and back to the Buttercup. This time we sat down and coffees ordered we caught up with each other’s news although I suspect I did a lot more of the talking. Anything to rid my head of all the numb pain and tingling lips!! It was lovely to see him after all this time and as we left I finally started to feel more normal, less ragged around the edges but still the lips were tingling. We parted and I set off back to the pavilion to hear a shout behind me as I turned down an alleyway. I turned to see wee Archie stood right in front of me. I had taught him to play Rugby when I volunteered as a coach at McLaren Rugby Club before diagnosis and thoroughly enjoyed the infectious enthusiasm of this young boy so it was a delight to see him. ‘Big Archie Mummy wants to give you a cheque.’ I was startled by such a statement and then round the corner came the wonderful Lucy Cameron to whom I had earlier introduced you all after our surprise meeting at her café in the Cabin on Loch Lubnaig. Sure enough Lucy had a cheque for me for a hugely generous amount. I was truly bowled over by their generosity and the sight of wee Archie with a huge grin as he stood there covered in mud from head to toe after a rugby training session. Suddenly my lips had stopped tingling. Wee Archie’s smile was infectious. I had caught his smile. A huge thank you to the Camerons for not only your cheque but for your friendship and that smile.