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Tuesday 3rd February 2009



I have been getting emails from people wanting an update, Manxbird especially and so I have put my mind to doing it. Well things have been a bit hectic the past few days and the weather hasn't helped. For people off the Island, the snow hasn't been a problem for us over here. Some places have had snow settling on the ground, but in Castletown we have had the benefit of seeing the lovely white flakes floating through the air and melting on impact. The real bug bear has been the keen North Easterly which is absolutely biting and awful for asthmatics like myself and people with chest complaints.

Anyway, I've found it hard to write over the weekend as nothing much happened and Tom was stable after his Blog on Friday. I was bragging to my sister-in-law Rosie on Sunday how Tom was hardly coughing and only using the nebulizer twice a day. If I was a superstitious person I suppose I would have touched wood, however I'm not and things did go downhill quite rapidly on Sunday evening. Toms breathing and cough got worse and we were up in the middle of the night again with the nebulizer. Monday continued in the same vein with the cough getting worse. Tom had a very bad night last night with pleurisy returning with the harsh cough and the pain being almost unbearable. I got in touch with the Hospice nurse who calls each week and explained everything that was happening. She is great for getting things done and we had a district nurse out this morning taking blood to check Tom isn't too anaemic and the doctor called this afternoon. The doctor and nurses visit wasn't because Tom was too ill to go to the surgery, though it may have been a problem the first half of the day until we got the pain under control. It is because now he is on chemo, he isn't allowed to go to the doctors surgery as his immune system is very low. Anyway, the doctor came and examined Tom this afternoon by which time Tom had improved quite a bit. The doctor decided that it was probably the chemo inflaming his lungs etc and I think he has probably peaked now. He should now gradually regain his strength just in time for the next chemo session on the 11th. Tom see's the specialist on Thursday morning. Next Tuesday he has the blood tests which will determine if he is fit for chemo the next day. It is always a nervous time in case the blood levels are not back within the limits. All is not lost as the chemotherapy drug will have already been dispensed and it would be expensive to lose, so blood tests are done a couple of days later and if ok, chemo will happen then. The drug has a very short shelf life of around 7 days. Anyway, that's where we are at and as U write this, Tom is much more comfortable. The lump under Toms arm is very reduced and if that is any reflection on the rest of the cancer, there is a good response.

My hens are laying and if nothing else, we're certainly getting fresh eggs. Skipper is still loving hen rounding up and is becoming very good at it. My aviary birds are feeling spring in the air, even if it is so cold. The male canaries are feeding the females, the male cockatiels are singing and strutting about the females. I don't encourage them to breed as they are prolific and I don't like parting with them, so I don't put nest boxes in the aviary. That doesn't stop them finding little corners and I spend the warmer days playing hunt the eggs with the determined cockatiels. Orry is now in the process of learning "When Irish Eyes are smiling" for the hospice nurse when she calls. She is totally bowled over with an African Grey landing on her shoulder and wanting to kiss her and has set him the task for her next visit. So far he's more interested in his own extensive repertoire, but we'll get there.

As for describing any walks I have done, they have happened with layers of apparel, hat, gloves and head down into the wind. Brass monkey weather to be precise. I will hopefully improve on that as the weather improves. Today I was just so grateful for Miriam calling for Skipper and taking him to Ballasalla and back along the river.

I'll do a little update when we have the latest blood results. Bye for now.


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