Our day out.

Step out of the hustle and bustle of the busy shopping centre and into the relaxing sanctuary of The Sanctuary Spa in Cambridge. Although it looks pretty small from the outside it is quite a tardis filled with generous sized rooms designed for pure relaxation and serenity.

Following a bit of a sprint across the green from the swimming pool car park, as the one closer wouldn’t accommodate Kate’s rather high vehicle, Kate and I arrived just in time (I do hate being late) to be greeted at the front desk by Zoe and her colleagues. We were warmly welcomed and shown around before changing into our luxuriously soft white robes and flip flops.

IMG_1105

Our first stop was the Lavender Lounge, where two velvet loungers awaited and a goody bag each. How exciting was that! We could help ourselves to fruit teas and other healthy refreshments whilst we read magazines and waited for our beauty therapists to arrive. My lovely young girl, whose name escapes me, led me to a candle lit room and after careful explanation proceeded to massage my body with rose scented oils. Kate opted for the hot shells massage. It was a very relaxing experience and I must admit I nodded off for a few moments.

IMG_1104

We then returned to the Lavender Room and were served a very pleasing healthy lunch with a naughty little strawberry cup cake that was simply divine.

IMG_1107

Kate then had an hour to relax (apparently she slept) whilst I was led to another therapy room for the best bit of all, a facial. I had never experienced a proper facial before so this was quite an experience and one that I would certainly like to repeat. I don’t think I could have asked for more and I definitely did nod off this time, as it was so relaxing.

Last of all we both had a complimentary manicure topped off by a glass of bubbly. This life we could get used to. Thank you Cancer for giving me the time away from work to experience such luxury.

IMG_1108

We really didn’t want to leave but shopping called so with another dose of pain killers we said our thanks and goodbyes to Zoe and headed to John Lewis which happens to be only next door. Unfortunately gone are the days when I could shop for England and Kate would be moaning, ‘please no more’. One store was enough for me but I did spot one little dress that caused Kate to roll hysterically around the changing room. OK I did rather look like a beached up whale but there was no need for that, sisters can be so cruel. Of course the dress she chose fitted her slim figure perfectly!

We didn’t arrive home until about 5pm and I am sure I can speak for us both, we had a jolly good day. So after the little misunderstanding the Sanctuary Spa came up trumps.

Have a relaxing weekend and enjoy a little sunshine for a change.

Deborah

The good news is …

..I am feeling much better than I was prior to yesterday, because of my morning visit from Louise, my new Palliative Care Key Worker. Following an assessment of my current pain levels, Louise increased my pain killing drugs and prescribed Oramorph which Colin collected from the GP in the afternoon. This has already made a difference and although they knock me out somewhat, I was able to sit and enjoy a meal with Colin last night, in much more comfort. To be honest I think I have been putting up with more pain than is necessary. I don’t like to make too much fuss and I was thinking that pain is just part and parcel of what you need to put up with when you have chemo, I also worry about taking too many drugs, but when you think about it, it’s a bit late for that really as I already take an enormous amount of medication anyway taking a few more, with the result being better pain relief is a no brainier really. Louise was very helpful and she informed me that I can apparently access all sorts of free therapies including reiki, reflexology and massage, whilst I am receiving treatment. The sad thing is I need to go to the hospice for these. I was also a little distressed to read the Palliative Care leaflet that states it is for people with cancer and other life limiting diseases. I reminded Louise that my life was going to be as long as everyone else’s and that I don’t do that dying thing, it really isn’t very solution focused in my humble opinion. I remember visiting the hospice in my professional capacity and thinking it was the one place I would never want to go, not because it wasn’t lovely there and filled with the most caring of staff, but for me I could only see one way out and that was in a box. I do however need to have a rethink and just like I have got to love and appreciate the Macmillan services so must I for palliative care and the hospice. These services are not just for the dying but act as support for hmmm ….(I have to think here) those who might just need it and their families. It really is quite a thing to get my head around especially as in mine I am still a healthy girl in her twenties, unfortunately my body and the mirror often remind me otherwise. If you do however need to make use of any of these services you will be even more grateful for the NHS and the fact that these are readily available to you. In my opinion the nurses who work in this area are very special indeed. Did you know that it is even possible to call on the Palliative Care Team at the weekends and late at night? I really do hope I never need to but it is so good to know they are there.

Well back on a much lighter subject, I am really looking forward to my visit to the spa today. After the original fuss that was made I think the Sanctuary Spa will ensure today is a very special experience for both myself and Kate, I just hope I don’t fall asleep in there. They are providing us with lunch, body massages and complimentary manicures. I am a little embarrassed though after listening to what Kate told them on the phone, honestly she apparently told them that I had met the Prime Minister and that I was a very important person among a host of other things! I shall wear my wig and a pair of dark glasses to hide my embarrassment. Following our spa experience, we might even manage a short wander around John Lewis depending on our energy levels. I am a girl who loves to shop but Kate isn’t so keen, so luckily for her but sadly for me, I probably couldn’t manage more than one store, if that, in my current state of health.. Colin and my dear friends Sue and Angela, in all seriousness, suggested I use a wheelchair, (apparently they have them to borrow in John Lewis) honestly I don’t think I am at that point yet! Still a good time will be had, whatever.

Will let you know how it all went tomorrow.

Don’t work too hard whilst we are busy relaxing!

Deborah x

What a lot of fuss…

..it was to get a massage. Thank you to all of you who made comments on the Sanctuary Spa Covent Garden Facebook page. Honestly why couldn’t they just have said yes to my massage in the first place, I had a letter from my consultant stating it was OK for me to have a gentle massage. I explained this to the lady on the phone at Cambridge and she checked with the head of therapies and they definitely stated that it was in their policy not to give a massage to people with cancer until they had been in remission for six months. Colin then rang the head office at Covent Garden and the lady on the phone there was quite curt and stated the same, she was not compassionate in any way and just seemed to want to get Colin off the phone. It is funny that after the comments made on their Facebook page they changed their minds. A much more compassionate lady rang from their media office and apologised for the mix up. Apparently the policy does say if the person has a doctors note it is ok. So Kate and I are now going on April 5th, Kate will have a complimentary massage and we will both have complimentary manicures plus they are providing us with lunch, so I think it will be a good afternoon. Kate thinks I should have made more of a fuss and held out for more as it is pretty disgusting to treat people that way and I was very upset by it, but to tell the truth I am too tired and its not like me to make a fuss.

Today my good friend and fellow grumpy old woman (there are a few of us in the club) is coming to give me a manicure and a hand massage. My legs,arms and hands are very painful. I am on constant painkillers but surely I can’t keep taking them. I wish the pain would subside and I really hope this pain isn’t going to be permenant. I have an appointment with the consultant next week where we will discuss what happens next. I hope to have one last round of chemo and then to be told that I am definitely in remission. I will then just have the stem harvesting to do. Unfortunately that’s not as plain sailing as I first thought and it seems that I have to inject myself daily for about ten days. I think I will have to call upon my nurse friends for this part as I am not good with needles.

Thank you for your feedback about the Meday book. Colin is going to look in the loft today for my original scribbles and then I am going to crack on with it. I think it might be quite a slow process as these painkillers make me quite dopey and the pain makes it hard for me to concentrate for very long.

On the bright side the scarves I sold made £25.00 for Macmillan.

The 10% of the profits going to the Myeloma research charity will need to wait until I have sold the rest of the clothes and shoes before I can tell how much money I have made, so far I am about £800 in the red! I never was a great money maker, I blame the steroids as when I was on them I got a bit over excited buying stuff. I shall heve to a bit more careful when on my next round of chemo.

Well today is Wednesday and we are halfway through the week already. What a shame about the weather with so many people with plans for the Easter weekend. It looks like you will need to go abroad for any chance of seeing sunshine. Hopefully we will have a brilliant summer and it will be lovely and hot in time for my party on July 13th.

Have a good day

Deborah x