Round 3 has been side effect bingo. With each round of treatment I have had different side effects, this time, on top of the being tired and pretty much suffering from constant indigestion, I have had peripheral neuropathy (tingly feet and hands) this feels like when pins and needles wears off but it lasts all day - now I know what nerve pain feels like. The side effects aren't regular either some days it's bad and others it's fine.
I've done some massage training this month too, I know now that I really don't have the concentration span to work, I found myself thinking about other things and missing bits but I was very aware of the lack of concentration.
On the positive side, I'm halfway through the chemo treatment, walking more and moving better.
Thank you to everyone who has sent lovely messages xx
I thought I`d explain a bit around Myeloma and how it has effected my immune system. I hope this will help people understand why I am shielding.
The immune system has a number of parts, the bits I am going to mention are the innate, which relate to white blood cells, and the acquired imune system, which comes from exposure to pathogens.
The only part that of the immune system that is effect by Myeloma is the acquired immune system. The acquired immune system produces antibodies that neutralise antigens made by pathogens. The antibodies are made by plasma cells. With my Myeloma my plasma is not making IgG antibodies which are the main antibodies that protect against bacterial and viral infections.
Therefore in times of COVID it seems sensible to keep away from any source of infection..
Four weeks ago I finished chemo round 2, this means I am a third of the way through treatment!!!
What’s better since round 1:
Getting about: particularly using stairs, which I can almost do without a crutch. We’ve been doing longer walks, I take the crutch as I need it for a longer distance.
Sleeping: I can now sleep flat which makes a big difference.
Yoga: my practice is evolving as moving gets easier, I’m able to do some standing asana.
What’s not so great:
Saying to people that I have cancer, that gets a bit messy and snottery.
Side effects: I haven’t had horrible side effects, so far I’ve had swollen feet and ankles (very attractive), indigestion and sometimes I’m really tired.
Communication with the hospital could be better: there’s been a bit of confusion about getting my prescriptions and getting blood taken.
And me, I would like to feel “normal” again and not be achey and have to watch how I get around: I realised this time round that I am going to have to be careful until the growth has gone because it could damage the vertebrae again, that’s very frustrating. I’m not great at sitting round the house, I can’t get the balance of doing nothing/doing things right.
I am keeping myself busy making yoga videos, reading, knitting and watching the Gilmore Girls and Real Housewives. Any other recommendations will be gratefully received!
Useful stuff I have learned this time round: toiletries you might need for chemo
Round 3 has almost finished now, need to get faster at this.
Hello There. I made it home a week ago after 10 days in hospital. They let me home because I could get up and down the stairs at the hospital. However, they were an absolute breeze compared to the (much steeper) stairs at home! At home getting upstairs was fine, downstairs not so much, so I started using my bum to get down instead of legs. During those 10 days in hospital I appear to have lost all endurance or aerobic fitness as climbing those stairs initially was wiping me out.
It's been a big adjustment having to think and plan movement. Particularly moving out of bed, because of the fractured vertebrae my waist and middle are painful to touch. My right leg has been weak and cramps easily.
There are the drugs too, the side effects are a bit scattered but watching Teen Titans cartoons has been a bit psychedelic. I haven't had much capacity for concentration but this has been improving so I can read now and do the admin that’s required around all these changes in my life.
Over the last week my movement has improved a lot, much better on those precipitous stairs and getting up and down from chairs and bed. I have been doing a gentle breathing and movement practice, both seated and standing to work out the most appropriate way for me to do this. I am trying not to push too hard, which is easier said than done. I find that I am quite tired in the afternoon so I am trying to honour this.
Thursday was the end of my first round of chemotherapy treatment, so I have two weeks off which I would like to spend doing a bit more yoga. In my mind I would like to share some of this but I want to see how I go.
Because of the Myeloma I have shut the shop in Callendar Square in Falkirk and will not be doing massage therapy for at least a year.
I have contacted all my clients but if you have any further questions please contact me.
My intention here is to share what has been going on with me this week.
You might ask why I am doing this as I don't have to, but I would like you guys to know what has caused the changes in my movement patterns that you have observed over the last 5/6 weeks and the reason why despite the work I have put in there has been no improvement. The yoga rules 'yamas & niyamas' – mostly the 'yamas' – tell me not to lie and not to self-harm so this is another reason to share this with you. Further, by taking part in my classes you will unintentionally be a small part of the self-study and investigations I take part in to help me heal throughout this process so I feel you need to be aware.
On Sunday morning (5th July) I got up from a toe squat whilst feeding the cats when the muscles around my pelvis went into a huge spasm. I reached out to grab the stairs and get onto all 4s and crawled to lie prone. I was there for a while in pain and eventually realised it wasn't calming down and I was heading for shock and needed an ambulance. Gordon is not mentioned so far as I am very stubborn and at his point I knew I had to shout on him. He made me comfortable and phoned an ambulance, they turned up with gas and air to get me moving.
They moved me prone to supine using belts around my pelvis and a blow up seat to get me to 90°. At this point Gordon said he'd only heard women in childbirth scream so much. I got up from 90° to standing with less difficulty and shuffled out to the ambulance (a car was not a possibility as I couldn’t sit).
At the hospital I waited for 2 hours feeling my pelvis spasm before they started feeding me drugs to calm the spasms down. They gave me diazepam, dihydrocodeine, paracetamol, oral morphine and I was still in pain. At this point they decided it wasn't a musculoskeletal injury and they determined that I wasn't suffering an ectopic pregnancy. Next I was x-rayed and nothing was unusual and eventually I was admitted into a ward because of the pain.
By Monday 6th July they decided to check me for kidney stones via a CAT sca. This identified a growth on the L3 vertebra which was either going to be an infection or something a bit more "serious". Further CAT and MRI were done on Tuesday 7th to see if there was anything higher up. On Wednesday 8th they used CAT scan to take a biopsy and took some bone marrow. Thursday 9th they confirmed that I have Myeloma (info here https://www.myeloma.org.uk). Then on Friday I got a trip to the Beatson for radiotherapy to shrink my growth which will take a week.
I have caught up most of my closest besties and I apologize if I haven't and this is the first time you are hearing about this, it is not a personal slight.
My journey medically is pretty clear: chemo for 6/8 months then possibly a stem cell transplant.
The yoga journey is my part, the bit for me that I'm looking forward to and want to share with you. This is gonna look different and be gentler. Maybe we can work together and I can get some help with demonstrations? I will incorporate all the bits of yoga and other interesting techniques which will be FUN. I will work on my instructions and coordination.
I really hope you'll keep in touch and share with others who might be in a similar situation.
If you like I can help you with "1 to 1s" which will be talked through with lots of instruction, drawings and whatever resource I can play with to help you.
Any questions just ask x
Here is a link for a wee advent maker. Attached below are a printable label and instructions.
SMYL presents a brand new Secret Yoga experience for International Yoga Day, the 21st of June and coincidentally the longest day. This will take place on the Great Lawn of the Helix Park in Falkirk starting at 10am and finishing at around 11.30am.
The yoga class will concentrate on the Sun Salute or Surya Namaskar sequence as is appropriate on the longest day, it will also include a breathing practice and a longer relaxation. This will also give those attending the novel opportunity to practise yoga outside. Practising yoga outdoors changes the energy within the class and allows the yogi to feel a deeper connection with nature which is beneficial to wellbeing, can help reduce stress and improve concentration.
Historically, spending time in green space and or nature has been taken for granted, but is being gradually eroded within modern society.
SMYL's new event Secret Yoga intends to give yogis an opportunity to practice in unusual and outdoor environments to reintroduce this connection thereby nourishing the mind and body. Practicing yoga in different places can change the participant's view of yoga and the class environment and can of course be fun!
If you wish to be kept up to date on Secret Yoga events please e-mail - Secret yoga events will remain a secret (sshhh!) till near the time of the event and for the time being will remain based in and around Falkirk.
For this first event the proceeds will be donated to SAMH.
You can book here, the class is limited to 30 spaces.
Please bring your own yoga equipment and consider the weather.
Date: Friday 21st June 2019
Time: 10 to 11.30am
Where: The Great Lawn, The Helix Park, Falkirk, FK2 7ZT (map below)
Why: Sun Salutations! outdoors! sunshine (fingers crossed)!
On the 20th of May 2019 I will be bringing a SMYL to Callendar Square!
I will be opening a new massage therapy space in Unit B level 3 Callendar Square.
Even better, during the first week 20th to 27th of May I will be offering a 25% discount on all treatments.
That week I will be available for appointments on:
Please contact SMYL or visit me in Callendar Square to arrange an appointment.
Why choose SMYL?
Your first SMYL treatment includes a thorough consultation during which we will work together to find the cause of your issue and solve it via massage and stretching.
A SMYL massage is a Sports Massage (deep tissue and Thai foot also available) which involves more pressure than a Swedish style massage and concentrates on the area/areas causing the problem.
Sometimes one session will eliminate a problem, while with deeper issues further sessions will be required. Hopefully you will enjoy it and will want to have regular sessions to keep you SMYLing.
Hope to see you soon xx
Starts 6th Jan 2020 at 8pm
Cost £30 for 6 week block, only 10 spaces available
A yoga class for beginners and people with restricted movement or persistent pain
My aim is to start YOUR yoga journey right at the beginning, working on:
Working in this way will guide you to a better awareness of your breath, movement restrictions / compensations and mind, which will reflect positively into many other aspects of your life.
For further details contact SMYL or check contacts on attached poster.
Please share x