Six weeks ago I was in hospital receiving emergency radiotherapy to my spine and neck to control the cancer cells and give me the mobility in my arms back. After that was finished I went home in an ambulance in a wheelchair. I spent a few days at home before flying to the Netherlands with my mother while I was fit enough to travel. I was taken into the Jacobshospice in The Hague, a wonderful place that became like a home to me. It was very emotional to leave Glasgow. We lived there for 14 years and our children were born there.
When I arrived at the hospice my sister was already there and the volunteers were very welcoming. My room was lovely: it had a beautiful view over a tree-lined canal and in typical Dutch style there are lots of bikes parked there. You could hear the trams go by regularly which is quite soothing. I got to meet a lot of people while I was there and they have all been great and couldn’t be more helpful.
After a trial weekend at home to see how we as a family got on with my daily needs I was discharged from the Hospice and live at home in our new house. I get help with personal care in the morning so my husband can get on with the school run. I had a pet/ct scan and there was some good news and some bad news. My left lung has got lesions as well as a couple of tumours, whereas my right lung still got lesions, but not as much as before. There was no change to my liver, which still had the same spots. The biggest problem was my left hip. It was sore and it turned out there were some cancer cells that put it at risk of breaking. I am now receiving 10 sessions of radiotherapy for this and I have had six already so far. I can already feel the benefit and my left hip feels a lot stronger. I’m starting chemotherapy next week. It will be a regime of 6 sessions of paxitacol and carboplatin. I will be losing my hair again and I could be ill for a few days and need rest.
It’s my eldest son’s 11th birthday this weekend and we are celebrating this with our family. He’s really looking forward to it and so are we.
A few days after writing this blog post, on Monday May 26, Magteld Darroch-Jansen sadly passed away in hospital. Many people got to know her in the last phase of her life through her struggle with cancer: I was privileged to know her for 21 years and saw how she approached everything in life with the same enthusiasm, determination and unquenchable spirit. Her two children, her wider family and many friends around the world will miss her terribly. Gordon Darroch.