wigs to wishes.org.uk

The “Dawn Hughes Wigs to Wishes Fund” has been set up to enable me to receive further treatment at an Oncology Clinic in Germany where they have had a high success rate in stopping the spread of Cancer in patients and giving them the best possible chance of remission. The Berkshire Cancer Centre have informed me that there is little chance of my Cancer going into remission with the treatment available in this country.

Thanks for taking the time to visit my website. I'd like to tell you a little bit about myself. I'm a wife and mother of 3 young children, Matthew 13, Ellie 10 and Freddie 6. I was first diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2001 at the age of 36. Following Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy, I was in remission until a chance MRI scan in Feb 2005 for an unrelated problem, detected that the Cancer had returned. I was then diagnosed with Secondary Breast Cancer. The likely prognosis given in February was 18 months to 5 years. I then had to undergo aggressive Chemotherapy, but following the results of a recent bone scan, it was found that the Cancer is still spreading. The treatment in Germany will cost thousands of pounds and for most people like myself, the opportunity for this is a dream. Many of my Family and Friends want to make this dream a reality and are making tremendous fund raising efforts, because without them, I would not be able to seek the treatment that I so obviously need and which is not being offered in this country.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Oncology appointment

Collecting my chemo today and having my pamidronate infusion. Have had to postpone the Avastin for another 4-5 weeks due to my next laser treatment to the liver on 19th August. Avastin can cause heavy internal bleeding so it would be very dangerous to have it and then an operation.

Barbara, the clinic nurse asked how I was feeling as she led me in for my appointment and I said really really tired. She said that explains it and I said what? She said that my Haemoglobin blood level (Hb) was low at 9.0 which means that there is not enough oxygen getting around my body.

Spoke with the Oncologist who wasn't overly worried about the Hb blood count but said that we should retest in 2 weeks in case I need a blood transfusion if the Hb drops anymore.

On the chemo ward the nurses said that I shouldn't leave it two weeks if I'm still feeling really tired. Okay ......

Monday, July 28, 2008

Fantastic, successful Fun Day

The Fun Day was an outstanding success yesterday. So many people came to support my cause, many of whom I hadn't met before. Hats off to Kate Wilson and Helen Donahue for pulling off such an event and many thanks for Gary and Niki hosting it at the Prince of Wales. A big thanks goes to Alice Baillie for painting the childrens faces for 5 hours and working really hard getting a lot of the local donations. What a star.

So many people and organisations offered raffle prizes for the day, there are just too many to mention but again thanks. We had some great prizes.

The weather couldn't have been better and the sun shone all day, in fact it was too hot at times!

My thanks also go to the bands who gave up their time for free on the day. James and Mikey from White Sunday, Liam O'B, The Furniture and Headline. Everyone enjoyed the music and what a lovely way to spend a summer's afternoon.

Big thanks to Colin Singh for raising £100 by having his head shaved.

The grand total raised was £1450. This will go such a long way to helping with up and coming treatments

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Prince of Wales - Family Fun Day

The Fun day commences at 13:00 till late. Live Music throughout the afternoon and evening from Liam O'B, White Sunday (acoustic set) and Headline.

Gary and Niki are doing a Barbeque (all proceeds to the fund) so don't have your lunch before hand!!!

There will be a Bouncy Castle, Face Painting and plenty of other stalls and attractions for the kids. We will also be holding a Raffle and Auction with some fantastic prizes all donated from local businesses. Here's just a taster of prizes / auction items and who donated them:

Digital Camera - Frasers
Car Service (any car) - Gowrings of Reading
Family day out Goldline tickets - Goldline
Leather Bag and Purse set - Marks and SpencerA Reflexology session - Crystal DragonFamily Ski/Snow Board lesson - John Nike Leisuresport complex
Chelsea FC Shirt (2008-2009) and other Chelsea goodies
Makita 96 piece Tool kit - Drews the Ironmongers
Various Vouchers for anything from a Meal for 2 @ various restaurants, to a cut and blow dry to a pole dancing lesson!!!And lots and lots and lots more...............
Toys have also been donated for a kids Tombola by The Entertainer, WordPlay, The Toy Cabin and House of Cards.

Thanks to all the businesses for supporting Wigs To Wishes and thanks to the bands for giving their time for nothing.

Weather's looking good so let's all have a great "fun day".

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Still feeling quite ill and in a lot of pain

Following the op on Tuesday I think I've gradually felt worse. Dr Kopic has had a look at the liver on the ultrasound and he cannot now see the largest tumour which was lasered on Tuesday. This is great news and the tumour must be making it's way out of my body. There was however a considerable amount of odema (swelling due to fluid). This may be the cause for my discomfort. They've upped the pain relief and are also giving me antibiotics as a precaution against any infection in the wound area.

All I want to do is sleep. Poor Sarah, I haven't been much company for her. The weather has been nice and we haven't been able to get out.

I also seem to have lost more weight and I'm now 61kg (9st 6lb) as apposed to 62.4kg last month.

We met up with some patients that I met on my last trip and they are doing well so it was good to chat with them. They are both from the US.

Sarah and I flew from Munich to Heathrow late this evening. Flight was on time and everything went smoothly. We organised a wheel chair for me at Heathrow which was great because we got through passport control without waiting and I didn't have to walk which I was too tired to do.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Laser Treatment on the liver

Arrived at Prof Vogl's clinic at 9.50 for a 10.30 appointment. Paid his secretary for the procedure which was 4,000 Euros (cheaper than I thought) and then had to wait in the waiting area for nearly two hours. Just before I was called in for the procedure, Prof Vogl's secretary called me back again as she has made a mistake and it was 6,000 Euros for the procedure and not 4,000. I did think it was cheap!!

Was taken down for the op at 12.30. Had a CT scan then the op was carried out under the CT scan. A local anaesthetic was injected just under my left breast and then a small incision was made for access to the liver. This was very painful, which I wasn't expecting and so maybe I wasn't given enough sedation. Prof Vogl went through this keyhole incision and accessed my liver this way. I drifted in and out of consciousness and finally was knocked out towards the end of the procedure.

When I eventually came round my mouth was like sandpaper and my shoulders really hurt. I thought it was because throughout the procedure I had to keep both arms above my head but apparently there are nerves in the liver which link to the shoulders.

I was then taken up to the Day Ward where Sarah could join me as she had been sat out in the waiting area for hours. I was so tired that I just kept drifting in and out of sleep. About 4 hours after the operation I was allowed to have some water and a dry biscuit but the minute I sat up and moved my head I started being sick. This happend about 5 times, even when I was taken down for the MRI scan at around 7.30.

Prof Vogl did his rounds and said that he would like me back to deal with the other two tumours. He said he was pleased with the operation but had to get a good clearance around the larger tumour which proved a little more tricky. He said it would not be so bad next time. I can't think about the next time. It all hurts too much and I feel really sick.

Andy arrived to take us to the Leonardis Klinik and once I was settled in the car in a reclining seat I didn't want to move until we had completed the 3 and a half hour journey. I was too scared of being sick again!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Flew out to Germany for Laser treatment

Sarah Hurn and I flew out of Heathrow Terminal 5 this evening for our flight to Frankfurt. Everything went smoothly and we arrived at our hotel at 11.30pm where we met up with Debbie Brewer and her friend Janeatte. Debbie is a fellow cancer suffer diagnosed with mesothelioma in November 2006, see her website for more details: http://www.mesothelioma-and-me.com/

Debbie and I have been emailing each other but this was our first opportunity to meet.

She has also been visiting Prof Vogl for chemoembolization to the tumours in her lungs. Let's hope this treatment does give her more time. It has been successful so far in reducing the size of the tumours as it has for myself, hence the next stage for me being the laser treatment.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Still have a very sore throat

Had an okay night but my throat is still really hurting. Got up a few times in the night to gargle with the Difflam. The Doctor rang late last night to let me know about the blood test results which he says some of the results are within the normal range but one of them is a little low so he would like to speak with the Berkshire Cancer Centre to get some advice on whether he should prescribe the antibiotics. Meanwhile I'm still suffering!!

I've now also booked the flights for next Monday but this does mean that District Nurse and Hospital appointments will need to be rebooked and it all has a knock on effect. Nothing is ever straightforward.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Cancelled German Trip

I was supposed to be travelling to Frankfurt with Sarah this afternoon ready for the laser treatment to my liver tomorrow but this morning I woke up feeling really unwell with a high temperature and a raging sore throat. After deliberating what to do I emailed the Leonardis Klinik for some advice. They came back straightaway and said that I'm unfit to travel and need to postpone the trip for a week. I was disappointed mainly because of the cost implications and I suppose I had psyched myself up for the treatment.

Following this I rang BA and was told that I could get a 75% refund on the cost of the flights which wasn't so bad afterall.

Went to the Dr's this afternoon to have a blood test to check my blood count and have a look at my throat. The doctor thinks it is more than likely to be a viral infection in which case antibiotics won't help. I felt desparate for something though because my throat is so painful. Unfortunately only paracetamol and ibuprofen were suggested. Luckily I found a Difflam Oral Rinse in my medicine cupboard which helps relieve pain and inflammation in the throat.

This evening my temp has been going up and down like a yoyo and I still feel dreadful. Just as well I didn't take the chance and fly to Germany.

Friday, July 04, 2008

In a lot of pain

Following the radiotherapy last week on my left hip and possibly the sponsored walk, I'm in a lot of pain. My left leg is really hurting and I'm finding it hard to lift it. The pain is worse in the evenings. I've made an appointment to see my GP on Monday to check out whether this is normal following the radiotherapy. The Radiology dept did say that the pain could get worse before getting better and that it could take up to 10-12 days before noticing a difference. The pain is quite dabilitating.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Cost of Faslodex injection

I put my prescription in to the chemist today for the Faslodex injection, the pharmacist was quite shocked at the cost of it. I thought it was about £45 but asked him what it was and he said £350!! I have to have this every 4 weeks. The pharmacist asked if it was doing any good. Too early to tell but let's hope so.