FOLLOW us on Twitter
Check out and 'LIKE' our Facebook page

SARAH'S CHEMOTHERAPY

Facebook

This page contains the posts I have been able to retrieve from my Facebook blog during Sarah's chemotherapy. Some of the posts may not be entirely self-explanatory and would need replies made by our Facebook friends to make everything entirely clear. However, publishing all of these would come with complications, so I'll leave them  out. I'm sure that without these, there is still enough information to make it readable and, hopefully, interesting.
 
 
In June 2013, Sarah was diagnosed with breast cancer. Over the course of the coming weeks she had a lump removed from her left breast, followed by complete removal of the lymph nodes under her left arm. The story picks up from September, just before her chemotherapy began.
 
 
Six months after Sarah's treatment had ended, we embarked on the adventure of a lifetime - Route 66. We compiled a slideshow of some of the spectacular scenery along the way, put to some classical guitar music that I'd composed.
In October 2014 we took up 1950s-style dancing and focused on swing dancing and lindy hop. December 2015 Sarah celebrated her 50th birthday in style with a spectacular dancing party. Here is a video of how lindy hoppers celebrate birthdays.
 
Flimed by Matt Rosser
CLICK HERE FOR ROUTE 66 SLIDESHOW
CLICK HERE FOR ROUTE 66
BLOG
CLICK HERE FOR SARAH'S 50TH BIRTHDAY DANCE
9TH SEPTEMBER
Chemo day 1 approaches. We shall face tomorrow with confidence and defiance. We shall laugh in its face and spit in its eye. We shall fly the flag of determination, hold our heads up high and walk steadfastly through the storm. We are the masters of our destiny and we bow down to nothing and to no one. Now then, where are our Winnie the Pooh and Tigger onesies?
 

Day 1.

The wife has been poisoned with her first chemo cocktail. A surreal experience. Everybody hooked up to drips, sitting expressionlessly in comfy armchairs with dreamlike, relaxing music. It all seemed a bit "Stepford".
 
 
 
Day 3.

Sarah says, "It's AMAZING how well I feel. I don't feel ill. Just a little slow."  Welcome to my world :)
 
The patient is relatively well. A little tired and a slight temperature due to a post operative infection which her body has been keeping at bay until now. She has enough strength at least to the utter the words, "Cup of tea and Jaffa Cake".

Day 4

After a short walk around the village, the wife sits on the sofa then claims that she's so tired she can't remove her shoes herself. What should you do?

       a. Tell her she's making a fuss and that should get off her arse and do it herself
       b. Pull them off aggressively because you're fed up of being taken advantage of
       c. Tell her if she doesn't take them off herself she'll have to make her own dinner
       d. Tell her that nothing is a problem and remove them carefully, reassuring her that it's all going to be worth it in the end

I need some advice on this.
 
Day 6
 
 

The patient goes downhill alarmingly and is completely wiped out. It's expected.Thankfully there is no pain. All will be well in the end.
Day 7

Much better today. She wants to go to Tesco. After suggesting yesterday that she could eat a baked potato with custard, she now wants a steak and kidney pie. I've never known her want one before. The oncologist warned about these cravings. I'll get some raspberry sauce to go with it just in case.
 
Day 8

Very proud of the wife Sarah Pritchard who has just come through her first week of chemotherapy and now has a smile on her face again. Happy first chemoweekaversary darling xxx
 
Day 9

She's beginning to tease me now. Sarah woke up a new person. Feeling well and normal for the first time since day one. "Let's go to Hay on Wye and have dinner at The Granary," she said.
However, after a breakfast of Weetabix, she went rapidly downhill. This lasted for about half an hour. She now feels back to normal. We have a number of possible causes, including chemo induced lactose intolerance, but we really don't know yet. So now we've decided to stay a little more local. Maybe The Skirrid Inn. It's supposed to be violently haunted, you know :-O
Many people are asking if she still has hair. Yes.
From feeling fabulous this morning, the patient has deteriorated and is spending a night at Velindre Hospital with a high temperature and related symptoms. All is under control, but she has had a very bad day
Quote of the day - "I must be really ill. I like it here."
 

Day 10

Now then. How does this bloody iron work?

It has to be said, even though I don't wish the place on anyone, Velindre is a lovely hospital. I have confidence that everything is under control. Sarah is looking better today than at anytime since day one. Although she suffered a lot yesterday, in the grand scheme of things it was just a blip. Things make more sense in my head about it all. She was in great spirits, and it is only a matter of time before she'll be back nagging me to death. They are treating her for suspected esophageal thrush, and they're going to scan the lumpectomy site to check there is no infection there. It is all a result of her immune system being lowered. It is all very treatable :)
 
Day 11

The patient is still in Velindre. Feeling great except for the pain while eating. Ultrasound scan didn't arrive. Tomorrow then, hopefully. I was thinking of doing a deal with our resident mole, Morris Miner. Maybe he could dig a tunnel to Cardiff so we can get Sarah out of there and bring her home.
 

Day 12

The patient is nearly homeward bound. She is missing the iron.

The doctors have said that her recent episode has happened because she has a neurotic penis. No, I got that wrong - she is neutropenic.
 

Day 13
The wife is struggling to eat because of her poorly esophagus. She can only have things that aren't lumpy or dry. I'm always keen to oblige.
 
Day 14

There is now light at the end of the esophagus.
 

Day 16

For those of you who haven't seen me for a while and ask me, yes my hair has gone but meet Audrey (my new wig!)
After a whole week of agonising meal times, the patient's esophagus comfortably manages a chicken biryani with chips from the local takeaway. Hopefully six days of normality now before the next poison cocktail.
 
Day 18

Normality resumes. The patient is well. The wardrobe's stock of ironed work shirts has been replenished.
 
Day 19

The patient's body has passed the fitness test to continue with stage two of the poisoning on Friday.
 
Day 20

All well. Nothing to report other than after a short walk to the village shop, the temperature has dropped to something unacceptably wintry. If I knew anything about Twitter, I'd probably write something like #woollyhattime.
 
Day 22

2nd chemo poisoning administered. The patient has slept well and feels well other than being tired. She seems to be indifferent to the bravery I've shown after yesterday's flu jab.
 

Day 23

The patient is remarkably well other than a little tired. Off to Blooms Garden Centre, Cardiff
... well we WERE off to the garden centre but she's gone for the hour's sleep option first.
 
Day 24

The patient said she'd like carrots for tea tonight. "What would you like with your carrots?" I asked. "I don't know. It just has to be carrots. "
 
Day 26

The patient is doing very well indeed. Not suffering at all other than at the hand of my jokes. Being waited on by her servant is obviously helping - get me a drink, put the electric blanket on, microwave my slippers etc... but I got my own back by forcing her to come out for a brisk walk.
 

Day 27

Today the wife has a pain in the bum. I think I've cured it by leaving for work
 

Day 28

The patient is EXCEPTIONALLY well. I'll have a bit of what she's on, please.
 

Day 29

Sod the chemo log. Time for a sherry :p
 

Day 30

All is perfectly normal other than the follicle depletion. I see no reason to continue the log until something happens. For those who have asked me to continue with it (I have questioned myself in the past as to whether or not I should continue, as it may seem like a Facebook exercise in self-interest and self-indulgence), the absence of any log will mean that all remains well. Let's hope that the next log entry will be around day 43, the next chemo poisoning day on 1st November. Now then, I have to go and gee up the wife to get on with some housework.
 

Day 35

Exactly a third of the way to the day before the last chemo poisoning day and all is well.
 

Day 38

New hair has made it to 2mm - maybe even 3mm!
 
Day 42

Last day of freedom before poison number three is administered. The patient has been really well for quite some time. She even accompanied me on my very important, secret government mission yesterday in Nottingham, but found the retail therapy thing very tiring. She was barely able to carry me up the stairs at the end of the day.
 
Day 40

Pre chemo-poisoning tests, before going to DSA HQ on very important government business
 

Mark Pritchard was with Sarah Pritchard at Peachy Keens.

 

Day 43

Third chemo poisoning administered - the last of the first group of three doses referred to as 'FEC'. The final group of three will be called 'T' and is scheduled to begin on 22nd Nov. The patient sleeps. She wants to go to Morrison's later if she's up to it.
 
 
The patient manages Morrisons, is fed and watered by her husband and then falls asleep again. She's not much company you know.
 
Day 44

The patient disobediently acts as if she were not on drugs.
Day 45
 

After a day of conveniently feeling well yesterday when the weather was bad, the patient suddenly feels tired. She's clearly shamming and trying to wriggle out of building me a bonfire as promised.

Day 46


The patient is feeling normal other than a bit tired. She could have no excuse for not building my bonfire for me.
 
Just to prove I didn't leave it ALL to the wife.
Day 47
No comment, LMAO
Bonfire night
 
Day 49

The patient is well, but tired. Today she has slept a lot. That's good. One of my favourite expressions is, "Sleep is the best medicine." Sleep on...
Day 50

"One week on from the midway chemo and I am celebrating a REALLY good first week AND climbing the European ironing mountain and STILL have energy to spare. Taste buds returned, so come on Mark Pritchard, sort that Indian out."
Day 51
Barry Island

After a day at the seaside, the patient tells me to put my feet up while she prepares the food.
Day 52
 
Bath-time for Audrey
       Washing                                            Conditioner                                        Towel dry                        In the drying room to dry
Day 54

The patient is leading a normal life and we are not expecting anything to report now until day 64 when the fourth dose is administered (a week Friday) so I'll shut up about it for a bit. Happy days :)
 
Day 55
Chemo present number three
All we need now is some snow please
Day 58

Mark Pritchard was with Sarah Pritchard at Cottams Field Brewers Fayre and Lancaster Premier Inn.
Day 59       Goodnight all
Day 63

The day of steroids before the 4th poisoning session tomorrow. It'll be interesting to see how quickly the ironing gets done today.
The patient is well but slightly tired after her pre-chemo steroids. Chemo 4 tomorrow. Only six weeks to the last chemo dose - and Christmas will be over too :D
Day 64

Today the patient is to be administered her 4th treatment of chemo - the first of three doses of a drug called Taxotere (commonly referred to as Tax). It's another of those overwhelmingly daunting days where I have to be responsible.
The dirty deed has been done. Only two to go - 13th December and 3rd January.
The dirty deed has been done. Only two to go - 13th December and 3rd January.

Day 65

Chemo present number four has just been hung on the wall.The patient is remarkably well - she could even have put it up herself, but she has other work to do.
 
Day 66

The patient has booted me out of the kitchen to cook and bake. I just hope it's the calm before the continuation of the calm.
Day 67

The patient isn't well and now looks as though she IS having chemo :( She can barely move as a result of the Taxotere drug which causes your bones to ache. She knew in advance that she'd be likely to feel as though she'd been hit by a bus on this dose. She says it's a small bus, though. Nasty drugs. I think I'D better do tea tonight.
Day 68

The patient has had a bit of a sore time. Most of yesterday and all through the night she experienced severe discomfort, due to bone pain. Pain killers now keeping it under control. We've heard that it may only last a couple of days. She's just been for a long walk around the lounge. I think she's excited about sitting down with me later to watch the football.
 
Day 69

Good news - no more pain. Bad news - the patient is COMPLETELY wiped out. Limbs are heavy and no energy. I suppose I'll have to open the door for her again while she puts the bins out.
 
Day 70

The patient is very. very tired after being admitted late on day 69 with a high temperature. VERY poorly, it has to be said :(
The patient is staying at Nevill Hall for another night. To put things into perspective, the last (6th) dose is on day 106, followed by a week or two to recover. Joking aside, the best analogy is that of a long, protracted boxing match. Sarah is against the ropes at the moment, but the great thing about this one is that ultimate victory is inevitable. She doesn't feel that at the moment, but I knows it.
Day 70

The patient is feeling much, much better and can now appreciate that the light at the end of the tunnel definitely exists, even if it's not yet visible. However, her immune system is apparently non-existent - literally, and so she needs to stay in hospital until it shows at least some evidence of being. The Taxofere drug has had a bigger effect than they'd expected. Much perkier though, today :)
Day 71

The patient is feeling much, much better and can now appreciate that the light at the end of the tunnel definitely exists, even if it's not yet visible. However, her immune system is apparently non-existent - literally, and so she needs to stay in hospital until it shows at least some evidence of being. The Taxofere drug has had a bigger effect than they'd expected. Much perkier though, today :)
 
Day 72

A much deserved (I think) lie in while the wife hotels it at L'Halle de Neville. She tells me she's staying there tonight too as she's having such a great time. I'll stay home and tackle some pink jobs.
Day 73

The wife is very proud to have found a
hair on her head that is SO long it actually
bends over. Audrey, BE WORRIED!!!!
 
 
 

Let's not get too technical, but there are these little things called neutrophils. I've never seen one, because apparently they're quite small. They are a type of white blood cell that fights off disease. Yesterday and the day before, the patient had virtually none and was therefore 'neutropenic'. Because of this, she was kept in hospital. This is why she was so ill last week and had to be rushed in. Today, however, she has been flooded with the little blighters. This tends to suggest that they have gathered en masse to do battle, and that they know something that we don't. They're quite clever really, despite being very small. Anyway, she is being kept in for another night so that the doctors can find out what's what. She's very well though, and feels up to being home. But she can't, for the aforementioned reason.
 
Day 74

The patient is released. She is well. I am tired. Hard work this chemo...
Day 75

The patient is perfectly well and is finally beginning to pull her weight again. I think she was feigning illness to get a really big chemo present next time around.
Day 76

The patient is not yet out of the mire following her fourth chemo dose 12 days ago. She returned home exhausted after just a short shopping trip. She is also suffering from a chemo related condition called Palmar-Plantar Erythrodysesthesia. The skin on her hands has become red and very sore, making her unable to do many things such as dishwashing, opening tins, carrying awkward or heavy objects. I'm not worried too much about taking over domestic duties, but I was rather hoping for a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors before bed tonight.
 
Day 77

The patient isn't feeling wiped out today, but is (in her words) itching like something from the zoo as a result of her Palmar-Plantar Erythrodysesthesia. I suppose that's easy for HER to say. I AM feeling wiped out today though, but then I HAVE been on my feet all week, working my fingers to the bone after leaving for Cheltenham DTC at 6.30am every day.
 
Day 78

The patient has rested today in preparation for a well deserved evening out. It's been a very hard fourth chemo dose and, despite our antics and jokes, a little soul-destroying for her. The Palmar-Plantar Erythrodysesthesia itching has reduced significantly since taking an antihistamine tablet. Not quite up to disco dancing yet, but a sit down meal at a local restaurant should be a nice tonic.
Day 79

I've a mystery train trip for the wife today. It's such a secret, I don't even know where we're going myself. I hope it's Lapland...
The patient easily managed a day out in Bath shopping for Day 97. Only a little tired now, and nothing like wiped out.
Day 80

We see it as a bit of a landmark. It seems like we've been in the 70s forever, and it was certainly no Glam Rock. Day 85 (Friday) will be the fifth of her six evil doses. That will be the first glimpse of the proverbial light.
Today we ordered our joint Day 97 (25th December) present - a 6ft x 8ft greenhouse. I thought that seeing as Morris Miner doesn't seem to be going away, and because he has provided us with so much fine soil for next year's crops, then maybe we ought to get him a Day 97 present too. Any ideas? Just been for a 10 minute walk in the fields and that was enough for Sarah, even though she walked around Bath for a couple of hours yesterday quite easily. It seems that in order to have a good day, she needs to have a day of complete rest the day before. Although maybe it has something to do with my two Christmas tree erections and her lights being turned on.
Day 81

The patient is still a little tired and weak, but not too bad. Our visit to Velindre today resulted in a change of plan for the last two doses. The first three doses were known as "FEC", and the last three known as "Tax" which is short for Taxofere. Because the first Tax dose has given Sarah horrendous side-effects, they have decided that her last two doses are to be the FEC instead, which didn't affect her so badly. They assure us that this is fine. So it's FEC on Friday 13th (we're not worried about the date - it's bad luck to be superstitious), and FEC on January 3rd. Three or four weeks later she will receive her radiotherapy. This was to be administered Mon-Fri for three weeks. However, it's possible that she may have an experimental Mon-Fri for one week only, involving larger doses to compensate for this. In preparation for the radiotherapy, she has been given three freckle-like tattoos today, in places that she won't be revealing on Facebook. This is so that the machine can be properly lined up to zap the target. As a gesture of support and solidarity, I'm going to have my penis pierced.

Day 82

I've been on my feet all day working my fingers to the bone, carrying out very important government business, while the wife has shopped and slept. This evening she intends to make our Christmas cake and a specially requested Victoria sponge. I shall be periodically ensuring that the brandy she puts in is up to standard whilst Googling "penis piercing parlours".
 

No sign of any let up in the patient feeling exhausted after normal everyday activity. And only three days to the next poisoning day. It ain't getting any easier :(
 
Day 83

The patient is vastly improved today, having baked and cooked and generally earned her keep while I risk my life on important government business. It's the best she's been for a long time, and it's a real shame that she has only one more day of possible normality before Friday's chemo battering number 5. However, Friday will be the official 'We can see the light at the end of the tunnel' day, in the knowledge that there will only be one more chemo battering left. Tomorrow will be interesting. Sarah has agreed to take part in a radiotherapy experiment, and will find out if she has been chosen to have her radiotherapy treatment spread over the usual 3 weeks, or over a trial 1 week period with heavier doses. They are looking to compare the long term results of 4,000 people who have been randomly chosen to take one or the other. She cannot choose - it has to be decided randomly by the doctors. As a part of this experiment she will be closely monitored for many years to come. That sounds good - "many years to come!" The biggest likelihood, we are told, is that it will make no difference, as the chances of there being any cancer left after the chemo is very slim. Fingers crossed that she's chosen for the 1 week treatment, which means that it will all be over at the beginning of February, rather than at the end.
She's not as well as yesterday, but not too bad. I'm concerned that tomorrow's chemo dose will be administered while she is still against the ropes a little. But then I suppose we never expected it to be a bed of roses. She has managed to get out for a couple of hours at the Harvester with friends. This means that I am alone. Now then, what can I get up to?
Day 84

Valentine's Day is on a Friday next year. I know this because it is scheduled to be the patient's last day of radiotherapy. She was randomly chosen to have the three week treatment rather than the one week. At least we now know where we stand.

Day 85

I see a light at the end of the garden.
 

Day 87

The patient is still fit and well. A couple of hours of Christmas shopping didn’t even come close to finishing her off, although after volunteering to climb the stairs to the 4th floor of the multi-storey car park to avoid the queue for the lift, she did struggle with the last flight. I have a good feeling about Chapter 5. Fingers crossed.
 
Day 86

The patient says she feels normal this morning. Yeah right, I've heard that one before! Ear to the ground, binoculars at the ready and thermometer to hand. However, we've ascertained that there is a difference between 'new normal' and 'old normal'. Now get yer arse out of bed woman!
Day 88

The patient is still fit and well on this fourth day of chemo 5. While I was away on very important government business in a foreign country, our joint Christmas present arrived - a 6ft by 8ft greenhouse. Can you imagine my disappointment when I came home to find that she'd made no attempt to erect it?
So tired. It must be chemo by proxy.
Day 89

For the last three months the patient has struggled with the notion of the light at the end of the tunnel, just nodding when I tell her about it. She knew it, but couldn't feel it. Today, for the first time, she said, "It won't be long now," and she meant it. She is really well, and there are no signs of the cruel side effects that chemo can bring.The 70s dragged, but the 80s have whizzed past. Tomorrow the 90s will begin, and maybe I'll come home from work to a fully erected greenhouse.
Day 90

So chemo day 90 is upon us. I just asked the patient, "Are you feeling optimistic?" Her reply was, "Oh very. I'm like a bottle of pop." Today she has popped into work (school) to see the children and her colleagues, and is planning to return on a part-time, non-committal basis at the beginning of term in January. Her last dose of chemo is on the 3rd January, day 106. I understand that each step along the way is uncharted territory for us and therefore unpredictable, but I genuinely feel that the worst is over. Even if there are more hard times to come in the next month or so, the knowledge that she is nearly there will soften the blow. We are looking forward to continuing our lives as two of the luckiest people on the planet. Especially her, because she has me.
Day 91            The patient is still very well indeed. To be honest, I don't know what all the fuss is about.
       Day 92                The patient is ready to party and to rock 'n' roll.
Day 93

The patient needs to take it easy today after a great night out at the Verrall's. She forgets that she is not a normal person. She is still a patient. A bit of Christmas shopping then rest is what the doctor orders for today. After all, she has tomorrow's first ever chemo birthday to be fit and lively for.
 

Yesterday my Aunty Edna passed away from old age, having very nearly reached 90. Over 30 years ago she survived and fully recovered from breast cancer. We weren't especially close, and she and Sarah had met only once. I'm told that she put up a great fight to the very end, and was someone to be proud of for the way she passed. I'm also told that amongst her last words were her concern and well wishes for Sarah. Thank you Aunty Ed.


The bar has been set. Sarah intends to follow in those footsteps, and beyond. She has vowed to be around to nag me for a very long time to come.
 
Day 94

The patient has the audacity to have a birthday, despite being on chemotherapy. Happy birthday, Princess xxxx
 

The birthday fairy has brought the patient new eyebrow hair, and there is a surge in growth of blonde (yeah right) head hair. I'm hoping it won't be long before she is able to lose the chest wig.
Day 95

Although each day is still uncharted territory, I have a strong suspicion that the patient will remain very well over the Christmas period.



Chemo present 5, and chemo present 6 for 3rd January. Bargain...
Day 96

All prepared for tomorrow's festivity. The patient has paced herself and is totally well. Chemo will not be able to ruin our Christmas or affect it in any way. All will be normal and we are very, very lucky people. We hope you all have a fabulous Christmas. If you can't, don’t worry, it'll soon be over ;)
Day 97

Merry Christmas everyone. Thanks for all the support over the last few months.You've been wonderful.
If you look closely enough, it's definitely a White Christmas.
Day 98

I strongly suspect that there will be nothing chemo-related to report until the last chemo dose on day 106. The patient is well. She's had a good nurse, see.
Day 99

As all has remained well for some time, I had no intention of writing a day 99 post. However, armpit stubble has returned for the first time in a few months.
 
Day 100

Nothing else. Just chemo day 100. The patient has no new ailments or conditions to report, and I had meant to stop giving updates until the next (final) dose. But come on, it IS day ONE HUNDRED!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D
Day 101

Our Christmas present to each other. Let's hope that I don't have to knock the garage down to get it out.
 
Day 103


The last EVER pre chemo appointment. Off to Neville Hall now, by boat.
 

Happy 2014 to everyone, and thanks for your support and tolerance of our chemo updates :)

Day 104

My Facebook quote of the year -

"EVERYONE YOU MEET IS FIGHTING A BATTLE YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT. BE KIND ALWAYS."
 
Day 105
  Phew! There's a relief!         
Feeling positive at the bottom of the garden
The last day of normality before the final dose of poison - a day that was barely imaginable 15 weeks ago. The light at the end of the tunnel is no longer a tiny speck, but an enormous, bright, welcoming, open door. We can see Egypt in the distance, and beyond that, Route 66, and if the weather changes, an erection in our garden. The patient has nearly finished her chemo marathon and is now entering the stadium for the final lap to tumultuous applause from the spectators.
Day 106

In a few hours time we will be able to safely say that the patient will have no more poisoning to face (my cooking aside). She is even planning a brave return to work on a part-time basis on day 109. Firstly, however, we have to dodge the diversions and little puddles on the way to Abergavenny. I blame the internet for all this bad weather, it certainly seems to be a lot worse since the internet came along.
I sometimes like to become a little poetic about things, so I asked the wife, "Do you feel as if we're looking over the precipice of something that is to come?" She replied, "Yes. Another dose of bloody chemotherapy!" Perhaps I'd just better get on with the job at hand :/
Last horrible needle about to go in...
Day 107.

All well. I have my own chemo by proxy present - new phone.
 

I've been told to say she walked up six floors of the multi-storey car park
Day 108

The patient's last day of freedom before being packed off to earn a crust, albeit part-time and on a non-committal basis. In the meantime, I shall have to resume my very important government business.
Day 109

The patient goes to work for two hours, returns home and feels normal. However, she won't be considered 'out of the mire' for another week or so.
Day 110

The patient is very well after another couple of hours at work. It seems that our chemo blog may be coming to an end. If it is, we'd like to thank everyone for your support and for joining in the fun. It has certainly been helpful for us, and made the journey less of a trial. She has just told me that she feels amazing. There is a chance that she could have another sudden rollercoaster drop, but fingers crossed on that one. If she does, it'll certainly be the last. Now I have to ask you all a favour. I know that some people have been reading our blog without making comments because not everyone likes to. However, if you have kept up with it and found it interesting or amusing, or found something positive from it, give us a "like" as a little appreciation of my little soldier-wife's positive attitude during her battle. I'll start it off : D
Warding off a cold. Now then... man-flu day 1...
Never realised how difficult it is to suck a Halls mentholyptus at 2am without waking wife.
Day 111


This is our reality today - but without the child. Sarah doesn't seem to appreciate the gravity of my condition.
Day 115

The patient no longer feels like a patient, so should no longer be referred to as such. On this day one hundred and fifteen (a day or two before we reach what we consider to be the safety point beyond which we expect no more horrid side effects), the ex-patient washes both cars, cleans all the downstairs windows from the outside, clears up the leaves and washes down the paths. Now she is cooking tea. She is firing on more cylinders than she ever knew she had. It's ok, I've been busy too.
Day 117

This man flu is serious. I no longer talk like Jo Pasquale - more like Lee Marvin. Sarah Pritchard needs to wait on me hand, foot and finger!
Day 119

I'm very sorry, but it's clearly not all done yet. The ex-patient has now resumed her patient status. 12 days after the last chemo poisoning, she has an infection in her right hand, the hand into which the poison was injected. A course of antibiotics has been prescribed and her temperature is slightly high. Just as I was in need of some man-flu attention, I hear a faint calling from Velindre Hospital in the distance :(
Day 120

I say it's laryngitis, the wife says my voice is breaking again - my second puberty. On a less serious note, her hand is on the mend.
 
18th January

I think it's reasonably safe to say that my erection will be completed tomorrow, except for one pane of glass which appears to be missing from the packs. On the instructions it stated that it would take two people two days to complete. I noticed in the small print it also said that it would take one man who has man-flu, nine pieces of metal in his head and a sick wife, in a winter of almost non-stop wind and rain, 34 days to complete from the date of delivery. Isn't it mind blowing how they can calculate these things so accurately?
19th January
The erection has been erected
23rd January
 
No-more-chemo day minus 1. The ex-patient is excited at the fact that she has no chemo tomorrow, three weeks after the last one. She'll be doing my sandwich box later.
 
26th January

First day of radiotherapy tomorrow. One a day for three weeks, excluding weekends, at Velindre. I hope the wife doesn't use it as another excuse to be waited on.
Wife pulls her weight in the garden - and about time too. Is she doing a little jig?
31st January
 
Radiotherapy week one done. Two to go. Wife will treat husband to an Indian takeaway :p
Maybe tomorrow, Sarah. Maybe tomorrow...
3rd Feb
 
The wife has an admirable 5 o'clock shadow on her head. Maybe not as dark as it would have been 20 years ago, but nonetheless...
7th February

Radiotherapy week 2 - DONE! Only one more week to go (plus an extra day for stoppage time due to the wife skiving off to meet celebrities next Tuesday).
 

I came home from work to find that our snorkels had been unearthed. Either the wife is planning ahead for our trip to the Red Sea, or she's thinking of taking me for a walk through the fields at the bottom of the garden.
10th February

Not being an avid TV watcher, as the wife is driving us to London I'm practising my lines for tomorrow's chemotherapy make-over celebrity bash. "Are you famous?" "Should I know you?"
11th February

Most women are horrified at the thought of a hair on their chin. The wife, on the other hand, is rather excited.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Just dropped the wife off at Toni & Guy in Mayfair for her chemotherapy makeover. We'll meet back up at 6pm. After five and a half hours I'mexpecting Kylie.
"Before" picture tafen after they'd tattooed the eyebrows on.
To see what it was all about, check out www.carolinescampaign.co.uk, a fantastic idea that helps boost the morale of chemotherapy patients
12th February
 
Chemo make-over result. Beneath the Toni & Guy specially coiffured wig, the follicles are producing real hair at a considerable rate of knots. Won’t be long now.
 
 
 

The weather man on the news used the words "unprecedented" and "relentless". I think that just about sums it up. We are at it's mercy. At least the greenhouse hasn't budged.

13th February
 

After 13 radiotherapy zaps, the wife's little legs (she's only 5ft 1in) can barely carry her. Is it down to the effects of the radiotherapy on her red blood cells, her cold, the busy celebrity VIP lifestyle she's led this week, or the weight of her new wig? Who knows? Maybe some combination of all or some of the aforementioned. Only two to go. Roll on Monday, and thanks especially to my Abergavenny colleagues.
17th February
 

Chemo day 151/Radiotherapy zap 15. The wife is now a chemo/radiotherapy graduate. It is, in theory, all done as of today. However, the chemo devil has not been completely exorcised. He is trying to run away with her nails as spoils of war. Her left thumb nail has dropped off. There are others that are partially detached and may choose to take the same dark road. Other, more loyal, permanent nails will grow in the place of any that he takes although it may take a while. He is now all but gone. He took her hair, but that is growing back in defiance. Sadly, the lymph nodes that serve her left arm will never be replaced. This will not prevent her from leading a normal life, but protection from any cuts or infections is paramount for this arm forever. When she snorkels in the Red Sea next week she will wear a protective diving top, and diving gloves to protect her nails. I, also, will wear a protective diving top because those jelly-fish give me the heebie-jeebies. I'm proud of her and her achievements.
 
She has now BEATEN CANCER.
22nd February

Due to arrive in Egypt 16.10 local time on Sunday amidst huge political unrest. Bodies to be flown home some time next week.

23rd February

Mark Pritchard was with Sarah Pritchard at Maritim Jolie Ville Royal Peninsula Hotel & Resort - Sharm El Sheikh.

24th February
 

The wife braves Asia (half of Egypt is in Asia I've learned today) without a wig or a hat. It's all growing back as quickly as her finger nails are dropping off. Some of it is a "distinguished" colour. She's not been well enough to snorkel today as her recovery from radiotherapy has been hindered by a cold. Her temperature shot up dramatically but thankfully came back down. She did see Dory though from the jetty. Pool day tomorrow. Reading, drinking (me only, probably), sleeping. I'll try to drag her into the sea on Wednesday. I also want to drag her across the road and into the desert for some pictures at some point, but I haven't told her that yet.
25th February

After a few years of being a husband you become programmed to do as you're told. Today, in her excitement at finding more hair growth, the wife exclaimed, "Fluff under my armpit!" I wish I weren't so obedient :/
27th February

Even when you are middle-aged and sharing a cold in the desert, romance needn't be dead -

Wife: How much do you love me?
Husband: More than all the snot in my nose.
Wife: I love you more than that. I love you more than all the snot in both of our noses put together.
Husband: I love you more than all the snot in both of our noses AND all the snot in all of the camels' noses in the whole desert.
 
Wife wears mascara for the first time in five months. Why? Because she CAN!