Tuesday, 4 June 2013

A Tospy Turvy Week.

I have felt so up and down, inside out all week. I don't know if it is the steroids or just the effects of chemo getting more pronounced, but I felt weird, moody and not myself. Today I am feeling a bit better, I hope this trend will continue. Oren is working very hard all week, which doesn't help; at least he got a pay rise though!
We have a problem with the goats; it is too hard for me to do all the work with them during the week when I feel bad- I just want to curl up in a ball, not to get up at 6 am to milk Iza and feed them, take them to pasture for hours and drag them around after me. Unfortunately the other people who were supposed to help are too busy too. The end result is that the goats are suffering, although being goats they don't really seem to care. We haven't milked Iza for the last few days, just let the kids have all the milk, lucky them. It is a bit hot to go out to pasture anyway, so as long as they get plenty of food and have an hour or two free in the meadow to stretch their legs every day I think they will be fine. Meanwhile Pziza has been taken to the boarding school where Boaz works to meet a nice billy goat and hopefully start a family, it is quite a bit easier without her since she was the source of most goat naughtiness around here. Maybe she will come back with an education too!
Other news; we are in the process of adopting a dog! Sofi is part canaani , the Bedouin dog, and three years old. She is a good dog, not too big but big enough to guard, and she seems to be fitting in well. She has been here for a day so far, and seems fine. She doesn't worry the goats at all, Iza makes a kind of half hearted 'danger' call when she comes up to her but there is no real tension or hysterical running off, which goats do for no reason anyway, it's a goat thing. The kids don't even run to Iza when they see her, they seem to realize that she isn't going to attack them. Still, I am a bit careful, I don't completely trust her yet. She doesn't seem to have a wonderful memory for people, she knows me but barked at Oren when he came home even though he had given her a bowl of chicken the day before! She had better get that straight! She isn't in good condition, but I expect a month or two in the Mosenzon household will do its magic.
We aren't really thinking ahead too far, we know there is a good chance that we will go back to Chasamba at the end of the year but we will cross that bridge when we get to it. If Sofi makes herself welcome Oren's parents might keep her. Anyway, for the next few months she will have a good home.


  1. Hi Lesley, Shannon here (aka Green Monkey) - less than a month after my final reconstruction surgery for breast cancer I was diagnosed with t3 (and counting) rectal cancer. I am at the very beginning of my journey.

  2. Hi Shannon, I'm glad you found my blog, and I enjoyed reading yours too, I've added it to my blog roll and will be checking in regularly to see how you are doing.

  3. Me again Lesley, I need advise. I need a friend. My mind is stuck on the side effects of radiation. I can deal with the chemo (mentally) but I want a good quality of life. I want to be able to have sex without pain. I don't want to worry about pissing myself or crapping myself. The great and powerful Oz has given me more than I can handle. Tell me about the bag! can you eat and drink normally with it? Tell me everything good and bad. Help me wrap my heart around it. thank you... xoMonkeyME

  4. I am happy to help, Shannon! Ok, so the radiation treatment is usually about 28 times, day after day. It is quick and doesn't hurt, you will feel like nothing happened at all. I found I got a little tired towards the end of the 28, but not really bad. The area where the radiation is directed at gets 'sunburned', it takes a while before you feel it but I started to feel like it was a bit difficult to sit right on my bum about on the third week out of four, I would sit a bit on one side or the other. That went away quickly after the end, and the nurse at the radiation place gave me good cream, like baby bottom cream. The thing which did bother me more was a feeling of pressure in the rectum, kind of like you need to poop all the time, and hemorrhoid cream helped with that, it numbed the area and made any swelling go down a bit. You will probably get a bit of diarrhea, for me I was pretty used to it because I already had it so it didn't make any difference. You will be given a diet to follow, it is really unappetizing but it does reduce a lot of the irritation. If you like salad and vegetables eat plenty now, before you start, you will miss them! I kept working through this stage, so you can imagine the diarrhea wasn't so bad. Long term side-effects; well, you will have all the side effects of menopause, and that means a dry vagina, fun fun fun. There are good lubricants and even hormone creams which are supposed to be good, I've done ok just with lubricants. Sex can be fine, just take it slowly, a quicky without warning is not going to work. I was told that my vagina might become smaller and that it was important to have sex at least once a week to keep it stretched out, but I haven't noticed any change in it.
    The bag.... well, this is something which is a little different for each person, some people can eat anything they did before and some have to be careful of things which might make an obstruction. I started carefully, really bland soft foods, and gradually worked up food by food ( well, I did have a few times when I just went mad on a big salad, couldn't help myself) and I can eat everything now- I've had the bag for almost 3 months but I've been eating normally for a while, even nuts and so on. You need to drink more and it is really really important to get enough salt, your body will lose a teaspoon of salt every day through the ileostomy. I eat crisps, it's a good excuse! You will go through a stage of having itchy, red skin round the ileostomy, don't get too frustrated, you need to try different types of wafer until you find the right one, (I use a convex one ) and always use a stoma ring, it saves me so much annoyance. There is special stoma powder which I swear by too, it really helps. It is a learning curve, and there will be the days when nothing works and you think you will never get a good seal, but then there will be the time everything goes right and you realize you have had the same base on for three days and it doesn't itch! After nearly three months I'm only just at the stage where I can say with reasonable confidence that I have it under control. On the other hand it is a life saver on chemo after the operation because you will have either folfox or xelox and they give you real diarrhea at least some of the cycle. With the bag you don't even know you have it, and no sore bum either. The other good thing is that I love spicy food- well now I don't need to worry about the day after. Really, no burning, nothing! And spicy food will probably taste much better to you when you are on xelox or folfox, try it for masking the weird taste in your mouth when you eat sweet stuff. Honestly, I ate watermelon with chilli peppers yesterday and it was great.