Tom Prince Donation

19 April, 15:44, by joHnkiIttwillis
Donating a nice cheque to The Tom Prince Cancer Trust.

Donating a nice cheque to The Tom Prince Trust.

Today we met up with Clint and Adele Prince from The Tom Prince Cancer Trust. We have donated £1500.00 to the trust.

The trust was established in 2004 and was set up in the memory of Tom Prince. The aim of the trust is to raise funds for research into the teenage bone cancer Osteosarcoma. This family run charity has received great support from friends and the local community. We are continuously fundraising at a local level but also need to expand to a wider audience to increase awareness and support.

We hope that by visiting this site and seeing what we are all about, you are inspired to get involved and help us to reach our goal!

 

Kick It Into Touch Charity Golf Open

04 April, 22:31, by joHnkiIttwillis

Today saw our 3rd Kick It Into Touch Charity Golf Day at Rowlands Castle Golf Club.

Thanks to two friends of mine, Jimmy Klepacz of Rowlands Castle and Jim ‘The Barber’ Doye of Havant, this years event got to take place.
If It wasn’t for the two Jim’s, the golf wasn’t happening this year. There was no way I was in any fit state to organise it at all, being so close to the end of the chemo.
The two Jims also had a lot of help from local friends of theirs as well.
The tournament had 28 teams of 4 playing, which included a team with ex-Portsmouth players Paul Walsh and Mark Chamberlain.
The day tee-ed off at 945am and the last team came in around 645pm. It snowed all day and was freezing, but that didn’t put anybody off at all.
We also gave local businesses the opportunity to sponsor a hole for £50, this was also a success.
In the evening there was an auction which had some amazing pieces up for grabs, including a Spain shirt signed by 16 of the squad that won Euro 2012.  A hospitality day at the British Superbikes Championship, kindly donated by Hampshire motorcycles and quad centre in Waterlooville and golf tour bag, signed by numerous players on the European Golf Tour.
Also there was a raffle to win a replica Olympic Torch.
Probably the best prize on the night was donated by Paul Walsh, on behalf of Sky Sports.
This prize consists of, the morning at Soccer AM Sky One’s football talk show presented by Helen Chamberlain and Max Rushden, then after that, spend the afternoon at Gillette Soccer Saturday which is presented by Jeff Stelling.
The final figure for money raised on the day has still not been finalised yet, but It looks like its well over £5000.
I would like to thank everybody involved in making the day the biggest so far.

Scan Results

25 March, 14:44, by joHnkiIttwillis

I had a CT Scan last Wednesday at Southampton Hospital, well it nearly didn’t happen.  Mum drove me and Eddie there and we  got there about 1230 ready for a 130 scan, I thought it would be easier to get a blood test done at the same time as they put the cannula in my arm. Less injections if it’s done in one go, or so I thought. They tried in my left arm, no luck, then my right arm, It was so painful, I nearly passed out, no luck again. The nurse decided to go and find somebody else to try it. Jo Pearson gave it a go in my left arm, no luck again and tried again in my right arm. It was no use the needle wasn’t going into the vein at all. She showed me the end of the cannula and it was bent. Jo couldn’t apologise enough, It wasn’t her fault, I kept telling her, but she was still saying sorry. The veins in my arms were so hard from the chemo that it was virtually impossible to get the needle in. That was it, I was having no more, by this time it was 2 o’clock, so I was already half hour late for my CT Scan. I decided I wasn’t having the scan and wanted to go home. I felt sick, upset, tired and fed up with injections.  We all walked down to the scanning department and explained that I wouldn’t be having the scan because they couldn’t get the cannula in my arm, anywhere. The cannula is needed so liquid dye can be pumped around my body during the scan so they can find what they are looking for or hopefully not find anything.

Anyway one of the scanning team was called out to talk to me, she asked if she could try to get it in my arm. She said it seemed a shame to come all the way to the hospital for nothing. Eventually I agreed and we went off to get it done. I have never felt pain like it in my life. This one was more painful than the one earlier. The cannula went in through my wrist on the underside, it must have been an inch long. The thought of it now is making me feel bad. But it was done, all I had to do was drink about a litre of liquid, again this helps with the scanning.

Around half an hour later I was called in for the scan, this was all good until they pumped the liquid through my wrist, this was so painful, but it only lasted for about 5 seconds then it was over. The scan lasted about 20 minutes, then it was time for me to get out of there, I’d had enough for one day. This was by far my worst experience of needles and scans, but that was because the chemo had shot my veins to bits. They will heal in time, but at the moment they are not playing ball.

So today I had an appointment with Dr Simmonds, this was the first time I’d seen him since Early December, the day he told me what would be happening with treatment etc.

Again mum drove me and Eddie and Jackie there as Angie was working and couldn’t get anymore time off.

Dr Simmonds came through the waiting room and immediately my heart starts racing, just the sight of him sometimes make me worked up, don’t know why, it just does, probably because he has told me 3 times some shitty news. Anyway about 15 minutes later he called us in to his office. He asked how am I feeling, do I have ringing in my ears, numb toes or fingers or anything else that I normally don’t have. I told him that everything is fine apart from my head, which I need to sort out. It’s hard work trying to get a straight head, but with what I’ve been through over the last few years it’s going to be hard.

He went on to tell me that the results from my latest blood test. I had the test earlier that day. All bloods are back to normal and the scan that I had last week showed that the lymph glad had shrunk and is nearly back to it’s normal size. This suggests that I am cancer free, hopefully it will stay that way now. He went on to tell me that it will be a good 6 months before I start feeling remotely normal again.

So overall it’s been a brilliant week and it needs to stay that way…………………

Although we need the weather to buck up so I can get in the garden…………………..

Thank God Thats Over!!!

07 March, 15:34, by joHnkiIttwillis

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What a week that was. So I was taken into hospital last Thursday morning with a suspected heart attack, thank god it wasn’t. It was a condition called Pericarditis.
Pericarditis is a disorder caused by inflammation of the pericardium, the sac-like covering of the heart. It can be caused by bacterial, fungal, or viral infections. It may also be a result of injury or trauma to the chest, esophagus, or heart. Pain occurs as a result of the inflamed pericardium rubbing against the heart.

So I was on antibiotics for about 3 days through a drip as well as about 20 tablets a day. This was needed because of the Pericarditis and also that my white blood cell count had dropped quite a bit which meant I was neutropenic, this is a potentially serious side effect of chemotherapy and a major risk factor for infections, which can be life‐threatening. Luckily It looks like I’m out of the woods now and slowly building up my immune system.

I had an echocardiogram ultrasound which checks that the heart is functioning well, valved etc. That came back all clear, so the heart is strong!!!

I had a CT Scan on Tuesday morning at The QA Hospital, so they could check my lungs for clots. This scan came back clear too and also blood results were good enough for me to go home. I got let out around 8pm on Tuesday night, just in time for Man Utd vs Real Madrid. Funnily enough, my grandad was let out a few hours before me. So we both went in on the same morning and both released on the same day.

I’ve been out of hospital a couple of days now, but I’m absolutely shattered. I need to slowly build myself up over the next couple of weeks.

Chemo has finished now, no more of it. This was the worst 9 weeks of my life, I felt like crap all the way through it apart from the first week.

 

Thank you for all of your kind messages on Facebook to me, Angie and Maisie.  It means a lot to us all.

What A Crap Week!!!

02 March, 12:01, by joHnkiIttwillis

Wow, what a week that was!!!
Last week started so well with me donating £1000 to the Harbour Cancer Support Centre in Gosport.
Then on Wednesday can the first day of the big 3 days of chemo, which was happily the start of the last cycle.
We got there an hour late because I was stuck on the Internet trying to get tickets to see Beyoncé at the O2 arena. I was about to give up and refreshed the page one last time, I was taken to the order page. I got us 3 tickets to see her……..Maisie’s face was a picture, she didn’t have a clue that I was trying to sort out tickets. Happy Birthday and Christmas Maisie, for the next 5 years!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anyway I drove me and Angie to Southampton Hospital for treatment. Like I said we were an hour late, but sometimes, some things are more important, like making your little girl smile, especially after the last couple of years she has had. It’s not fair that she has to watch me go through this crap at 14 years old.
Anyway, chemo was going alright, but I felt a bit of a cold coming on. We carried on as normal on the Thursday, but the Friday I wasn’t feeling good at all afterwards. I think we got home in Friday around 2ish, I slumped on the sofa and apart from using the toilet and getting myself to bed, I slept right the way through till Monday lunchtime.
The only reason I woke up was my appointment with Nikki, my consultant. And that I had chemo again that afternoon.
I thought I felt low and sad after the last cycle, that was nothing!!! I’ve never cried so much in my whole life. I didn’t even have it in me to even walk to the car.
Mum drove me and Eddie to Southampton, where we met Nikki.
I explained what had been going on over the weekend with me, and how rough I was feeling. She told me that chances are, by the end of the week I’ll be admitted to hospital because I have picked up a virus. If my temperature goes up to 38c, I’ve got about an hour to get a certain type if antibiotic into my body. If I sit and wait for the temperature to drop, I will die. Well if that wasn’t a big enough incentive to get to a hospital, I don’t know what is.
About an hour later, she came out to the chemo ward and told me that she had to be blunt with me, because she knew somebody who didn’t take notice of his temperature whilst on chemo, and died.
So from Monday afternoon, every hour we took my temperature. It stayed around 36c-37c. But I was feeling worse as time went in.
So we come to Wednesday night and I go to bed as normal. Then about 2am I wake up with the worst pain in the middle of my chest. I was ignorant to it and should have gone straight to A+E.
At 4 am I called the chemo emergency number and tried to explain to them what’s going on. They told me to take some painkillers and would call me back at 830. I took a couple and managed to get a few hours sleep, sitting up, this was easier for me as there was no pressure in my chest. I woke up about 8am and the painkillers had worn off , I was in agony again. The hospital phoned and told me that I need to get myself to Southampton Hospital, I told them no because I won’t make it. It takes about 45 minutes to get there. Eddie came over, I managed to get dressed and Angie drove us to the QA Hospital.
As we were leaving, Angie told me that my Grandad had just been taken in to hospital with breathing problems.
I got to A+E and Eddie checked me in while Angie parked the car. They knew I was coming because Southampton had called them and they had everything ready for me.
I got called straight through to another room, where I explained what had been going on overnight. The Dr said that the ECG machine was on its way so they could test my heart.
About 5 minutes later the test was done and the nurse said that she needs to get the Dr to check it……..
By this time, Angie, Micheal, Eddie and mum were with me.
Next thing I know the Dr came back, told me that I needed to get onto another bed because I was going with the crash team to resuscitation. I was having a heart attack. All I remember is seeing Angie slumped on the chair crying. We got to the resus area where we saw Angie’s sister and niece, Jayne and Naomi waiting to see what was going on. Then it was floods of tears everywhere.
They need room for me so they could do tests but there wasn’t any room. They managed to juggle around a bit and moved a patient out to make room. Turned out they moved my grandad for me. Nobody told him I was in as well, he didn’t need the extra worry.
The crash team did what they had to do to me, some blood tests and another ECG. The Dr whose name is Martyn was asking me lots of questions about the previous few days. After about half an hour he concluded that I DIDN’T have a heart attack and that the ECG machine is so sensitive it really did look like I did have one.
He went on to say that he thought it was a condition called Pericarditis. Pericarditis is inflammation of the pericardium – the sac which surrounds the heart. Pericarditis causes chest pains. Most cases are due to a viral infection which usually goes away within a few weeks. And it also shows the same sort of readings as a heart attack on an ECG machine.
So I was treated with antibiotics for this and moved to my own room on the oncology ward.
I’m still in hospital now and will be for a few more days.
I’m having antibiotics pumped in me every 6 hours for half hour at a time which will sort out the infection.

So that’s why I’ve been quiet on here for the last week or so.

Adam Getting His Head Shaved

07 February, 14:35, by joHnkiIttwillis

Adam Hairshearing
Here’s a quick video of my mate Adam having his hair shaved of in support of me and Kick It Into Touch. As you can see his hair was getting in his eyes a bit. I should imagine the last time his hair was that short, was the day he was born!!!

I don’t know how much money he raised, although I know it was lots of hundreds……………so thank you to Adam Ayling, Innovations Hair & Beauty Salon in Gosport and to everyone who sponsored Adam.

Cheers mate!!!

Hello Everyone

05 February, 20:25, by joHnkiIttwillis

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Well, I’ve just really woken up after Friday’s treatment. I’m still alive and kicking, just sleeping more than ever over the weekend.

I thought the first cycle was hard work, the second cycle absolutely smashed me!!! I didn’t even make it to Fratton Park on Saturday to watch the might Pompey get beat for a change. Sunday wasn’t much better either, slept all day long, but managed to wake up to watch Dancing on Ice and Mr Selfridge. Oh I think I had a bit of dinner as well, you know what I can’t really remember (chemo brain).

Monday was my next chemo day.

I got there with mum and Eddie about 130ish looking to get a blood test form, see my consultant, Nikki, then get some chemo inside me. Monday’s chemo was (B) Bleomycin. I got into the chemo ward about 540, only 2 hours behind schedule, because of one thing or another…………….God that was a long day again, just for half hour of treatment.

While I was waiting I had a visit from Pete and Jo, they had flown in from Jersey, just to see me!!!!  No not really, Pete was back for a CT Scan and a meet with his consultant Matt Wheater. It was really good to see them both, and so upbeat. I saw him about a 3 weeks ago and he was having a real rough time with the chemo. I now know what he meant when he was saying how crap it does get. Anyway I got a text message from him about 830 last night, telling me that the consultant is really happy with the way he’s chemo went. His overgrown lymph gland had shrunk from over 4cm to 2cm, which is amazing. It will continue to shrink over the coming months. This is amazing news and he really deserves a break now. Speaking of which, have a good time in Turkey mate!!!!

I got in at 705pm absolutely mullered. Sleep, sleep, sleep, until the rain starting smashing down on our roof, whatever time that was.

I think I got up about 9am this morning, had a lovely breakfast from Angel-a and settled down for some Jezza, This Morning, Loose Women, Real Deal, The Chase……I live rock ‘n’ roll.

Just before Angie went to work, she works hard, even more so at the minute, cos I’m no use whatsoever and that really does my head in,dinner arrived, then more sleep.

I’m awake now and sorting out banners for the Portsmouth2Paris Cycle Ride and selling my replica Olympic Torch for charity.

Might go back to sleep now though!!!

 

Cycle 2 Round 2 Ding Ding

31 January, 19:14, by joHnkiIttwillis

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Today started a little bit later than normal, we got to the hospital for 1030. Dinah hooked me up to the IV drip with no pain whatsoever today.
Today’s treatment was B, E and P. With potassium and sodium chloride thrown in to flush through. So all in all, about 7 litres of liquid ‘poison’ was being put through me today. That’s fine but it also means going to the toilet every 15-20 minutes, so I couldn’t sleep/relax for too long.
Anyway upside was my korma chicken salad, made by my Angel-a. Bloody lovely!!!

Time for sleep now I’m home and knackered.
Back in tomorrow morning for Round 3!!!

Cycle 2

30 January, 18:45, by joHnkiIttwillis

We got woken up at 8 this morning by Maisie shouting up the stairs.
Someone turned the alarm off and went back to sleep. Anyway, we rushed around and was still out of the door by 820. Dropped Maisie off at school, then made our way to Southampton hospital.
About 945 I was being hooked up to the treatment. First off it’s an hour of potassium and saline. Today treatment was (E) Etoposide and (P) CisPlatin.
At 1045 the nurse started the (P), this was for 2 hours.
It was then time for the (E), this an hour of so and absolutely stinks when your peeing. So all in all, including the flush through before, in between and after the chemo, the whole days treatment was 6 and half hours.
We met with another couple again who were going through it. Steve and Sheila come from New Milton. He’s 62 and he was diagnosed before Christmas with testicular cancer. Steve is on his 4th and last cycle if his treatment and seems to be in the same mindset as me.
We had a good day, which helps in the head, laughing and joking, but not TOO much because you shouldn’t be happy when you’re having chemo…….beard!!!
It’s nice to meet nice people, like Pete a few weeks ago.
We’re all in it together.

Anyway time for some sleep now, I’m knackered!!!!

Wow, I Can’t Believe It

28 January, 22:13, by joHnkiIttwillis

I got to the hospital around 130pm, took the ticket got weighed and sat down to wait for my consultant.
Nikki called us in about 150pm.
The conversation was much the same as last week and the week before.
How I’m feeling in my head and have I felt Ill at all.
I’ve been good apart from the hair loss, but it is ONLY hair.
We spoke about getting fit for the Great South Run in October and that Nikki took part as well last year.
Looking back I had a sob story to go with it. Didn’t know it at the time but I did have ‘c’. That’s why I struggled, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it…..
I booked myself in for treatment next week and to see Nikki as well and went to have a nice hot chocolate with mum.
Around 6pm I got an unexpected from from my consultant Nikki, she told me earlier if there any problems with my blood results, she’d phone me to let me know.
She asked me ‘Can you remember what your tumour markers were at the beginning of my treatment?’
I told her ‘Yes, they were 4040′.
She then went on to say that after today’s blood test, they had dropped to 32…………32, I couldn’t believe it, just one cycle of chemo has nearly eradicated it!!!!
I thanked Nikki for calling and hung up.
Just 7 weeks ago the markers were 90 odd, then within weeks rapidly climbed to over 4000.
The markers should normally be below 2 so over 4000 is quite high.
Next cycle of treatment starts on Wednesday, hopefully by the end if the week the markers will be back to normal and I’ll be cured before I start the next cycle in 4 weeks time.

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Bad Hair Day

22 January, 19:19, by joHnkiIttwillis
First attempt.

First attempt.

Second attempt which works I think.

Second attempt which works I think.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today i woke up and managed to pull a nice clump of hair from my head. Nice. So I get the clippers out from the attic and tell Angie that “It’s time for it to go.” The look on her face said it all. I think It seemed to make it all real, what has been going on. “It’s only hair” I told her. “Well let’s try and make it look smart” was her reply.
So we went to the bathroom ready for the chop. I leant over the bath and Angie got to work. She decided just to give it a grade 2 on top and a grade 1 around the sides. It looked ok until I washed it and another load of hair came out.
I said I wanted to shave the whole lot off, 1/2 grade.
Angie said no (think she was getting a bit upset about it).
So I told her ‘you obviously want me to do the Fandango’
She didn’t have a clue what I was on about.

Until I said ‘I didn’t want to look like alapeesh alapeesh, won’t you do the Fandango!!!’
Stupid joke!!!
But It put a big smile on her face which made me feel a lot better.
We shaved the rest of it off and heres the final result, not too bad I don’t think.

That was it, it had to go, all of it.

It’s bagged up and ready to go to the highest bidder. You can bid on it here at www.facebook.com/kickitintotouch
You will have to follow the link below. Press the ‘LIKE’ button on that page then make your bid.

Fifth Day Of Treatment

21 January, 16:42, by joHnkiIttwillis

20130121-175418.jpgSo I go to bed last night about 11pm with a bit of pain in my lower back……nothing a bit of sleep won’t sort out. Or so I thought.
About 10 minutes later I’m in agony, the pain was excruciating. Travelling down my legs to my feet, around into my chest and down my arms.
This went on all night. I was on my back, front, side, hands and knees, bloody all sorts of positions. Just to try to ease the pain. Angie covered my back in Voltarol, I had a hot cherry stone cushion and a massage cushion on my back as well. Angie had about 2 hours sleep too, she said I was keeping her awake, virtually crying in my sleep.
None of this made a difference at all. At 4am I ventured downstairs in agony and caved in to co-codamol. This must have worked because the next thing I know, I was waking up at 730 in agony.
At 8am I called the surgery and spoke to Dr Gohil, he told me to get myself to the surgery at 910am. I get there and see Dr Mwaharawa who tells me I’ve got sciatica. Perfect, after the last 2half years I’ve had, I’m being KOd by a bloody nerve.

Anyway mum drove me to Southampton Hospital again today for the last treatment of this cycle.
Today should be much the same as last week with me receiving the (B) Bleomycin.
We got there at 1pm and was told that I was booked in for 330pm. So I had my blood taken and went to sit and wait for Dr Nikki Teay.
I got called in to see Nikki at 320pm and went through the routine stuff, how I’m feeling, listen to chest etc.
I then got booked for cycle 2 if treatment which will start on Weds 30th Jan.
A few minutes after I went into the toilet, did what I had to do then washed my hands and run my fingers through my lovely silver hair.
I had a handful of hair………….
I know it’s only hair, but to have that first lump come out hits home. I am not at all bothered or worried about losing my hair but the initial handful is a big thing to me!!!
At 320pm the nurse rigged me up to the drip and we were away. 30 minutes of (B) today was all I had and it went through in a lot less time than that.
So all in all today was a lot quicker which makes me feel better too.

Only 2 cycles left!!

Portsmouth to Paris Cycle Ride

15 January, 17:12, by joHnkiIttwillis

 

 

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4 Men – 4 Bikes – 3Days – 184 MILES

Between the 7-9th March 2013, Team P2P will be cycling from Portsmouth to Paris in aid of Kick It Into Touch……………

One drunken evening in September it was proposed we would cycle 184 miles from Portsmouth to Paris without 50% of the riding crew even owning a bike further advanced than a Penny Farthing.

 

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After each member of the team was confirmed we put our thoughts into planning the ride over a 3 day period.

Day 1: 62 miles from Portsmouth to Newhaven.
Day 2: 50 miles from Dieppe to Gournay-En Bray.
Day 3: 72 miles Gournay-En Bray to Paris.
Day 4: Well deserved beer.

 

Although we are doing to this to test ourselves we are also doing this for a very worthy cause that is extremely prevalent within young men and very close to home.

Please donate generously for this worthwhile cause …..Thanks,

Robert, Darren, Curtis & Chris

 

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You can follow their exploits and hard work, from training in the rain on a Saturday morning, right through to having a beer at l’arc de triomphe at

www.facebook.com/portsmouthtoparis

Also donations can be made to TEAM P2P safely and securely online at www.charitygiving.co.uk/portsmouth2paris

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Fourth Day of Treatment

14 January, 18:57, by joHnkiIttwillis
Really should be taking it seriously!!! Don't really know what that was on my head.....

Really should be taking it seriously!!! Don’t really know what that was on my head…..

What a difference 24 hours make…
Yesterday morning I wake up to one of the best views anybody can wake up to. Patio doors in the bedroom wide open, bright sun blazing in on me. It was lovely.
Today though, I could bearly see Portchester Castle from my bed. It was snowing, grey and cold. BUT I was still wrapped up in a lovely warm bed.

I was booked in to see Dr Simmonds at 2pm and also for a blood test too.
Todays Day 4 of treatment. Which is (B) Bleomycin.
I get chauffeured to the hospital by mum and Eddie. We get there around 140pm and check in.
Gus gets me through straight away for my blood test, which he had a go at, but I wasn’t playing ball and not giving any blood away. Anyway we got it sorted and blood was taken.
Next step was to see Nichola who is part of my oncology team. She asked me how I’m feeling with the treatment and what drugs I’ve been taking to combat the sickness etc………

I think I’m ok on the treatment although I’ve not slept so much in my whole life!!!
She also went on to tell me that my tumour markers at the start of treatment were elevated to 4040, only about 4000 out of range…..although the treatment WILL significantly reduce these markers. And at the end of treatment, should be back to normal at <2.
I was due to start the treatment at 330pm, but for some reason, the clinic is running 2 hours behind, so at least 530pm is the target. It’s honestly the last thing I need when I feel so mullered, but, there you, that’s the way it is and it’s no-ones fault. Although I was just a bit p****d off with it.
We got called through to the ward at 515pm and put my hand in a heat pad to try to tempt some veins out. Some 15 minutes later I’m hooked up and ready to go.
At 6pm the (B) Bleomycin was rigged up. This lasted around half hour.
I fancied some Fruit Pastels so mum and Eddie went off to get some tea and sweets. I thought I would get a pack of them, but no it was a big bag if them. I soon went through them….mouth like sandpaper now.

So all in all a 2half hour day lasted nearly 6 hours.
Lets hope next Mondays treatment will be better.
I’m off to do some shut eye.

 

Third Day Of Treatment

11 January, 18:25, by joHnkiIttwillis

Sorry, struggling to raise a smile today!!!

I think I went off about don’t know what time, then went to bed around 1100pm. ALthough I do remember having hiccups in the night, not just normal hiccups, but one loud one and a burp straight after. About one every half hour or so.
I got up about 9am and stumbled down the stairs to some crumpets and a cup of tea waiting for me…..thanks Ang!!!
We left home at 1130 to go to the QA Hospital to visit my nan who has been in for 2 weeks with a chest infection then pneumonia. She’s fighting it well although It Is a struggle for her.
Angie then drove us to Southampton hospital, picking mum up on the way through. We got there around 1pm.
Spoke to Gus with regards to the treatment and what i can expect to be feeling like.

Risk of infection
BEP can reduce the number of white blood cells, which help fight infection. White blood cells are produced by the bone marrow. If the number of your white blood cells is low you’ll be more prone to infections. A low white blood cell count is called neutropenia.  Neutropenia begins seven days after treatment and your resistance to infection is usually at its lowest 10–14 days after chemotherapy. The number of your white blood cells will then increase steadily and usually return to normal before your next cycle of chemotherapy is due.

I went through and got hooked up to the chemo about 130pm. Today was the (E) Etoposide on It’s own, so it was half day, although it was still 4ish hours today.

I’m now at home chilling on the sofa again waiting for my Korma to hurry up!!!

So lets see how I feel tomorrow and a possible visit to Fratton Park to support the not so might BLUES!!!

Anyway thats about it for now, back in hospital on Monday for blood test, and the (B) Bleomycin.

Thanks for your support this week, WE really really do appreciate it!!!

Second Day Of Treatment

10 January, 20:34, by joHnkiIttwillis

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Well that was a long bloody day!!!
It started of with me waking up at 319am and not being able to get back to sleep until after 5am. Then up at 730 to get to the hospital. So I’ve been playing catchup all day. Feeling sick and tired for most if it.
Myself and Angie got to the hospital at 915 and met up with Peter and Jo at the main entrance.
We went off to check in and I was rigged up by 930……bloody hell that was painful!!! And I’ve got no problems with needles, I was nearly in tears. She really struggled for what seemed like forever. Anyway man-up.
By this time Peter had arrived and was ready to be hooked up to his treatment too. He is on his last full day of BEP and was knackered today. Another hero!!!
Today’s treatment was the same as yesterday but with the (B) Bleomycin added to it.
So I’ve now had the full BEP. Today’s treatment lasted 8 hours, and I’m shattered.
Then just to top it off, we left the hospital at 6pm and didn’t get home till 7pm. Just what’s needed, but there you go, you can’t have it all!!!
So I’m back tomorrow for the last treatment if the week, which is only a short one, thank f***.
I’m now on the sofa chilling out.

First Day Of Treatment…. Proper

09 January, 19:09, by joHnkiIttwillis

Last night was shite, couldn’t sleep at all…..Had the same feeling I had the night before 2 FA Cup Finals, and the AC Milan game at Fratton Park. What a weirdo, comparing some of the best times of my life to this, haha!!!

So we leave home at 815, drop Maisie off ready for school and SLOWLY get to Southampton Hospital. We arrive at around 915, check in and virtually 15 minutes later I’m rigged up to the IV machine.
The type of chemo I’m on is called BEP.
It started off with a litre or so of saline solution to help flush through my kidneys.
Then came the (E) of BEP, Etoposide which is 1.1 litre of colourless fluid.
Once that was done, I had the next one one which is the (P) of BEP, CisPlatin, which is essentially liquid platinum. Again this is a colourless liquid. This lasted for 2 hours.
After this I was given saline again, to flush my kidneys out again.

So there is a lot of sitting around and going to the toilet every 15 or so minutes. 5 litres of fluid going in needs to be coming out at some point!!!

A few minutes after we got settled another young couple came in and joined us, they were Peter and Jo who live in Guernsey. Peter was diagnosed with testicular cancer in October last year and is on his last cycle of BEP. Its amazing, 10 hours ago we didn’t know them at all, but we know a bit about each other now. It’s also nice for me to be talking to someone who has been through the treatment and can explain a bit more to me. Obviously everybody will be different on the treatment, but it helps.
Hopefully we’ll be “shoved” in the same corner with them tomorrow.

I’m booked in again for 930 tomorrow and will be receiving the full BEP, which includes (B) Bleomycin. This is a powder that dissolves to form a colourless liquid.

Also had a Get Well Soon card made for me by my nephew Barney, that perks you up!!!

Oh spot the fat git in the picture…….bet you can’t!!!

More Tests……….Apparently

07 January, 22:41, by joHnkiIttwillis

I spoke to my nurse on the 3rd January with regards to starting treatment because we were hopeful that it would be starting on the first Monday of January. This was the plan anyway before Christmas when I spoke to Dr Simmonds last.
So I turn today, with Mum and Maisie, at Southampton Hospital and nobody there knew what I was doing there. Eventually after 2 hours and me finally getting hold of a consultant to see whats going on, we sat down with a registrar.
She apologised to me and explained what the chemo will entail. I then signed a consent form and went for another blood test so they could check the tumour markers in my blood. In August they were normal at <2, In November they were 97.2 and just a week before Christmas they were 332. Lance Armstrong’s were 109,000. So in comparison mine are still low!!!
She went off to find out what time I was booked into the hospital for the start of my treatment. \a few minutes later she came back and told me that I’ve not been booked In at all, and she would find out and call me by the end of the day.
At 7pm I was still waiting for a phone call, so I called the Oncology unit and got put through to a nurse on the ward, who said she would find out what she could for me and would call me back. Around 15 minutes later she DID call back, telling me that I have been booked in for treatment on Wednesday 9th January and I should be there for 9am. I was so grateful to her for that because I would have still been in limbo.
I just find It amazing that I’m going in for chemotherapy and I’m chasing the hospital…….
Anyway thats done now, roll on tomorrow morning!!!

Dublin For New Year

02 January, 22:17, by joHnkiIttwillis

Well that was needed by all of us. We went to Dublin for 5 days over New Year, just to get away from It all. It was the best New Year we’ve ever had.
Coming back was a blinking rush though. Our flight left Dublin Airport at 910am and landed around 1010am. I had an appointment at Southampton Hospital at 1030 for a kidney test. This is done with a small injection in my right arm which put in a small amount of radioactive liquid into my body, then I would have blood tests at 2,3 and 4 hour intervals. This is done so they can accurately measure how quickly the kidneys filter.
That was a long old day. But at least it’s one less test before the treatment starts.

My Review Of The Year…..

31 December, 19:53, by joHnkiIttwillis

So it all started off in January with good news for me personally. I saw Dr Fehr at the hospital who had some news about my treatment for the stomach tumour, it would be starting in the next few weeks.
In February The Bill actor and my brother Eddie’s mate was diagnosed with bowel cancer and vowed to ‘KICK IT INTO TOUCH’!!!
April 27th was our second annual Charity golf day. We didn’t think this day would happen because it didn’t stop raining throughout the whole of April……..but it stopped just as the first ball was hit and stayed dry for the whole day. What a day it was, we raised around £3500 for local cancer charities!!! So THANK YOU everyone involved!!!
It was a quiet couple of months from the end of April although a brilliant weekend was had at Twickenham with the familys’ Dridge, Lewis, Donaldson and Honeyman.
The end of June was an awesome surprise to me…….Daniel called me asking me if I wanted to go to Kiev to watch the Euro Final, how could anyone say no to that. His mate Terry had won a competition to go to Kiev, 2 nights accommodation, return flights and match tickets to watch Spain hammer Italy 4-0.
Oh we also had the privilege of seeing Queen and Adam Lambert and Elton John live in the square outside OUR hotel!!! Bloody awesome especially when your not expecting it!!!
Just a few days after we got back from Kiev, we had the real sad news that we had lost our ‘mate’ Phil Dridge. He had battled for a year, like a proper trooper!!! It hardly stopped him doing anything.
Phil thanks for everything and for keeping my head from dropping. You’ll never know how much you helped me.
The day of Phils funeral was also the day if the London Olympics Opening Ceremony. What a day of emotion that was!!!
August saw Kick it into Touch’s first charity single being recorded. My brother Eddie and Tia-Jade Ayling recorded Elton John’s, Your Song, which was premiered at The Kings Theatre Autumn season opener.
We sold about 250 copies of it…….
October was a shit of a month, I had a call from Dr Davies telling me something was found on my para-aortic lymph gland, wherever that is. They didn’t know what it was at the time because nothin was showing in the blood. Then just a couple of days later we lost our cousin Geoff Madgwick. He fought a brave fight against a brain tumour for the last few years. We said goodbye on 19th October.
The 28th October saw me and my team participate in the Great South Run, blimey that was hard work. But we did it, I DID IT!!! We also raised about £2000 in the process, thanks again to everyone who donated to us runners.
The end of November was a real kick in the teeth. I received had a call from Dr Simmonds telling me that the tumour markers in my blood are slightly raised. He told me not to panic but wanted to see me the following week.
We got there and he explained that basically I had a seminoma, again, which is testicular cancer.
I GET KNOCKED DOWN, BUT I GET UP AGAIN, YOU’LL NEVER GONNA KEEP ME DOWN!!!
I’ve been helping out at Havant Fruit & Flowers because its closing on Christmas Eve. Gutted its gone, but that’s business for you.
So now it’s New Years Eve and I’m in Dublin with Angie, Maisie, Eddie, Jackie, Margaret and Kenny!!!
We’re at The Brazen Head ready to party!!!
The New Year will start with me having 9 weeks of chemo at Southampton Hospital, something to look forward to I suppose!!!

Happy New Year

John

Bitter Sweet!!!

03 December, 18:27, by joHnkiIttwillis

Here we go again, I get to the QA Hospital at 1230 for a blood test. After a few minutes of digging around, they finally got blood…………..

Me, Angie, Mum and Eddie met at the hospital at 210 for the appointment with Dr Simmonds.  I got there and they had already called me through, but i wasn’t there.  So we made our way to the USUAL waiting area, sat down and Gus,(Dr Simmonds) cancer nurse came out of his office and stopped to talk.  He knew what was going on with me, and started to explain the process regarding the chemotherapy. He told us that it will be 9 weeks of BEP chemo. 3 days a week for 9 weeks, or radiotherapy Monday to Friday for 3 weeks. If I opt for the chemo it will be a lot more intense than the radiotherapy, but it has a higher success rate, around 90%. He said that I will lose my hair, at that point Eddie had to walk out. But It’s ONLY hair……………….It might even come back jet black with no silver.
We went in to Dr Simmonds office a few minutes after he got back from his dinner break and sat down, ready for it. I asked him if i could record what we were saying because I will forget his words.
On the latest PET scan there was increased uptake in one of the lymph glands in the groin which made them suspicious could be related to the previous seminoma (testicular cancer). My blood markers were checked again, which showed that one of the markers, the HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) which is commonly elevated in seminoma had gone up, It was normal since my operation in September 2010, but had recently gone up to 92.7. Normal is between 1-10. Its not massively high, but Its gone up which means there is a reoccurrence of the seminoma. Its a one off reading that needed to be repeated to make sure that it is a true reading. Therefor i will need some further treatment, which is highly curative. So the outcome should be good and the seminoma should be cleared, but it needs something doing about it in the not too distant future. There is no enormous rush, because it has been very slow growing over a period of months, so its not something that needs treating tomorrow, but equally its not something that can be left 3 or 4 months. It not going to be a disadvantage starting chemo it in January.

Step 1 was to recheck my markers today.
Step 2 is to have a proper staging CT scan. This scan is better for localising the tumour.

Once the scan has been done the plan for treatment will be put in place.
The outcome from both types of treatment are pretty good. Around 80-90% of men having radiotherapy will be cured and with chemo about 90% will be cured. If it doesn’t work first time round, another round of chemo should see an end to it.
The overall cure rate is around 95%.

There is no issues with the stomach, the tumour that was there last year was removed and the treatment is still working which is a relief. Although the treatment may well be interrupted while i’m having chemo, simply because, if im taking both together there may be some type of reaction to the blood cells.

The chemo will be at Southampton because that is where Dr Simmonds is based and they can keep an eye on me. Little bit gutted because I wanted to have it done at The QA Hospital, but it is what it is and it’s not the end of the world although it is Southampton.

Horse Racing-Shave Off

02 December, 20:44, by joHnkiIttwillis

Well what a night that was!!!
Myself and Tyrone got to Paulsgrove Social Club around 530 after picking up the barber chair from Jim’s Barbers in Havant. Thanks for that Jim!!!
We started setting up, putting poster around the hall and spreading flyers/business cards around the tables, and were finished by about 630. Then Trev turned up with his horse racing game, dvd, projector etc and rigged that up.
Time was getting on towards 730 and there were hardly any people there and I was getting worried that nobody was going to turn up. I needed not worry at all, by 8pm the hall was buzzing!!! All of a sudden people were at the bar buying drinks, buying raffle tickets from Jayne and settling down for the horse racing.
The racing was excellent, Trev was a brilliant commentator, with mum and Jackie being the bookmakers…
Our resident barber Dawn Carpenter (who is 7 months pregnant) was doing hot close shaves and face massage as well. This raised quit a few quid also!!!

Lots of money was raised through the racing, the raffle, and auction.
We had a boxing glove signed by Frank Bruno, a glove signed by Amir Khan, for the auction.

In the raffle amongst other things were:
LED tv
Drinks hamper supplied by Tesco-Rob Milner and Co-op-Neil McKnight
Electric shaver
Meal for 2 at the Marriott Hotel-Julia Waite
Fruit baskets from Havant fruit & Flowers-Stephanie Willis
Voucher from Blue Bell in Emsworth-Giles Babb
Voucher from Hair and Beauty Lounge Cosham-Nicola Russell
Signed football from Bournemouth FC
Aqua bouquet from flowers4-Brandon Anthony
Voucher from Rowlands Castle Golf Club-Jimmy Klepacz
Memory Foam pillows from Carol Willis
Various items from Margaret Smith
Canvas print of Portsmouth

Thanks to Alan, Mel, Dawn and Mark for the donation of the food and the use of the hall.

The whole night raised around £2000 in total and will be split between Movember, The Rowans Hospice and Harbour cancer Support Centre in Gosport.

Thanks to everybody who came along and spent their hard earned money and to everybody who donated prizes and helped out on the night.

Show Must Go On!!! Last day of Movember

30 November, 09:57, by joHnkiIttwillis

I was at work on Wednesday morning when I received a phone call.  I didn’t recognise the number, but knew straight away it was the hospital with bad news.  It turned out the call was from my oncologist Dr Simmonds.

He explained that the blood test results had just delivered to him and theres a link between the lump on my lymph gland and the slightly higher AFP (Alpha Feta Protein) in the blood.  This means that the growth there is a seminoma which is basically testicular cancer, which has spread.

I was mortified.  I didn’t know what to say, I just got taken away to another planet.

He told me that he wants to see me on Monday at The QA Hospital with regards to having another CT scan so they can stage the tumour, then arrange for chemo to commence.  He also said that they will sort me out AGAIN.

Thats all I know at the moment, until Monday afternoon.

I phoned Angie straight away and as soon as I heard her voice, I just broke down and couldn’t speak.  I thought I was explaining but Angie couldn’t understand a word I was saying.  I calmed down a bit and went through what Dr Simmonds had told me.  She cracked up.  I think we spent the next 5 minutes just crying down the phone.

I gave myself a kick up the arse and carried with work.  Angie called my mum and explained what was going on……..I dread to think what that phone call sounded like!!!

RIGHT I’M GONNA KICK ITS ARSE AGAIN

Kick It Into Touch Racing Shave-Off

27 November, 17:44, by joHnkiIttwillis
We’ve got some nice prizes for the auction/raffle.
A 24 inch LED tv, a Remington mens electric shaver, a Pompey shirt signed by Kanu, a Frank Bruno and Amir Khan signed boxing gloves, an England shirt signed by Wayne Rooney and a mahoosive drink hamper!!!
Theres also going to be food available, curry, chilli etc…………

Get in touch with me or Angela Harris Willis if you want tickets……They’re £2.00 each and all of that will go to the charities that we are supporting this year.

I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again!!!

22 November, 13:04, by joHnkiIttwillis

Today I had to go to Southampton General again. MORE results.
Angie and I got to the reception at 10am, for a 1030 appointment. I got weighed and had some blood taken by someone who was learning how to do it, shit, that’s all I need, but without these ‘learners’ we’d be stuffed!!!

I finally got to see Dr Simmonds at about 1115. He asked me how am I feeling? I told him I felt really good, apart from my head , which is all over the place. He went on to tell us that I’m still clear from the GIST (stomach tumour), which means the Imatinib treatment that I’m in is still working and also clear from the seminoma (testicular cancer), which made us both feel a lot better.
Dr Simmonds had a feel around of my nut and was happy that it’s normal.
He also said that the para aorta lymph gland has a growth of some description on it. They’re not sure what it is but they are not TOO concerned about it. They can normally tell straight away if its something sinister and this doesn’t. But they will be keeping an eye on it.
My blood markers are still normal, so I’m still cancer FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’ll be having another scan in February next year to see if it’s changed in any way!!!