Tuesday, 5 October 2010

The story so far!

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I will begin!
My name is Ally and I live with my Fiancé Richard on a farm in rural Wales with his parents and grandmother. We met in school in November 1995 and have been inseparable ever since.
We are quite a "normal" young (ish) family, we are both in our 30's and have 2 children aged 8 and almost 2.
In October of 2009 Richard was casually feeding the fish in our pond one rainy morning when he noticed the electric fence had come off its pole so he picked up a piece of wood and tried to lift it back on the pole but being wet the fence slipped and fell onto his left arm giving him a nasty shock.
Being a typical man he didn't mention it at the time until it got progressively worse. Not long after this happened I fell pregnant with baby number 3 which was very exciting!! Sadly we lost the baby just before Christmas day which became the focus of that time. We decided to try again straight away and also booked a holiday to Disneyland Paris as a surprise for our eldest daughter.

Richard was worried about driving all the way to Paris with his bad arm which by Christmas time had more or less frozen up and was constant agony. He went to see the Dr and was told it was just muscular and would heal which thankfully, just before the holiday it did!
A few days before we were about to set off I got a familiar feeling and did a pregnancy test, sure enough I was pregnant again, a month after the miscarriage.
We had a fantastic holiday, our first one abroad as a family. His arm was fine during the long drive and he even managed a few roller coasters!

When we returned from holiday we were eager to get on and finish the house that we are currently building. The pregnancy was going well and we would need the extra room for the new baby. Whilst lifting blocks to build the garage, Richard's shoulder froze up again and he was in a lot of pain. I nagged and nagged him to go back to the Dr's until he eventually gave in. This time he saw a different Dr who referred him straight away to an orthopaedic surgeon 70 miles away. The referral came through within a few weeks and we headed off on our journey to find out exactly what was wrong with his shoulder.
The specialist decided that an MRI scan was needed to assess the damage and the appointment came through for the scan at our local hospital in early August.
A few days after the scan we received another letter requesting a 2nd scan. We apprehensively went along to the scan wondering why he needed a 2nd one only to be told that there was not a sonographer present at the first MRI so it had not been done correctly. This was a relief!

After attending the 2nd scan we spent the afternoon at our local county show. When we arrived home in the evening there was a message on the answer phone from the hospital 70 miles away saying they wanted to see him in clinic the next morning. This was a bit of a surprise to say the least and Rich was reluctant to go as he had an important job to finish on deadline the next day so the plan was to ring the hospital in the morning and make another appointment.
7am the next day the phone rang and it was the hospital checking to see if he was coming to his appointment and when we explained that we wouldn't be able to attend the nurse stressed it was very urgent. After some negotiation we agreed to first thing Monday morning.

After an anxious weekend we headed back up the motorway to the hospital where we met up with his consultant again. After months of thinking we were dealing with a frozen shoulder, suddenly the word Cancer comes along! It was the very last thing we expected and I felt as though I had been hit by a ton of bricks.

Rich was then sent up to Birmingham for tests which consisted of a bone scan, CT scan, bloods and a bone biopsy under general anaesthetic. We had to stay up there for 4 nights, him in the hospital and me in a hotel. Was a bit scary being so close to giving birth, being hundreds of miles away from home, both of us being in strange places and Rich having so many tests.

The hospital were excellent and promised a diagnosis within a few days and that is exactly what we got. They were initially testing for bone cancer but the diagnosis came back as Non Hodgkins Lymphoma. We didnt really know much about this as it wasnt what we were expecting but even so it was still bad news.
I was stunned and could not get my head around it. How can my strong, handsome, mega healthy man suddenly have this THING that kills people?
I had a million and one questions to ask anyone who would listen where as Rich was so laid back and just wanted to get on with the treatment and get better and not really want to know all the ins and outs.

We were sent to our local hospital to see a haematologist who suggested a bone marrow test and a PET scan.

So today, 5 days past my estimated due date he had to travel 200 miles to Cardiff for his PET scan. The information leaflet for the scan says he is not to be accompanied by a pregnant lady so reluctantly I had to stay home alone and pray that baby stayed put until daddy came home. Thankfully it has!

So that's the story so far! Well done if you managed to take that all in, im struggling and im the one living it!

Tomorrow we are back at the local hospital to see the haematologist again. Who knows that that will bring!

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