Tag Archives: net natter

Its The 10th of The Month Woo Hoo !!

For most people the 10th of the month won’t mean very much.  But for us folks lucky enough to be involved with The Ann Edgar Charitable Trust  (TAECT) up here in Edinburgh we have chosen to have our Net Natter get togethers on the 10th of the month.   The meetings don’t only take place in Edinburgh, amongst other places folk get together in Aberdeen and Glasgow.

NET Natter Meetings are informal support meetings which offer an opportunity to meet with others in the (reasonably) local area who are affected by Neuroendocrine tumours  and carcinoid syndrome – patients, carers, friends and family.

I’m particularly looking forward to going to this support group today.  Since I haven’t seen most of my chums from the group since I organised the music event to raise money for the charity in November.  Its these guys that understand how I feel at times, take time to listen.  Don’t get me wrong not that other friends and family don’t offer love, support and give great advice at times , but the mutual understanding of fellow ‘netters’  is rather unique.

Since I have been involved with TAECT I’ve had a fairly bumpy ride; in and out of hospital.  The usual scans and blood tests.  Trips to  The Royal Free Hospital in London.  Nasal Gastric tube insertion.  Gastrostomy tube insertion.  Sepsis, with ten week stay in hospital.  During all this, amongst other things, the guys I’ve met at the meetings have messaged and telephoned me to see how I am.  Visited me at home.  Visited me in hospital.  Helped me organise the successful tea party.   And much more…….

Since November our life has been pretty hectic.  My hubby, Steve, who always supports me, is by my side regardless.  Has had 5 operations on his eye to try save the sight.  Steve has had a detached retina.  It has been problematic and not gone the way it should.  Here we are in April five operations later and hoping that he will only need to wait another 8 weeks and then get one more surgery.

Needless to say we have found life fairly difficult. After surgery Steve is restricted in driving, after one week as long as he doesn’t get double vision and he can pass the vision test he can drive.  This helps a great deal, both physically and emotionally.

Tomorrow morning I have Evelyn my nurse coming to the house to change my dressings and service my peg feed. It will be so good to say to her that we have been to the Net Natter meeting.

 

 

 

Netty-in-Kilt

 

You can find out more about The Ann Edgar Charitable Trust here

 

 

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Making The Most………

Wow its been a while since my fingers have tapped out a post.  To say I haven’t jotted down anything would not be true.  However, everything I have written recently has been very personal and Im not quite ready to share these thoughts.

It’s the beginning of July the last post was published in March.  Quite a lot has gone on in my life in the last 4 months.  The puppies have all grown, and gone to new homes.  They have left a footprint on my heart – they were jolly hard work but oh so lovely to have.  We kept one from the litter.  A stunning young lady.  We named her Bess.  And yes she is turning out to be just we hoped; a great combination of mum, Bella and dad, buddy.   Bess is already taking note to sit and wait when nurse Evelyn is attending to me.  She is intrigued in all the help that a grown up Labrador parent can be.  

We had the honour of attending and celebrating Sophie’s first Holy Communion in May.  What a wonderful day that was.  Alexandra and Grace were ever so happy to get into their dresses and drive through to Glasgow.   What a day to remember.  So happy, full of laughter and love.  Quite a memory.

Sophie trying to beat Stuart’s time completing the rubix cube. 

Sophie with Alexandra and Grace at her Holy Communion Celebration.

I felt far from my best in the last few months.  Seen my consultant, dietician, several hospital visits.  My wonderful nurses come to the house and cater to my needs.  I’ve lost weight which is a bit of a bummer.   My gastrostomy tube snapped which was slightly annoying- lovely staff from the hospital came out straight away with a new part.  Now that’s what I call service.   There has been a fault with the batch – there has been a run on broken tubes 😂 

On the 10th of each month I get the chance to meet up with net cancer patients.  Through the charity The Ann Edgar Charitable Trust.  We have a great time blethering away, sharing stories.  10th June my sister hazel drove me to haddington to meet up with the others for a coffee on a Saturday afternoon.  July 10th Steve and I went in style on steves BMW motorcycle to the evening meeting.  The meetings help me a great deal.  They give an opportunity to talk, share experience and most important be YOU.   Looking forward to the next one.  

Our Support Group Has A New Website

When a patient with carcinoid syndrome, Ann Edgar and Endocrine Consultant, Professor Park Strachan,  got their heads together a very much needed charity was set up in Scotland:  The Ann Edgar Charitable Trust.

The Ann Edgar Charitable Trust (TAECT) is Scotland’s only dedicated charity to help and support those affected with neuroendocrine cancer and tumours and carcinoid syndrome.  It’s other main aims are to educate and promote awareness.

The South east of Scotland already has a wonderful support network set up.  We regularly meet on the 10th of each month.  We try to have a variety of meetings to cater for all walks of life and age.  Sometimes it’s lunch at Lauriston Farm, or a quiet drink at a bar in Edinburgh.  We have all met at a fellow patients house for afternoon tea and enjoyed lovely sandwiches and cakes.  June is a craft fair with home baking to which general public can attend, and July we are going to a garden party at Barbara and Alister’s house.  Looking forward to the home baking and beautiful gardens as well as seeing the lovely friends I have made.  It’s certainly not doom and gloom, the room is always filled with laughter.

Steve and I attend the meetings regularly and look forward to going to them.  We have genuinely made some lovely friends.  It’s good to be able to say you actually enjoy the company of the others, I have missed some due to being in hospital with this damn infection.  I can honestly say there isn’t anyone that wallows in self pity or looks for sympathy.  We are a mixed bunch with lots of stories to tell.  There is always someone willing to offer some advice without being pretentious.

Yesterday 26 May 2016 a brand new website was launched.  And I think it looks pretty cool. All comments are welcome.
You can see the website at http://www.taect.scot

Please have a surf, the site has useful information and I would love to know what you think of it.

 

Where Did The Month Go?

Already its the 26th of January.  Not many days left and it will be February.  For me January has mixed emotions.  The 24th of the month is my beloved Mother’s birthday.  She passed away in the August – the first birthday she wasn’t here for was her 80th.  She was so looking forward to turning 80.  My Mum loved life to the full and all of us that surrounded her.  There is not a day that doesn’t go by that I don’t think about her.  We share many conversations about Mum and many a time we talk as if she is in the next room and is going to walk in at any time.  I guess I wish this to be true.

I have had Steve for company a few extra days this month.  I’ve had a visit from my friend Louise, visit from Jennifer & Scott.  Hazel has been down a couple of times.  Both our sons, Tony and Stuart have visited and stayed for dinner.  These visitors keep my spirits up, and turn my frown upside down, make me laugh and share stories.  The clock hands appear to move even faster than normal when visitors come to Nisbet

image

Steve has taken me to visit my Dad on a few occasions this month.  A couple of times I’ve seen my brother Brian and his wife Margaret at Dads.  I’ve also met up with my brother Albert and niece Chiara and my sister Helen &  nephew Brandon, and on the last visit to see my Dad I saw Lindsay, Stephen, Sophie, Louis & Patrick.

We have managed a couple of social outings – entertained by The Domestics at The Dalriada in Edinburgh and met up with Susan and Ian from Dumfies and Galloway for a couple of hours.  We also met up with folks affected with NETS.  The Ann Edgar Charitable Trust is a Scottish Charity – it offers NET Natter Meetings once a month – which has became fairly popular.  The meeting on 10th January was busy and a few members were keen on the idea of helping out at a craft fair, raising awareness of NETS and carcinoid syndrome and funds for the charity.  One of the members, Barbara,  brought along a peg doll she made, we have since called her Ziggy Zebra.  This inspired me to make a zebra fabric memory board.

I haven’t been feeling too grand the blasted peg is still leaking, and when I say leaking it’s a tad more than a dripping tap that’s for sure.  It started to get bad nearly two weeks ago and get really painful again, my tummy is swollen like a football and the discharge a putrid offensive smell, resembling our septic tank.  My nurse took one look at it and said get the doctor to look at this young lady.  The GP saw me that day.  She took a swab of the discharge and blood tests.  It was a Friday – I felt awful.  I had a quiet weekend at home.  Monday morning at approximately 1130am the telephone rang, it was the GP, I have had the lab on the phone.  She said.  Both your swab and blood tests have shown you have an infection.  I will write you a prescription for antibiotics and get it to the chemist for you for today.  We had a discussion on the phone how I was feeling, etc.

One week later and the discharge is not any better.  Infact I will go so far to say it looks worse and the pain at times is far more than sore or uncomfortable its aching and sometimes almost unbearable 😦  My nurse is in regularly to change my dressings and see how I am.  How long the nurse is in to see me varies.  It depends how I am both physically and mentally.  All the nurses are always very thorough and look after you very well.  On some days the nurse gives you the lift you need.  This particular day she advised me to go back to the GP. Back down to the surgery for another appointment.  Doctor agrees it looks worse that the last time she saw it.  She thinks the best plan of action is another week of antibiotics in the hope it will lift the infection.  Fingers crossed it does.  If there is still smelly discharge once the antibiotics are finished – go down to the surgery and get it swabbed.  I started the second week on Tuesday, today is Friday – I have had 2 of 4 doses today.  No difference yet.  Really hope it clears up over the weekend.

It was lanreotide week second week of January so on one of my nurse visits she gave me my lanreotide injection.    This helps stop me shitting myself and cuts down the flushing on my face and neck.  My next injection is due this coming Wednesday and the nurse I like doing the injection best is off on annual leave.  I know I will be in very capable hands – but I cant help wondering who I will get.  I can see it now –  On that day –  my treatment injection will be laid out ready for the nurse to administer.  Bella will hear the car, think she knows who it is, wag her tail, run to the door, when she sees its someone else, she will run with her tail between her legs up the hall and onto my bed….

Despite this nasty recurrent infection its not all doom and gloom for the first month of 2016.  Steve and I have booked a week in Ibiza in June,  when my community dietican was here at the house for my 4 weekly home visit a few days ago we discussed how she can help with giving me a letter for the airline/travel company explaining the need for my pump, syringes, feed, etc.  I will also get it translated into Spanish. She is easy to get on with, very friendly and makes me laugh.

We also have Lindsay and Stephens wedding to look forward to.  This is a festival wedding – it is in June.  The week after we come back from Ibiza.

Steve and I will both will be celebrating our 50th birthdays:  Steve in June, Me in August.   We are having a party for Steve.  I like to go to a party  -just don’t like to have a party for me.  Its our 30th wedding anniversary in August.

Before all these wonderful things in the summer.  I’ve got to rid this infection, hopefully the hole will close up round the peg site.  I would love to get some more energy if possible.  I have a hospital admission in March in Ninewells, Dundee for 5 days for my photosensitivity.  Dundee is the only hospital in Scotland with a photobiology unit.  I am also scheduled to see Professor Martyn Caplin at The Neuroendocrine Tumour Clinic at The Royal Free Hospital, London. in April.

This week coming is busy enough: nurse coming in to do my dressings on Monday, Wednesday nurse is coming do my dressings and administer my lantreotide injection.  Steve has the eye pavilion hospital for a check up after his retina eye surgery.  Thursday – I have an appointment with my endocrinologist, Professor Mark Strachan.  Think I will have a rest on Friday.

Its been a mixed month.   At times I have been feeling really rotten and no matter where I have been I could lie down on the floor and lie in the foetal position.  There is nothing too much I can do about how I feel physically.  All I can do is take it easy, rest up when my body tell me to.  Mentally I try and keep myself upbeat and on top of things.  What’s the best remedy if you feel low mentally?? For Me  Keeping busy helps.  Going to Nets Scotland AECT Net Natter Meeting and talking to others. Having a warm bath. My biggest love of all – taking photographs.  Writing.  Baking.  I’m very fortunate, I find it easy enough to talk and say how I feel.  Its natural for everyone to feel like the weight of the world is on their shoulders at some time,  its how we deal with that weight that matters.

First Net Natter of 2016

Its a very wet Sunday in January.  The rain is battering against the window of our cottage as I rattle my fingers on the keyboard.  Nothing is going to dampen my mood today.  My devoted Labrador has his paw gently resting on my foot.  His gentle snore is almost in time with my feed pump whirring away as it installs nourishment into my belly.

In a couple of hours I’m going to leave the cosy sitting room and brave the weather.  Why?  To meet up with fellow patients and their friends and family.  This time one of the patient’s are kindly giving up their ‘front room’ for us all to have a blether and a cuppa.  What’s this known as – Net Natter.  We get together through the Scottish Charity The Ann Edgar Charitable Trust.

Netty-in-Kilt

Is The NET Natter support groups right for me?

Socialising

The Ann Edgar Charitable Trust (aect) charity offers a support network to people with nets, carcinoid syndrome and their families and friends in Scotland.  The charity works independently as well as working in association with UK charity – Net Patient Foundation.

As part of the support services.  Folk affected by nets & carcinoid syndrome get together – informally and socially.  We chat, share experiences and very often laugh loudly.  Gives a chance to air our views, meet new people and strike up friendships.

Yesterday was my hubby’s 49th birthday.  There was a meeting arranged for the same day.  I asked Steve if he wanted to go to meeting or give it a miss since it was his birthday.  Not everyone’s idea of a perfect birthday night – spending time with people talking about injections, bowel habits, surgery etc.  Steve being Steve wanted us to go.   So we went out for dinner one our own and then headed to meet the others.

When we arrived at the pub the others were sitting at a large table in the bustling pub blethering away.  As usual a warm hello from everyone.  The pub setting is and ideal location.  Far away from hospitals; this non clinical setting Allows you to drop your guard and open up.  You find yourself sharing and telling of what has gone on since we last met up.  While friends and family can be a lifeline offering support and help sometimes I find myself halting and not actually saying how I really feel or how things have been.   The group has a very relaxed atmosphere and when you share an experience you do know others know how it really is.  Nothing helps better to lift the weight when someone says to you, yes I understand or I know how you feel.

Last night was the first meeting since Anne passed away.  I was feeling apprehensive.  It was anne that would tuck a label in whenever it was showing, grab my cheek softly with her index finger and thumb and ask how I am. Anne was such a loving friendly  lady who had time for everyone.  Her smile, kind words and sense of humour is what I will miss most.

Five minutes in and the knot in my tummy had subsided.  Sitting on the table was a large cake box.  Barbara, one of the members had baked a cake for Steve’s birthday.  Everyone was chatting away, talking about all sorts.  While we do share health experiences, we do actually talk about our everyday lives, our families, etc.  as well as football, golf, TV, holidays, and much more.  We had a newbie and her husband last night.  I’m sure she got a lot out of it and will be back.

An hour and a half in and we all shared Steve’s cake.  Barbara is a wonderful baker and the cake was delicious.  Conversations were flowing and everyone appeared to be relaxed and at ease in chatting.  The great benefit of the group is there is no cliquieness.  I’m sure even though it was a first social meeting for two of the people there they felt welcome with no awkwardness and able to talk freely.  As a group there are never hard and fast rules.    There is no fixed agenda or timings. You can stay for as long as you want or have the time.  No one would take offence if you came for half an hour and left or if you stayed for the duration of the evening.

We arrived at the pub at 7.40pm and left at 10.30pm.  On the way home in the car, Steve and I chatted about our personal feelings of the evening.  The half hour journey home flew in :  probably due to the pair of us nattering.  Usually I am tucked up in bed by this time.  I guess going out and meeting the others had me wrapped up in conversation and even gave me positive energy.

To think I was sceptical of going to meetings.  Worried they would be unwelcoming and regimental with rules and a set schedule.  I shouldn’t have been doubtful in the least.   I’m looking forward to our next hook up.

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