Day 12 – Triathalon for Myeloma UK!

So, main things for today;

  • Hb back up to over 10 – tick
  • Platelets not too low (scientific or what?!) – tick
  • White Blood Count – 0.4 tick

All great news basically which meant that the kids could come in for an hour to see me – I loved it, they were bored stupid!!!! In the end, Nick took them back to play with their cousin and came back and spent a couple of lovely hours with me – well I found them lovely. It is just always so lovely to have time where I’m not dozing off in the middle of it….he even got to see me eat a few mouthfuls of that delicious heinz tomato soup! hmmm, the sooner I can find an alternative, the better!! 

Well, before I finish off this post I thought I wanted to say a great big thank you to 3 sets of people – a triathlon has inspired it, but these are no way in any particular order…… over the past few months, and I’m sure even more so in the months to come, I have been humbled, inspired and motivated by the generosity of the people around us….and quite often those from whom we least expect it


To kick off today, and purely because he is biking as we speak, I wanted to say a big thank you to Nick’s cousin Dan who has done the London Triathlon in aid of Myeloma UK and breast cancer. Considering he couldn’t (or so he told me!) swim before he started off on this, he’s done pretty well, and we’re just waiting to hear that he’s got the end of it all now!! He is just one of many people who have chosen to do things to raise money for Myeloma UK…’s so often been the people I’ve least expected support from who go out of their way so much. And if any of you fancy sponsoring him, please feel free to do so at;

The next couple of people I wanted to talk about without embarrassing them too much as two of my sisters. ALL of my family are fab, and I love them all to pieces. But two of them have been rather dumped on with all this Myeloma business (!)

Sutton Sister!:

Liz and her family live in Sutton, which as some of you will know is where the Marsden is located. And there is no way, I could have had my treatment here had Liz and Fintan, not been as gracious, selfless and totally amazing as they have been. From the minute we started my treatment there, they have offered us our house as theirs (sadly not on the deeds, but you can’t have everything!!), have regularly put us up, put up with us dropping in all the time unexpected and of course recently, they have come into their own in a way I never thought we would need to ask of them. And until we finally realised we could get a discounted parking ticket (don’t even ask that story!), Liz was dropping us at and picking us up from the hospital ALL the time.

Now that I have finally been admitted they are doing even more. With Nick being well over an hour away on a good day, it has been invaluable to have someone that can come and visit who is only 3 minutes round the corner. She has happily taken washing away, and I have know that whatever I want she would be there if I called her. In addition, Fintan and her have opened up the house to Nick and the kids at the weekend, had them so he can come and visit, fed and watered all of them. They have looked after him amazingly and never made him feel like they begrudge him (always said they were good actors!). Their girls have also been amazing – you can imagine that Rebecca and sam at 4 and 6 are pretty demanding, and both of the O’Toole girls are fabulous at giving them the time they ask for.

Bejing Sister!

Well here, two people really get a mention….my sister, and her husband for letting her come back and spend as long as required while he is still suffering the high life in Beijing ( oops, did I just suggest an extravagent lifestyle for you Dave??!). No but seriously, in the run up to all of this, and from the moment of diagnosis, Chris had said after many discussions with Dave, that she would happily come back to look after the kids when I went into hospital so that Nick could keep working and not have to worry about his job on top of everything else. For any of you who have followed the ‘am I, aren’t I’ on when the transplant was actually going to take place, you can imagine how hard it was for them to plan their own lives, and yet at no point, did they ever suggest it was all a bit too much.

And now Chris is here and has had the kids for the first two weeks. I was worried. Nick can be stubbon (hard to believe I know!). But he has passed on nothing but absolute admiration and respect for all the help that Chris has given him. Nothing has been too much, too complicated, and even when her new grandson was born, I think he was amazed at how she balanced it all to an asbsolute t so that she got to meet litte Casper for that all important first little squidge.

The kids have loved having her with them too. She has been so much fun for them, but yet they totally respect she is no wipe-over! I coudn’t have asked for anyone better to have had them as I know she will do things as much my way as she can, but without it being hard. I have every confidence in the decisions she will have made for them too. There isn’t really a higher honor than having your sister wanting to have your kids for 2 weeks, and she has given us that (admittedly no offers of a repeat yet????!!!!). There aren’t many people I would feel that I could leave with the kids for two – three weeks, and not have concerns about what I would come home too….now I’m worried perhaps I’m longer needed!!! Not really. Everyone is as happy as you could imagine, for a family that has been split through necessity….there is nothing that I would change about the decisions we have made so far and that is great. Long may it continue


Just a quick note to finish on though, Nick and I get different support from different people in different ways. For some people, the daily text they send me has made the world. For others it is the fact that they have supported us by letting us chose how we need the support that has meant the most. We know for some people, not coming to visit has felt awful, but it has been right for us, for me in particular. This has been a hard transplant to get over…..even now risk of infection is a biggie for me. It has stopped a couple of my sisters coming over and that has been hard for all of us….but so the right decision to make. Suppporting me is doing the best thing for my health; seeing me if you may be ill, could kill me – just not worth the visit.




About Deb Gascoyne

I am wife of one, mother of two and a person in my own right :-) I have used my diagnosis of myeloma to allow me to focus on what I CAN achieve and not what I can't. My blog is a way of me spilling is for me more than you I'm afraid. But if it helps you along the way, that is an absolute bonus for me :-)
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3 Responses to Day 12 – Triathalon for Myeloma UK!

  1. Sandy Banks says:

    As a MM caregiver several years ago, I was astonished at people who did not really ‘get it’ about a compromised immune system and that even the sniffles could be deadly. I read all the documentation about what could be brought into the house – no live plants, no strawberries, etc. and got a huge education about what can ‘infect’ the newly transplanted patient. Our solution was to send out an e-mail to everyone who might potentially want to visit or ‘stop by’ or send things and it was a tremendous help. We also had a system of communicating with the Foodies (people who were committed to providing casseroles, etc.) so that everyone knew when they were on tap to deliver and they shared what they were bringing with all the other Foodies so it wasn’t a week of spaghetti followed by a week of chicken… hope this is helpful… intending your recovery is speedy and uneventful.


    • Deb Gascoyne says:

      Hi sandy

      I know things may have relaxed a little over the last couple of years? But I wondered if you has a copy of what you sent to your friends. … It could be really useful

      Thank you for your help and your responses

      Love Debs x

      Sent from my iPhone


  2. feresaknit says:

    Seriously Debs I sat here in stunned silence thinking you were doing a triathalon!

    Oh and yes if you’ve not got one you need to get Nick to build a porch for the flowers that people turn up with when you get home! Oh oh and practice perfecting saying thank you whilst screaming inside and keeping them at arms length! Oh oh oh and its okay you don’t need to slip it into the conversation because if they are smart cookies then when you confirm what you can’t eat/touch the penny generally drops at some point! ;D


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