14. Merhaba Istanbul!

After a manic few days of organising the trip, getting packed and saying goodbye to all the family, friends and neighbours, we have finally arrived. And we’re both wrecked! Had a little snooze on the plane but I’ll be in bed early tonight. I’m fasting from 6pm for my PET scan in the morning. When I got PET scans at home, I didn’t have to fast but I did have to eat a special diet the day before. It was a diet of no carbohydrates, just meat, fish and vegetables. This is so there’s no glucose in the system so that when you drink the sugar solution and are injected with the radioactive dye, it goes straight to the cancer cells (remember they’re greedy for sugar!) and shows up on the scan. But here in Turkey I have to fast from 6pm. Didn’t get to have a last meal before the deadline because we made a boo boo and got delayed in the airport. Did you know you need a visa to enter Turkey? We didn’t! Not until we got to the top of the passport control after queueing for 40 minutes. Ugh! Back out for the visa and queue up again. So that brought us to well after 6pm.

Anyway! That was the only bit of drama today, everything else went perfectly. Turkish airlines are lovely to fly with, it was like a transatlantic flight. We had our own screens, lots of movies and nice-ish food. I watched the lady in the van, Maggie Smith plays a homeless woman in Camden in the 70s. It was quite good. A light-hearted movie which I needed after leaving Ali this morning and having one or two wobbly moments about it in the airport. Paul watched Lion and seemed to have something in his eyes a couple of times! I definitely wouldn’t have been able for an emotional movie.

We were picked up at the airport by a driver from the clinic and made it to the apartment which is lovely (Paul might disagree after lugging the bags up 4 flights of stairs). We are off to the clinic at 8am and will find out what the plan is then I guess. I will be on an oncological diet with the clinic which is based on the ketogenic diet. Back to living on eggs, avocados and spoons of coconut oil! Not liking the thoughts of it but I will do whatever I have to do to heal my body. Hopefully that won’t start until I begin treatment Wednesday and I can have a little sample of Istanbul cuisine tomorrow.

I was just saying to Paul this morning that I’m really excited about giving myself a break for a while now and laying off the research and constantly having to keep on top of everything. It will be nice to have someone take the lead for a little while. Not that I’d ever pass over 100% control, come on it’s me! Another thing I’m delighted about is to be working with doctors who won’t tell me I’m wrong or stupid or going to die. It’s a nice feeling not to be fearful of the hospital. I know I’ll be in good hands here and I know I’m not going to feel put down or condescended. What a relief!

The fundraising page is now over 40k. It’s madness! It’s brilliant though. Myself and Paul are so happy with how it’s going and that people want to help us so much. We are so grateful. There are two fundraising events now confirmed. A coffee morning in Strokestown next Friday the 9th of June and there’s a night happening in Ging’s in Carrick-on-Shannon on the 30th of June. I believe there will be some brave men getting waxed that night. Who’s up for it? Contact Carrick’s finest postman Brian Crowe if you’d like to get involved. Thank you Brian for organising it, it looks like it will be great craic, I’d love to go myself! There will be another couple of fundraisers happening in July I think so please don’t feel pressure to go or to donate, I’m sure you’ll all be sick of the sight of me all over the place by the time the summer is over! I’m already sick of seeing my own face all over Facebook!

istanbul 1
View from the apartment

I’ll be keeping the updates coming regularly. Hopefully meeting some contacts this week that some family and friends have passed on. We’ll be on the hunt for an apartment when we find our feet and see where we need to be. The city is very impressive from what I’ve seen so far. It reminds me of Dubai a little, well not the flashy parts but it’s quite middle-eastern (duh!) and there are lots of nice green areas and loads of flowers everywhere. Hopefully get to have a walk around tomorrow to get a feel for the place.

That’s all for now! Thank you so much to everybody again for making this happen for us. We are forever grateful xxx


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5 comments

  1. So happy you arrived safely! No journey without a little drama🤑 Glad all is set to get you started on the healing journey. Ali will be surrounded by love. ❤️ not a minute out of our minds. Ju n co

  2. My god I wish Fintan was home for that waxing night, I’d pay big money to see that, haha, he’s in tears even if I try to pluck one hair from those bushy brows of his!
    Glad you have arrived now Mairead & as you say take a break from all the research, it’s finally lead you to the right place, these experts will look after you now. Thinking of you x

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