Chemo 4 – Over half way

Well today is the day of my 4th chemo session so as long as all goes well I should be well into my second half of my chemo treatment. I can’t say it’s been an easy journey as its been a case of a few little things making my journey all the more testing.

Mainly my teeth have continued to be the Bain of my life since my second treatment. Despite the tow bottom wisdom teeth being removed I still get a lot of pain from my teeth around the wisdom teeth area and it shoots along the jaw which leads me to think the chemo must affect the nerves in my jaw. This has meant a lot of sleepless nights and broken sleep which has got me down.

I also had problems with constipation and getting sore because of this so am now on laxatives which helped and can now take as and when I need to as its likely to be an ongoing issue with each chemo session.

I also had a bit of a scare with the breast lump area as last week this suddenly became very sore and tender and I didn’t Know why so I went to the Dr and had an X-ray and noticed on the notes something about her wanting to check for bone abnormalities. I have to admit I was pretty scared about this as I thought maybe the cancer had spread to my bones but luckily I got the all clear and there was nothing to worry about.

I have found my chest has become pretty tender in the last two weeks, it’s the chest lining apparently, I can only liken it to when you run till you can’t breathe and the chest pain you feel temporarily when you stop, it’s like that. This has meant I get out of breath easily and even simple things can tire me out.

I am resigned to the fact that my teeth are likely to continue to play up until the chemo is well and truly over and the drugs have left my system. So have to ensure I am well and truly stocked in ibuprofen, paracetamol and co-codomol or similar pain killers. I don’t like taking them but the pain from not taking them far outweighs that!

Emotionally I have done a lot better than last time, it feels a more steady and even path with ups and downs, I haven’t felt quite so withdrawn and empty but the recent snow did mean I have spent a lot of time alone in my flat and although I am quite happy with this most of the time, I did get a bit lonely and felt cut off but the last few days have been better. This also meant I couldn’t get to Di’s last weekend as the snow meant the journey was too treacherous and I was scared of being snowed in at hers, as the previous weekend I had a terrible time with my teeth being so painful and I felt quite anxious about being away from home and the hospital. In the end I had to drive to Gloucester Royal for treatment from the dental team which at one point I didn’t think I would be able to drive so it scared me.

This weekend, I’m hoping Di can make it down here, but the snow is still bad with her so we are having to play it by ear and see so as a backup plan I have come to mums as its going to be a long day at the hospital as mum has an appointment at 9:15 to see her eye specialist and is going to have her eyes dilated so she can’t drive for sometime, my first appointment is at 11:20 so we will go for 9 and do mums appt then mine then wait for results of my blood test and then chemo should be at 3pm ish. But anyone who knows what it’s like waiting for chemo etc will know they are always running at least 90 mins late so I can see its going to be an all dayer. Last time I didn’t leave till gone 7pm and my appt was earlier.

Well I’m going to sign off now as its time to get up so I will be in touch after today with updates on how it went.

Oh last time my chemo took ages as my veins keep contracting so I dread to think what they will be like today. My right arm hurts where the vein is obviously damaged from the chemo and they struggle to take blood now so it’s not nice. They can’t use my left arm because I had the lymph nodes removed so it won’t be long till my feet come into play I reckon.

Ta Ta For Now xx

Emotionally discharged

I wanted to write a separate post about emotions as I have found that since my second chemo I have really struggled emotionally with things, my emotions, my feelings and the way I deal with things and most importantly my relationships with loved ones and family.

Part of the reason for writing about this is that from speaking to other people it seems a fairly common side effect of the treatment and processes we go through but it’s not really mentioned in guidebooks and leaflets.

I have found that recently I wanted to shut down emotionally, I wanted to bring myself to a point where I levelled out and didn’t feel highs or lows and I found them too much of an extreme. I found all I could think about was what was happening in the right now, not the future. It felt like everyday I could feel the chemo doing something to my body and although I didn’t feel really ill, your mind takes you to what is going on with your body and stays focused on that, the rest of your world goes into automatic pilot. You do things like eat, sleep, wash without thinking. I have heard people refer to “chemo fog” and I can see what they mean now, it’s like your wrapped in a fog and can’t see through it but you can see enough to live.

Since I met Di, the loving and romantic side of me has been bursting free, it’s the first time I have felt secure enough to let these emotions really come out and it was amazing, we had big plans for Christmas and New Year and I was excited about it all. Then all of a sudden I lost all of that excitement, I couldn’t think about Christmas and New Year as my treatments had gone off schedule and I didn’t know what was going to happen. I bottled up my emotions and it felt like I buried them as that was the safest thing to do.

The downside to this is for those who love and care for you, they don’t know what’s going on and only see you withdraw and naturally think that something is wrong and that causes more problems. Eventually I tried explaining what was going on and that I truly felt it was the chemo not my feelings changing, I felt as though I couldn’t say that I was on an emotional shut down as that would sound like I was rejecting them. So I kept quiet until it got to bursting point.

It’s a hard roller coaster for anyone in a relationship when you are ill, I met Di around the time I discovered the lump, so we have been together for 5 months now and all of that time has been shadowed by my cancer and treatment, so it’s a lot for a new relationship to cope with and I truly hope with all my heart we can survive this. We have some way to go before the end of my treatments and I know it could get worse, it could get better but it’s a lot of pressure on Di that I wish she didn’t have to go through.

All I can do right now is communicate and yes at times that lands me in hot water for being too honest, but I am not going to let cancer take Di away from me without a bloody good fight 🙂

So anyone who knows Di and is reading this, please give her a bloody good hug and support her as I know with the distance (physically and emotionally) I can’t always be there for her.

Thank you xx

Catching up

Ok so I haven’t kept my blog updated recently, the last you heard from me was I was in hospital after my temperature rose and my teeth ache got a lot worse.

Well basically I ended up being in hospital for 5 days and although I have the utmost respect for the Drs and Nurses that work there, I had a miserable time in there, I really struggled with it at times. So many ill people around me, all suffering with some form of cancer and at various stages of treatment.

I felt like a healthy spring chicken in comparison to the rest of my inmates, the majority were 30+ years older than me and some of them were going through a really tough time as a result of chemo or radiotherapy. A lot of them were being sick alot and also suffering from the runs and as they were not up to getting to the toilet just outside the ward, then this would mean the comode would be called in and they would go by their bed. I found this hard as my sense of smell has increased BIG TIME since the chemo started and my gag reflex is very strong, so I had a real job not to be sick a lot of the time and felt queasy and uncomfortable a lot of the time. I am also aware that I was on some strong antibiotics which made me feel sick too, but the whole combination made me want to escape and many a night was spent hatching up elaborate and unrealistic methods of escaping!

The positives that I learnt from my time in hospital is that I was lucky compared to some of those women, you could tell some of them didn’t have a positive future ahead of them, one poor lady still didn’t know where her cancer was, they could tell she had cancer but couldn’t trace the source and it was taking her down fast. I could imagine she was a tall, strong active woman when she was healthy, but in a few weeks she had been reduced to a shell, who couldn’t get out of bed and could only just manage a whisper.

Another lady who was my rock in there, had secondary cancer after going through breast cancer 6 years ago and had the all clear. All of a sudden she started getting headaches and pains in her head, so she went to the dr and after a while they discovered the cancer had got into her spine and had gone up into her head, it had travelled to her hip and I’m sure there was somewhere else. She was having daily radiotherapy when I was there and some days she was having 3 doses on the same day, she was so brave, it made her very very sick but she was always smiling and was so sweet to me, she made my day easier by chatting to me and I only hope I helped her too. She went home a day or two before me so I hope she is doing ok. I wish I had got her address so I could stay in touch.

Well after 5 days I was told I could go home, I was advised that I would have to have my bottom wisdom teeth out and that once my white cell count was above 1 then I could have the op. Apparently when I went in to hospital my white cell count was 0…. Oops! By the time I left it was 0.7 and by the following Monday after being at home it was 1.75 so luckily it shot up quickly.

My consultant came to see me when I was in hospital and she mentioned about getting a district nurse out to give me an injection a few days after my chemo to boost my white cell count, it sounded like I should have had it after my last treatment, but it didn’t happen, so hopefully it will happen this time.

My 3rd chemo was due on Christmas Eve but this got cancelled due to my teeth. So I was released from hospital (for good behaviour) on the 21st. (At one point I was starting to worry I’d be in hospital for Christmas)

Since then I have had my two bottom wisdom teeth out on New Years Eve, so no partying for me! And my chemo has been postponed until the 4th Jan (today) so I have my appt with the Dr at 12:50 and chemo at 2:45 but knowing how things go, it will be a lot of delays and waiting around!

So that’s brought you up to speed so apologies for the delay in updating the blog :-).

Toddle pip for now 🙂 xx