Reaction to the last chemo

Well the last post was about my last treatment of chemo and so i was very happy about finishing chemo but as per most thing with chemo its not always over when you think it is.

Saturday I didn’t feel too bad, Sunday morning I was ok but by Sunday afternoon I started to feel very nauseous and tired. Monday I didn’t get out of the flat apart from a brief walk to some grass to let lily out. I was glued to the sofa, dozing on and off all day. Tuesday I felt a little better so was up and about and Lavinia and Caroline came to see me which was nice. Then I went out for a meal with Mum & Ron as I’d booked a meal at a local pub a few weeks before as I’d been given a Living Social voucher for a meal for two etc. The meal was lovely and the Every Voice Choir were performing there that night which was good as my friend Libby is in it and I am signed up to join them next term, so felt it was nice for Mum and Ron to see what I was going into.

I got home about 10ish and felt fine, pootled about and went to bed.

At 2am I woke up with really bad stomach pains and stomach cramps, I then spent the next 30 mins with an upset stomach and I’d never had anything like that before, I thought my stomach was trying to tie itself in knots! I thought it could have been a reaction to the amount of garlic I had eaten for my meal as I’d had creamy garlic mushrooms and then haddock goujons with a garlic dip, which was a lot stronger than I was used to.

So I finally got into bed and was there for a few minutes before I had to rush off again.

After that I can’t really remember if I got really cold then or whether that was later, but at some point I felt so cold and was shaking so hard I was actually scared. I couldn’t get out of bed to try and put some more clothes on, my feet felt like blocks of ice and my head was freezing too.

I knew I should have rung the chemo helpline, but to be honest I was scared, I didn’t want to be told that I had to go in, I knew if I went in they would need to take blood tests and it would be likely that I would need a cannula put in and the mere thought of this made me physically sick. Plus it was around 4am and I knew that if they said I had to go in, I would have to ring and wake either my sister, my mum or dad to take me in as I wouldn’t be allowed to drive myself. So I tried to ride it out.

I remember at one point trying to cuddle lily for warmth but she felt cold, so I knew I must have a high temperature as normally she is a really good hot water bottle, she radiates heat big time 🙂 Even lily got fed up that night of me trying to cuddle her as I was shaking that much and my teeth chattering, it must have felt like cuddling a pneumatic drill 😀

Eventually this stopped and I started to warm up and managed to drift off to sleep, I then work just before 6 in a pool of sweat, I felt a bit more awake so took my temperature and it said 39.3 which I knew wasn’t good. I waited a few mins and did the same in the other ear. 39.3 bollocks!

I was still too scared to ring the chemo helpline, so text my sister as she was normally awake around 6 and she was, I told her what was up and she rang me straight back. She told me I had to ring the chemo helpline and I got upset saying I was scared that they would keep me in and I’d need a blood test etc and just saying it out loud made me heave and I was instantly sick… (Poor Lavinia had the phone but down on her at that point!) She gave me a few mins and then rang back and said I had to ring the chemo helpline so I said I would.

I rang the chemo helpline and explained what had happened and was told off for not ringing in the night, and that with my temperature being what it was I really needed to be in with them within the hour. I explained that I would try but my family didn’t live that close they they were all about 20-30 mins away. (It’s times like this when I do feel very aware of living on my own and although I have the most amazing friends in the world, ringing them at some ungodly hour to take me to hospital just seems too much)

Lavinia rang me back and I updated her, she said she could take me in but wouldn’t be able to be with me within an hour, so I rang mum, she was awake and up thank god, but I knew she had a busy day planned with taking my great aunt to a specialist, so she said to ring dad. I rang dad but couldn’t get an answer. Mum then rang back and said she was on her way, then dad and Lavinia both rang (one on landline, one on the mobile) so I was able to explain mum was on her way.

This is one thing I hate about what is going on, feeling vulnerable and not able to do things myself. I hate having to put my family and friends out and calling upon them to take me into hospitals etc I feel really guilty and I know I can’t help it but it doesn’t make it any better.

Well mum arrived and we got to the hospital just after 7. We knew we had to go in through A&E but Lordy lord, I’d forgotten how far it was in the maze of the hospital to find Lilybrook Ward, which is the chemo helpline area. I was quite out of puff by the time we got there, they explained they were full up in the main helpline area so I was put in a small side room with 3 comfy chairs in so Mum and I went in there.

Well they came to take my bloods and the nice nurse who did it remembered me from a previous visit and knew I had problems with my veins and as she had problems herself with giving blood etc, she knew some little places to try so managed to get one on the second attempt. It didn’t hurt and it didn’t upset me, so I was happy.

A bit later they came to put a cannula in and I was sick again, so they gave me some time and came back, the first attempt failed so the cannula expert was sent in. She had to go in to my hard veins so that did hurt alot but I was relieved she got in and was able to use the cannula. She hooked me up to antibiotics and so I had to have all of that then they switched it to saline and I don’t know what happened but feeling the saline go in made me sick again. It was cold and just made me feel really bad.

Eventually it settled down and I had to let that go in. Now I’m getting a little hazy as I wrote the majority of this a few weeks ago and had to stop as it felt a bit wierd and I felt sick.

Basically I ended up having to stay in over night and had 3 litres of saline pumped into me. I was up and down like a yoyo in the night going for a wee as my body isn’t used to all that fluid lol.

I was told I could go home the next day but wasn’t allowed to go home on my own so I went to mums for a few days.

Well that’s it for now. I need to move on to the next chapter… Radiotherapy!!

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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

Wigtastic

Well I’m now well into my second week after treatment and this week is my most vulnerable apparently as my white blood cells will be at their lowest so I’m at most risk of catching an infection so am supposed to avoid people with coughs and colds etc. hmmmm that’s hard when you have hospital appointments and funerals to go to!

Well after a rough few days this week the last few days have been easier. Friday last week and the weekend felt good, I was relieved to feel ok then as it made me think its just 4 days of feeling like its hit me and the rest I can cope with.

I have started noticing little side effects such as:

Sore Mouth – It feels like I’ve burnt the roof of my mouth, I have that rough sensation on the top of my mouth and it has spread around my mouth. Where my wisdom teeth poke through a bit at the back have got quite sore too. A good mouth wash (alcohol free) helps with this.

Not sleeping – I have found it hard to sleep on a few occasions, my body felt like it was on fire, I was so hot and twitchy that I was up and down like a yo yo for three nights on the trot. My mind would race and my imagination was running wild. I found if I watched tv before bed my imagination would carry on the film in my head, not always in a nice way lol. My imagination is frickin wierd 🙂

My arm where the chemo went in has been really sore since Friday, it feels like the vein in my arm is really sore and hurts if I lean on my arm. I remember the nurse saying one of the drugs is really harsh on the veins so guess its that. I guess that poor vein/artery is in for a real bashing! 😦

Hair – well it’s still there, but it’s changing. It’s prickly and feels like I’ve used a strong shampoo that makes your scalp tingle. It’s not behaving and won’t style as I’m used to and feels flat.

I feel like I have a cold but am not sure if I actually have a cold or it’s the side effects as I know I was warned it made you feel like you had the flu/bad cold. Time will tell I guess 🙂

Well that’s it on side effects that I can think of, they’re not too bad, I can cope with these. 🙂

Yesterday I went for a wig fitting and after being undecided about having one or not I did end up buying one. It’s very realistic and I couldn’t get one to match my usual style as my hairstyle is too short but this one is close enough 🙂 I’ll add a photo in a bit as the one I took yesterday wasn’t very good 🙂

Well that’s all folks! Have a nice day! 😉