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have done a lot better than last time, it feels a more steady and even path with ups and downs, I haven’t felt quite so withdrawn and empty but the recent snow did mean I have spent a lot of time alone in my flat and although I am quite happy with this most of the time, I did get a bit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

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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

Neutropenia is a stronger force

Well I know I haven’t written for a while but I was going to write about the wisdom teeth pain I’ve been having. Last treatment my wisdom teeth hurt a little bit but this time it’s been a lot worse, it’s been a chronic pain for 4 days and I’ve been taking paracetamol like they’re sweets.

I came home from Di’s yesterday and felt really cold, so I went to bed and still couldn’t warm up so I had a nice hot bath. That felt amazing but I felt a bit dizzy afterwards so went back to bed. After a while I got too hot so took my temperature and it was 39 so I rang the chemo helpline and they said to come in.

So I had to ring my mum to ask if she could take me in. This was around 9pm and by the time we got in it was 10pm. A friend of the family had also come in and she looked awful so was a bit shocking.

I had my bloods taken after about an hour and had to wait about 3hrs before the doctor came to see me. I felt rough as a badgers bum, my teeth were killing me and they couldn’t give me anything.

My temp had come down to 37.5 so a lot better. I thought I’d be ok then.

Around 1am I was told I would have to stay in as my white cell count was so low. I was gutted as I wasn’t expecting it.

Around 2am I got taken up to the ward and there was some emergency going on so nurses were running left right and centre so I was shown to my bed and then had to wait 40mins before they came to check my vitals. My temp was still low and they gave me some painkillers so eventually I settled in to try to sleep.

Hmmm that didn’t last long, snoring, coughing, footsteps and talking kept me awake most of the night. They woke one lady at 5 and then the rest at 6.

A few hours later I finally got some painkillers as my teeth were killing me. I’ve had antibiotics (on my second dose now) and have been on a saline drip for the past 4 hours.

The doctor examined me and checked my teeth, she’s going to refer me to the dental team so they can see what’s happening with my teeth. They mentioned X-rays but I’m still waiting to hear on that.

So I may be in for a few days, I’m not sure. The nurse said its likely while my neutropenia is still low I will have to stay in.

I’m hoping to be out in time for sat, as I’ve organised a Christmas Party and will be gutted if I have to miss it 😦