Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Final chemo cycle!! Day 1

It's over!  At least, getting the stuff put in is over, and I am over the moon.  Had a little wobble at the hospital but the nurse said that is entirely normal and I wonder if it got me fast tracked a little. 

As usual, started feeling woozy about halfway through it getting put in, but it wasn't as bad as the previous two sessions.  Got unplugged and then got out of there as quickly as possible.  Started feeling tired on the way home, so went straight to bed (it was about 3pm) and dozed then slept pretty much till 9.30am this morning.  Had DD2 in bed with me all night, so that was lovely too.

Still feel dozy today but better.  Looking forward to the head stuff going, hopefully in the next 24-48 hours, but not looking forward to the muscle ache which will most likely be at the weekend.  But I have a ton of codeine and sleeping tablets to get me through, plus my wonderful family and friends who are the bestest ever.

So, hopefully, by this time next week, I can start getting back to normal and preparing for the stupid Hickman line to come out (15th Nov) and radiotherapy to start (16th Nov).  Both of which will hopefully be fine.  Oh and I get 5 years of a hormone pill too, but can talk about stopping that after 2 years for various reasons....

I will also need to rename this blog I think.  Thinking along the lines of 'My Kicking Cancer's Ass Blog' but any other suggestions welcomed!!

Monday, 25 October 2010

Chemo cycle 5: Days 11 - now

Well, day 11 was quite nice.  I did the school run, had lunch out, treated by my lovely workmates, got loads of stuff sorted.

And then I paid for it on day 12, or I thought I did.  I felt awful again!  The flu-like symptoms returned and I really couldn't face doing anything.  Took my temperature in the evening and it was 38.8 - anything above 38 and I'm supposed to call the hospital.  But I figured I was just knackered from over-exerting myself and went to bed.

However, woke up the next morning feeling rubbish still and temperature still 38.8.  Both of us knew that, if I called the hospital, they would say to come in, so we thought we would wait till lunchtime.  I really didn't want to be admitted.  We had been supposed to be hosting lunch but it didn't look like an option, so DH called BFF to say it was cancelled and she told us to call the hospital NOW.  Argh.  But she was right - the one time I don't call will be the one time I should have.  So we did.  And they said come in - but luckily they said the local hospital had a bed so we didn't have to trek a million miles (well, 20 odd miles as opposed to 6).

So we spent a few lovely hours in the medical assessment unit whilst they tried to figure out what was wrong with me.  I had blood tests, a chest x-ray and all the normal observations that they do.  The main things they need to know were:  1) What was the infection and was it viral or bacterial and b) Was I neutropenic* and so would need to be kept in isolation for 5 days?  Finally they discovered that my blood count was normal, so I didn't need to be isolated, but I definitely had a mystery infection, most probably from DD2 who had been ill earlier in the week.  So I got to go into a lovely ward where I was the youngest by about 50 years and be pumped with antibiotics until the tests about whether it was a bacterial infection came through.

The ward was pretty awful and very depressing.  I don't know how the staff do it; they were amazing.  It wasn't a cancer ward - I think it was a haematology ward - and there seemed to be a range of illnesses in there.  So I was there for 2 nights and finally, at about 7.30pm on Tuesday, they said I could go home.  By this time, I had contracted a cold.  What joy! But I was very happy to be home.

DH then suggested we go away for a couple of nights to a hotel nearby, so we could still get the girls to school and nursery.  So we did and it was amazing, apart from the fact the spa were crap about my chemo.  But I didn't care as I just stuck two fingers up at them (metaphorically speaking) and went to my usual place.

Then my mother moved on Friday which went amazingly well.  She now lives 10 minutes away in a gorgeous bungalow.  We (I say we, I mean DH as I still felt delicate) mainly spent the weekend helping her, although she had the girls for several hours on Sunday to give us some respite.  And it worked.  I feel great today, apart from the cold still lingering a little.

So I had my blood tests and everything is crossed that all is still well for my final session tomorrow.  I will be gutted if it is postponed due to everything that has happened, but on the  positive side it's half term and if it is, I have a few days with DD1 to enjoy.  So I'm a winner either way.

But it would be nice if it was over.  Keep everything crossed for me if you have a chance! x

* ie. immune system shot to hell.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Chemo cycle 5: Days 7 - 10

Day 7:  woke up feeling much better although still pretty sore and tired.  Spent the day with DD2 which was lovely, lots of cuddles on the sofa! 
Day 8:  We booked DD2 into nursery today so I could keep resting.  Which I did!  I had a couple of paracetomol in the morning, but that was pretty much it all day.  The soreness was fading!  Still had achy gums, nails and chemo mouth though.  Bah.  Got a handy tip, that tonic water helps with the taste - and it does!  Better stock up for next (and last) time!

Day 9:  A much, much better day with no painkillers at all!  The chemo mouth was fading and the weird aches and pains were much, much less.  Took the DDs to get their hair cut at friends' house and had a lovely time.  It was brilliant to get out.

Day 10:  today.  In theory, today was the last day of my recuperation.  But DH realised this morning that he couldn't do the school run and, do you know, I fancied it!  So I did - boo sucks to germs!  (Although there was a man coughing right by me, of course.  But I moved.)  Then had a nice morning pottering and managed to have a semi-decent lunch that tasted almost right, before collecting DD2 and avoiding coughing people.  I feel much, much better today and am looking forward to a week and a half of normality before MY LAST CHEMO SESSION!!  I can't wait for it to be over.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Chemo cycle 5: Days 4 - 6

I was right about the muscle pain.  It kicked in on Friday (day 4).  I basically spent the day on the sofa with my codeine within arm's reach!  My head was still funny as well, so I couldn't read or do very much apart from watch the Commonwealth Games (yay go England!).  I managed to stay up till about 7.30pm.  What a fun Friday night!

On Saturday (day 5) it was pretty much the same, although my head felt a bit better.  However, I still couldn't read so more telly for me.  Hurrah for Twitter which makes me feel slightly more interactive than I would feel otherwise.  Had a glass of wine for the first time in about a week, followed by more codeine and sleeping tablets in the hope that I would get a good night's sleep and wake up refreshed and ready to go.  Managed to stay up till almost 9pm.  Whoo!

Sunday (day 6) was a lot better; my plan worked to some extent!  I slept quite well and woke up, still sore but feeling more like myself.  DH warned me not to do too much though, so I did just spend the day resting even more and catching up with the X Factor and Hell's Kitchen!

So symptoms over the past 3 days have been: muscle ache and spasms, nail ache, tooth and gum ache, chemo mouth, sore throat, stupid brain. 

This morning (day 7) it's A LOT better.  Still sore, but it's fading.  But my blooming nails still hurt which is just bizarre.  But I plan to do more than chill today.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Chemo cycle 5: Days 1 - 3

Let's focus on the main issue here now.  Only one more to go!

But oh my goodness this one is horrible. 

Day 1:  Had to wait nearly 2 hours to see the consultant and then a further 1.5 hours to get the chemo.  And the chemo takes an hour to administer.  So we should have been out of there by about 2.30pm but weren't out till nearly 6pm.  I managed to have a hot flush right at the beginning, meaning the nurse turned off my chemo for about 20 minutes, delaying it even further.  And it is so boring!  I lost concentration completely, so I couldn't read or even speak very well, so all I had to do was sit there and wait for the stuff to go in.  Afterwards we drove home and I went straight to bed.

Day 2:  A certain person (you know who you are!) described to me the feeling of having chemo as rhyming with scattered wit.  That's how I felt on Wednesday.  I was exhausted but also felt like an elephant had landed on me and given me a dose of swine flu and then kicked me when I was down for good measure.  I had to get my Zoladex injection in the morning from the surgery, so luckily my mum was on hand to drive me, but I nearly fainted in the waiting room.  Awful.  Came home, collapsed on sofa.  DH came home for the school run, took DD1 swimming and has really given me a chance to chill.  Went to bed at 7, but didn't sleep all that well despite a sleeping tablet.

Day 3:  A better day.  Still felt pretty awful, but a better kind of awful.  Again, spent the day resting and recuperating.  BFF's mum did the school run for me - love all these wonderful people who can help!  Managed to stay up till 8.30pm and catch the Apprentice (hurrah!) saved from Wednesday.  But as I was going to bed, I noticed that the back of my neck and legs were starting to ache.  Think that's what's coming next, although if this flu-ey feeling goes and the muscle pain stays, I don't mind.  It's the messing with my head I hate.

Other symptoms:  slight chemo mouth started yesterday, sore eyes last night, sore nails this morning. 

But only one more.  I just want it to be over now.

Chemo cycle 4: entire

Well, thank you Google blogger for realising that this blog isn't spam and I can have it back now.  I'm pretty annoyed about it, as cycle 4 was the first of the new stuff (I think it's called Docetaxel) and my symptoms were completely different and now I have to remember.  Shouldn't be too hard though.  I'm now on cycle 5 and I am remembering.

Cycle 4 wasn't too bad.  The main problem was that my muscles just ached, all over, from the top of my head to the tips of my toes.  I had to get the doctor out on the Monday following chemo as it was so bad that paracetamol wasn't working and I couldn't sleep due to the pain.  And following that I managed to get a cold that lasted pretty much the rest of the cycle.  What a joy.  And then I repeated on Tuesday....