Saturday, 19 January 2008

2007 Aug 9th - Chemo Round 2 No. 2

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Chemo v Bum Bandit Round 2, days 1-4
Category: Life


Day 1

Chemo number 2/12. Arrived just in time for 10.30 appointment - whatever possessed me to book a morning slot I do not know. I think I thought I could make the most of the steroids and maybe not have another sleepless night on day one. WRONG.

I'd not set my alarm properly so, thanks to the invention of baby wipes - the hot water having gone off an hour before, not having a shower wasn't such a problem. The kids were off into town, my son on his way home so I dropped them at the bus stop feeling pretty good after the weekend. Since I wanted to go on my own (and get a few hours in on SimCity on my DS if truth be known) I was invited to sit next to Richard - bang went my SimCity time. The time went really quickly, considering. Richard was a bowel cancer patient too, I knew this before we swapped stories because he had a tell tale Convatec stoma travel kit wallet on the table next to him. To the untrained eye it looks like a CD case. I felt I did my good deed for the day by giving him some samples and order codes which have made my life with a stoma easier.

After an hour or two the throat prickling and constriction started again - I can tell when the room temperature water I take with me triggers it off. My hands started cramping up and twisting - no surprises yet then. Unfortunately my anti-emetics hadn't been put in my tray (we all have a plastic tray with our name on!) and by the time the drugs were in and my pump connected for the next couple of days the pharmacy was shut for lunch. I wasn't bothered, I'd left my ticket in the car, or so I thought, so went for a wander (wearing gloves to protect my hands from cool air and more pain and cramping). Well, I stood up...and nearly fell over! This time the effects spread to my feet and lower legs. My left foot permanently twisted inwards, I hobbled down the corridor, tube coming out of my arm, sleeveless summer top and woolly gloves. Must have been an interesting site.........

I hadn't left my parking ticket in the car, I couldn't find it anywhere........drat! Never mind, I got another one from the machine! Genius. By this time, despite the warm sun the air had got to my throat and I'd started got worse and worse....just as the Lone Ranger had said might happen. No panic, I just covered my mouth with woolly gloves until I'd breathed enough warm fluffy air to be able to breathe properly - getting some rather odd looks from passers by at this point, including a concerned nurse, but I was heading towards the hospital so she carried on. I met two more fellow bowel cancer patients but both times I could hardly speak so carried on staggering down the corridor. They were a bit concerned about how I'd get home, but they don't know me .

Pharmacy brought my drugs down, apologising and then I returned to my car. Heater on full blast - aimed at my feet for a couple of minutes and my feet decided to cooperate. I was melting on the entire journey home - my feet and hands and face need heat but that made the rest of me overheat, plus the odd hot flush - terrific.

I can't stop sneezing and although I'm very tired, I can't sleep. I feel sick and my voice is all weird, breathing laboured. Nose running a lot again.

Day 2

OW, OW, OW, OW. My legs don't work, they hurt too much, my hands up to my elbows and me feet up to my knees - hurt! Real deep muscle pains . Walking is painful and difficult, climbing the stairs not so bad, coming back down rotten. I feel sick. I'm sick of tea, the thought of coffee makes me retch. Brother in law suggests hot ribena! Fantastic - speed dial "rent a shopper" aka Bex to bring emergency supplies, bonus because Ribena Light was on special offer. Also stocked up on soups (clear NOT creamy ) and tinned and fresh fruit. Oh, and ginger beer! Ginger gives a bit of a prickle anyway so even though room temperature liquids prickle my throat, it's not too noticable and does ease the nausea.

Day 3

For the love of God (not that I believe in God, but I like the saying), my legs still hurt. I still struggle to type - can't touch type too well so stabbing keys like an amateur, which I find immensely frustrating. I still feel sick, I wake up with what feels like a swollen tongue - this started on day two, which seems to numb all my taste buds. Jacket potato, bread, toast, crackers - all taste like raw bread dough. The only thing that makes toast palatable is marmite. At least it's got B vitamins in it! I try my usual home made protein drink of soya yoghurt, pureed tinned fruit in juice, cinnamon and a splash of boiled water - to bring the temperature up. It still freezes my top lip, tongue and inside my cheeks, making speech kinda tricky, not only do I walk like a drunk, I sound like one too.

Quick trip to hospital to have pump disconnected - too grotty to mention side effects, I just want to go home and besides Sister Hylda was on her own with a ward full. She's retiring in a week or so (depending on cover) which is a shame, because she's fab!

I got a bit wallowy in the evening and felt like I might benefit from a good feet stomping and a cry - however it still hurts like HELL to cry on day 3 and my legs do what the hell they like, cramping up and twisting at random moments.

At one point I had to lean on my son to get from the sofa from the stairs to go to the loo - I could use the downstairs one but I also need to keep moving so upstairs it is. Moving warms things up and takes the pain off a little so it's worth the effort I think.

I moan to a friend that I just want someone to look after me for ONE day. Not my mum or my sister, a partner, someone who knows me and cares. The way someone used to when I was ill.......I want that back, just for one day. To know that I can ask for anything, moan if they do it wrong, but know they'll be there all day at my disposal with good humour. Basically I want what I can't have, I want him back the way things were. Not for good, just one day. Normal people would probably just wish for a day off cancer treatment, so now I'm concerned about the chemobrain effects. Already words escape me - we played the "guess the word" game in the chemo suite - it's not so frustrating when you both have the same problem. The missing word on Monday was "Ashburton".....we knew it began with an A..........then I got Ash..........took about 5 minutes to get the whole word.

Day 4

At last, some respite, legs only half as painful this morning. MacMillan nurse rang to arrange a visit and also a referral to the benefit specialist MacMillan nurse. Hands working pretty well so far, hence typing blog! Still feeling sick and having odd cramps in legs, but definitely wearing off. Managed a mug of tea and tin of chicken and veg soup so far, plus anti-emetics. Still need to take my other two I'll have to wait til my next hot drink is just warm.

13:08 - 7 Comments - 0 Kudos - Add Comment - Edit - Remove


We all care about you Lisa, but I do know what you mean about that special person and I wish I had a magic wand to make it happen for you. Lots of love xxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by Dorothy on Thursday, August 09, 2007 at 15:25
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Reading this brought it all back...I really do feel for you sweets. Filthy, evil stuff....but remember that if Tyson, Beavis or Butthead left any stray cells lying around, they are having just as much of a shit time as you ;o)

I also resorted to hot bena when on chemo - it felt like tea/coffee cloyed to my teeth, anyway it made me retch loudly!

Some feel lots better very quickly after chemo and it all seems a painful memory. (Then you get your first period for 4 months and have to waddle round the office with a hot water bottle trying not to cry....!)

I know just what you mean about not having a partner - things quite distant with Dreamy as though he has already detatched from the Mother Ship!! If Dorrie finds that magic wand, ask her pretty please to waft it in my direction too..! :-)

lots of love, K xoxox

Posted by GlitterGirl.... on Thursday, August 09, 2007 at 22:48
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Lisa Left Eye Loopylalalalala

Well, knowing you lot all got through it helps HEAPS. It's really hard to explain to someone just how crappy it is until you get it, but I knew it would be bad cos none of the bandits are girly woosy types! At least I won't be getting any decorators in - the only benefit of an early menopause I'm aware of.

I'm really sorry for you and Dreamy - not the same reasons, but that's why I'm on my own cos my Dreamy buggered off to Thailand. It's the memory of being ill with flu - the one and only time I ever had it and how lovely he was, how he noticed I was ill, just because I was taking a little bit longer over my food than usual, before I realised myself. It's the little things I miss........

We're extra special Kate - so need to hang in there for someone worthy ;o)

Feeling better this evening thank you xxxxxx

Posted by Lisa Left Eye Loopylalalalala on Thursday, August 09, 2007 at 23:12
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Is he incommunicado in Thailand - can't we blackmail him to come back for a day? We could do an internet campaign...........

Posted by Hayley on Friday, August 10, 2007 at 10:56
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Lisa Left Eye Loopylalalalala

Kinda incommunicado.......he did ring me for an hour back in Feb/Mar (only one hour because I was off to radiation - yuk) and he was sufficiently upset/concerned to be unable to finish reading my blogs because he found them too upsetting.

He's a big girl's blouse and a coward at the end of the day, I just wanted the old one back not the one who left me. Que sera.

Posted by Lisa Left Eye Loopylalalalala on Friday, August 10, 2007 at 13:29
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Bad Fish

I've found that I can drink room temperature (or cool but warming up) fizzy mineral water which doesn't make my mouth feel quite so much like it's been coated with lard - possibly because of the bubbles - but also helps with the nausea/dry acid boak. I think this is the bubbles making you a bit burpy anyway, but more so, so it dilutes the acidity.

When I was waiting for the GF outside the hospital yesterday after Chemo 6 (in the shade, with a shirt over my pump pouch and enormous tits) some skanky, lanky creature wandered past smoking (earning a dirty look from me because the hospital and grounds are non-smoking) and he paused, smiled with his brown, gappy teeth and said hello while he stubbed the butt out on a non-smoking sign on the bin near me.

Fifteen minutes later he wandered past again from another direction and sat down with a meat-pie-of-dubious-origins and chips and offered me a bite. Then proceeded to make the move. Yeah, right. Brown teeth (one front one missing) and an offer of a bite of meat pie and that's the start of the chat up line? Give me a 60 year old any day!

I didn't meet the GF until I was 35. And believe me, I was a Sh1t Magnet before that, so don't give up hope, you two.

Posted by Bad Fish on Tuesday, August 14, 2007 at 17:54
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Lisa Left Eye Loopylalalalala

But Bad Fish, I'm nearly 37 :o(

Where is my GF? I thought I'd found him..........but he wasn't interested in fish I don't think. Well I wasn't his lobster anyway!

I too attract all kinds of non-metallic substances in the male human form. They always have some kind of workshy ailment or allergy to real commitment.

I say that - I'm on the sick and disabled and have poo dangling from my navel - what a catch I am hehe.

Posted by Lisa Left Eye Loopylalalalala on Tuesday, August 14, 2007 at 22:20

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