Saturday, 19 January 2008

2007 Dec 6th - Last chemo!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

And now.....the end is near....and so we reach .....the final CHEMO!
Category: Life

I feel like Arkwright at the end of an episode of "Open All Hours"........

It's been a funny old week. If it was a tarot reading the Death card would definitely be in it somewhere.........the end of one phase and the birth of a new one.

Monday was Beating Bowel Cancer comedy night at the Comedy Store in Picadilly (London for all you northern cheeky monkeys, who think that's yellow stuff in a jar). I put on a frock, some legs, my new boots (superb bargain under £20 with more than a hint of FMB about them) and some jewellery. My hair underwent the GHD/After Party treatment and Beckie came by to take me to my final "am I fit enough for chemo" blood test .........or so I hoped. No stroppy women in pathology this time and then it was back home to await Thomas the Tank's stunt driver (Mike) who was moonlighting as our chauffeur to Laaaaahndan. Actually he was on the guest list, but stupidly volunteered to drive!

In true grown up stylee I littered the entire journey with criticisms of Mike's driving (so he could taste married life without the expense of divorce) demanded we stop for a wee wee, food and whiny requests as to whether we were "there yet".

Cockfosters for free parking (thank you blue badge), freezing cold train station and about a zillion stops later we arrived at Covent Garden.............not before having an emergency stop at Arnos Grove.

Mike wanted to stop at Arsenal on account of I have Nil Arse (think about it) but my bag was about ready to explode, it was making me look like Sigourney Weaver, with hair and make up, in Alien. In desperation I flashed my "the bearer of this card has a medical condition.............needs to wear medical appliance........toilet............URGENT" card at a small, unchatty rail employee who silently unlocked the female staff toilet.

Emergency bag contents running down my tights into my beautiful new boots!

Back onto the tube, chilli con carne for me in the Garden (it's relevant it was red meat). Met Angela and headed for the venue.

Firstly I spotted Faerie, hard not to she's got a mahoosive grin! A very teeny weeny umpalumpa sized Faerie she is too, hugs for her and a much healthier looking Caz than I expected!. Lizzy, another bum bandit, (s)mother and Katie from BBC.

Managed not to cry, was quite keen on getting to the bar to be honest! Stupidly FORGOT to get photos which was just soooo dumb, but we all forgot so blaming the excitement!

Faerie and Caz did their speeches without fluffing, falling off their high heels, the stage or any wardrobe disasters. I just about held back the tears and had a little sister hand to squeeze when it was hardest.

Three beers, some wedges and dips, four comedians plus a very nice compere, later I was stuffing a MacDonalds down my face (more red meat) including a Festive was the beer alright?

After picking up one of Mike's friends and her suitcase after her holiday we were at last on our way home, tired and weary but having all had a jolly good time. I got to bed at 2.49am........I arrived at the chemo suite Tuesday morning at 9.03am.

After four paces into the chemo suite Lisa (the sister) said "You look gorgeous........don't go any further". Oh SHIT. Here we go again. My neutraphils were still at 1.3 as of Monday afternoon. Now considering the length of time and amount of injections I've needed to stay just above 1.5 we were all resigned to me failing the test after only a few hours. All was not lost though, onco Tom said if it was too low that was it NO MORE CHEMO for me, we'd just abandon the final one. After proclamations of love for Lisa, Tom and the entire nursing staff we trotted off to pathology again.

Now by this point I was almost bouncing off the ceiling with excitement because it meant I could be spending the day with my "special chemo guest" without the evil drugs and WITHOUT the PICC line when my blood test came back at 1.4 or something.

Lisa didn't change my dressing, expecting to be removing my PICC line. Ray appeared with the A4 white sheet containing my blood report........get this.........



I thought he was winding me up.....or got someone else's results......after believing I was going home never having chemo again, to be told I was fitter than ever and would be having this one more treatment was very weird. The only conclusion we could come to was laughter, beer and red meat had bounced my bloods more than neupogen could, or maybe it was the excitement of meeting bum bandits, my special guest, being with the three people who have done the most for me this year (Beckie, Angela and Mike), the excitement of completing another round in the boxing championship against Tyson.


Special guest arrived and swapped duties with Beckie, getting me tea and minstrels and generally making me laugh. Lisa had brushed her hair specially for the visit!

Back home for take out pizza! Not recommended for chemo patients but I was riding high on the blood results and general good mood and company, and was too lazy to cook.

Fast forwarding to today. I bought cakes for the nurses (two each) and sat and waited til they were ready. I didn't need a seat, just the bed! I gave Lisa a hug who seemed really small all of a sudden and she said she'll miss me. My eyes hurt a lot from the tears (stupid side effects). I promised to pop in and say hi whenever I was visiting for check ups. I took a couple of final photos of my right arm whilst I waited for Izzy which are in my Cancer Fings folder.

Not knowing quite what to do next I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my special little sister for all she's done over these chemo months, not just the driving, I think that was the easy bit - we just had an excuse to sit around chatting and drinking tea. It was more for the support, the housework, the offers of help repeatedly even when I repeatedly turned them down until I gave in and admitted, yes I do need you. It was for the unlimited supply of chai and sympathy, the ironing, the child care and sounding board. A comparitively small gesture, a bouquet, an orange Options sachet each and a packet of hob nobs for her tea break at work, but it was all I could think of in the chemo fog.

Feeling very sick today, a bit lonely but now I have a warm feeling where there was just a cool feeling of hope before.

Slept a lot this afternoon and have that "I just swallowed a whole apple and it's stuck in my throat" feeling that won't go away, spazzy hands and dodgy vision that day three usually brings.

I've missed a few bits out......but those of you who know what I'm talking about can always message me privately for gossip and details .

I still find it hard to associate myself with cancer sometimes. Since I turned a corner mentally I don't feel like a patient and I've never felt like a victim but should I keep reminding myself I've been through some serious shit? Part of me wants to forget but another voice says, bury this at your peril cos it'll come back and bite you on the ass all the harder if you do.

I'm sure I've said this before, but I'll say it again. I would rather go through my surgery again than chemo. It comes second to radiation, not least because I am still suffering from the damage from that, not to mention the menopause etc.

With surgery you improve daily, maybe fall back a bit, but always in an upward trend. Chemo is a downward trend of ever decreasing peaks and ever increasing troughs. It saps the very will from your veins to do or think anything on a regular basis. Looking back I'm glad of the blood troubles I had now it's over, it meant I had additional recovery time and subsequent treatments didn't hit me as hard.

The desperate lows I had in my hospital bed after I left critical care, where I couldn't eat, wouldn't eat, didn't care about the fact that I couldn't eat. I've had those on chemo. The tears of hopelessness about my new body, the unfit, unnatural one that replaced the relatively well cared for one I had before - had those on chemo. Lethargy, nausea, depression, cold sensitivity, leg pains, hip and knee pains, lack of balance, dehydration, poor nutrition, diarrhoea and leaky bags.........none of these things are condusive to excercise or maintaining muscle tone.

But it's over, I am saying every mantra and doing every mojo dance in my head that I NEVER have to go through this again. I'm doing the same for all of you who are still in the middle of it or about to start. Hang in there.

Chemo 19th February 2007 - 6th December 2007 RIP.

22:15 - 7 Comments - 6 Kudos - Add Comment - Edit - Remove


True words. Love you more than ever.

Posted by Peter on Friday, December 07, 2007 at 12:44
[Remove] [Reply to this]

Lisa Left Eye Loopylalalalala

Oh Moley, Moley, Moley. How do you keep reducing me to tears with just a few small words. Hang in there. Love to Mrs Moley too xxx

Posted by Lisa Left Eye Loopylalalalala on Saturday, December 08, 2007 at 00:29
[Remove] [Reply to this]


CONGRATULATIONS Lisa on finishing the wretched chemo! Well done hun its time to celebrate!
It was so lovely meeting you at long long last on Monday - we didn't get much chance to have a natter, but at least I got to give you a hug. You look so amazing Lisa - your a very beautiful woman and your sure looking good and so well considering what your have been through! But then again, all of us are looking well! The inside is a different story, but we are all healing slowly but surely!
The Comedy Store night was a real tonic and I've not laughed so much in a long time - it was the laughter that boosted your little cells my friend - cos I think they boosted mine! Felt very energised on Tuesday! LOL xx

Posted by Caroline on Friday, December 07, 2007 at 12:45
[Remove] [Reply to this]


*Eyes leaking......*

I'm so proud of you Sis, you are amazing.


Posted by Umpalumpa on Saturday, December 08, 2007 at 00:18
[Remove] [Reply to this]

Bad Fish

I laughed (especially about the experience of marriage without the cost of divorce bit), I cried, I cried again and then I nodded a bit ... congratulations and yah boo to that nasty chemo. Hopefully you'll be tasting everything as it should be by Christmas and things will only get better. Hugs and more hugs to you and Becs!

Posted by Bad Fish on Monday, December 10, 2007 at 19:37
[Remove] [Reply to this]


bless you loopy - this is a very moving piece of writing. Thank-you for sharing it this way,and I send all the love in the world for a brighter future for you and hope for all us "patients"

Posted by suze on Thursday, January 17, 2008 at 00:20
[Remove] [Reply to this]

Lisa Left Eye Loopylalalalala

I'm such a twit Suze, just found this waiting to be approved in my in box - doh.

And right back at you xxx

Posted by Lisa Left Eye Loopylalalalala on Thursday, January 17, 2008 at 00:29

No comments: