Not doing so well again today, feeling pathetic and it's all just dragging on now. Sun is shining and that's great but I don't get to enjoy it - usual long day, though only three hours in the hospital today. I had a review, was told I look weary and tired. YUP. Went through the checklist of symptoms - yep got all those, except my skin is doing really well, must be the aqueous cream! Offered loperamide (immodium to you lot) and anti nausea drugs but I really don't want any more medication if I can help it. I know why I feel crappy and don't want to risk feeling worse or missing something by taking more drugs.
Oh have a look at my (myspace) pics if you have access, my cancer card is designed ready to print, if I ever get round to it, and be laminated. Perhaps produced in triplicate should I lose one.....or two.
A couple of women in the waiting room were discussing how crap cancer is and how it affects your entire life, like your job, relationship (or in my case doubt about ever having one again), having more kids (nope none of those for me, or the woman who is grateful for the one child but now needs hysterectomy following mastectomy since her cancer is hereditary and hormone related). It's the lack of choice over so many things all at once that makes this so bloody hard to deal with - I could say no to the treatment and surgery and be dead within a year or two, maybe less. No real choice there then. I couldn't have more kids anyway unless my eggs were grown somewhere else, but at least I had eggs (fried eggs now). I don't want to have my menopause yet, I don't want hot flushes, mood swings, forgetfulness, thinning hair and faster ageing skin. I don't want HRT. However it's happening and it's saving my life - so no real choice.
I have no idea what I want to do with the rest of my working life, but I've a feeling it involves part time! I'm also vaguely considering nursing of some description which is a route I wanted to take 10 years ago but couldn't afford to with two small children, debts and an ex husband. I don't know how the rest of my mortgage will get paid when I go on to half pay - don't trust the tax credit people but that will be my first port of call WHEN it happens. I don't know what job I'll have to go back to or if they'll want me back. I don't know when I'll be fit to work again or how hard it will be to get another job now I've got cancer, everyone will be watching me for five years and how many employers will take that on. You can say what you like about equal rights but at the end of the day I'd never be able to prove I didn't get a job because I used to have cancer would I?
In summary there's a lot I don't know and it's pretty much down to cancer. I'm no stranger to hard times but it's a lot to take in, in a short space of time.
Diarrhoea, diarrhoea, people think it's funny........
.........mind you half the population can't spell it properly.
So the photos have been taken, did my best to offer up a genuine smile - wearing bargain top from Mexx (usual price £29, sale price £2) uh - huh we KNOW how to shop! Wishing I'd got my finger out of my um....arse.... and sorted out a trim with the hairdresser but I'm scared he'll accidentally cut through my chemo tube and drip cytotoxic chemicals everywhere - seriously I have dreams about this sort of thing, I have one clamp - which I assume would be best used on the end connected to my arm to avoid air bubbles. What do I do with the pump that's spewing stuff out? Do I call an ambulance? The fire brigade? Both? Thankfully only one more wretched pump to go and then I can actually WASH my arm.
Speaking of air bubbles, when they change the "bung" over in my PICC line I have to hold my breath since if I breathe in at that point I could give my self a potentially leathal air bubble. WHAT?
I've also got a few more teeny weeny ulcers that are creeping around my lips, from the inside corners of my mouth which is also down to the lovely 5FU - this stuff had better be working.
Anyway after Mr Photographer had been and gone in a flash. PMSL. I threw together a pad thai, mistakenly thinking using the thin rice noodles I bought would make a nice change, they didn't - they're too watery but it still tasted OK. In defiance to Tyson I sprinkled crushed chillis over mine which helped no end to counter the wateriness but then wondered about the logic of this on my fifth visit to the toilet the next day. Trouble is I never know on worse diarrhoea days if it's food, bacteria, Tyson, hormone, chemo or radiotherapy related since it could be all or any of the above. I'm thinking (Faerie I know you O.Dd on chillis too recently) the chillis was probably pushing hope a little too far so back to more bland food then.
Saturday I felt um okay, still tired, still curled up on mum's sofa at the earliest opportunity - then when the kids came back from their trip to the village shop we all pretended I was asleep so they stayed in the kitchen - I felt a bit mean but waved my imaginary "Cancer Card" in the air by way of justification. Covered in a blanket sipping weak lemon drink - the sort of thing all sickly people do in novels - is now a reality instead of a funny mental image.
Sunday - well I felt practically "normal" by 3pm and thought that would be a great opportunity to cut the grass - I say grass instead of lawn for a reason. It's now resembling something akin to a lawn but I fear I've done myself irreparable damage. The whole point of having weekends off with radiotherapy is that your body had time to repair and replace any NON cancerous cells which have been anihilated by the radiation beams. Straining my back, arm, leg and stomach muscles, let alone my lungs to the point of collapse is not really helping - I had to stop for a breather halfway through, but would NOT be beaten by stupid grass, or Tyson. The sun was shining and it was a lovely day and I wanted lovely neat short grass.
Up during the night at 5am (technically 4am stupid DST) with, oh guess what more diarrhoea, I mean I know my wee isn't as hurty as it was, but four hours sleep is just not enough
Monday - woke up feeling rough as usual, took Karys to the bus stop and crawled back under duvet for another 90 minutes. Alarm went off, I couldn't move, the duvet was the softest, fluffiest, warmest, most comfortable thing EVER. 20 minutes later, realising my hair hadn't been washed for 3 days I sort of fell out of bed and into the shower. I was shaking all over before I got in, whilst I was in (washed hair v v quickly for a "one hand in a plastic balloon" person) and just managed to dry half the water off myself before pegging it next door to the loo AGAIN. Where does it all come from? I had very well cooked, properly defrosted, low fat pork in a sort of bolognaise sauce with white pasta and a salad yesterday - no chillis in sight. I felt so ill, I thought I was going to pass out on the loo and that would not be a pretty sight for my daughter when she got home from school, me half naked at the top of the stairs (no point shutting the door when you're alone and in a hurry). After the pains had gone away I felt a bit better. Decided I was up to one hour journey after all and didn't call mum's taxi!
I've had 15 treatments now, 10 to go. I have a feeling it's going to get worse. All the radiographers commented on how weary or ill I looked today - think it's just tiredness and overdoing it on Sunday, oh and bleeding to death over the weekend - better that than bleed over the radiotherapy bed eh?
Oh if you have radio on your face/head you get a thin mattress! I begged them to leave it on for me but they said "No sorry, you get the cold hard bed, no mattress for you". Charming, still I could fall asleep on it face down at the drop of a hat if they just left me alone. Having counted pretty much every radiation beam - I have approx 3 seconds (6mv) to the front, 20 seconds to each hip (10mv) and another 12 to 15 seconds, I always lose interest by this point as it's the third one (6mv).
I wonder if I'll be in the local press tomorrow.............I do hope they get everything right.