Saturday, October 31, 2009

Anyone for a jog?

OK, you may not believe this, but I have felt like I could happily go for a run today. I am sure it won't last, but I am enjoying it while I can!!

Chemo yesterday was fine. It took a while to do, but the majority of that was hanging around waiting for the nurses to get themselves sorted out - from canula going into my hand (they were a lot more gentle with that than anaesthetists ever have been!!) to the last of the 3 drugs (FEC - 5Fluorouracil, Epirubicin and Cyclophosphamide) being pushed through it (a nurse uses giant syringes to do this, along with a drip which helps dilute it), probably only took 30-45 minutes. I did feel some immediate side effects: cold arm from the cold fluids going up it (they popped a heated pad on my arm to help, which it did); a tingly nose and a fuzzy head from another one, which didn't last very long at all; and red pee from one which goes in a red colour. That only lasted for the rest of the day.

After the chemo was delivered, I then met with a 3rd year Medical Student (Sophie - hiya, if you're reading!!) who needs to follow me for 6 months to get the patients side of what it is like being a chemotherapy patient. She'll have to write up a report at the end. We chatted for a while about what had happened to me so far, and how I felt about it, and we'll meet again at future chemo sessions so she can see how things develop. She was very sweet and polite, but I'd like to let her know that a bottle of wine is probably 9-10 units, and not approx.6 which is what we guessed at! Whoops!!).

After Sophie, I grabbed Michelle, the Breast Cancer Nurse, and she fitted me for my proper breast prosthesis. I have been given a fairly full C cup to match my other boob, and it does look better than the smaller 'softee' I had before. As long as I wear high enough tops, only an expert would be able to spot it! Michelle confessed she 'boob spots' everywhere she goes and can tell which ones have had surgery - but in her line of work, no wonder!

While I was doing all of this G had been sent away, so he took the Freelander and its sat nav for a drive around the Brecons, and then went to the camping shop at Raglan to buy fire-making equipment! He's such a boy! He noticed that garden centre (by the camping shop) had a nice cafe, so we went back there for lunch and I ate tons. We then had KFC for dinner. Oops!!!! I have eaten a little better today (except for snacking on the chocolates that the trick or treaters didn't eat!!).

Yesterday, after the chemo, I had a little sleep in the afternoon, but not sure if that was more caused by lack of sleep and anxiety the night before rather than the chemo, although I did also have a nasty taste in my mouth which seems to have gone now.

Had some trouble getting to sleep last night too, and woke reasonably early (6.30am? on a weekend!) and I think this is the steroids (dexamethasone)taking effect - oh, and impatience because I was waiting for a new laptop to be delivered - I ordered one this week, since my Mac died a few months ago and I want one I can link in to work from in case I work from home a lot more over the next few weeks. The steroids are probably also to blame for me feeling very awake and active. I have cleaned the house today (and will have to hoover downstairs again tomorrow seeings as G has managed to walk mud in everywhere already!! Grrrr) and went out for a quick drink with G and his mates tonight before leaving them to it (I'd only cramp their style!).

I have posted on an online forum asking about my good reaction to the chemo and I think it is more common than you realise, caused by the steroids (I have been given 5 days worth, marvellous!!). But I will probably fall on Monday or just after....if I do at all. Apparently, I have been given a good quality anti-sickness tablet too (ondansetron), which I had yesterday and today, and I have another milder one for the rest of the week if I need it.

Hair loss is likely to start in about 2 weeks time (so, today is day 2 and we expect loss around day 14), but here is a photo of my wig, and one of me today, so you can compare!!
Wig, all ready to go:

Me, today:

So, so far, so good. I am amazed.

I have also discovered that the pain down the inside of my arm, making it difficult to straighten my elbow, is more than likely cording. This is caused when the lymph nodes are removed. I have been gently stretching it (holding it at various stretches while sitting in front of the telly!) and this seems to be helping. Apparently, that is the advised treatment anyway, unless it is really bad in which case massage, and 'popping' the cord might be in order! Gulp! That 'popping' thing sounds painful, so we'll try and avoid that! I am definitely getting a bit better movement every day, so I will keep it up.

On a separate note, I listen to Radio 1 in the mornings and Carrie, the sports news reader announced she was pregnant this week, after having had a few months of scares. I just don't understand the reaction of some women who have miscarried, who are jealous of those who are pregnant. I know it is sometimes only a phase they go through from grief of their own loss, but I am just so, so happy when others manage to have a successful pregnancy. I had a few tears in my eyes of happiness for Carrie (if you think I'm soppy, if you're a regular listener, you do get quite involved in the 'teams' lives!!).

Right, off to see if I can find anything interesting on the web or TV while I wait for a call from G to go and fetch him from his night out in Ross-on-Wye. I am still wide awake and it is now 11.17pm. Love to you all xxxx

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