Saturday, January 2, 2010

FEC #4 day by day


Thursday (day 2) - Had my neulasta jab, but will ask Dr Iqbal if I can give it to myself next time as the pre-filled syringe looks the same as one of the fertility drugs, and giving it to myself would mean I won't have to hang about for the district nurse. She was nice enough, and offered me the services of another support nurse (can't recall her proper title!) who can prescribe stuff instantly to resolve side effects etc, but I don't feel I need her help at this time. Velindre Cancer Centre is so responsive, it doesn't feel like there is any lack of support around here!

Got our fancy dress outfits sorted: mine was a blue wig, flowery top, satin trousers, and bright eye make up, while Greg was 1970's cop with leather jacket, curly wig and medallion. His wig came off during the meal (which was relatively early on): he now understands why I don't wear mine all the time!!! Having said that, I think the blue was quite fetching, and I got a few compliments about my very blue eyes!

Click on this picture to see more pics of our New Year celebrations!>>>

After only 3 hours sleep the previous night, the steroids did their job and I made it through the day and the party with no drink and plenty of energy. We even won the quiz (although, to be honest, I think that was largely down to Martin who actually answered some of the questions properly, and Julie, who then added a few when 'marking'). Mine and Greg's answers would only have won on comedy value! Still, I ended up with the box of (suitably 1970's) Milk Tray, so I'm happy!! We left at about 2am, and had a really fabulous time.

Friday (day 3) - New Years Day - did nothing! All day!! Shocking!! But if you can't have a proper day off now and then, eh? G slept on and off until probably 4pm, while I was awake from just before 11am but only got up properly at about 2. Neck started to ache a bit - probably neulasta caused - and got a numb bum from too much sitting around!! Serves me right!

Tried and failed to bake some bread in the machine, but dropped the just-filled pan on the way to the machine, then put it on anyway, and it didn't properly engage, so heated but not stirred. Disaster. Greg went out for burgers instead!!!

Saturday (day 4) - got up just before 8am to put the 3 weeks worth of bin bags out for collection! My neck still aches, including under my jaw (so yes, it is a bit flu-like) but will do a few chores today to keep moving, which will probably help. Not sure when G will awake as he was wide awake very late last night - went out at 2am to take some photos with his fancy camera (which he discovered yesterday, has only a daylight lens!). Time for the Christmas tree and decorations to come down today, methinks, so there will be some cleaning and tidying to do after that.

I was thinking of going for a walk (either on the treadmill or outside), but I have had a few 'lurches' in my chest, and I am out of inhaler (will pick a new prescription and get it filled on Monday - I ordered it last Thursday when I belatedly realised it was on its last dregs!) so I am a bit wary of over-doing anything energetic. Just putting the bins out left me a little bit breathless. I don't want you to worry overly - this is quite a normal side effect of chemo, and lots of people report it on the forum I read, but obviously, it isn't time to start trying to train for a half marathon!! I was going to go for a couple of (short, gentle) runs on the treadmill earlier last week, but felt self conscious of the noise with G's parents in the house, so I never got around to it. Maybe in a couple of weeks time, when I am past the worst of this round of chemo.... we shall see.

Sunday (day 5) - it feels like the hot flushes of my (hopefully, temporary) menopause are kicking in! Yesterday in particular, but for some weeks now, I have been overly hot and then freezing cold in quick succession and sit on the sofa in my dressing gown flipping it on and off my shoulders and legs depending on the flush! Same in bed with the covers on and off every 5 minutes! The cat (Olive) doesn't know what to do, as she usually sleeps by my feet, but I keep kicking her in the process of shuffling the covers about! I am hoping today that the constipation will finally pass. 15ml of Lactulose twice a day since Thursday, and not much is moving... sorry for too much information!! It is uncomfortable, I am now officially at my heaviest ever (and really hope I don't get to say that every time I have a chemo sesh), and I just want to flatten out and lighten up a little. Still though, if a hot flush or two, and a slightly uncomfortable (but not painful) tummy is the worst I get, I am grateful.

Tuesday (day 7) - an eventful day at work - firstly someone got stuck in our lift for about half an hour (such a shame he got out before we needed to call the Fire Brigade!) and then the snow fell. We watched it while we were having our meeting, and by the end, the College had decided to close up and send everyone home. The snow stopped shortly afterwards, so we probably could have continued on until 5pm at least, but it's so hard to know whether it will just get worse or not. It took us about an hour to get to Gloucester (4 miles!), but once there I stayed with Greg in his office and we left at 4pm when the roads were clear of traffic and passable. A smattering of snow has fallen in Monmouth now - there was none at all when we got home - so we shall see what overnight brings...

Felt a little sleepy/woozy yesterday so took it easy at work, and thankfully, my constipation passed! Sorry this is too much information, but seeing as it is the worst side effect I get, it is worth mentioning!!! I have literally lost 2lbs in weight overnight!!!

Otherwise, I now feel I am back to normal again. The neulasta flu-like pain lasted no more than 24 hours, constipation and tiredness about 6 days, but not enough to stop me functioning. Hot flushes continue, but are manageable.

I've been reading about the next treatment though - Taxotere - possible permanent hair loss? Hand and Toenails falling out? Muscle and joint pains? Fluid retention? These seem to be the worst things. I had asked the oncologist whether I should be worried about starting Taxotere, but he noted that I'd coped really well with the FEC, so thought I should be find on the Tax. I do hope he is right!!!p>


  1. haha, the blue hair looks awesome! I reckon you should don that wig in normal, everyday situations! it's a good look ;)