It’s been a while since my last post and I want to keep those that are interested up to speed. I’m due to start my 3rd cycle of chemo next week and I’m currently feeling really good, although there have been some dark days. One of the things about my situation is the majority of people only see me when I am well enough to venture out the house so people only see the good days. The chemo I am on at the moment is a mixture of 2 drugs. I take Temozolomide tablets in the morning and then a drip called Irinotecan later in the day, which only takes half an hour if they get their shit together at the hospital. And that’s each day for 5 days. A few times I have waited all day in the hospital chair but I won’t bore you with those exciting stories.
Before I started this course of chemo I had crippling stomach pain. Shortly after starting chemo it started to refer to my back; stomach pains can be a side effect of this type of chemo but I had the necessary injection each day to stop that, so it was something else causing it. This back and stomach pain continued to get worse, and I ended up on daily morphine and anti-inflammatories. I’ve had a numb patch on the bottom of my foot for a while now and when I mentioned this they were a bit concerned that something could be pressing on the spinal nerve. I was booked in for a scan to check. I got the results the next day and it was a worrying 24 hours as you can imagine. Luckily there was nothing that concerned my consultant but he said my pancreas was inflamed which is likely down to the drugs aggravating the tumor, which I saw as a good thing. The inflammation was restricting a blood vessel to my bowels, and also caused a blood clot, so now I have to inject myself daily to help break the clot up and avoid any more forming. I’m not sure why but cancer patients are at an increased risk of blood clots. For a week now I have been off the pain killers with no issues so that’s a huge relief and I can finally keep myself busy again, which is another reason I haven’t written a blog for a while. The numb patch on my foot could be an effect of the chemo or nerve damage from the foot operation I had just before I started chemo way back in Sep 2014…that seems like a lifetime ago now.
For the first round of this chemo I didn’t have the Hickman line (picture below) inserted so I had a cannula inserted in my hand or arm daily. A few days the nurse struggled to find my veins, due to the chemo’s effect on them, and I ended up feeling like a big fleshy pin cushion. And looked like a crack head with injection marks all over my arms. The fact I have lost a lot of weight doesn’t help avoid that look. As frustrating as the line is, it does mean I don’t need to be used as a pin cushion again and they can get the drugs in me much quicker and easier, and blood out. Another massive plus is this line is a Gucci version, which is a lot sportier than its predecessor. This line has no chunky plastic clamps which showed through my clothes, got in the way and made sleeping a lot harder.
I have been pretty strict with the alkaline lifestyle I am trying to adapt. As well as the food and drink I consume, I’m also trying to be a lot more Zen! Sometimes I am too ill and weak so my mum is now cooking more meals for me again, which is a massive win for me! She has done her alkaline diet research so eating has been much easier than if it was just me trying to cook while I was feeling rough. I am consuming so many things that are supposed to all benefit the fight against cancer while also trying to put some weight back on! Like I’ve said before, food can be medicine just as much as it can be poison. Meal time is war against cancer at the moment and I’m doing my best to rip cancer a new a-hole. Some holistic things I am doing may be considered a bit hippy while others are a bit sounder and proven by science …bitch. I’m going to do a post about alternative therapies and some of the stuff I have been doing a little later on.
As I mentioned in an older post, the plan was to have a regular scan every 2 rounds to observe how things are going and change anything if needed. I had my first scan this week which we were all trying our hardest not to worry about, which is easier said than done. It was horrible sitting back in that room I was told the bad news in just last month, sat in the same seat but I was ready to be hit with the news as the anticipation was boiling over. It was such a huge relief that there was no bad news to report. There wasn’t much of a change but the tumours in my lungs showed a slight reduction and the suspicious area on my liver was less obvious. I could actually feel the pressure release knowing things are moving in the right direction and I can relax again until next time.
Apologies if you’re getting bored of pictures of my dog Archie. Its much more interesting than a picture of me sitting in a chemo chair and apparently its best to add a picture. Moving on, I had a haircut this week!! My hair isn’t exactly back to itself yet and it could all fall out again anytime, but it felt so good to feel normal again and get a trim. Plus the barber is a top bloke and does a good job polishing a turd. Its bank holiday weekend and I’m feeling good enough to enjoy it which is awesome. I’m not due to start my chemo until Tuesday (because of a hospital cock up) so I can kick back, relax a bit more and enjoy my Sunday despite the shite weather forecast! We have been spoilt recently with sun and I’ve got rather used to it. So I hope you enjoy the first bank holiday of the year, mine will be a lemon water please. 😉