This week I had my ‘Christmas Chemo’ session on Wednesday with a number of visitors and lots of festive spirit. It was the 3rd cycle of 12, so I’m a quarter of the way there. It’s been important to me to try to make it fun with visitors and to try to laugh my way through it. However, if I’m being totally honest, I must admit that having chemo is crap. The neuralgia in my fingers, my toes, my tongue and face from the cold, my inability to drink anything that isn’t warm, the horrid taste in my mouth, the nausea, etc. It’s not nice. As a surgeon said to us on Wednesday evening, ‘we could kill all of the tumours, but we would kill all of the patients.’ It’s a delicate balance between mixing a chemo cocktail strong enough to do the trick, but not so toxic as to do permanent damage.
After cycle two, I thought that I had it all worked out and that I would be able to continue to function as usual throughout. However, I am starting to realise that just as I think I’m getting into my stride, the next cycle is like the incline and speed on the treadmill being ratcheted up a couple more notches. It really is a marathon rather than a sprint. I now know that I will have a real dip on Friday I get disconnected and the Saturday as well. Yesterday I had to give in to it and have a lie-in and I also had to decline a very nice Christmas Party invitation last night. It was a good decision – I’m feeling much more energetic today. I really hate feeling weak or having to slow down at all so this is very very hard for me, but I know that it’s worth it in the long run. A quiet Friday and Saturday every two weeks shouldn’t be that hard to do.
How am I doing otherwise? I had a call with the amazing Brendan Moran (my surgeon) on Monday and am encouraged to hear that there are some interesting developments with my cancer happening in Australia. I also hear lots of good things about the power of cannabis oil, which I will look into after my chemo finishes. I’m still feeling positive and hopeful – long may it continue.
Happily, I now have a break from chemo until the 27th December, so we can enjoy Christmas.