‘Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind…’
The sunshine and warmth really does ‘make me feel fine’. Today marks the 12th week since I finished my chemo and I am really feeling well. I can taste things, my hair is growing back and I am jogging again. In fact, I am planning to celebrate my 51st birthday on Sunday by running the British 10K in London with my 15 year-old daughter, India and my running partner, Madelaine. I won’t achieve a PB in terms of time, but I will be pleased to be able to complete it.
Whilst I am recovering well from the chemo, the Oxaliplatin has done some permanent damage to my nerve endings – the only way I can describe it is that my fingers and the bottoms of my feet feel like they are permanently covered in wet sand. Essentially, I’ve lost some of the sensitivity, so I struggle to put on earrings or do up clasps. No big deal in the grand scheme of things. I think I got off quite lightly!
The other bugger is the extra 14 pounds of weight I’ve gained with the chemo. I know this sounds counter-intuitive but the strong steroids I was on to prevent sickness and keep my energy levels up combined with some odd eating habits due to change in tastes have contributed to my larger size. Once again, it’s boring in terms of needing to buy new clothes, but I’m told that I was a bit thin beforehand anyway.
I’ve had a scan in the past week which has shown that the gel in my abdomen is growing again, but my blood tests show that my tumour markers are all stable and in normal range, so no tumours at this point. I consider that a license to continue to ‘live life large’ and keep smiling. Oh, and the recent recognition in the Queen’s Birthday Honours as a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) for my service to both gender diversity and finance helps as well! The whole family are looking forward to going to Buckingham Palace in the autumn to collect my medal. And coming back to my first point, let’s not forget this glorious sunshine. I’m soaking it all up and savouring every minute!