Thursday 27th September 2007; Bloods on Friday went well, well enough to say that my poor knackered veins have almost inverted into my arms now, and my appointment with Mr Nice Oncologist went really well, my mouth is still very sore and he has prescribed me some more Nystan mouth drops along with a 7 day course of Fluconazole antibiotics. He also said that I have a painful edema approximately at Grade 2. Medical terms have no meaning to me, it’s a language us normal folk just can’t get a grasp off and so promised myself I would look up the human term of it when I got home. For once I did just that, and found out that wheyy hey, there is a reason why I am so bloody fat, why I can’t get my rings on my fingers, why I have to demote myself to wearing baggy slippers rather than my normal 5 inch stiletto heels and am walking round like a 90 yr old geriatric. The edema part is responsible, and in English normal human being terms means that puffiness, swelling, or a “heavy” feeling occurs by an abnormal buildup of fluid in the body and causes decreased flexibility of the joints in the arms and legs, such as my ankles toes, wrists, and fingers. This is a side effect of the Pacletaxol, along with the probability that I have low levels of protein in my body due the lack of, or should I say the poor nutrition that I am getting from my amazing diet that consists of eating everything that is crap, bad for you, but is quite frankly blooding amazing for the feel good factor of the spotty, dry, swollen, gum receding gob. Another reason why I may have it is due to all the; noneexercise that I am getting from lounging around on the sofa all day. They say that exercise can create energy, well that’s all well and good, but could someone please tell me where to bloody well get the strength and energy from in the first place just to get me off this sofa. I mean come on, when I say I am completely exhausted, I am not over exaggerating, or being a drama queen, I am saying I’m too tired to even concentrate on a 60 second commercial. Good news also with my oncologist, my tumour is now measuring 35mm in diameter, I know it’s not reducing so much now, but it’s still shrinking and going in the right direction, plus I still have 2 more cycles of chemo to do its stuff before my big day comes to have all the rest cut out.
Tuesday 2nd October 2007; back at the good old boring, stinking of chemo, ready to puke chemo day ward. Maureen had the job to come with me today and as soon as we walked onto the ward, my nurse spotted me and walked quickly down the corridor towards us ‘which’ I did feel a sense of excited come over me... Was today going to be that good, were they ready and waiting for me, was there going to be no seeing the boring, overcrowded waiting room of bald peeps today. Ha haa you guessed it, there was going to be no such bloody look of any quick start today. She had come racing up the corridor to give me a blood bag and instructions to go down the stairs, down the long long corridor, right over to the other end of the hospital, to the out patients clinic to have more bloods done as the readings from Thursday’s blood tests just weren’t good enough.
I hate all the waiting around, sitting on ‘what the hospital thinks to be comfy chairs’ when I could be home doing.... doing what? Absolutely nothing, I don’t do anything anymore, apart from lounge around on the sofa in my PJ’s all day long, which I am still dragging myself upstairs half an hour before Lee is due home to make out that I am actually dressing for the day and being productive. But at least at home, I’m comfortable, at least when I’m at home I can get laid down and close my eyes when I want, sleep when I want, eat when and what I want, here in the hospital it’s just not the same, I’m sat upright, there’s too much noise going off from the nurses clanging around the machinery, slamming doors or running around on the ward and shouting patients names every 5 to 10 minutes.
You would have thought that the nurses in the out-patient’s blood taking department would be very good at what they do, be the expert that we would expect them to be, from spending all day every day taking blood from patients, which by the look of them today, have the impossible vein problem that I have developed myself over the past couple of months. Oh but no, this blood taking has to be the worst yet, not only did I feel the sharp scratch that was more like an axe-saw ripping into my skin and veins, but it also felt like a big bore drill, drilling down for oil 1000 miles beneath the surface. It bloody hurt like hell, and then to top this off, the nurse in the chemo ward was going to have to try and find a left over vein that this blood nurse had missed using. I mean, I know my veins have become bad now, but I have seen worse and bet that the nurses have too, so I dread to think how these poor people have to suffer and some have to suffer every single day.
It was 2pm by the time I got called through for chemo. Thankfully anticipations of a repeat performance of my 5th chemo and it being delayed were wasted as my bloods were good and ok to go today. When I think of it being delayed my whole mind and body is going into sheer panic now, I cannot have any delays because my surgery is booked just 3 wks after my last chemo is scheduled, and delays now with could and would result in this being postponed until a later date. I cannot have any delays now, I am just too close to the surgery that I have been longing for since that awful day they told me I had breast cancer.
Maureen left me too it to go and do a bit of shopping, I didn’t mind and much prefer to be left, cos at least I don’t feel like I have to stay awake and make conversation. Majority of my time was spent watching a young women sat across from me, she was content in receiving and sending texts message the whole time she was there and on a number of occasions bubbly answered the phone with a ‘Oh yeah am almost done now’ her jolly voice captivated me, it also captivated the nurses too and every time they passed her, they had their own jolly voice on to go with hers, making gestures to the chemo bag hung high on the drip stand and saying things like ‘almost done’ which seemed to her own and make her more happy than she already was. It was probably an hour and a couple of snoozes later that I realised what all the excitement and happy smiles were about. Today was her last chemo, today she got to walk out of that door and never come back. Will I be the same next time, on my last chemo, will I be excited and want to text and ring everyone to give them a full run down every 5 minutes of where my last chemo bag fluid line came up to, and how much I had left and before walking out of that door the last time. I hope so, cos at the moment, all this chemo seems to do to me is make me want to sleep, give me the numbest arse in history and make me want to climb the walls from the hyperactive buzzy things that are inside my head from the steroids.
By 7pm I was done and walking out of the door, so even though today got off to a bad start, overall the day and the chemo went pretty well. I feel the usual dizzy and nauseated state from the steroids, pre meds and chemo cocktail but luckily the chemo brain now is making me forget how bad it actually is while I’m having it pumped into me. Today was made even better by that lovely woman sat across from me, her smile and happiness was contagious.
I have successfully had 7 cycles of chemo, and have one last one to go in 2 weeks time and from that point on, it will be full steam of pre-opp appointments and getting everything ready that I will need for my hospital stay. The good thing at the moment is that I am given plenty of time to relax at home. Lee doesn’t expect me to do anything and the rest of the family aren’t busy making plans for me to venture out of the house anymore either. They can see how tired and drained that I have become and are giving me that space to rest and let my body heal. It’s probably because I am on a trial that I am having this chemo every 2 wks cos everyone else still seems to be having cycles every 3 weeks, which is why I think that I am feeling more and more tired. The first week is still the week I am no good to anyone, the second week is still the week that I start to pick up, but the week that over the last couple of months Lee have become to call, my good week, the week I have energy for sex has gone, it’s been taking away and replaced by the ‘no good to anyone’ week again. Lee is so patient, and I feel for him big time as he is still the same person, he hasn’t had all his hormones stripped away so his sex drive is still the same, and even though I’m bald and fat now, he still fancies me like mad which probably doesn’t help when I spend half my time naked on top of the duvet.
We still have our moments of Love making, but these moments have now moved into the late afternoons rather than on an evening, you see if we waited, then I would be asleep and snoring my head off, so the timing has to be just right to catch me in the right frame of mind. Its no good, planning it earlier on in the day, or half an hour before hand for that matter, because by the time comes around, I will have forgotten all about it resulting in me getting one bloody frustrated fiancé. There is an upside now, as I have just one more chemo to go and my energy levels can start to repair and get back to how I used to be, and much to Lee’s liking, that old me was never too tired for a quickie or for a good long night session, that old me liked to make love and have sex, because that old me still had a good strong hold of my libido.