My last blog was titled Chemo Dreamo. The anticipation was all wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong!
Dreamo, no more. Reality is here. And it now shall be affectionally known as “Chemo Draino”. It might even shift again at some point and be called “Chemo Demon”. But time will tell.
It’s very early days for me. It’s been 60 hours since my first infusion of FEC -D. Interestingly this also sounds like an expletive (as would perhaps be pronounced by a New Zealander or a South African). I’ll let you work that one out.
I have to state the first 13 hours were a very rough experience indeedy! My poor little physiology is not too happy about all of these drugs being poured into my little river tributaries and coursing though my rather shocked vascular system. My previous drugs of choice were red wine from Central Victoria, Willie’s Cacao Chocolate from England (thank you darling brother in-law for the recent stockpile), and the odd dose of Paracetamol. My how the days have changed!
Side effects were a plenty. Racing heart, hot flushes, upset digestive system, heavy limbs, dopey brain, nerve pain in my arms and forearms, possible kidney pain and dry retching. Thankfully no follow through. There were also some tears in there for good measure. Blimey Crikey. This is going to be a long 5 months indeed!
At thirteen hours I had some relief, and felt a little more normal. Unfortunately, this was 1am in the morning! I am unable to sleep properly. This may be the steroids I have now had for three days. Never in my life I thought I could say I am on the ‘roids’, but 2013 is throwing up many firsts for me.
But each successive day has given way to very heavy fatigue, a slight shortness of breath, a kind of full bodied weakened feeling and some subtle changes in taste. There is lots to monitor. Temperatures, mouth cleanliness, hydration, nutrition and rest. It’s a full time job this chemotherapy business.
I am going to mention this thing called ‘chemo-brain’. It truly does exist. It is on me already. Mental fog. I made so many mistakes today, lost things, couldn’t string a sentence together many times. A physiological aspect of chemotherapy. Good Lord! Where will I be in the months to come? I’m just going to put it out there, that from now on, there will be many more typos and confusing sentences in this blog. Sorry, it’s chemo-brain! My terrible, waffled writing now has a reason!
So tonight, after not being able to settle my ‘steroided’ self down, I took my little body and soul for a stroll. Albeit the slowest one ever recorded, but movement none the less. It was great to be outside: fresh air, music, eucalyptus trees and the cool briskness of the south westerly on my face, walking passed flowing water in the creeks and a full dam that has been dry for many months and has been replenished after generous rainfall last night.
Fingers crossed I get more of these experiences in the coming weeks, and less of time in bed as my lovely little blood cells die down, which unfortunately is necessary in the hunt for those nasty little cancer cells. A discerner of cell types chemotherapy is not! Only time will tell where I am going on this journey. Apparently women experience this chemo business very differently. Time will reveal all.
Glad to have you along for the ride. Thanks for the support everyone. It means the world to me.