A Tiny Scratch

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“Just a tiny scratch.” That’s how the health profession prepare you to be jabbed with a needle, regardless of its length or width. One of my nurses let slip that they were retrained to call it a ‘scratch’ rather than the previously used ‘tiny prick’ to avoid offending anyone. Normally I’m all for the reinvention of archaic language forms in favour of new inclusive ones, but this change ruffled my accuracy feathers. Because it isn’t a ‘scratch’ feeling at all and could lead to all sorts of befuddled pain reactions. You go in expecting a scratch and you get, well you get.. a prick. Unless you’re getting a cannula inserted and then they should say, “Just an agonising ripping feeling.”

I bring this up because today was my first unsupervised self injection. I did it in hospital yesterday under the watchful and insistent gaze of the head nurse. It isn’t as bad as all that actually and another one to scrub off the bucket list. I have now officially given myself a tiny prick ; )

Getting home

The doctor has just been round and I’m out of here : ) White blood count is 2.4, up from 0.1 so good job to them for that. Seems it might have been a storm in a teacup but it was better to be over cautious. I’ve just got to wait for my take home drugs, so maybe a couple of hours. The staff are incredible here. All through the time I’ve been here, I’ve never heard even a slightly impatient tone or any hint of disrespect. They’re constantly buzzing around so there’s not that abandoned feeling you can sometimes get. They’re so cool. But lovely as they are, I’ll be relieved to get home. Thank you all for your loving messages and comments. You’re cool too.

More peeking, less peaky

I’ve just seen the oncology team and they told me my CT scan of my bowel is clear, so no infections. Phew! Just in case of anything missed, I’m still on intravenous antibiotics. I’ll be in here one more night for monitoring and then another white cell count in the morning. If the wee baby blood cells are learning to walk and talk and kill, then I’ll be released by lunchtime.

On the plus side, I was supposed to get a CT scan next week to see if the pesky cancer went to my lungs. The amazingly efficient radiographer spotted this appointment and just did it today along with the scan of my tummy. The NHS at its efficient best! The nurse told me not to tell anyone, lest their bad rep be ruined forever. The even better news than this is that the scan of my lungs showed zero metastised cancer. Toot fricking toot!! One massive worry removed. I really can’t imagine why I have an upset tummy ; p

And bonus points for the rather wonderful side effects from the contrast dye at the CT scan. As the dye pumped, I got the most incredible sensation of warmth as if slowly sipping a wee dram of whisky. All over my body. Thus claiming the prize for ‘awesomest side effect ever.’

Peeked too soon

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I write this from A&E. I had a raised temperature and was feeling a bit unwell (more unwell than side effecty) so I went into the hospital just to be on the safe side. This is a bit of a calculated risk as the hospital is a potentially lethal zone with no immune system. But they saw me straight away and the doctor told me to berate anyone not donning gloves and apron.

They took lots and lots of blood for testing. So my white blood count turns out to be 0.1 which is about as low as it can be. This is fairly usual but as well as feeling unwell means any infection or virus can get out of control quickly. So a very quick dose of antibiotics and I’m to be admitted for the night to keep an eye. Hopefully to the oncology ward so I’ll be a bit more protected from bugs. This does make me slightly nervous as I’m sure its not the cheeriest place to be.

On the plus side, my platelet count is OK so I won’t bleed to death. And the junkies are SUPER friendly ; p

Peeking out from the Rabbit Hole

Hi folks. I’ve just had a brief reprieve from side effects (gawd bless codeine) so I’ll just take the chance to update you lovely peeps. Thank you for all the comments and texts etc over the past few days. Even though I haven’t replied, they’ve been a great source of comfort.

Well the last 5 days have been pretty awful. Nausea for 2 days. Ah what a small word that is, nausea. And how innocuous it sounds. Curled up in a ball, barely able to speak is how it was. I found out after from the community nurse, that it shouldn’t have been like that. So next time I should ask for a different anti-emitic drug. Hah that just auto corrected to antisemitic. I’m on the look out for a pill that makes me hate hubby.

After two days, the constipation and diarrhoea kicked in. Two conditions which the management of are mutually exclusive. This sucked big time. Add in inexplicable muscular pain and constant stomach cramps and the only relief came when I was too tired to stay conscious.

Today we are finally consulting the GP and I am sticking to broth and rice. The community nurse has been showing Adam how to inject me with the immunity booster jab. Something he was looking forward to way too much. Maybe he got a whiff of the antisemitic drug ; p The whole immune system collapse has had some strange effects. I scratched an itch on my hand and instead of being red and then recovering, it stayed red. And every tiny cut is red and inflamed and just plain weird.

Things to be grateful for: Mum, Hubby, friendly messages, sympathetic healthcare professionals, Netflix, codeine and some naughtier substances. That is all.

It has begun

Good evening buddies. So, nausea just ate my day. It started at midday and has just stopped. Luckily, the anti-sickness drugs are keeping everything where it should be. But, my goodness, that was a truly humbling experience. I took to bed (alas, not to sleep) and Adam and Mum are taking good care of me. My good eating intentions have been quickly abandoned in favour of instant mash and salt and vinegar crisps. Hopefully that was the worst of it. We’ll see.

Pill Popper

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Thought I’d show you all my daily regime of drugs and the drugs for the drugs! Back left is the steroids which are AWESOME!! Keeps me clear headed and vomit free but also kept me up til 2am when I planned my ideal afterlife. This involves my consciousness leaving my body intact, freeing me from those pesky hormones. Then I hang about a bit watching Lilah grow and stalking Adam. See a bit of Earth and then Adam joins me and we go exploring the Universe. I was undecided whether or not I was bothered by a potentiak second wifey joining us but maybe once I’m rid of hormones, all those petty jealousy feelings will be done with. I got into a pickle in the end about whether we’d wait for Lilah as she might have her own family to watch over and just how long can you hover about waiting for kids til you get to find the meaning of existence ; ) Hm. That sounds remarkably like my current existence. Anyway after peeing, I gave up with circular dilemma and fell asleep.

More side effects from the steroids have been constipation, hence the Senakot, and indigestion. Rennnies not pictured. Bottom left is the anti-emitics which seem OK so far. Middle bottom is the injections I have to do at home to boost my immune system. Then in jars along the top are my myriad complementary thingies. Calcium for future possible osteoporosis from the anti-oestrogen drugs. Omega for my brain coz it needs all the help it can get. Curcumin for possible woo\cure for cancer and acidofilus for replenishing my gut bacteria as it gets decimated by chemo.

So there it is. My life savers post-chemo for better or worse. All kept in check by plenty of greens, lots of fluids and fibre up the wazoo ; )

Survived

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First day of chemo successfully survived. I even got to be a traditional movie patient and shuffle my drip to the loo. Considering I now have to consume 3 litres of water every day for the next few days, the loo will be my most favourite place  ; ) Overall it was a fairly chilled out day apart from the hunt for a vein in the morning which was a bit stressful.

I think it was as good as it could be and having those little extras made an enormous difference to my anxiety. I could feel a tiny hint of a panic attack when the cannula was being changed and I had images of deadly air bubbles to the brain but I managed to reign those in.

It is an odd duality of feelings though. On one level I feel relieved that I’m being treated and the drugs are working away. But I’m also feeling nervous and anxious that the drugs are also battering my body and are going to screw me in some unknowable way. Maybe that’s the main thing. The unpredictability of it. I should know with this first cycle what the side effects are going to be. Then next cycle I’ll know what to expect, so hopefully this anxiety will subside.

Next project is finding some cool, funky hats for spring weather. Challenge Bosom Buddies ; ) And a MA-HOOSIVE thanks to all you cheerleaders out there. It was a wonderful cosy feeling getting all your messages and comments. It made a big difference to maintaining my sense of self in an alien setting. You rock!!! I love you all.

A Genuinely Free Lunch

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Falafel salad, homemade houmous, tomato and basil soup and a roll for lunch. Not too shabby. Shame that I’m fasting so I only had the soup and Adam scoffed the rest. But great all the same. Chemo in 15 minutes…

Brain Freeze

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No, no, no to the cold cap. Its supposed to help with hair loss but is like a 4 hour ice cream headache x 1000!!! Bald head here I come ; p