Back, back and Forth, forth


Like the 80s Cameo classic, my stomach has been going Back and Forth. This time in a rather magnificent fashion. At the peak of nausea, there was even a Breaking Bad style head over the toilet moment. Excruciating as it was at the time, I did feel a heady moment of a cultural chemo rite of passage completed. I had arrived at the idea that TV land has of cancer treatment.

Chemo is cumulative so as the drugs build up, the side effects stack. This shiny vom chaos was also due in part to new meds that made me either pass out or upchuck. There will be no further experimentation with meds and I shall stick to the slightly incompetent concoction I had before. The nausea meds work on two places, the stomach and the brain. I don’t know which organ is the main culprit although I can hazard a guess.

I noticed another interesting pattern. Like clockwork on the Saturday after chemo, I get really depressed for a whole 24 hours. I feel like the chemo is never going to end. That I’ll feel like this forever. I get really, really fed up with having cancer. Not angry, never cross, or frustrated. Plain old fed up. The whole point has left the room and buggered off down the pub. I get so down I start to have real and solid understanding of why the right to die movement exists.

Then the next day, it’s like a lightbulb comes back on and it’s gone. My mind lightens and I can see colours again. Everything is doable, all side effects manageable. It’s all possible again. This smidgen of a peek inside the world of depression makes me salute all those with the condition who open their eyes, eat or even just carry on breathing every morning.

By my calculations I have 2 more 24 hour depressions, maybe a couple more vom sessions and 2 weeks of feeling like utter shite in the remaining cycles. So there is an end to this back, back and forth, forth.

11 thoughts on “Back, back and Forth, forth

  1. Lisa

    If I could be there, I’d hold your forehead as you lose your socks. I’m SO sorry the anti-nausea meds aren’t working, that just isn’t fair.

    This time around for me, it seemed as though a switch was flipped on the 4th day after chemo, and the 7th day after chemo. On the 4th day, I suddenly felt as though Things Were Manageable Again. On the 7th day, my taste buds and appetite awoke and said, “Hey, everything looks and smells just terrific. Dig in!” This is one damn weird journey.

  2. Heidi

    Ah Lisa, that’s sweet of you. Metaphorical holding of forehead is MUCH better than the stinky, unsanitary reality ; )

    That’s interesting about your timeline. Very similar in that by the fourth or fifth day things turn for the better. I find it does take me til day 10 to feel like it’s the good part of the cycle.

    Anyway thank goodness for different timezones so I get immediate feedback on my late night ramblings. You rock chemo sista! xx

    1. Lisa

      Oo, I like the immediate feedback part, that’s great! Sending you so many good hugs and thoughts1

  3. Karen

    hello love – thinking of you and sending massive hugs and imaginary banana pancakes. What a hard experience that 24 hour depression must be (along with the horrific nausea of course). I hope that next time a little voice in your head will be audibly saying “This SEEMS like it’s forever but it will be gone soon.” It might not make you feel better at the time, but it might help you get through it. You are such a strong spirited person.
    I definitely recognise that experience of bottomless depression from last year when I spent a lot of time feeling as if absolutely nothing would ever be alright again, then somehow, time would pass, nothing in my life had changed but it all felt more manageable. I couldn’t think my way out of it at the time, though – it just seemed clear to me that everything would be hell forever. Some strange brain chemical thing going on. As you say, it’s an amazing insight into what some people have to deal with all the time. xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    1. Heidi

      Yeh it’s a funny thing that when you’re in the midst of the depression, it’s almost impossible to remember it is temporary. I can’t imagine how hard that must have been for you my darling to live with it for such a long time. You have become more amazing than ever to me.

      I am eating the imaginary pancakes of love as we speak : ) xxxxx

  4. Paula

    Hi beauty,

    So sorry to hear the anti-emitics aren’t working. Also the 24-hour depression sounds really horrible. But I find it amazing how you can work out the patterns and understand where they fit in with the treatment. I guess that can work in a positive way – knowing what’s coming. At least you know it’s temporary and you’ll feel much better after the storm of emissions.
    I am really hoping this will all be over soon. Two more to go and then on to the next step. Sorry for the lack of articulation on this side as I take a break from writing on my dissertation.

    Thinking of you on this after former-queensday-now-called-kingsday,

    1. Heidi

      thanks darling Paula. yeh it does help for me to try to understand what is happening. the blog is great for processing all that. forces me to take a structured approach to my thoughts and feelings.

      Hah I somehow prefer the sound of Queensday and it fits better with Alt Amsterdam vibe. Good luck with your dissertation! xxxx

  5. Sokari

    Great that you have spotted the pattern to the chemo cycle And two
    More to go. What happens after the chemo?

    1. Heidi

      next step is an MRI to determine the final size of the lump and then 4-5 weeks after the last chemo is administered, I get surgery. 4-5 weeks after surgery I get 3 weeks of radiotherapy every day. then more scans and hopefully the all clear. xx

  6. Mike

    Sounds like a rough ride, but you are doing so well!! And two more to go, that must feel really good to be on the last laps. Lots of love as always x x x

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