Friday 29 January 2016

No Chemo Today

I've been making the most of my new, longer gap between treatments.

I've been mostly feeling pretty well. I still have small side effects every day, but when my energy levels are good, I can handle those and still try and make the most of life.

Since my last blog entry, Dave and I have had interstate visitors, we've seen Joanna Newsome at the Sydney Opera House, we've visited interstate, and celebrated the Hottest 100.
Here's me (looking slightly crazy - or do I always look like this?) straying from my diet restrictions and enjoying an ice-cream
And it was fantastic. If you're only going to have one ice-cream this year, I recommend pepperberry & leatherwood and choc in a homemade waffle cone from The Chocolate Trading Co in Richmond.

I was booked to start round 9 of chemo today. I try and keep in mind how lucky I am to have access to this treatment. But that didn't stop a little part of me not wanting to have it.

And then, on Wednesday after my blood test, I started feeling unwell. The main symptoms being dizziness, light headedness and a bad stomach ache. I worked in the afternoon but I probably shouldn't have. I thought I'd got over doing things like that, I guess old habits die hard.

On Thursday I cancelled my shift at work, and Dave had to pretty much drag me out to my appointment with my oncologist. She checked me out and got me to have an x-ray, which showed up nothing. She told me not to go ahead with Chemo today though. And I felt, among other things, a little disappointed. And relieved. And scared. 

Now I'm not having chemo until the 19th of Feb. And that makes me a little disappointed, and relieved, and scared. My oncologist has assured me that the delay will make no difference at this stage in the effectiveness of the treatment. So really I should just enjoy the reprieve. I'm continuing to work on my fitness, doing my Home Exercise Program everyday (I didn't manage it on Thursday when I was feeling pretty rotten). I need to refocus on my diet and walking, these things have gone a little astray since my last round.

I'm feeling much better than I did yesterday, so I hope the trend continues, giving me time to build up my strength ready for the next round.

Thursday 14 January 2016

Round 8 Day 9

I realized with a bit of a jolt yesterday that it was 6 months to the day that I got my first symptoms. It was a bit of a strange feeling. I feel like I've missed the bus that had my life in it. Everyone around me is on their way to where they're going. And I'm not. I'm left behind. Its not a good feeling.

I walked to work the day before. I almost didn't as it was a hot morning, but I'm glad I did. It's a bit tiring when stacked against working too but I'm glad to be able to do it. I miss walking everywhere. I miss a lot of things these days.

So today brings us the sad news that Alan Rickman has died of cancer at 69. Like Bowie, it seems that no one knew he was sick. It also seems that at this point it's not been announced what kind of cancer, or how long ago he was diagnosed. In some ways, that kind of info doesn't matter, and in the past I wouldn't have even worried about it. Now I want to know.

And I want a cure. Now please.
This is the photo of the moment, it's all over social media. I have slightly mixed feeling about it. It's a cute tribute I guess, but it doesn't really help them or anyone else with cancer.

Monday 11 January 2016

Round 8 Day 4 - Ashes to Ashes

Lets get the bad bits out of the way first:

  • I spent all of Saturday in Bed. All of it.
  • I spent all of Sunday morning spewing up.
  • My skin is like paper. Thin paper. Really gross thin paper.
  • David Bowie died today.

I don't like to focus on the negative, but sometimes it helps to acknowledge it. I'd already started writing this blog when I got the news about Bowie. Shows just how trivial my other grumbles are.

I'm not going to attempt to say something profound about his death or his life, I'm terrible at that. I am really sad about it, but I can't really put it into sensible words.

What I can find the words for is much more selfish. Bowie's is the most publicised cancer death I've encountered since my diagnosis. I have to admit that in some ways I've found it confronting. The news is still really fresh at the moment. Already I'm already struck by two things.

  • The acceptance. It's hard to explain, I mean is there is no outrage, no shock. Just acceptance. Cancer. Game over. People aren't asking how his death could have been prevented.
  • People in the media using the phrase 'long battle of 18 months'. 18 months is not a long battle. It's brutally short. I know no harm is meant but I don't like it.

OK grumbling over. Now the positive stuff:

  • It's only day 4 and I'm up and about. I've had a pretty nice day.
  • The nurses were really good about the spewing when I went in to get my bottle removed yesterday and organised some new meds which did the trick.
  • One of our sunflowers is flowering!

I could go on all day about the positives, I have so much to be grateful for. Here's one last thing to be grateful about, from Actor Simon Pegg:

"If you're sad today, just remember the world is over 4 billions years old and you somehow managed to exist at the same time as David Bowie."

Friday 8 January 2016

Round 8 Already?

So today I started my 8th round of Chemo. Its fair to say I was a lot more organised for this one than the last. I got my blood test done in a timely fashion, I took the bins out, I arrived at the hospital on time today.

It's a lovely summer day here in Hobart and Dave and I walked to the Hospital, for the early time of 8.30 am.

Now that they've removed one of the drugs, the whole process is much quicker.

I usually feel some mild effects as soon as treatment starts. Today I felt a bit queasy before they'd started! So I guess I can't blame the treatment there.

The nurses always do a great job and they have to ask me lots of questions about how I'm going each time. I'm in a funny place between old habits of ignoring little aches and pains, and being super alert and paranoid about every little ache and pain. So I end up giving the nurses lots of detail about things, and then tell them it's nothing! 

Dave and I walked home through the Domain, which was really nice. We took it slow and it was beautiful morning. 
I've felt a little tired today, but I've been able to be up and about all day, even going out for another little walk in the evening with Dave, Mum and the dogs. We saw the Aurora Australis ship heading up-river.