Monday, 29 February 2016

Round 9 Day 11 PET Scan no.3

I thought I was being smart by booking a PET scan at a slightly later time in the morning. That way I thought, I can have a sleep in and not be kept waiting for the stuff they inject me with to arrive from Melbourne like last time.

Well I did have a sleep in, which is the best way to skip breakfast if you have to. And I don't like skipping breakfast! I also skipped my usual morning exercise routine, as you have to avoid strenuous exercise before the scan too. Not that my exercises are too strenuous. Better safe than sorry though, and I told myself I would do them after I've eaten after my scan (without a doubt, eating would be the first thing I would do after my scan).

Sleeping in is not difficult for me, and it was quite refreshing to sleep in with a sense of achieving a goal rather than feeling guilty - perhaps I should schedule it in more often! 

We arrived at the hospital in good time. And the waiting began. Then I get taken through and Dave can't follow due to all the radiation. More waiting in my little lead lined room. Then I get my cannula put in. Then more waiting. Then my cannula gets attached to a tube, and the hour long process of uptake begins, during which time I should move as little as possible. I'm getting really good at that - I nearly nodded off, but as I'm not even able to play on my phone I did find it a rather slow hour.
Liverpool St was closed for this crane to do its thing outside the hospital today.

After that the tube gets removed, I'm sent off to the toilet to empty my bladder, then another wait during which time the cannula gets removed. 

Then the PET scan. I was a bit worried at first as my shoulder felt a bit uncomfortable - you have to put your arms above your head. 'This is only going to get more uncomfortable' I thought. 

I fell asleep.

Then the last little wait. They brought be a sandwich and drink. I was hungry, but not that hungry. I had Dave's cooking waiting at home for me.
Chicken and tuna, apparently.

My chemo tablets have to be taken twice a day, after food. Ideally at around the same time each day. I usually have my first tablets after breakfast, but today I didn't have them until after lunch.

And I didn't do my exercises later.

And now we wait again. For the results. We'll find out on Thursday when we see the oncologist.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Round 9 Day 8

It's been a busy (and productive) week. I've had lots of appointments, and today I'm enjoying a day with no commitments.

I'm starting to feel a real 'fuzziness' in the mornings, a sort of cross between chemo brain and fatigue, and some mild nausea in the afternoon. I suppose these are side effects from my new tablets creeping in, although I'm still also getting some lingering effects from drugs I'm not having anymore.

My stress levels are on the rise again as another PET scan approaches (its this Monday). It's weird - there is nothing bad about having a PET, yet 'scanxiety' is a real and normal thing. Having the scan is a good thing. I know this. All my thoughts are in the right place. But my stress levels are still up.

This has triggered me to reflect on my stress management. I've been a bit slack on meditating and blogging lately. Time to get back into it! Watch this space!

Here, have a picture of a sunrise I saw last week. Because it is soothing. And because I'm not an early riser at the best of times, with this new side effect I doubt I'll be up for another one for some time. 

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Round 9 Day 1 - No Bottle

So after a 6 week break I started Chemo again today - with a few changes.

  • No Bottle
This is a big change! I just have one infusion through my port (avastin) and then I'm done. So I'm much less of a toxic hazard this weekend (I think I'm still toxic, just less likely to spring a leak!?). No pin in my chest. Or stickers. Or tubes. Yay!

  • Tablets
Tonight I will start taking chemo tablets. The drug is called capecitabine. I've got to take them after food twice a day, for 2 weeks, then have 1 week off.
Lots of drugs!
  • Side Effects
New drugs mean new side effects. As usual with any drug, there is a great long list of possible effects that I may or may not experience to varying degrees. Watch this space....

  • Outfit Options
Chemo day's code word is Cocktail party! And that means frocks. No bottle means no need for pockets! I love a dress or skirt with a decent pocket but I have plenty of nice ones without pockets.
Wrap-around dress - no pockets but the top leaves lots of room for access to my port. As usual I have flawlessly coordinated footwear.

We had nice weather today, it was good to have the morning free, and we walked to and from the hospital as usual. I was a bit nervous about what condition my port would be in after 6 weeks without use. Ideally they should be flushed every 3 weeks so 6 weeks is pushing it a bit! But it was totally fine. I had a good chat with the nurse. The smell of hospitals is getting really offensive to me.