Saturday, 20 August 2016

Round 20 Day 1

Our appointment at the hospital was for 10.30am and we were only 5 minutes late. Really there is no excuse for not making it to such a late start time, but we did have a lot of other little things to do this morning before setting off.

It's really starting to feel like spring. It was a warm but overcast day, almost humid feeling.
Magnolias are in bloom all over Hobart right now. It looks fabulous. This is one I've enjoyed for many years walking to town. I took this photo in a hurry (we were running late, remember) but I'm really happy with it.

I had the opportunity to mark some progress today. There was a community nurse in the ward today, training in treating cancer patients, so I was asked if I would mind if she inserted into my port today. And I agreed. 
Doesn't sound like a big deal does it?
But even though this lady is a qualified nurse, and just broadening her experience, I would never have agreed to this in the past. I remember for previous treatments, where I've had to fill in consent forms, I've always specified that trainees or visitors can observe but not participate. I'm just too nervous. 

But today I felt ready to give it a try, and it was fine. OK, after it was all done I had a tiny moment of panic, but it all went totally fine and I somehow saved the 'wobble' for a completely illogical moment.
Today I wore one of my Pixies t shirts. I bought this at a gig in Melbourne in 2010. There were 2 designs available. This one, which looks cool and came in green, and another black and white one, which had tour dates on it. And I chose this one. And I kick myself regularly for it. I even tried to find the tour t shirt online afterwards, to no avail. I'd had quite a few drinks before the show, and clearly my judgement was impaired. It was a really great gig though, and the t shirt always reminds of a great day.
Here's a picture I took during the show.

This should be my last round of chemo before we go on holiday. Life has felt a little surreal and rather busy recently. Ever since Dave's guest blog actually. And although it's all good, I think my head is in a strange space at the moment.
I should let myself get excited for our holiday, but I'm scared I'll jinx it, so instead I feel nervous. I need to chill out! Well, I guess I'll do that on holiday.

I'm not sure if I'll do any blogging while I'm away. The plan is that I won't be having any treatment. It'll be really nice to let my side effects clear away and I hope I can build up some fitness. But apart from that, I'm trying not to have too many expectations.

I have scans and treatments booked up for when I get back. If you don't hear from me in the meantime, I'll let you all know how that goes.

Thank you everyone. The support I've felt from you all over the last year or so has been more help than I can say.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Round 19 Day 1 - Surgerversary

I wrote most of this on Friday. So it makes most sense if you read it with that in mind.

Today is the anniversary of my bowel surgery. While I'm not really that concerned with marking off this date, it's etched in my brain, simply because I often find myself filling in forms that require me to list the dates of previous treatments etc, so it's taught me to remember stuff like that. Usually I'm terrible with dates.

Today was also the start of Round 19. We were booked for 10am and we were only 10 minutes late!

Today I wore my Band of Skulls t-shirt, that I bought when we saw them play at the Corner Hotel in Melbourne in July 2012. It was a fantastic gig. The t-shirt is black which these day's I try and avoid if I can (as so many band t-shirts are black) and it has no tour dates. But it does remind me of the night, which was great. It's the only time I've had a chance to see them but I would see them again if possible. They've had new material out since then and it's all been good.

T-shirts are actually a rather poor choice for chemo with a port as I have to stretch the neck out quite far to let the nurses access my port. I'm enjoying the theme though so I'll will stick with it anyway.

I was tired even before I started chemo, and I soon started to feel the effects of the treatment and become fatigued. I did still manage to get to the gym afterwards though, and walk home, although it was far from the most energetic session. I think if it wasn't for the new studies that show that exercise on the day of chemo can improve delivery, I'd probably be telling myself I can give myself the day off on chemo day.

As we started walking home, I became hungry (it was lunch time) and we were debating about where I could grab something to eat. I didn't want to go too far out of our way as I was tired and we were on foot, but I am a little bit picky about where I eat. Then we turned the corner and saw Big Henry's food van! Perfect! I love this new food van thing happening in Hobart.
I'm home now, tired but resting. 

I thought I would do something I don't think I've really done before and give you all a snapshot of the side effects I'm feeling right now. Just because I get asked a lot (which is fine), so I guess some people might be interested.

Change of plan.

I wrote about my side effects. In detail. And it was a LOT of writing. Easily enough for it's own post. And I felt a bit funny about it too. Like I was complaining. Even though I wasn't. And even though no one ever makes me feel like I'm complaining (apart from perhaps me). So I've deleted it again, just leaving you all instead with the info that I do have a bunch of side effects I'm dealing with. I try to avoid thoughts like 'I wish I wasn't getting this' or 'I wish this would stop' because the side effects mean I am getting treated. And they mean I'm still alive. And they're not great but they're certainly not the worst thing in the world.