Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Week 2 - side effects and proudness!!

So, here we go again.  I had my first chemo last Wednesday. Eribulin its called, it comes in a nice clear rectangular pouch and only takes a wonderful 6 minutes to be infused into me.  6 minutes that will hopefully give me many more years on this planet.  Well, obviously a few more rounds of six minutes, but still, its not much to ask is it.  Though, its not six minutes, two weeks out of three, for 6 cycles is it?  the six minutes is the easy bit, sitting in the chemo ward, eating biscuits, drinking coffee, surrounded by the most wonderful, dedicated and hardworking nurses, supported by my ever supporting husband, or one of my truly amazing friends who has taken time out their busy life to come and support and even entertain me through the chemo suit hours.  The hard bit is the bit between the infusions- at home, at work, in the car, in the supermarket, with that nagging thought all of the time - is it working?  That's the mental part, theres also the physical part.  So what can Eribulin do to me?  Well, quite a lot apparently. It can cause constipation (It did!), it can cause diarrhoea (It certainly did!).  There is also tiredness, yep, I got that, but I have a comfy bed, so cope well with that one. There is also loss of appetite, ive never had a problem with that and don't intend to start now. Im built for comfort and that's the way I like it.  Anyhow, ive noticed the pattern of whenever I try to get fit and start a new regime, the cancer comes back, so maybe running isn't that good for you hey?? (I love running and have lost 2 precious stones this year running and getting fit and thank god I did!) Any way, I digress, back to side effects because they are a laugh a minute and I need all the laughs I can get right now...Feeling or being sick, yep, had that yesterday, at work, not great, so luckily just came home and went to bed. ( I have the most understanding employers who could not treat me better, so more on them beauties later).  Headaches, yep, that was yesterday too.  Plantar syndrome -ooh I had that with my first ever chemo, its nasty, and im sure will rear its ugly head further along this treatment plan, but will give me the best excuse to embarrass the kids by buying myself a pair of Nike Air Max - for the comfort obviously, not the street cred. So there's a fair bit there, and ive not even covered the dizziness, eye problems, taste changes, liver changes, sore mouth blah blah blah.
But, id go through all of that everyday if it keeps me on this planet as Im sure we all would. 
Tomorrow I have a new adventure to contend with.  I have to be at the Hospital at 7:30 to have a Portacath fitted as my veins are shot due to all the previous chemo ive had.  At the moment my veins retract as soon as they here the packaging rip on a cannula so it can take quiet a few attempts to get the needles in to be able to administer the saline, anti-sickness drugs, steroids and chemo, so the simple procedure tomorrow will take all of the added stress away on each chemo visit. But, its still another op, another little thing to stress about. Another day the kids have to go to school knowing that im at hospital having another procedure.  If there is one question that I have asked myself over and over again over the last 6 years its "what have these 2 ever done to deserve having to watch there mum go through this?" and obviously im under no illusion - I know im not the only one going through this.  James was 10 and Lucy 12 when I was first diagnosed, sometimes I wonder if they can remember life without cancer in it. The first time I was diagnosed, Lucy had just started her senior school, the second time was her GCSE year and now she is in her A level year, but she never fails to amaze me, her GCSE results were amazing and so were her AS levels and now we are looking at Unis and she takes it all in her stride.  I know she worries, she is older now, and shes not daft, but she is my girl, we have a great bond and we will continue for may years to do "our thing" - we go to concerts together.  Our first one was S Club 7 when she was 6 and our next one is The BBC Radio awards in December, with so many inbetween.  Weve seen McFly countless times, Mcbusted, Girls Aloud, Lady Gaga and so may more, its our thing and we love it.  Now James, James is a chip off the old block, my mini me. He has my wit and my sarcasm and uses them well!  He is the one to go to for cuddles and to get life into perspective.  He is a bright boy, so they told us today at school, but lazy, could try harder, could do better, just needs to apply himself - it all sounds a little to  familiar, but I have no worries, the boy will go far.  Then there is Shaun, poor Shaun, he is a quiet unassuming bloke, he doesn't say much, but bloody hell does he step up to the plate. He is my rock, my mate, my nurse, my cook, my cleaner, my chauffeur and many other things.  He rarely complains, he just does.  He is not great with words, he would be the first to admit that (not out loud obviously!), but he does everything else.  The guy deserves a medal, well probably a thousand medals - and one day I will get them for him (hopefully melted down and reformed into a campervan!!). I know for sure that he has looked after me soooo much better than I could have ever looked after him had the shoe been on the other foot and for that I will always be eternally grateful.  I think that has been my biggest bugbear with this whole cancer malarkey, so much is done for the patients, I have had nothing but first class treatment at UHCW, my friends and family, my work and colleagues have all been amazing, but I always feel sorry for Shaun.  He is the one picking up the pieces, making the drinks for visitors, getting the kids to school, work or football practice, ensuring homework is done, etc etc etc as well as still doing his own job.  The guy is a f@@king hero and I will shout it from the rooftops until he is recognised for it. (I did write to Surprise Surprise last year to do just that, and they even phoned me, but I never heard again, so I think on that occasion my wit and humour sadly let me down, maybe I should have asked them to talk to James!)
Holy crap, look at the time.  I have to be up in 7 hours to go get operated on and ive just remembered ive not introduced you to my other steady companion - my Ralfy. He is a golden cocker spaniel, the most handsome one ever and the best four legged friend ever, but you can hear more about him next time.  I need to get some kip so im looking my best for the anaesthetist tomo - see you all on the other side.

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