Hello, good afternoon and welcome back to WeeGee Land!
I’m sorry about the radio silence recently. I hadn’t forgotten about you or anything like that, it’s just that I was quite busy being a busy bee, and when I wasn’t busy being a busy bee I was busy being asleep. What can I say? Getting pumped full of cytotoxic chemicals on a regular basis makes you helluva sleepy.
The last time I blogged there had been a bit of a blot on my “marching through chemo like a badass” copybook but FEAR NOT that’s all over and done with and things are pretty much back on an even keel. I took a couple of days out to put myself back together and then, when I was all put back together, I set sail again: I got back to work, and back to my life, and whether I like it or not* back to the whole chemo routine. Some days it feels like things have changed beyond all recognition since my diagnosis, but mostly, if I stop and think about it, it’s still just me trying to keep all the plates spinning and doing a passable job….
When is halfway not HALFWAY?
You’ll no doubt remember the excited fuss I made when I got to the halfway point of the chemotherapy? It’s a funny story really, because, well, yeah – that might have been a bit premature. It depends which way you look at it y’see – because it turns out there’s more than one way to count to half way. I suppose now might be a good time to mention that maths never really was my strong suit…..
When I started chemo I knew I would be having eight cycles, each lasting three weeks. I also knew that these eight cycles would be made up of four cycles of EC chemo, and then another four cycles of Taxol/Carbo. Fine, I thought – that’s all nice and clear, right?
What I hadn’t anticipated was that an EC cycle would look like four times worth of this:
- Day 1: treatment (epirubicin/cyclophosphamide)
- Days 2-21: rest
- Day 1: repeat
But that a Taxol/Carbo cycle would look like this four times over:
- Day 1: treatment (paclitaxel/carboplatin)
- Day 2-7: rest
- Day 8: treatment (paclitaxel)
- Days 9-14: rest
- Day 15: treatment (paclitaxel)
- Days 16-21 rest
- Day 1: repeat
Or, to put it another way, for the first four cycles I had to rock up at the hospital every three weeks, but for the second four cycles they’re going to need me to show up every week. As in Every. Single. Week. For TWELVE weeks.
So that’ll be fun…..
It was a bit of a blow, coming as it did, on the back of the broken veins/PICC line stuff and the day trip to A&E but, hey, I had a WHOLE day to get my head around it before I was sitting in the chemotherapy suite getting the second-half-but-only-if-you-count-weeks-not-treatments underway.
Nevermind, eh? I’ve got two under my belt already and I’ve started a new countdown so – all together now – TWO DOWN TEN TO GO…..
The Lewis Foundation
Truth told, I was feeling a bit fed up when I turned up for the first of the weekly sessions, but on the day I was properly cheered to receive a sweet gift from The Lewis Foundation – a charity working here in Leicester, Northampton and Kettering to deliver free gifts to people receiving chemotherapy in local hospitals.
Small charities like the Lewis Foundation make such an important difference to people’s daily lives. Like most people, I’ve a lot of time for all of the cancer charities, but the big two (Macmillan and Cancer Research) are the two that crop up most often when you’re in a position to actually donate your hard earned cash. For my own part, I’ll keep on donating to those big charities when the opportunity arises but I’ll also make a point of seeking out these kinds of smaller, up-close-and-personal charities in the future too, because I’ve seen and experienced the very real, personal difference they can and do make.
The nicer side of chemo
I’d be lying if I tried to convince you that chemo was anything other than completely and utterly boring, but there are a couple of up-sides.
Like having a seemingly endless supply of spring flowers to find vessels for….
And the lovely, quirky gifts that make you proper laugh out loud, lift your heart and come to mean the world to you
Meanwhile in other news….
Meanwhile in other news, the Brexit shambles shambles along then, doesn’t it?! I understand that some folk glued their bum cheeks to a glass panel in Parliament earlier this evening whilst the MPs were busy trying to make their minds up about how we should next be forced to die of national mortal embarrassment. So, you know, that’s where we’ve got to with that…..
Anyhoo – it was always going to be a short post this evening. I’ve got a strange mixture of chemo brain fog and wordy block going on at the moment but I thought if I forced myself to sit and write through it I might find a way back to more regular posts. I’m not sure if it has worked or not yet. I guess we’ll find out in the next day or so – watch this space!
To finish up, have a song, why don’t you? I’ll bid you farewell and catch you again soon.
Love you lots, like jelly tots,
*Spoiler alert: I do NOT like it.