Sunday, October 04
The countdown to the second chemo cycle has begun. On Wednesday they’ll check my bloods, on Thursday I’ll start on steroids again, on Friday I’ll have toxic drugs dripped into me and on Saturday I’ll take anti-nausea pills and, as they are what caused the constipation last time, I’ll have my liquorice at the ready. I promise I won’t eat too much of it!
I’m hoping it won’t be very much worse than the first dose but those in the know say the side effects become progressively more severe so I’m kind of expecting next weekend not to be great. But who knows?
I certainly didn’t expect to feel as well as I have this last week. The weather has, mostly, been pretty good, which always helps my mood. Yesterday it rained all day and I wasn’t out at all but on other days I’ve been out walking with my son, gradually increasing the length of the walks so I can manage two and a half to three miles comfortably on the flat. At the end of June when I had blood clots dancing in my lungs I could hardly walk a hundred yards without being out of puff. Today, I even walked round Doach Woods, which involves what feels to me at the moment, quite a steep incline.
In between walks I’ve been busy in the garden: cutting back, tidying up, a bit of digging and planting bulbs (though I’ve forgotten what I put where, so if I’m still here in spring there may be surprises). I’m well aware this state of affairs will probably not last and I am truly grateful for this week, in which it has been easy to forget I have cancer.
This clearly surprises some people. When they ask how I am and I say, ‘Fine, thanks’ they say, ‘Oh, but how are you really feeling?’ The unspoken meaning behind the question is, ‘you have cancer, are on chemo and must surely be feeling dreadful and exhausted, not to mention be emotionally distraught and weepy and afraid.’
I’ve only had one dose of chemo, and, although I felt pretty tired and out of sorts for a few days, it was easier than expected (apart from the constipation!). And, yes, in the beginning when I first learned about the tumour, my emotions were all over the place, mainly at the thought of the DH, my son and the cat, oh, the poor cat, having to manage without me. When I first knew I had cancer I went from zero to 100 mph in seconds – telling my son we should put stickers on any of the paintings and art work he would like in case if his father remarried and his new wife turned out to be a grasping so-and-so and wouldn’t let my son have what was rightfully his. Fortunately, it’s not possible to live in such a state of heightened emotion for any length of time. That would be really exhausting and emotionally draining.
I had a weep when my friend Sue received her, not good, biopsy result and I had another teary episode today when my son left to return to Glasgow. He’s only been gone a few hours and I’m missing him already but that’s all right, it’s normal – what’s not all right is not knowing when we can see each other again because of bloody Covid-19 restrictions and my need to be extra-vigilant about infection – any infection.
Let’s hope I won’t be feeling too yucky when I write up next week’s diary entry.