Cancer Diary #06
Monday, October 12: I’m a day late with this week’s cancer update but I was too tired yesterday to type it up.
Second treatment was on Friday morning. I’d had blood taken for checking on Wednesday; on Thursday’s pre-chemo assessment call they said the bloods were fine. I was asked about side effects and how I was and able to say I was fine and had, in fact felt really well over the last couple of weeks. Even so, I was slightly nervous as I pulled on my kick ass boots because of hearing how the side effects can become worse with each successive treatment cycle.
I didn’t need another ECG so there wasn’t so much hanging around as last time, apart from what seems the usual wait for the pharmacy to send the drugs down. One of the nurses informed me they were slightly worried about my kidneys – not enough to prevent treatment going ahead, but to make them want another blood test in a week. And I should drink more – lots more – water to prevent dehydration. Of course, I immediately though of my friend’s husband who experienced kidney damage during his cancer treatment and had to stop the treatment all together. I know each of us is different, and the nurse was reassuring, but …
I drank so much water (and soup and orange juice) I had to be unplugged and make my way, guiding my drip stand, to the loo, desperate to pee. That was all a bit of a palaver, being only able to use one hand. Memo to self: don’t wear tights next time. Came home, cooked dinner, went to bed quite early and slept well.
On Saturday, I wrote and put up my Afghanistan blog post. In the afternoon, the DH and I went to Carrick Shore to meet up with photographer friend, Kim Ayres for a photo shoot! Kim very kindly offered to take a photo of me and the DH (before cancer and treatment changed my appearance) because as he rightly suspected, we don’t possess a photo of the two of us together. It was cold at the shore but the sun came out from time to time and it is one of the most beautiful places in Dumfries & Galloway holding many, many happy memories for us both. We thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon – great to visit Carrick after so long and wonderful to meet up – socially distanced – and chat with a friend.
It made me realise how circumscribed my life has become because of Covid restrictions and the cancer treatment. Apart from walks in the countryside with the DH, I’m more or less confined to home in case I pick up an infection, which would postpone my treatment – and it could be any kind of infection, not necessarily Covid. My white blood cell has halved since the first treatment so there’s not much there to fight off bugs.
On Sunday, I described myself to someone who asked as feeling ‘low grade yucky’. I’d wakened several times in the night because if I drink two plus litres of water throughout the day, I need to pee – and I had heartburn. The last time I had heartburn like this was when I was six months pregnant and had the only glass of wine – white – during my pregnancy and had to spend the night sitting up against my pillows. That was almost thirty years ago. I’ve been lucky to have a very efficient digestive system and I’m not happy at the thought of having heartburn or indigestion as a side effect of treatment.
I wanted to go for a walk – the sun was shining and who knows how many more days of sunshine are left as we rush towards winter – but by Sunday afternoon I understood the expression ‘bone tired’.
Today is the same. By this time after my first treatment, I was feeling OK, so I have to admit I’m already dreading the next treatment cycle, and the one after. This sucks. But, hey, at least I didn’t have constipation this time – there’s always a positive. And, feeling rough will be worth it if the drugs are shrinking the tumour – and I can regain some quality in my life. Hoping to be more upbeat next time!