I feel human again. Hurrah! Since chemo last week, I’ve been sick, angry, grumpy and tired… Oh, so tired… Hmm, nothing new there then! Today is the first day I have felt like I could quite possibly not have cancer (although, unfortunately, I still do) and I’m feeling much more like myself again. I wanted to blog sooner, but I wasn’t the real me and it took a while to claw my way back to where I wanted to be. I didn’t like the other me and I’m not really looking forward to seeing that person for seven more rounds, if I’m honest. I’ll be doing my darnedest not to go down for so long next time though, that’s for sure.
So, how was chemo? Well, to start with, I was given the chair I’d already picked out as the one I didn’t want, from a previous visit to the chemo room – Smack bang in the middle of the action, amongst the hub of the nurses, on full display, right next to a lady who was on her seventh round of treatment…. Bring on the tears.
I haven’t really felt the need to cry throughout all of this and have only done so either when things hurt, or for ten-second intervals when I first told a few people the news. I’m not dealing with the pain so well, but I am coping with the fact that I’ve got cancer, so that’s something, I guess. The trouble is, when I sat down and saw the lady next to me with no hair, no eyebrows and with her sore fingers resting in a bag of frozen veg (tactics for keeping your nails in good condition, apparently), I just broke a little. I had actually been in the perfect frame of mind to take on anything a few hours earlier, but some clever person at the hospital decided to call me with the news of another lump and a second biopsy appointment…. I mean who does that, right before your first chemo session? No need folks. No need. Those mother fuggers hurt, God dammit! AND another lump? Give me a break!
Anyway, I got over the tears quite quickly and appreciated my centre stage chair in the end. Turns out someone on their seventh round can cheer you up no end, showing you that life still goes on, no matter how vain you want to be. Perspective Zoe. Perspective. The procedure was pretty painless, and after all my worries about them finding a vein, a nice juicy fat one was found in no time and all the rotten chemicals were pumped through, over a space of a few hours. I didn’t feel anything other than a cold sensation pumping through the vein and a slight pinching/throbbing pain around the cannula throughout the whole time. Easily dealt with and back home we went.
I’d decided that we should eat a meal full of goodness before my sickness came on and in case I was unable to eat for a while afterwards. Alex cooked up a Vegan Cheesy Broccoli Soup as soon as we got home… I can barely bring myself to even type those words, because of the awful memories. Let’s just say that soup is NEVER a good idea when you are going to spend the evening with your head down the toilet. It was an extremely nice soup, but I definitely won’t be going there again. Something I have learned very quickly is that you have to pick your chemo foods wisely, because you could find yourself missing out on something you like, for life. Note: I haven’t had a gin since.
My oncologist likened the after effects of chemo to a very bad hangover, and I have to say he was right. A very bad three-day hangover with added little extras, just for the fun of it. It took about three hours for everything to hit me and then I was pretty much laid up in bed for two days. It wasn’t nice, but we all knew it wasn’t going to be, didn’t we? On occasion, I’ve had a slight metallic taste in my mouth, and my appetite has been all over the place. I’ve lost a few kilos, but that’s easily rectified (or not – yay to weight loss! ). My boob lump has been a little painful and has been twitching like a nutter – I’m hoping that it’s twitching itself down a size and that all of this will be worth it in the end.
Every morning since, I’ve been waking up and touching my eyebrows and lashes to see if they are still there. I’ve washed my hair a few times, but had a few epic fails because I was trying not to rough it up too much and seemed to end up leaving half of the shampoo in. It’s a good look. You should try it.
Today I feel like my hair is not going to fall out (it is), that I can go on holiday whenever I please (I can’t), and I feel in control of this whole situation (I’m not). We’ll see how things are tomorrow, but for today I’m happy. I just hope there is more of that to come over the coming months.
Something I managed to eat after a few days… (adapted slightly for Vegan version)
Millet Cakes w/ Carrot & spinach + a sunflower seed hummus
The dreaded soup…
A little chart to show you some of the side effects I may go through on this journey… Who doesn’t love a good chart.