Monday, 7 December 2009

Round One

well I don't really know if I dare say this, so maybe I should change the font to a whisper - so far so good! what I mean is, after throwing up mightily on Wednesday night and once on Thursday morning, things have been really very manageable indeed so far.

I think it's all down to the pills. You have to get on top of it. Having eaten quite happily during the chemo and come back on the bus all smug because I felt ok, I then started to feel nauseous before having taken the next anti-sickness pills - mistake! So for anyone else in that position, it's the same as the pain management - take it before it gets to you is the clue. I then had to suffer the return of many a tasty morsel in a most unpleasant way until bedtime. I slept really quite well overnight and woke up feeling empty-stomached and very happy that way thank you. I took the anti-sickness pills and promptly brought them back, rang the chemo nurse and asked her how I should deal with it if I had to start taking the steroids on a full stomach that day too (which as well as helping with the sickness are there to prevent allergic reactions so do need to be taken). As far as I was concerned, not eating or taking pills of any sort for about the next fortnight seemed a very attractive option, but she warned me against this. The problem, she explained, is that I was treating it like a bug that passes and you think ah, I'll leave my poor stomach alone for 24 hours now and I'll be right as rain tomorrow, but it doesn't happen like that because it's chemo, not a bug, and comes and goes in waves for days. It was a huge counter-intuitive leap of faith to believe her that it was not the anti-sickness pills that were making me sick but the cocktail of poisons that had been injected into me. However that is what you have to do and of course she knows her job and she was right. So the moral of the story, as ever, is suspend what your experience tells you because you ain't never been here before.

Otherwise I have been exceptionally lucky this round so far. My sister Liz came to look after me, coming through the door on Thursday as Mike went out the door having had all the bad bits, and I spent the weekend thoroughly enjoying her company, and the kids who were with me from Friday night, and feeling a total fraud. We even went and enjoyed Pelham school fair. It's weird though because actually, although I'm feeling fine, it wouldn't be true to say I'm feeling normal. You can still feel the faint background nausea and heartburn, a funny buzzingness in the background that is undoubtedly the chemicals floating round your bloodstream wrecking your internal systems along with the good they're doing, and a vague internal crash-helmet bizarrely lining the inside of your skull. It's sort of like a painless invisible pressure that's almost imperceptible. Very hard to describe.

And hallo steroids!! wow! so the anti-sickness pills start to wear off and you take more and feel a bit better, but the steroids do everything you've always suspected they would and you end up redecorating the back bedroom three times in an afternoon before cooking for 12 and servicing the car yourself. Energy or what! Time-limited of course and just another illusion of wellness but boy did they help! Ration ended yesterday :-( but another lesson in why to take your pills as directed - they really helped enormously. (Talking of enormously, the other thing they do of course is to allow you to eat some of the lovely chilli served at the school Xmas fair and think, yes I could tidy up another six portions of that. Not because you're hungry, or want more even though you're not hungry, but because you feel that you can, there is a seven-portion area in your stomach and with a little patient work you could fill it all up. So if you don't see me for a few months be kind when you next do and no I'm not pregnant).

Other than that, sleeping and being very well. The anti-sickness pills run out today so let's hope that's not speaking too soon. I'm not sure whether the hair has started to loosen a bit or whether I've always lost a few like that here and there but I am a little suspicious...thanks to everyone who has said what an improvement my shorter hair is! short-lived perhaps but it gives me ideas for the regrowth.

Right, better start catching up with Christmas - it won't do itself!


  1. Hi Belinda
    Glad you seem to be coping with the chemo although, wow, what a roller coaster you are on.
    Keep up with the blogging.
    PS The hair looks great by the way.