Saturday, 2 January 2010

hello again!

It's difficult this blog, cos sometimes I don't feel like putting things when I'm feeling less cheerful. So I'm forcing myself to today.

Chemo 2 has been a little better than chemo 1 in that I managed to avoid being sick, but I have still experienced a fair bit of nausea. Less energy than last time which the wonderful steroids have not managed to avert in the kickass way they did before but I think they still help. I also had pain in the vein when they were injecting the poison this time which was unpleasant but stopped as soon as the session was over thank goodness.

I think I feel decidedly less cheerful with the advent of 2010. I think this is because the shock of it all does bring the upside of a certain amount of novelty value with it initially, and I have meant it every time I have said this or that aspect of it is interesting because it's true. Again, similarities with pregnancy.

Except when you go through your second pregnancy you are more familiar with it, it has less novelty value or interest except insofar as it differs from last time and you are aware of the up-coming less nice bits, as well as the longer-lasting after-effects. So whilst 2009 saw me through the op, recovering from the op and doing chemo for the first time (interesting), I now feel like I'm on a downward drag for the next 7 months of treatment which is tiring and boring. So I will have to hope that the effects of the chemo and radio remain broadly this manageable to allow me to insist on a great list of wonderful things that I want to enjoy. And the really bad thing I am feeling is that at the end of the treatment you don't get a nice plump baby to enjoy as consolation for all that weariness you've endured, or even a certificate to say you've passed, because you haven't. All you've done actually is been treated for a nasty disease in the best way possible to try and prevent its recurrence, but you'll never know until and unless it does. And then you'll only know that it hasn't. Negative? GOOD! I refer you to an excellent article in today's on-line Guardian

I think it was the hair what done it a bit. A word of advice to anyone awaiting their hair loss - give yourself time to prepare yourself for how you want to manage it and then actually BE prepared! (I wasn't and I rushed it too). So there I was thinking Anne-Marie's sterling work on my new hairstyle, which everyone but Gabriel seemed to prefer, was beginning to take a bigger hit than just a bad hair day and wondering if it was fair to moult all over John's house then Julie's and Adrian's house over Xmas and how irritating finding hairs in my mouth was getting, and I decided I should just go for it on Xmas Eve. This wasn't mere impatience but I genuinely wasn't sure if it might start really dropping in clumps and thought I wouldn't like to be away from home managing that. So I took myself upstairs, stood in the bath and calmly started tearing my hair out.

Now that is weird! You just get a clump, pull, and most of it obligingly comes away in your hand with no pain or resistance. (I'm still in interesting at this point and the gradual denuding of my head is not a great shock, although strange). I then have the dilemma of the hair that doesn't come out (a mere smattering, admittedly, but one that anyone with a sense of lawn management knows won't shave well), and duly call upon the talents of my wonderful unfazed fabulous Lucy who happily sets about snipping it all off for me up to the scalp with no apparent repulsion or horror whatsoever. Whadda gal! Potential hairdresser?

But I haven't practiced my scarf-tying, got anything more than Jennifer's two lovely caps and one hat that I've managed to buy nor, most importantly, got my wig cut to a shape that is less like Geraldine McQueen. (Been told that's nonsense by the way, and Julie says the wig shows off highlights to die for). So now I have a bewildering array of odd looks (including now my natural one which I haven't got used to) and new management of heat control which keeps changing all the time meaning my headgear has to keep changing all the time, and - a stronger Samson reaction than I ever realised I had. It's not about looks (not mainly that is) but it is most definitely a power thing. It's another thing gone, another part of you that has to change to a ridiculous extent, and although I'm happy not to look as good as Gail Porter and delighted to think I look better than Jade Goody, I don't really like it. And I'm disappointed to say I'm self-conscious about it even in front of Mike, because it isn't how you should look. Not really.

So there it is. I plan to persuade Anne-Marie to come scarf and banadana shopping with me if she gets the time. Might as well use the occasion to try out a few alternatives :-~


  1. Belinda

    Thanks for your updates, you are amazingly strong, honest and brave. I hope you keep positive in the coming months especially as you say round 2 and beyond are no longer novel experiences.

    Also to say I noticed our Christmas card to you in the kitchen today which we thought we had put through your door last month, really sorry about that! Having a clear desk policy in the kitchen is a definite new year's resolution...

    Kind regards
    Alison Hutton

  2. Thanks Alison - save it till next year!