Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Step 3...

The end of the chemo session on the Wednesday itself left me very cheerful, slightly beginning to feel shock at the enormity of what's happened to me and, as before with the T treatment, perfectly ok for the first couple of days (with the exception of the sporadic tiredness being more immediate and extreme than before). However come the weekend I had the most intense chemo-head feeling, twitchy fatigue, extreme deep cough and pain in the bronchial area that any of the three T treatments has so far brought. This has lasted pretty well till today when it is beginning to calm down a little. The painkiller situation was not too bad again however, only needed a couple of ibuprofen. The worst aspects this time I think have been the emotional kickback and the feeling at the most exhausted times that I'm on the verge of a heart attack (who knows, perhaps I was, these are heavy-duty chemicals!).

The emotional is partly because the end of the treatment leaves you with this funny feeling that you're no longer doing something helpful, you've stopped, isn't that risky? But largely for me it's the realisation that no matter how supportive some people are through these things, you're not really anyone's specific responsibility, which with the best will in the world can make you feel terribly insecure, particularly as it unquestionably involves facing your own mortality far more directly than people without an illness will be doing at this age (or even much older!). Add in a few toxic chemicals and all sorts of horrible feelings creep out of the woodwork. (Mike, as prime carer-for-me has not necessarily had a very easy time of it this last few weeks and probably could do with some support too). No doubt the radiotherapy will replace that feeling of not doing anything to counter the cancer, but once that ends I really will feel it I imagine. Just have to focus on getting some sort of normality back I guess, and popping the Tamoxifen.

With characteristic excellence at communication nobody warned me that I should be available for any specific dates for my radiotherapy planning. So they put the date on one of the days that we're away (despite actually knowing this was a date we were away) and had to be asked to re-arrange it which has a knock-on delay on the radiotherapy itself. I decided I would chase this re-arrangement even if that meant I was being a pain rather than wait any longer for them to get back to me and got an answerphone message saying the woman re-organising it was now on leave until mid-April and there would be nobody checking these messages. How cool is that! So I eventually got someone else through the switchboard who kindly arranged for my planning CT scan to be at 10am on the 12th April and even more kindly booked the radiotherapy itself to start the day after my birthday, so at least I won't have to do it on my birthday! It will be every day for five weeks which means Fri 23rd, 26th-30th, May 4th-7th missing the Bank Hol Mon, 10th-14th, 17th-21st and 24th-28th, ending neatly just before the Bank Holiday weekend and half-term week (though the children will be spending most of the half-term with John).

Going to the latest SFO exodus party for the early part of the evening tomorrow so may see some readers there... Meanwhile thank you to Lisa (Matt and Ellie's mum), who very kindly re-iterated her offer of help, gave the children an Easter egg each and me a copy of Good Housekeeping! It may be the chemicals but I burst into tears! So kind. Have a good Easter everyone. I'm hoping to have a break from posting for a little while but will check in to see if anyone is commenting.


  1. Hi Belinda - Thanks for the latest update. Have a great Easter! with love from Helen & co from wet and windy Wiltshire x

  2. Hi Belinda,

    Enjoy the SFO party (hide the lap dance poles everyone - you know Belinda!
    Have a restful Easter - the blossoms are definitely trying to emerge.
    Love Janet, Robert, James and Megan