Thursday, 27 February 2014

FEC # 4 cycle - Thursday 27th of February 2014

I have 6 days until my next cycle and this cycle has been an absolute horror. FACT

Chemotherapy has an accumulative effect and boy is it accumulating!

I have been evil personified this cycle and not the easiest person to be around.

I have NEVER experienced pain and the agony of faecal impaction like I have this cycle (and I thought last time was bad enough)and I was close to passing out on more than one occasion. I have accepted that this is part of having FEC administered. It's clearly very difficult to get a happy balance using lactulose, Movocol and Senokat/Prune juice to produce the perfect bowel movement.

I have also had the added bonus this cycle of strange thoughts, my mind has been playing tricks on me and I can't really give you an example, because it wouldn't make any sense and in reality you would think I've gone slightly bonkers. It took a couple of days to figure out that the thoughts I was having were non nonsensical. Whether this was down to taking Emend, the Rolls Royce of anti sickness tablets or not, I'm unsure. But I will not be taking them again.

I have been on the Macmillan website and asked if anyone else had experienced these thoughts and I have been informed that this is chemo brain - where you feel 'a bit fragmented like jigsaw pieces not fitting together' and could be down to the steroids.

My energy levels are currently running at zero % and my eyes are really sore, warm and irritable as I have few eyelashes left. I have mouth ulcers and generally pretty run down.

Roll on next Thursday at 14:30 for # 5 - Not because I want to experience all of the above so soon, but I will be a step closer to finishing chemotherapy.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Hump Day - I'm feeling better

Hump Day

I've just got out of bed after two days. I've had muscle and neck aches and aches down the both sides of my body and feeling like the light switch has been dimmed. I couldn't eat and I couldn't drink, which did not help with the sore throat and soreness to the roof of my mouth. I feel like I've spent the last two days in and out of consciousness! 

I've woken up this morning feeling out of sorts but much much better and realised that I may have been hallucinating or certainly that my mind has been playing tricks on me. 

The sun was shining and I managed to have a shower and walk to the quarry. The walk was slow and I took baby steps to get there and at one point was worried how I'd get back.

I've now managed to eat and drinking water water and more water and hopefully back on track :)

Sunday, 16 February 2014

FEC # 4 February 13th 2014

FEC # 4 

It feels like a while since I've posted to my blog.  I've been researching my family history on with my 14 day free trial. I love genealogy and I started to put together our family history in 2007. I've been cross referencing to the site to the National Archives records, local churches and parishes. Its been a pleasant distraction and something I have been able to comfortably concentrate on.

Concentration is allusive at the best of times at present. I have so many projects I thought I'd be able to attempt or complete but NO - It is not happening and I'm not going to beat myself up over it. 

I recently posted a Triple Negative Infographic to my Facebook Profile, but for those of you independently reading this, here are two links to this information and current research.

I watched up to series three of Breaking Bad, but found it a bit heavy at the moment.

I had an appointment with my oncologist on Thursday 6th of February (accompanied by my heavily pregnant sister) and I discussed that my hand, wrist and veins were tender, sore and aching. My veins have hardened and this tends to happen during treatment. I was given some Emend anti sickness tablets (The Rolls Royce of anti sickness tablets) and went to the hospital pharmacy to hand in my prescription and collect. The Pharmacist called me in whilst my head was down and rummaging in my handbag. After she called me MR,  I turned my head to my sister and gave her a sideways glance and my sister instantly knew she was going to get it. The Pharmacist was extremely apologetic and went a lovely shade of red. I may be bald, BUT I do not look like a man.

Within the week I will become an Auntie for the first time - E X C I T E D

Hubster and I went to the Birmingham Art Gallery and Museum the Saturday before my fourth cycle and ate an all you can eat buffet on New Street for £5.00 to which my body was screaming "how can you overload me with that much bad fat",  I felt seriously bad about eating it and then went to the Nags to meet a friend and watch the rugby. We were home by ten and that was the extent of my socialising at night during this cycle. I feel that my energy levels are depleting.

My mum picked me up for FEC cycle #4 and I as I jumped in the car said " I'm so bored of this now". I have had enough, It's draining, it makes me feel like shit, I have no energy, I feel constantly sick for a week and yet I only have two cycles to go and then 3 weeks of daily radiotherapy. My teeth hurt and I think it's because I am constantly clenching my jaws.

We would love a holiday after this to relax and recoup - but have no end date to treatment. 

My last chemotherapy is the 27th of March and then my final and last chemo cycle finishes on 17th of April and I hope to return to work on reduced hours the week after. I have my Look Good Feel Better workshop on the 22 April from 2-4pm and then my 6 month check up with my specialist and surgeon at PRH Hospital on the 30th of April.

I have expressed to work that radiotherapy may leave me completely pooped ( this will start 3-6 weeks after chemotherapy finishes).  I have been told by my breast cancer specialist nurse that most people are able to work around daily radiotherapy but can leave you drained and knackered and sore from the radiation rays zapping your skin. Radiotherapy will be at RSH. I will return to this in my blog when I have some dates available.

Mum and I arrived at the Lingen Davies Centre at 11:30 -  ready for round 4
And so the vein which has been used for FEC # 1/2/3 is now so sore and tender that #4 had to be administered on the side of my hand - the nurse decided to administer into this side vein after I jumped into the middle of next week when she lightly touched the last injection site. It was not a pleasant experience.

The nurses on the day centre chemotherapy ward that I have spoken to, have no idea what The Hamar centre are able to offer in relation to services for people receiving cancer treatment and I have now been able to tell two nurses about The Little Princess Trust and the donation of human hair to provide a wig for a child affected by hair loss.

I am still wearing my cotton jersey cap in the house and in bed at night and was able to take it off in the car as it was nice and warm. I will be super happy when my hair grows back and I have a little more coverage, which will allow me to take my hats off permanently.

Incidentally the Rolls Royce of anti sickness tablets have had no effect :(

Back Seat Driver Selfie taken Saturday 15th of February 2014. 

See you soon 
Love Tam

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Update Post #3 Week 2

After writing my last post, I could stand it no more and walked to Mcdonalds and purchased two tasty cheeseburgers and chowed down on those darn pickled gherkins I'd been dreaming about before proceeding to my local public house for early evening beverages and catch up.

Even though I was drinking I was struggling with a very dry mouth, which makes talking quite tricky when your constantly circling your tongue around your mouth like a washing machine. I also put the Proclaimers on the jukebox, but that's another story. And two men kissed my head, certainly not what I was expecting ......

I am still experiencing a dry mouth to this day and a constant feeling of feeling sick when looking at certain foods. 

I can't look at a mint humbug without dry heaving and this is because I took them with me to the first two cycles to suck on whilst having my drugs syringed into the cannula. 

My weetabix has tasted of dogfood and all my food is currently being heavily laced with celery salt and pepper. The NO cheese in my diet has gone by the by this cycle as mature cheddar cheese has never tasted so good.

I've only been able to manage 1/2 cup of morning coffee and I'm only tolerating this in the hope that it will work alongside the x 3 Senokot I take each evening to assist with the sporadic bowel movements.

I can't stand the smell of smoke (sorry Hubster) and had to unplug the glade plug in, in the kitchen as again it has been causing dry retching.  

I am now in week two post 3rd cycle and therefore in social isolation until next Thursday. 

Yep, I am in hiding from all nasties and germs.

Then on Thursday, I'm off to the hospital to see my oncologist to shoot the shit.

On a positive note I was able to submit two assignments into my tutor this week and passed both. I have 3 more to complete and a final paper prior to booking a place on the practical element of the course. A small step closer to achieving the Advanced Foot Health Practitioner Diploma NCFE level 4 NQF. 

Next blood tests 12 February
Next cycle #4 13 February

Stay bright, stay positive *fists air*

Love Tam