I thought I’d put a new blog up to explain what’s been going on with me since the last chemotherapy session.
I haven’t really been very vocal about it on social media but sadly and in brief summary, I have started getting a bit of pain again. It all started after my last chemo session a fortnight ago and more worrying, I have seen a little bit of blood too. I have been so out of energy of recent too, ‘shattered’ if I am being honest. Walking between rooms in the house took it out of me. Walking up the stairs in the house got me out of breath.
I was utterly dreadding chemo coming round this session, I think the loss of my hair hit me quite badly mentally, and I haven’t really voiced that. I mean Kerry knows, but it’s not like shaving your head. It’s patchy, it looks awful. I even felt that run down, I ended up with a coldsore. Crickey, I haven’t had one of those in a decade.
Anyhoo, I had decided it was a bit too early to know what was going on we didn’t want to jump to any conclusions, so Kerry and I agreed to hang fire speaking to my oncologist Dr Pedley right away. I would wait to speak with my Lloyd’s homecare Nurse when she visits to take my bloods for Chemotherapy.
(In case you don’t know. I have my blood tests taken and we have a chat about how I have been on the current cycle on a Monday, the chemotherapy prescription is then tailered based on a few contributing factors and then delivered to me on the Tuesday for treatment to begin on the Wednesday.)
The way things have been working is, in a two week cycle, I have chemotherapy at home 3 of the 4 drugs are pumped in over 4-6 hours and then get connected to a vaccume pump, drip fed the last chemo drug over 46 hours and then the nurses visit again to disconnect me.
It is then that I feel like literal hot garbage. This tends to last for the next 6-8 days where every day is better than the last, then I have about 4 days of normaility and then the cycle starts again.
I had put in my previous blog about me going a bit stir crazy. Kerry had recommended that we take a little day trip when I felt up to it, get some sun, releave the tedium. You may have caught my facebook post already but if you didn’t we managed to kill a whole bunch of birds with one stone:-
Sort out the car service, Rupert had to go to the vets as he’s been suffering from an ear infection quite badly for a couple of weeks. It needed antibiotics and I am pleased to report (this was a follow up appointment) that it’s 99% cleared up now. He’s a very happy doggo again
We then dropped him back home, bestowed upon him some new toys (See the rainbow unicorn in the image) and treats to keep him amused for a couple of hours.
Kerry then drove us over to town where she treated me to a deli sandwich from Made Deli in Newcastle and some doughnuts from Proven goods in Newcastle. We then drove out to Brockbushes farm near Corbridge in Northumberland. It’s a fruit picking farm and has an attached farm shop. So with my facemask on, I had a little walk around the shop and bought some delicious foods to bring home and cook.
It was a grand day out, it was really nice to feel the sun on my face and moreso to be out of the house.
I was absolutely exhausted when we got home that day.
I had promised to spoil Kerry on the Sunday for treating me. I do this with food. It’s what I do.
I had really fancied Toad in the hole but as Kerry is a vegeterian I compromised and made a roast with a gigantic load of stuffing, yorkshire puddings (Her favourites) and I made an epic pavlova. I know it looks like I was cooking all day but it really was only about an hour of prep plus actual cooking times. Here are just a couple of images.
My Lloyds home care nurse was Laura this time as Fiona the nurse that usually comes is on leave.
Laura had a new nurse with her training called Michelle. So Laura takes my bloods and the courier arrives to take them off for testing.
Laura, Michelle and I discuss with her what’s been happening with me.
How am I doing? have I been experiencing pain? Hairloss? skin problems? Energy levels? Any signs of infection? etc
We were discussing everything that’s been going on with me really, I had complained that whilst on chemo and for a good 6-8 days afterwards the chemo induces a lot of diarreah as you may or maynot know. It’s not nice in the slightest but it is totally managable/treatable with a drug called Loperamide. You have to be on the ball with this drug. Take it as prescribed when it’s needed or it will just get worse and worse, it can lead to infection. Still, even though I have been taking it correctly, I was still suffering quite badly and as you can imagine, it’s a lot of repeated trips to the toilet and a lot of wiping. What I had noticed was a bit of blood and a whole lot of soreness. This is both in passing, or breaking wind.
You’ll know this was one of the warning signs that I had cancer in the first place. The nurses both thought that this should have probably been a phone call to them to update them. Afterall, this is what the 24 hour helpline is for.
We then continued to discuss this and the other things and was I handling the pain okay? I explained yes but I am high as a kite on tramadol and that really gets rid of the pain but it also keeps me in a perpetual cloud 9 state. However, after passing the pain does clear up, however, if I get the urge to go or need to break wind that’s actually really uncomfortable. Like a 5/10 pain at peak, goes down to a 2/10 pain and as I say, uncomfortable.
We agreed that I should send Dr Pedley a text asking him to pencil me in for a chat. He text back near enough instantly to say that he would call me later in the day, which he did.
About 2 hours later, I received a phone call from Laura informing me that my blood test results were in, they weren’t good and that my neutrophils and white blood cell counts (0.74 and 1.9) were way too low for me to have chemotherapy this week. She also asked if Dr Pedley phoned me yet?
I explained no, he hadn’t but she wanted me to know right away and that he would definately be calling me later to explain everything.
A couple of hours later, I think about 17:00 Dr Pedley was on the phone and said, “I hear you’re having a bit of a rough time Cameron” no matter how many times you ask people to call you Cam there are certain people that still use your Sunday name.
He then went on to explain that the nurses had given him a detailed report that I looked very “grey and battered and bruised”. My blood levels were too low to be able to complete another round of chemotherapy and I needed to rest up.
He wasn’t going to get any arguments from me. Although, I do want to complete this chemotherapy and get me that one step closer to either operation or procedure to get these bloody unwanted passengers to vacate.
He has also explained that the irritation in my bowel is not just the diarreah but is also a side effect to the chemotherapy and he used a big word that I can’t for the life of me rememember. The bleeding was more than likely caused by this. He also said to remember that I am still going to be feeling the effects of the radiotherapy from earlier in the year.
What’s going to be needed is for the chemotherapy to be paused for at least a week. I will get tested again on Monday next. Make sure my white blood cell count is back to normal and then we can start treatment again.
If I am being honest? I actually glad to hear them say that I am not well enough, I am absloutely fucking shattered at the moment. I could do with some continious sleep. Not the 3 hours here and 4 hours there. Proper sleep sleep. I try, don’t get me wrong, but I just wake up feeling fully rested after a few hours of sleep and then just lay there, mind wandering, thinking of everything and anything. Just not sleeping.
I could do without waking up in the middle of the night with my arm sticking up in the air!!! (I have absolutely no idea what’s going on with that). Kerry said last night I went from snoring one minute to maniacal laughter. The last thing I want to be doing is keeping Kerry from sleeping.
I have managed to sleep in our bed for like a whole week now. I will only sleep on the couch when I am too poorly to lay down and I need to be within running distance of the bathroom.
So, that’s where we are at. I’m going to be taking the next week easy. I am super high risk of infection. No raw foods, no fresh mayonnaise or runny eggs. No leaving the house that’s for sure. I think a cold or a flu would finish me off right now.
On the upside. My new computer came back from Scan computers. It turns out that it was damaged in transit. The cooler yanked the CPU off the board and that’s why it turned up dead on arrival.
So a few new parts. A new burn in test and then through quality control and my brand new NEW computer is finally with me and I could not be happier. It’s everything I wanted it to be and more. It’s ungodly quick. The new displays are so crisp and I am able to play or do anything on it without worry of ‘will it be able to do X?’
Yes… Yes it can. Love to Kerry for getting it for me. I’ll be eternally grateful.
That’ll do for now. Thanks for reading.