Week off – Getting back in the saddle.

Hi Everyone,

So from last weeks blog, my bloods were absolutely rocked by the chemotherapy. I didn’t share with you last week how bad they were so I thought I’d do that in this blog, so here they are:-

Blood Test results 21/07/2020

So in the image above. The ‘Neutrophils’ have to be a reading above 1 for me to continue chemotherapy and as you can see they were 0.74.
However, if you take a look across the board, Haemoglobin, white blood cells the lot, they were all too low.

I had also started to experience pain in my bowel again, not only just when passing, however if I had trapped wind too. This was awful, it was keeping me up. It would be painful at the time, it could pass and give me a few hours of nothing but it actually made me start to use pain killers again too.
I had taken started with paracetamol and obviously that wasn’t going to cut the mustard so I also took tramadol (My North American friends, that’s kinda like Vicodin) and that did seem to cut through the pain and give me proper pain relief.
I don’t actually like tramadol, it is the painkiller that works for me. I don’t like that it makes me a walking zombie.
The nurses that visit me to do my chemo and blood tests had told me that I looked exhausted, even grey looking.
I think when the phone call came, I wasn’t even remotely surprised that I was being told that I wasn’t well enough to continue. I found a sort of euphoric relief being told. I just thought about all of the stuff I would do with my week off. For one, I could play on my new computer.

Sadly, it wasn’t the week of relaxation I thought I was going to be. I did manage to play some video games towards the end of the week, more the better, I actually got back into a great sleeping pattern. I am sleeping in my bed again and my back is thankful for this, that’s for sure. I’m still not able to get more than about 5-6 hours.
We’ve got some really noisy seagulls that love to wake me up about 05:30-06:00. I have always and will always be a ‘Once I’m awake, I’m awake’ kind of guy, this is worse if the sun is up already. Living in the North of England, that’s 05:10 at the moment. It is getting later and later but for now, if I could have some sturn words with that sodding seagull I would.

I think Wednesday through to Sunday were the worst. I just felt so rough, I was exhausted all the time, even doing nothing. It was like, I’d wake up, make coffee, make toast, then I’d sit at my computer reading social media, emails and reddit. The next moment I’d be fighting to keep my eyes open. So I would go watch TV in the living room and then I’d wake up a few hours later and rinse repeat.

So Kerry did a lot of looking after me (I really don’t deserve her). Some times that was just leaving me to it.
I think one of the things that helped me recover over the week was that I was able to eat a lot more than when I am on chemotherapy.
I lose my sense of smell and taste on chemo. It starts on the first day and I start getting it back usually about 4-6 days before chemo starts again.
So having a full week off chemo I was able to eat a lot more than toast I usually live off was going to be a godsend.
I am on quite a strict diet on Chemotherapy. You’re not supposed to have any raw foods (Fish, meat, eggs), no soft cheeses, no blue cheeses, no shellfish. These are supposed to prevent infection, and then there are bizarre ones too, like you’re not supposed to have seville oranges or grapefruit as they contain CYP enzymes which are known to affect chemotherapy drugs.
I paid the price for disobeying the diet too. I absentmindedly had some mayo on my chicken nuggets on Wednesday or Thursday and spent the whole next 24 hours in bed, running to the toilet. To prevent me doing that again, I binned the Helman’s and I won’t be making that mistake again that’s for sure.

I really started to feel a lot better by Sunday, I’ve had a good couple of days with Kerry and we played a few games together and enjoyed watching some TV shows with the odd meal too. So it wasn’t all doom and gloom that’s for sure. I had my nurse Fiona call in on Monday to do blood tests.

These were the results from Monday

I contacted the Care Oncology clinic with the results. They emailed me back and were in agreement that I should continue with chemotherapy and also my medical trial pills too. I then got an email from Fiona later that day to tell me that she’d spoken with my oncologist Dr Pedley. We would be starting chemo again on Wednesday and that my prescription would be 20% lower than in previous sessions. However this would not reduce the chemo’s effectivity.

So Fiona delivered all my chemotherapy to me and just left about an hour ago. I’ll see one of the nurses on Friday to disconnect me from my pump and I can get back into this routine. I have 3 more sessions left on this course of Chemo. Then it will be re-scan time. Then it will be decision time. Do we continue with Chemo or is it operation time. Who knows.

That’s all for now. I could do with a chill out and watch some crap TV.

-Cam

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