Well I start this blog off with a mistake.
I had convinced myself this was round 5 of 6 of this current cycle of Chemotherapy. Nope!
This morning Kerry had even said to me “Stay Strong, this is almost done, just a couple more”.
I’ve even told all my closest friends this was the penultimate chemo session.
We realised the mistake when Fi(ona) my chemotherapy nurse and I were discussing it today and going through the paperwork “Is this is round 4 or 5?” asks Fi, I replied smugly it was the 5th, she thought it was the 4th. So we check the paperwork and on iChemo (Their system) and nope. It’s round 4.
I. Could. H*cking. Cry!
I think that the confusion has come from the ‘week off’ where I was too sick to continue with treatment. I must have had it in my mind that it was completed that week or something, but whatever the mistake, it’s mine and no one else’s. Bah Humbug I say!
Ah well, just another 2 weeks, 4 in total. Then we can re-scan me. Then we have a potential of a few different outcomes.
- My cancer is completely gone (Hey, a guy can dream)
- I have responded well to chemotherapy and now it’s time to try another therapy such as sabre.
- I have responded well to chemotherapy but I need to continue with the same or a different type of chemotherapy.
Something else that’s come up in conversation recently with my sister Abbi was that I really haven’t talked to my oncologist about the major tumour site. What’s the next steps there? Are we looking at having any exploratory surgery there. Remove damaged tissues or what’s the craic with that? Do we leave it alone and pretend it never happened?
I think I was just so elated to hear that the tumour was gone. I didn’t think to ask any of these questions. By the by now, I have it listed down to discuss at my next review meeting with Dr Pedley.(Oncologist) Now I think about it. It may not even be the correct person to speak to about it, however he’ll be the person I ask.
I am sitting here being slowly poisoned and blogging with YouTube on in the background, I have Michelle with us today. She’s a trainee Chemo nurse from Lloyds Homecare. I can hear Fi and her discussing my case with hushed tones. It’s actually nice to hear them talking, I like that they are are willing to do that.
I rarely speak about my treatment providers (I have also asked them if it was okay to post about it too) but I really do want to say that they’re a really lovely bunch. I know that they’re with me, supporting me, albeit only for 3 month chunks. They really do give me hope though. They tell me about some of the other patients they visit. How they don’t seem to have the same outlook that I do. I don’t mean prognosis, I mean their own personal outlook. Some of the clients I am told don’t even have stage IV like I do.
This brings me to my next point. I know I also hear it from a lot of you readers and my friends too. How ‘Strong‘ or ‘Brave‘ you think I am. How I meet these issues ‘head on‘ and the like.
Firstly, I would like to say thank you. It does mean the world to me to hear that. Mainly because I do NOT think I am brave or strong at all myself. Moreso, I do meet the issues in the only way I know how, which is head on. You can’t plan for this sort of thing. You don’t get any warning, you have to make decisions on the stop sometimes. You have to attack them.
Yes, I COULD say no to more chemotherapy. I COULD just say “Nah, sod it all.” and go and sulk. I COULD cut my nose off to spite my face.
I won’t though! I made promises to Kerry years ago. I won’t break them now because the chemotherapy makes me feel like a 2 week old bag of nappies (Yanks: Read Diapers)
I have to soldier on, that decision isn’t mine really, it’s ours. It is only another 4 weeks till we are done with this cycle of chemo. However, when I woke up this morning, it was only 2! I have to continue this fight and see it through right to the end. I will forever be chasing the N.E.D or No Evidence of Disease. Then 5 years later, remission.
Fi just told me that I would be looking at about a week after my final chemotherapy session in this cycle, I should be expecting phone calls so I would be booked in for CT and MRI scans to check and see how well I have responded to chemo and we can then talk about options.
I managed to get out of the house for a small road trip with Kerry. I am being safe before any of you worry. I crave to be outdoors and feel the sun from time to time, I have also been craving fish and chips, so at the weekend gone, Kerry took us to Colman’s in South Shields. I managed to near enough finish everything. I wanted Haddock, had chips and peas too.
We even made the pilgrimage to Seaham’s Lickety Split for an ice cream sundae afterwards.
It’s a 36 mile round trip for Kerry and me but I will tell you that their ice cream is to die for.
Sadly they didn’t have the exact sundae I wanted as they’d run out of pistachio ice cream. C’est la vie as they did have banoffee sundaes on and it is a very close second for me. (Kerry helped me panic order when they told me they were out)
I really can’t recommend this place enough. It’s a heck of a drive from our place, but Seaham’s got things to do. Places to explore too. (I think)
For now we still have to keep on with the shielding, no restaurant visits still for the foreseeable future, take-out is okay, delivery/deliveroo is okay too, but for now we just mustn’t be breaking my shielding. The idea of me getting a cold or a flu would be devastating, someone has a tummy bug or something and passes it on to me, let alone COVID-19 it’s just NOT worth the risk.
I am on such a limited diet because of chemo anyways. It’s hard to cater for me, that or be the douche asking for alterations. “Can I get X without this and this and this” yeah… Don’t be that guy.
I really can’t wait till me and Kerry, can meet up with friends and go to restaurants again. It is top of my ‘wish list’ right now of things I can’t wait to do when chemotherapy ends. I know, I know! Who knows when that will be? but it is merely only a wish, I don’t think as a country we are ready for the restaurants to be completely open again. I don’t get to make these decisions. I don’t actually think that Boris and his cronies should be making these decisions either. What I do like is that restaurants (I care about and would want to eat at) are doing limited seating and assisting in social distancing.
It’s just time… I have to wait but I think it’s just going to make it all the better when I can go to the places I want.
Worth the wait? It’d better be!
I’ve dropped a few kilos since last chemo session. I think for the most part is down to me being able to eat regularly. Even if it’s been just toast, I have been near to my or have eaten my RDA of calories for the day. I don’t really eat a lot of naughty food either. On chemo, my life is toast.
I haven’t been regularly posting my weight of recent, however I do want to say that I ballooned up to over 105 KG due to the steroids I am now close to 100 KG.
I am certainly not happy with my weight at the moment, I was down to about 87kg at the start of last year. To know I am back to where I started from sucks, it’s really a kick in the teeth. It’s not like I have struggled with weight for years or anything.
I think, and I am sure you will empathise that being on chemo really does not inspire you to stick to a diet or anything. Most of the time you’re just happy that you CAN eat something, as an example, I just had to ask Kerry to close the kitchen door because she’s making food for herself. The smell of which was turning my stomach. I’ll be surprised if I eat again today. I will have to force myself come pills time later today. It’s just stupid not eating and putting all the pills I have to take. It’ll just make me sick.
But then saying that, that’s the thing. If I don’t eat, I end up with heartburn, then when I do have heartburn, I don’t want to eat.
If you ever wanted to hear a case for medical use of marijuana for cancer patients. This would be it. That and the fact that it really does help combat nausea. Now add in the pain relief, that’s a pretty solid argument.
My current pain is near to nil, but give the chemotherapy 24-48 hours and I am sure it will return. I discussed last blog how I am managing the pain with tramadol. I am going to stick with this until it stops working/if it stops working.
So all in all, I’m okay. Sure I could have done with doing the maths a bit better but it is only an extra two weeks and one more chemo session. I’ll live but I’ll bloody moan about it too.
I think I’ll leave the blog at that for today. I’m gonna go and rest. As always, please feel free to share the blog and I’ll update as soon as I feel well enough again.