Chemo really affects your memory, but at least it doesn’t affect your memory.

Hi Everyone,

Time for a quick update, I’ve been off chemotherapy for a couple of weeks now and I am starting to feel some normality returning. My facial hair has started to grow again, sadly this means I need to shave twice a week again. My scalp is darkening which is a good sign, it hopefully means my hair is starting to grow again, I shaved the fuzzy hair off one last time and hope to grow a full head of hair again.

Sadly the pain just isn’t subsiding, like at all. I am still sitting at a constant 6/10 at the moments and breakthrough pain it’s still 10/10.
I am using oramorph for breakthrough pain but sometimes it only takes the edge off and I just have to wait for the pain to subside.
It’s infuriating, I just want a little respite from the pain and I could deal with the whole situation a whole load easier if I did have a little, you know?

My memory is still shot, I still can’t think of the words a lot, I can’t tell you how many times I have proofread this blog or I have shouted through to Kerry for ‘What’s the word I am thinking of’
Bless her, Kerry has been on the ball to give me the word I am looking for or finish my sentence, I haven’t found myself stuttering much which is good. For those of you that don’t know me well. I generally only stutter when I am feeling anxious or if I am trying hard to get my words out quickly but I never really stutter around Kerry and let’s face it, since March, her’s is the only face I’ve seen. I hope this cloudy chemo-brain mist lifts soon.

Sleep is still shot, I get 3-4 hours and I’m fine but I can’t really sit for long time periods, I have to lay down, then I find myself napping which isn’t good for trying to sleep.

Eating, well… I don’t really want to eat, I have gone over this, eating’s byproduct of pooping makes me want to die right now. I eat as little as I need to, I either don’t eat or eat something small at breakfast and then in the early evening I would have a meal. I can’t imagine when I am able to exercise again it will be enough, things will change then.


So, I got a call Monday afternoon from the Freeman Hospital asking if I could make an appointment at 13:15 on Tuesday 07/10/2020 for a P.E.T scan.
Although short notice, I said yes. I didn’t even think to ask Kerry if this was okay. Kerry had said that although she could run me there, I may have needed to get an Uber home as she had a meeting an hour and a half after, no biggie, it would be an adventure.
Well, I’ll explain later I didn’t have to but here’s how it went down:-

I turn up to the department of transplantation (Woo, exciting) where the P.E.T scanner department is located. Still because of COVID-19 restrictions. Kerry was shooed away. I say goodbye to her and she goes back to the car.

I am ushered into a waiting bay, given the sign in clipboard and complete a check in with the receptionist. The usual garb, height, weight, meds I am on, dates of previous chemo, procedures blah blah and of course, my medical insurance information.

I am then introduced to a couple of people from the PET Scan team and I explain about me being super needle-phobic and could they please try to get the needle in my hand preferably.

Sadly yet again, it all goes to HECK and I get the effing junior who completely mucks up the cannula insertion in my hand, gives me a lovely haematoma and wicked bruise. It was so painful she then calls in her senior who explains that she’s either hit the bone or a nerve and he will take over and find a vein if it kills him and he’s going to use a much smaller cannula.

I didn’t even feel his needle to into the back of my forearm and there we go, but sadly the young girl gives me a small mouthful about how ‘I shouldn’t be so picky about where I want to have needles’.

Well that’s right, put the blame on me because you have no empathy. Cheers!

If someone tells you that they’re needle-phobic, don’t let the junior who’s clearly still learning to do the needle. Immediately get the smaller cannula and let the experienced one do the fecking needle. Anyways, I digress.

unlike an MRI with contrast you don’t actually keep the cannula in, it’s probably only about 10 or 20 cc’s worth of poison they inject you with and the cannula was removed, I am given some tape and a bit of cotton and then I am ushered into a waiting room with a recliner for an hour while the isotope runs riot round my body.
I have Kerry’s old PS Vita for situations such as this. As this department is subterranean (on level 1 of the Freeman hospital) mobile signal is a definite nope. I played a few games and as I say, an hour later I am called ‘Next’ and sat outside the scanner room.

The scan isn’t really that much different from a CT or MRI scan. You lay down on the huge metal slab, they raised my knees with a support and explained I needed to keep my arms above my head, crossed and there was a strap for me to hold onto and to hold still as much as possible for the duration of the scan.
Initially, I didn’t think the hands above my head was going to be an issue but 20 minutes into the test both of my arms had gone to sleep and were wicked sore. I was just at the point where I was going to say something and thankfully a couple of minutes later, the test ended.

I was offered help to get up and for once, I actually needed help getting up and then getting my legs off the bed. I sometimes forget how feeble and knackered I am at the moment. Well, I put my piercings back in, collect my phone and my backpack and say my goodbyes and as I am walking out of the department and into the larger part of the hospital my phone starts going and I can see Kerry has sent me a bunch of messages on Signal telling me to come straight to the car in the carpark as she’s having the meeting in the car and could I be quiet when I get there.

She’s a h*cking good one that girl. I don’t bloody deserve her, truely. I get to catch the back end of her meeting and then we drive home.


I wasn’t given any timescales from the radiographers on the results. I will get a call from Dr Pedley later this week I presume with the results. The way things have been going with results recently… Well look, I am not letting my guard down suffice to say. I’ll put up another blog when I get the results.


So for now, that’s all I have, as we are in lockdown again (Not that it changed a single thing for me) All the plans I had for when treatment ended have been scuppered and I’ll just have to wait a little longer.

-Cam

One thought on “Chemo really affects your memory, but at least it doesn’t affect your memory.”

  1. Hi Cam, just read this, glad to hear you’ve been off the chemo for a bit & yr hair’s growing back, must feel pretty good! Keeping everything crossed for PET results & btw, can’t understand why, when u tell them u have a phobia to needles they give u a trainee so they can really mess it up. Maybe ‘phobia’s’ a grown up word & u shd change it to ‘so terrified of needles there’s a strong chance I cld pass out…’ Coincidentally Pete’s the same, absolutely hates them, so maybe u can blame yr genes…

    Kate’s on Jury service, she started on Monday & what she thought wld b a 2 week commitment has turned out to be a 5 week one. The case will continue until November 6th. This means I’m staying with them taking charge of the little ones, school runs etc etc. Because of the ‘rule of 6’ Pete’s down in Sussex. Becky’s with him for a bit whilst Tiziano’s in Italy at his Mum’s, he’s due back in a couple of weeks. Not sure yet if he’ll have to quarantine on his return, if he does he’ll probably do so in HH. He comes into Gatwick so it’s easy enough for Pete to pick him up.

    Everyone getting fed up w restrictions & there seems to be no end in sight at the moment here in the UK or anywhere else. Meanwhile the economy continues to spiral downwards & number 1 🤡 across the pond seems to see himself as some sort of Coronavirus superhero, the scary thing is that people are prepared to vote for him, I’ve given up trying to understand anything anymore. Truly we live in a world gone mad, only consolation is it can’t last forever, can it?

    Great lass your Kerry, as I’ve said before, you’ve struck gold with her.

    Much love,
    Pala
    Xx

    Like

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