Friday, 8 July 2011

Round 2

The battle continues and this time hasn't been as bad as I expected (yet!). Monday chemo was quite a social affair as my brother is back from Oz for a couple of weeks. He wanted to be my chemo buddy and I think it helped him. Chemo has the image of making people bald, skinny and miserable and to see it as something different is a good thing. The oncology unit is an amazingly positive place - negativity is banned. The crazy Ghanaian sister Regina helps - her laugh is infectious.
Managed the cold cap again - it is still a FFH but I coped better this time - kept my head supported so I didn't get a really sore neck. Bizarrely I sent the boys out for a Skinny Caramel Frappucino as I had a craving. So there I am with -5C FFH on my head, slurping a frozen coffee - feeling quite comfy. I think I am officially odd! Most women with the FHH are under blankets with hot water bottles. Go figure!
The FFH before it goes on my head - yes that is ice.
The week has been a bit dull with no concerts but hey - gotta pace myself! I haven't felt as weird nor as sicky as last time - had more anti-emetics this time. They say the Avastin (my extra kick ass drug that I had this time), doesn't cause sickness as it is a monoclonal antibody. The science geeks amongst you will know that this is a more targeted treatment and hence less side effects. I suspect it is bloody expensive - looking forward to seeing the bill for this round! However - if it does what it says on the tin the cost is worth it (she says, thankful for private health care insurance!).
It has been awesome to have my brother here and I think for him it has helped him understand what I am going through and that I am just getting on with my life, whilst battling cancer as a bit of a hobby! The evilness is not allowed to become all consuming. It is an aspect of me; part of me; but it is not ALL of me. I am still Claire; blonde; vet type; wife; friend; daughter etc. I just happen to have cancer. Fighting it is something that I am doing but it is not all I am doing. I am still trying to live my life - after all my life will still be there after chemo finishes so I need to keep it going. I think people tend to forget that about me - so I get asked a lot about how I am feeling but not much about the other aspects of what I am up to. Well, actually, some people ask but others don't. After all, if you don't ask how I am feeling then I can't possibly answer with something you don't want to deal with - "Pretty shit thanks" - eek, now what do you say? Easier not to ask isn't it?! Doesn't mean that I'm not feeling shit though does it - but it makes it easier for you to live with. Just remember that no matter how crap you may be feeling about all of this - it is a lot worse for me as I am actually living it.
Oops bit of a mini rant there - sorry. Actually, no I'm not - it has to be said to help understanding. Whilst I may be pretty positive and upbeat, but it isn't always that way.
Quite brilliantly I am having my hair cut tomorrow. When I made the appointment 8 weeks ago I didn't know whether there would actually be any hair to cut. The Irinotecan (kick ass drug that causes hair loss in 30% of cases) starts to cause loss 3-4w after treatment starts so I will know any day whether the FFH is doing what it should, and whether Mrs Jack Sparrow is going to make an appearance. I guess I just have to wait and see.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Claire, I linked to your blog from DW and had been wondering how you're going. I'm glad the side-effects have been a bit less hideous this week, fingers crossed it continues. And rant away lovely, blogs can be very cathartic. Sending lots of sticky hair vibes x