I started to feel back to myself my 3rd week after my 1st chemo session, my energy levels were up, my appetite was back to normal (after seesawing from no real appetite to wanting to eat everything in sight) and I even managed a run (just one but hoping to do more this time round). So I was back on track just in time to start all over again – and so the merry-go-round begins.
The night before my 2nd Chemo session I had my last night of college which involved a practical exam, coaching someone and giving feedback on camera – a very successful way to distract me from the following day!
My 2nd session was pretty uneventful. The nurses were amazing again and the morning went smoothly. I brought along a bag of products to see which were suitable when using the cold cap and have details of the ones that got the seal of approval in a new “Cold Cap – suitable products” blog in the beauty section.
I’m still waiting to see how successful the cold cap is for me. Without it I would have lost all my hair at this stage which hasn’t happened but I have had a lot of thinning in the last week. It’s hard when your hair starts coming out in chunks, I always said if I was losing it I would shave it but with the cold cap I don’t know how much I’m going to continue to lose so for now I’m hanging in there.
At the moment my hair is very thin and straggly and in the last 3 days a lovely bald patch is starting to appear on the crown of my head (still covered by some strands of hair for now but if I continue to lose it at the same rate I have been they won’t last long). The picture above show’s one day’s hair loss.
I’m really starting to hate combing my hair, spending at least 5 minutes afterwards trying to pick all the hairs off my shoulders and back, not to mention the floor, sink etc. But I know I’m one of the lucky ones who has been given the option of the cold cap and for now anyway I can still go out without a hat, scarf or wig (just about). Worst case scenario it won’t be successful but I’ll have gained an extra couple of weeks with my hair or I might get away with still having enough to go wig-less and wear a baseball cap for day to day (I have my wig on standby just in case).
Adrian gave me the injection for my white blood cells this time round – he did well in fairness to him but letting me know “It’s OK, I know what I’m doing, I’ve seen Pulp Fiction” as he held the needle in his hand probably wasn’t his best comedic timing -Funny man!! (OK I did laugh a little)
I was a bit more floored the day after my session this time round but I think it was more down to a very bad night’s sleep the night before. I was better on day 2 and went to a friends for a lovely BBQ (the boys were well entertained which meant a lovely relaxing evening for mammy!). I feel like I’m nesting at the moment and yesterday I tackled the boy’s clothes – how can you get rid of over 5 bin bags of clothes and still have no room to put stuff?! It was a job I’ve been putting off for a while and felt very therapeutic to get it done – now for the rest of the house, but not this week!
My symptoms so far have been pretty similar to the last session, the grogginess has set in and I can feel the bone pain creeping in right on cue but the added benefit this time round is I know what to do once the pain intensifies. Just to ensure I don’t get too cocky about knowing it all after only one session I’ve had an extra side effect thrown at me this time round.
Now this is where I really start to challenge my reasoning around doing a blog, I have said from the outset that I will be as open and honest as possible in my blog but when it comes to certain things it’s hard to know what is helpful and what is just down right embarrassing!!!
But hey, no one said cancer was pretty and neither are its side effects (and I know I’m only at the start of learning how true that is) so you’ll be glad to read that I have decided to compromise and keep this very high level …. Some lovely side effects associated with chemo are diarrhea and constipation, the later in my case. The good news is the amazing staff in St Vincent’s Private spotted this in a scan long before I had symptoms so I was well prepared with yet more drugs to take when I needed them.
After my 1st chemo session the boys went on their holidays to Cork to my brother and sister in Laws. This time round a nice evening walk or relaxing on the couch has been replaced by refereeing very competitive hurling matches, trying to console a 3 year old having a melt down because he can’t go to his “work party” at 8.30 on a Sunday night and trying to avoid sneezes and snotty noses (after a good run they’ve typically both come down with colds this week!) I invested in a Moo Goo hand sanitizer today which is alcohol free so gentle on little hands!
As I sit here typing this my two boys are sitting on the floor playing a football board game (one in his Tipp jersey, the other supporting Antrim) and listening to their banter is all the motivation I need (until the fighting starts!!!).
I’m now on day 25 of my chemo journey. I’m pumping my body with what seems like an endless list of drugs to help combat the effects of the treatment. It’s a pain but I’m very grateful for those drugs. A quote I have to admit stealing from “First Dates” but love comes to mind “Any day you can get out of bed and pull up your own knickers is a good day”
So today was a good day!