Chemo number 7 versus Rachel

The upside of my blood recovering has meant I went ahead with number 7 yesterday as scheduled, and it all went super smoothly.  I even managed to leave before the nurses turned off the lights and got treated by a new nurse putting my steroids in by drip rather than injection; amazing what passes for pleasure these days! And Jo did a change over with mum and turned up at lunchtime with liquorice toffees. Everything was going like clockwork….hmmm.

Until I tried to leave and found the neuropathy and chemo fog had descended so fast, my friend Jo resembled Usain Bolt as I tried to follow her to the car park!  And this from a women who broke both ankles and wrists last year, so I must be hallucinating or the nice nurses have messed about with my wiring again.

And sure enough sickness followed and my body began to emitt its usual chemo glow lighting up the chiltern hills. You walk in to the sight of a miserable grey rainy Buckinghamshire sky and leave a few hours later filled with chemicals and heh, instant Maldives!

Chemo number 7 is shaping up to be a nasty piece of work and roughing me up a bit too much.  Now Knock it off!  Meanwhile Dad, decorator turned nurse administers the bone marrow injections!

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Sometimes you do want to shoot the messenger…

A man goes to his doctor for a complete checkup. He hasn’t been feeling well and wants to find out if he’s ill. After the checkup the doctor comes out with the results of the examination.

“I’m afraid I have some bad news. You’re dying and you don’t have much time,” the doctor says.

“Oh no, that’s terrible. How long have I got?” the man asks.

“10…” says the doctor.

“10? 10 what? Months? Weeks? What?!” he asks desperately.

“10…9…8…7…”

I do love black humour, but why do some people in the medical profession believe anyone facing the shock of a cancer diagnosis must be in complete denial and in urgent need of a nice little chat about death?

Personally I would have thought this is the very time you could do with a bit of gentle brain reconditioning to build up your mental strength, but there appears a rush to unload both barrels on you faster than quick draw McGraw with the occasional book recommendation for your children on losing a parent lobbed in to lighten the mood!

Facing your demons is in my opinion a bogus concept which causes even more anxiety than the hard working journalists from the Daily Mail!

Once upon a time I enjoyed the perverse pleasure to be had from a misery memoir, but these days I crave informed positivity and happy news even more than I crave the mute button on the nickelodeon channel, or a solid chocolate KitKat.

My own experience, which still stains my memory, was from the Ian Rennie nurses who introduced themselves with a motivational  “Hi we are from the end of life and terminal care team”.  Friends have also reported priceless gems such as “So I hear you want to talk about your death” to “If you pay into a pension, I wouldn’t bother to continue if I were you”. Now should you manage to get over this punch in the gut (possibly by holding your brain under a running hot water tap and scrubbing thoroughly for several months), there is amazing support, care and positivity out there and I can’t fault the dedication.  It just seems a shame that we have to go through this ritual first, rather like an initiation into a street gang!

Surely with the amount of evidence available on the effect of meditation, visualisation and keeping a positive outlook, there should be more support focused here? I am sure I am not alone in calling for more guidance or training for the medical profession on giving life changing news like this?

Anyway, I have just about recovered my composure and am doing well thanks to all the support and medical attention I have received and I hope the same can be said for any newcomers into the club.  The joys of Chemo cycle 7 await on Monday morning so I will be getting friendly with my bed again for a few days, after which I need to get on with some sculpting or pottery  to keep myself busy and away from the pull of the virtual world and back into the real one!

Thanks to everyone for keeping me positive and healthy!

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Just when I was getting ready to give up on my bone idle bone marrow…..

David you were right! 6 attempts needed!

I was totally caught out this morning when my white blood cells stopped acting like French air traffic controllers and finally got back to work.  Granted they dragged their little white blood cell feet and needed 6 attempts to tempt them back into the chemo ward today. But I can now look forward to 3 weeks absence from needles, having sported more cotton wall buds these last 4 weeks than your average reception art class.

Which goes to prove you must never give up; “It’s always darkest before the dawn,so if you are going to steal your neighbours newspaper, that’s the time to do it” or perhaps more suitably from Winston Churchill, “If you are going through hell, keep going!”. Life is anything but predictable at the moment and it does me good to remember faith and loads of love is the key to getting through this.

As we descend back into winter this week, I am consoled by the weeks of enforced rest I ‘endured’ basking in hot sunshine like a job lot of beef jerky.  All I can look forward to over the next 12 days is my body and face swelling back up like an air bed and the aversion to anything cold which has started already with my knife and fork causing my fingers to tingle and swallowing food becoming a dangerous sport with my throat going into spasms.

Oh well, see you on the other side!   zzzzzzzz