Friday, March 19, 2010

last week

So I have made it through chemo, and have just one more week of radiation left to go.
My Liver function tests are still improving, although I still have NO idea why they went abnormal. I would have put money on it being the chemo at the beginning, but it is so unlikely because they kept getting better while we continued the chemo. So they will probably remain as one of my bodies little mysteries.
I must say that it feels good to have finished chemo. I really didn't like it at all. (Not sure if any one does). The only good thing about chemo was the other patients. I was always with a good group of people and we usually spent a good part of the day laughing through it. What I really hated: the dexamethasone. Its a steroid drug (not like the body builders use) thats main job is to combat the nausea. And it was pretty good at it. But it also made me constantly awake, fairly grumpy, extremely achy on the days I wasn't taking it (they give it to you 4/7 days) and it has turned me into a chipmunk.
I can cope with most of the side effects of most things, but the fact that every time I look into a mirror I see a puffy, chipmunk "dex face" it really reminds me that I have cancer, and that I am a patient. I know it will go away, and in some ways should be grateful that I have put on all the weight that I lost (and maybe a bit more - also from the dex), but I really don't like it, and it is such a small thing.
Next week I have 4 more zaps of radiation and then I am done for a bit. There are a few more bits and bobs to do in a couple of weeks, then follow scans in a couple of months. It takes a few months to work out if the radiation has done its job so thats why we wait for the follow up scan.
In the mean time I have to work out what to do with myself. I get very tired doing even small things at the the moment and the fatigue will take some weeks to months to resolve.
So once more I guess it's a case of take it day by day and see where we end up.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I've been a bit slack with the blog updates I know, but its a good thing really.
The liver tests were improved on Monday so we went ahead with chemo. It makes me feel very washed out, and gives me a feeling of a hangover for most of the week, but I can still eat pretty normally, and still no puking (Whoop whoop).
I am on so many drugs, and also ginger drinks, and acupuncture I really have little idea as to what works the best.... so I just take it all!
The other reason I haven't been writing much is because I don't really know what to write on here. Its not a diary, so hopefully theres not too much airy fairy crap, or deepest darkest thoughts (although there really aren't very many of those at all!) so really right now its just the basics. And when things are into a routine, there isn't a lot to say. Tomorrow I am half way through my radiation/chemo. Radiation Treatment 14 out of 28.
The radiation is really very easy. I turn up, lie on the table, get laser measured up, pushed and pulled into the right spot and then zapped (which I can't feel) for about 10 minutes. The hardest thing is trying to get my bladder (yup more bladder talk people) appropriately full. It helps to push the small bowel out of the way so that the bowel gets less radiation. When I have an early morning appointment it means setting an alarm 2 hours earlier to stat drinking fluid. I have to down about 1.5L over 2 hours to get a comfortable fill. On Monday, I got it wrong! It was a chemo day, so they give you lots of intravenous fluids and medicines to encourage you to pee. I got to radiation and was quite uncomfortable. And when I say quite, I actually mean really uncomfortable. I was in a cold sweat, couldn't breathe properly and thought I was going to loose it (literally!). But I made it through and (because they make you measure your pee volumes on a chemo day) I now know (and so will you....) that I have a bladder capacity of approx 950mLs! ouch.
The only other thing that is a bit weird with all the treatments is running into other people. Some of the young children have to have a general anesthetic for their radiation, so I see the anesthetists quite often. There in all my hospital gown glory. I don't really mind it, it just feels weird.
Again we have been so blessed by the support and care from our friends and family. We so appreciate every message, every coffee, every ride to the hospital, every meal and every visit. Rob has gone on a work conference for a few days and Mum is here with me. I'm loving having her here with me and feel quite pampered.
So a little bit nauseated, a bit more tired, but definitely getting there. Bring on the second half!