I just injected myself! With a needle! In my belly! And I barely even felt it! Exclamation mark exclamation mark exclamation mark!

I know it’s only a little thing but it does feel like a big achievement. Conquering a fear is always a good thing. And it’s good to be the one in control of the situation, as it were. To be honest, self-injection seems like a doddle compared with the ice torture technique I endured at the hospital on Tuesday. Just a little two-second pin-prick compared with 1 1/2 hours of hand-and-foot-twitching pain. And I even managed not to poke the cat’s eye out with the needle.

I think I deserve a glass of champagne after that. Or a cup of tea… Fortunately, my Graze box just arrived and came with a slice of fresh pumpkin and ginger cake and a tea bag, so high tea I shall indeed have! I love the way they’ve even sent me a personalised “Laura hearts tea” card. Damn right.

Just before the ice torture also known as my last chemotherapy session, the oncologist went through a few of the side effects I might experience from the new Taxotere drug I was about to start taking. These included a very sore mouth, possible oral thrush and diarrhoea. Oh, and I might also suffer from anaphylactic shock during the drug infusion.

After that minor warning, my Mum was already on high alert when the side of my face started to go blotchy just before the chemo went in. The nurses were immediately called to my side, and fortunately they explained it was probably just the ‘flush effect’ of the steroids I’d just taken with my soup-and-cheese-sandwich lunch. Panic averted, we were good to proceed.

The oncologist also drew me a very simple graph depicting my energy levels, immune system and general wellbeing over the course of the six chemo cycles. I have never been very good with graphs and numbers, but it didn’t take much to see the picture translated as “You will gradually feel worse and worse and worse as the chemo goes on.”

Well, so far – touch wood – I’ve been feeling better than I did after the last chemotherapy sessions. To be honest, after undergoing the horrendous ice-torture experience, I’d have to hope the aftermath would be more enjoyable. Apparently the effects of Taxotere can take longer to get over, but I think they also might be taking longer to kick in.

Fortunately, the cats have been looking after me, as usual. I went straight home after the hospital on Tuesday and used a little gentle bribery to make them sit with me. I know they do not look that happy in the first photo, but it’s only because they didn’t like my Mum shoving a camera in their faces. As you can tell by the second picture, they were clearly in their elements, basking in the warmth of my leg heat.

Well, off to enjoy my tea now…