Breast cancer, Cancer, Chemotherapy, Cooking, Fertility, Food, Hair loss, Health, Humor, Humour, Taxotere, Women's Health

Chemo Day Two / Big Sugar Challenge – Day Five

Well, firstly I’ll start by saying congrats to Obama – I’m pretty sure my over-sized ice-foam baseball hands and feet helped him win. No need to thank me, Mr President.

So, day two of chemo and I’m not feeling too bad so far. I went for a walk to get some fresh air while I still have the use of my limbs (i.e. before the crippling joint pain sets in).

Daily Ailments:

1) My little pinkie feels like it’s been slammed in a doorframe. Unfortunately, I can’t tell whether it’s going black and about to drop off because I already have dark black sparkly nail varnish on it, so I’ll have to wait a week or so to find out whether I lose a finger or not. But what are pinkies good for, anyway? All I can think of is proper tea-drinking etiquette…

2) My face went all red and blotchy before bedtime last night. And I am having hot flushes. I am hoping it’s just an after-effect of the steroids and not – god forbid – the onset of an early menopause.

3) I am back on the daily self-injections… with no sweet treats to self-congratulate… yuck.

Great things about today:

1) My Mad Men Season Five DVD arrived in the post. Thanks, – your timing literally couldn’t be better.

2) The Daily Mail reckons a glass of wine a day can help cure breast cancer. Don’t mind if I do…

3) After ignoring me for a few days, Nurse Molly is back to do her nursing duties and is preventing me from reading magazines by sitting across the pages. Her heart’s in the right place.

The Big Sugar Challenge

DAY FIVE (Tuesday)

(Note that I got a bit ahead of myself yesterday and called it day five when it was in fact day four – needless to say, I’ve gone back and corrected it. Apols).

6am pre-breakfast: A banana and four steroids.

8:30am actual breakfast: Bacon sandwich on grain bread with grilled tomatoes and a cup of tea. (Yum, thanks Dad, the most creative sandwich maker I know. Who needs ketchup anyway?)

Hospital lunch: Tuna sandwich on brown bread with salad, a fruit salad and a cup of tea. Four more steroids and a large dose of chemo… Bleurrgh!

Snacks: A few handfuls of pistachios, assorted nuts and raisins. Two more cups of tea (or was it three?)

Dinner: Spinach and ricotta tortellini with pine nuts, tomato and basil, broccoli and a dollop of Philadelphia for good measure. A glass of sugar-free cloudy apple juice (which I had said was not allowed but Mum reeeeally wanted me to drink it before it goes off…) Another cup of tea.

Snacks: Two savoury biscuits with cheddar cheese and butter.

Notes: Woke up at 6am today wanting a Cadbury’s Creme Egg like never before. Good job it’s November.

Breast cancer, Breast Cancer Awareness, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Cancer, Chemotherapy, Food, Humor, Humour

Tea, Cake and Big Achievements

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…