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How are you doing? Share how your week has gone, ups, downs, and everything in-between!

Good morning everyone,

How are you all doing this week?

You can share here how things are going for you, you will always find a listening ear and often someone else who can empathise with you and where you are at and how you are feeling.

I realised this morning that it was 5 years ago today I had my first chemotherapy to treat breast cancer. I remember waking up feeling sort of nervous, had some trepidation about how it was going to go. How would I react? What would it feel like? Yet I was in this bubble of 'unknown', but knew it was a path I had to take.

It was a beautiful day, I was still wearing shorts and flip flops it was so warm! I arrived at the unit, met Paul the receptionist on duty who was always so warm and friendly to everyone, really making them feel at ease as much as possible.

I sat down and while waiting heard the radio playing, this made me laugh out loud, as the song was Culture Club 'Do you really want to hurt me?' I thought this was so funny given what I was about to embark upon. Of course my laughing caught the attention of those around me, and one couple spoke to me, asking me if I was here for chemo. We had a chat, and they were so encouraging, so positive about their experience, it really made me feel less scared. Sat next to me was a lady who was here for an initial appointment and she was also really cheered by the fact I was laughing and by the couple's experience.

When we were called into the unit, the first thing that struck me was how cool the unit felt. I remembered after that to always have something warm to wear.

The nurse collected all the necessary drugs etc, I had the steroids and anti-sickness meds and was hooked up to the iv. Then I sat and waited. I wasn't sure of what reaction would occur, I did feel a warmth and heat come over me, that's about all really. It took a while the first time. I do remember during the course of chemo that I would have great difficulty taking the steroids, something about them really upset me. I would become like a child when taking those! Weird!

After the chemo had been dispensed we were sent home with a bag full of meds with instructions, and a telephone number to call whenever I needed to. I found I was desperate for the loo afterwards, mmm red! lovely, and very normal! That doesn't last.

We returned home, it was lunchtime, so I had some toast and scrambled egg. It was strange almost waiting for something to happen but not wanting it to, and finding it didn't happen. When going through chemotherapy it is very surreal, life seems to be in slow motion, yet there is often a lot going on with other appointments, plus dealing with a diagnosis and all the trauma surrounding that.

I quickly found being thankful for every hour during the day or night that passed without incident helped me, I woke up on Day 2 (you quickly start living in a 3 week cycle, or how often your chemo is), thinking wow, I got through the night.

My taste buds changed fairly rapidly and I found my morning coffee became the most disgusting thing ever invented on earth! lol. I love my morning coffee...but no, it wasn't happening.

Taking all the anti-sickness meds at my disposal really helped me, I had the 'big guns', and then the 'go-to's'. They worked. I was not sick once, throughout my whole chemo time. Sometimes I had nausea, but the nurses taught me to be proactive in this not reactive, so even that was rare.

Any way, ramble over, perhaps you are going through chemo, or other treatment, feel free to message here if you'd like to chat.

Chat soon,

Lou xx

Comments

  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 715 mod

    Good morning everyone,

    I hope your weeks are going smoothly, especially if you are having appointments and treatments to attend.

    Yesterday was my annual mammogram appointment, it passed in a flash, I was in and out before my appointment time had arrived! Always pleased when that occurs, saves all the hanging around waiting.

    I will have to wait a few weeks for the results to come through, but hopefully I will get a good report, that is what I am expecting.

    If you have appointments etc to go do this week I hope they go ok too.

    Have a good day,

    Chat soon,

    Lou xx

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,228 mod

    @LouiseJ

    Oh Lou. It does not surprise me that you recall everything so clearly and I think the way you describe your experience is fascinating. It should be required reading for people facing chemotherapy treatment. I have not been in that situation but it sounds really challenging and anyone reading your warm, humorous story must find encouragement from it. Having some insight into what lies ahead is so valuable even when you know it is going to be tough.

    There isn’t much going on here though I have a meeting with my urology sister next week. I have been making too many nightly trips to the loo and it would be nice to think there is something I can take which will help, but I am not optimistic. Drinking lots of water to hydrate is fine but!!! I am also currently on monthly ibandronic acid tablets for my osteoporosis and I am due for a DEXA scan soon. The tablets do not agree with me and and I am hoping all the work with fitness bands, walking, cheese, yogurt, figs and kale are going to show positive results. I was told that nuts are good too, but Mary said no to the coffee and walnut cake. 😉

    Being able to share our experiences and feelings in this community is really special.

    Chat soon

    Rob xx

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