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Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom

First Chemo session

It’s now been 2 days since I had my first session of Chemotherapy and it is 5.30 Sunday morning and I really want a glass of orange juice but I don’t buy juices so there is none, oh well. So, let’s talk about the procedure, my son and I turn up about 9.15 in the morning to the unit and it is very quiet except for the nurses on duty that morning. The lovely Charmaine explains what she is going to do and gives me an anti-sickness tablet to start with. She is from Trinidad and I tell her my best friend is from Trinidad also, who she hopes to meet at some point during this process. About 40 minutes later Charmaine returns with a bag of more anti-sickness drugs, she then inserts a needle into the port and attaches the bag to the drip. Once this has finished she returns and injects the port with 3 huge syringes of red liquid and then a saline solution to clean the port. Whilst she is doing this my body starts to feel cold and suddenly, I’m really hungry. Fortunately, there are biscuits and my son assists. I then send him off to get his hair cut as my treatment is finished and I feel very tired suddenly. I know I fell asleep for about 15-20 minutes as the lunch lady woke me up when she bought my soup. I was pleased to see food and ate everything because I was so ravenous. I then had a physio appointment which wasn’t the greatest idea because all I really wanted to do was go to sleep. After Physio, I didn’t feel too bad so my son and I went shopping, I was pre-empting feeling poorly and hadn’t been able to go shopping earlier in the week. By the time we got to the checkout I was getting techy with my son and he asked me to stop speaking to him like that. I realised that it wasn’t fair on him and I was embarrassing him in front of other people. I apologised to him in the car and got us home.

My friend came round with dinner, a beef stew made out of bone marrow, which took some preparation and patience because I watched her do it earlier in the week.  Her aim was to get some real goodness into me even if I didn’t eat a great deal. I made some suet from the beef dripping that came off the bones and we put a suet crust on the stew. The dinner was delicious but by the time it came to eating, I was feeling really sick and only managed a small amount. I was feeling like I was pregnant again with my son, which I didn’t think would ever happen again, it was bad enough the first time. I couldn’t eat a great deal because I just wanted to throw up and then my body went into some sort of shock and I was really cold. All evening I felt very sick and very cold.

The following morning, I ate half a piece of toast with a cup of tea. I didn’t like the taste of the tea, I didn’t want coffee which is what I normally have because of the smell so it was water. I had a lovely morning in Windsor and we went on the rowing boats and got some fresh air even though I felt queasy most of the morning. The hospital had given me a choice of whether I wanted to come in the following day and they administer an injection or whether I wanted to do it myself. I opted for the second option so I gave myself the injection into my stomach. The injection would help my body produce white blood cells from my bone marrow which would subsequently make my bones ache.

So as well as feeling sick my legs ached most of Sunday and I was so frustrated with myself again for not being able to do the things I would ordinarily do without thinking. During these few days I noticed that when I slept I was sweating more and my clothes smelt, the sheets smelt, so clothes needed to be washed and the flat needed cleaning, but my legs ached so much that everything was done at a snail’s pace. As well as all this I have managed to mess up my medications by not taking them at the right time, but I know they are anti-sickness drugs so I’m hoping they haven’t caused me to much disruption. I will report it though to the oncologist in any event.

I have also discovered that 3 days on, I love the taste of salad cream and I don’t like anything sweet, any smells of any sort except fresh air and fortunately the weather is beautiful and I can thoroughly enjoy fresh air. Albeit, I am fed up of my body not feeling my own, not to mention the breast having strange sensations over the last few days as though something is moving around in it, I keep telling myself, one down and that’s it. I’m not going to count how many are left because there is no point in reminding myself of how long this journey really is. I’m doing today and today alone and even though I have had tearful moments over the last couple of days, I also have moments like now where the grass has been freshly cut and the smell of fresh air fills my lungs whilst I sit and look out on fields blooming with nature, reminding me that the cycle of life continues regardless.

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