Monday, March 19, 2012

Carlsberg don't do bad weeks, but if they did....

It's been a while since I posted and in those two weeks, a LOT has happened - hardly any of it good! I was due to go back to The Scariest Hospital in The World on 9th March for an ass-load of pre-tests and scans before my first chemo blast. Naturally, the day before this my beloved rabbit Binky decided she had had just about enough of listening to her Mom crying and rabbiting (sorry) on about cancer, and headed off to the Great Warren in the sky. I bawled and sobbed so much that I both made myself hoarse and gave myself the migraine to end all migraines, which wasn't the best frame of mind for me to be in the day before my tests.

I should also tell you that I have practically NO veins in my left arm and seeing as I had surgery for breast cancer on my right side, getting injections/drawing blood is always eh, challenging. Anyway, I had about a million scans, blood tests and x-rays and was poked with a needle possibly four million times, but everything was where it should be and doing what it should be doing, so they said I was good to go for chemo on Monday - go team!

On Monday, like the good student I am, I researched the best thing to eat before chemo, duly ate it, packed a healthy little lunch and headed off with my lovely Mam and hubby to The Scariest Hospital in The World for my first chemo (I'm due to have three sessions of AC, three of Taxotere and then a year of this new wonderdrug called Herceptin). Being a cocky little miss, I was fully expecting to sail through the AC cycle of the chemo as I had read that the Taxotere can be much worse - eh WRONG DAWN! My lovely nurse Suzi lashed the chemo into me in less than two hours, I got the bus home and ate a ymmysloppy dinner of beans, mash and fish fingers. Suffice it to say, it's going to be a loooooong time before I can even look a fishfinger in the eye again....

About an hour after I got home, I began to feel a bit weird. Not sick now, just weird. I ignored it for a while but in what felt like a split second, I knew I was going to puke. And I just made it to the loo in time, where I spent the next 14 hours vomiting, shaking, having diarrhea and pretty much raving like a lunatic. My poor mother stayed with me the entire night and rang the hospital at 7am the next morning. I was rushed back in, as I had become so dehydrated that I had no tears when I was crying (FYI that is sh*t-scaryingly terrifying). I then endured the worst 45 minutes of my life, as a legion of poor nurses tried and failed to find a suitable vein to give me some anti-sickness drugs. FINALLY they located a fairly co-operative vein and we were in business!

Except we weren't.

Turns out I'm allergic to the usual anti-sickness drugs they give us chemo peeps, so after NINETEEN drip bags of various crap they found one that worked and for the first time in 48 hours, I managed to close my eyes and drift off to sleep.

I was kept in for three days but my incessant pestering of the doctors worked - they got sick of this girl and let me go. Oh sing Hosannas, I cannot even begin to describe the relief of being back in my own bed! It was glorious. However, I am still queasy as hell and popping anti-sickness pills like there is no tomorrow. I feel a teeny bit better today and am praying to everyone I know in Heaven that I will be back to myself asap.

Due to the lack of veins going on, I'm due to have a porta-cath installed (installed? inserted?) on the 28th and my second dose of chemo will be administered that day. My oncologist has sworn blind that she is going to change the chemo so that I won't have to re-enact The Exorcist for days afterward, so I would ask you all to say a little prayer that I won't be a human projectile-vomiting machine for days on end. I've made up my mind that IF this chemo makes me sick, I'm going to sit ON TOP of the oncologist and vomit on top of her until she fixes me. So now.

Right, over and out from me tonight. My bed is a-calling (I lie. Its really the new season of True Blood and Ridey Eric aka Alexander Skarsgard thats a-calling, but sssh) so good night to all and to all a good night.

PS: You are welcome ;)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Things are getting hairy...

Or not, as the case may be.

I met with my oncologist for the first time on Wednesday and I was no sooner sitting down than I burst out 'My hair, my hair, what's gonna happen to my hurrrrrrrr?' My mum had been lucky enough to keep her hair so I was sort of optimistic that I would be as lucky as her, as losing my hair was my very worst fear. I might be sick, but I damn well didn't want to look like I was sick. Or like Matt Lucas.

But my worst fear became reality, as the oncologist broke the news that yes, I was definitely going to lose my hair about two weeks after my first chemo session. And just like that, the bottom fell right out of my world.

Once I got myself together, the doctor advised me to get my long hair chopped up short, as seeing long clumps of hair falling out is apparently much more traumatic. She also gave me a wig brochure and, for the icing on the cake, told me I would need to get sleep caps as apparently being bald from chemo means you can get very cold at night. I think at that moment, the realisation that I was a cancer patient hit home and my God it hit home hard.

Yesterday I cut my hair and I won't lie, I sobbed like a baby as each strand hit the floor. I never thought I would be so vain, but this disease is forcing me to learn new things about myself and not all of them are nice.

This is my new hair (please excuse the sad face and wonky eye, I'm no America's Next Top Model!It's like my eye is trying to slide out of shot haha) and below is my wig, which is slightly longer but more or less the same style.

I'm really not sure that I'm going to be brave enough to 'go bald' in public, I have an awful fear that I'm going to look like Uncle Fester as opposed to Demi Moore in GI Jane or the beautiful Nathalie Portman in V for Vendetta, but maybe when the time comes I'll change my mind. In fact, I have already christened my wig 'Cousin It', sure there's nothing like a bit of Adams Family humour!

Now that I know the worst will happen, I am trying to come to terms with it. But, if anyone has a spare bottle of Dimoxinil hanging around then I will happily take it off your hands!