Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Tiredness, a double take and pre-chemo check

I've been feeling really tired of late and there have been times very recently when I've felt a little under the weather.  I find myself blinking rapidly to keep my eyes open when I'm talking to people.  

I want to go to sleep about 2pm but I'm trying to resist the temptation of a nap so that I can sleep better at night.  I should give in, but I know that an hour's nap (which is what's recommended) would simply not be enough.  I tend to be like a bear with a sore head if I'm forced to wake from a nap of under two hours.  Just ask my husband.

On the plus side, my mouth has healed up which is great news.  

Double take

I met a friend from work on Monday and we took ourselves out.  I had to use the loo at one point but I'd forgotten that I didn't have my chemo cap on and that I had very little hair.  

As I walked into the ladies loo, I must have given the two women chatting in there a real shock.  They genuinely did a double take.  I thought, feck, they must think I should have gone into the men's room. When I came out of the cubicle, I held my fuzzy-felt head high and gave them a friendly smile.  I got one back.

Pre-chemo assessment

I got my bloods and weight done at my pre-chemo assessment yesterday.  Unfortunately, the nurse struggled to find a vein in my left arm.  It took about six goes to find one that yielded any blood and afterwards, the crook of my arm was looking a little black and blue.  Next time, it won't be so difficult. 

Battle scars, plus my PICC line (more about that next time)

My weight

I was gutted to find out that my weight had gone up by two kilos in three weeks.  Oh dear.  I must admit that this last week has been challenging. Hardly a surprise considering I was celebrating my wedding anniversary with my husband and son and had a delicious three course meal.  I didn't have any booze either.  

After my bloods and weight were taken, I had a chat with the breast care nurse.  She gave me a bit of a friendly 'talking to' about my weight increase, in the nicest possible way: go for walks, avoid the Northern Irish way of having a piece of cake/a bun/a biscuit with a cup of tea etc, etc.  But I do!  And I don't!  Okay, so the last bit's not completely true.

The 'look'

I nervously asked the breast care nurse about whether I could get away from the same four walls of my house for a break.  It was at that moment I realised that cancer nurses have a look that they give you*.  The first look was 'don't-put-weight-on-but-I'm-being-nice-about-it' and the second when I asked about the holiday was 'you-can't-be-serious-right?'.  

The look in the nurse's eyes, the tilt of her head and the arch of her eyebrows made my heart sink.  I lost my nerve a bit and said, 'Well it would only be for a couple of days...and it would be on the same island...and I'm sure I'd be able to get to a nearby hospital if I needed to.' That last bit clinched it.  As long as in an emergency I could quickly get to a hospital in Northern Ireland that had an Accident and Emergency Department coupled with a cancer unit, then it would *probably* be OK.  

The thought of a very a short break away from the house provides a glimmer of light at the end of a long tunnel right now.  Only if I feel up to it of course...and I don't stuff my face.

*I think I should clarify. The nurses are absolutely lovely, they really are and I don't want you to get the wrong impression of them.  The look isn't a scary look - it's sympathetic yet nicely assertive, if you get my drift.


Please feel free to leave a comment or suggestion below for a topic about my journey you'd like me to write about.

Follow me on Twitter: @luvvacurry


  1. Enjoy the break wherever it is, they say a change is better than a rest. X


Tales of Lourdes...continued I've been a bit remiss of late.  I haven't got round to writing any more blogs but after a bit of...