Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Ups and downs

This latest bout of chemo has hit me harder than the earlier ones.  I've had no energy and when I walk I find I get out of breath quite easily.  I just want to sleep or sit on the sofa and watch box sets on Netflix.  I couldn't even face the thought of writing a blog.  But I feel quite a bit better today.


Although chemo can be a life saver, it can play havoc with the body.  For example, over the last couple of weeks, I've had thrush in my mouth, a tongue like a sponge and an infected little finger.  I've been desperate not to let the infection get worse as that could have serious implications. As my body can't fight the infection on its own due to compromised immunity, I'm now on my third course of antibiotics and second lot of ointment.  

That'll teach me to try to pull out a hangnail (if you're on chemo and tempted to do it, DON'T!).

White blood cells

I also had to have a white blood cell injection because my white cell levels were low.  It went into my stomach fat (I've plenty of it) and was pretty quick and painless.  My bone marrow should hopefully start to produce more white blood cells in time for my next treatment.  

I was a bit nervous about the injection as I'd heard some grim stories about the side effects such as bone pain but luckily I had nothing of the sort.  I was a bit alarmed however when I looked at the composition of the injection and 'e-coli' was mentioned.  Bloody hell!

Food and drink

There's one thing that has really pissed me off: food generally tastes disgusting.  I love my food so this is a particularly unwelcome side effect. It has been especially bad during the first two weeks of this latest chemo cycle.  Every mouthful has been like eating cardboard.  

The thought of certain foods and drink also makes my stomach turn. Last week the only things I actually wanted to eat were salty items such as roasted peanuts, crispy onion rings, Ritz crackers followed by Starburst as dessert.  Healthy, eh?  

Even tea and our tap water, which usually tastes crisp and pure, tastes weird.  As for chocolate (including a lovely homemade chocolate cake a neighbour gave me), it feels far too rich and cloying and I've struggled to eat it.  I never ever thought I would say that about chocolate.
I did manage to meet up with a couple of work colleagues for a few hours.  Whilst they knocked back cocktails (with my blessing even though I was as jealous as hell), I stuck with the mocktails.  Even the bubbles in the mocktails made it feel like I had a million tiny needles shooting into the roof of my mouth every time I took a sip.

Listen to your body

What I am doing though is listening to my body more.  If I feel tired, I take a nap.  If I can't walk too far, I stop and sit down.  I try not to rush around as much as I used to but I sometimes forget and then my husband has to nag *remind* me.  

As my taste buds have been slowly recovering, I have actually felt like I want to eat more fruit, salad, vegetables, olive oil and brown rice.  It's strange how the human body seems to know what it needs.

I look forward to the day I can start to taste the delights of food again.  I intend to savour every mouthful. 


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