Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Regime 3 Cycle 1

Chemo day started off well – empty car park, called on time, cannula fitted on second attempt, drugs going in nicely. But then on the very last saline flush I felt my arm getting ‘tight’ and when I looked it was swelling up just like a balloon around the cannula – yes it was leaking fluid into surrounding tissue. The nurse was very efficient and went into ‘emergency’ mode. She had to assume the chemo had leaked too and immediately gave me 4 steroid injections around the perimeter of the ‘balloon’ and one in the center – the pain was excruciating and made me cry. My arm was then wrapped in an ice pack and I had to wait about 30 mins by which time it had gone down. Thankfully I have not had further problems. 
We are now on day 13 of the 21 day cycle and I am just beginning to feel a little like ‘normal’. I think I have ticked every box on the chemo side-effects chart this time but perhaps the worst is the overwhelming exhaustion and lethargy which I can’t be doing with! Emotionally it has been a difficult time too both for me and for Alan who has to watch when I go into despair and despondency mode. I am still losing weight although I am now eating ‘little and often’ – perhaps too little not often enough. I don’t think I appreciated how weak my body had become over the last couple of years with the effects of 2 previous 6 cycle chemo regimes, 6 months on a drug trial and thoracic surgery. I no longer feel like Superwoman!

But all is not doom and gloom and life goes on. The sun has shown its face this week which has made such a difference. The garden is sprouting and Spring really does seem to be trying to make an appearance. Alan’s potatoes are ‘chitting’ nicely upstairs. It is good for Alan to escape into the garden.

We are now the owners of a beautifully terracotta tiled front porch! We had noticed a couple of moths in there and thought maybe they were laying eggs in the wool carpet tiles – so up they came! Beneath the tiles were some old tiles which we scrubbed, scraped, washed, wire wooled, brushed, and painted and voila! They came up like new! When I use the word ‘we’ here you understand I mean ‘Alan’!

For Christmas Alan & I were given a poster – a collage of our beautiful granddaugter’s art work which she did at nursery. We have just had this framed and thought I would share it with you. I have hung it above my computer so I see it every day. Lilah is now 21 months old.

So hopefully I will continue to regain my strength this week. Next Monday I see my oncologist to assess whether I am fit for cycle 2!

I thank you for your continued good wishes, jokes, cards, emails, prayers, cake, flowers  etc. Special thanks to my mesowarrior friends who are there 24/7. I am blessed to have you all in my life.

Tess x


  1. Oh dear Tess, the drip incident sounds awful, sorry to hear you had so much pain but good news that they resolved it quickly. You must be going through a real emotional roller coaster with all the treatment and side effects. It wears me out to think about all the tests, treatments and appointments so you're bound to be feeling fragile. Hopefully the sun and a little bit of what you fancy (food wise lol) will help perk you up and build your strength back up.
    As always sending you my love and buckets of cyber hugs and positive vibes my friend
    Claire xx

  2. You brave girl, Tess. Onward and upward and I think of you every day. Sunshine always.

    Janet xx

  3. I think all mesowarriors are supermen and superwomen. Keep going with the eating regularly, those special fortified drinks were a godsend to Ray and really helped him keep the weight on - especially as he is such a skinny minney he didn't have any to lose to start with.
    keep strong

  4. Goodness Tess. How distressing that must have been for you during your treatment. Glad that particular incident didn't leave you with any lasting effects but it must have been so painful.
    Spring sunshine is so good for the spirits - I hope you have been making the most of it - rain predicted for the next few days.
    Love and hugs.
    Beryl xx

  5. So sorry to read of your painful experience during the chemo Tess. You're a very brave lady, keep strong, I'm thinking of you.
    Ann x