I emailed and phoned crazily on Monday 4th trying to find out when I could schedule my first chemo in, but they were closed this day. I was frustrated, impatient and slightly depressed.
I was not in denial, I just didn’t understand it was cancer. I felt so healthy, everyone told me I looked great, I had selfie after selfie on FB, I drank, I ran, I did my crazy 1 hour session PT with Sun. I slept but more broken than usual. I had an appetite like a stockman during cattle season.
So first Chemotherapy was 8th January. 930am, you are weighed, taken to the one of many reclining chairs in the room it’s not sterile, it’s purpose built but I didn’t feel like I was sick. The nurses were incredible and put me to ease immediately. You choose your own chair, I always get the one by the window, and you set up for the hours to come, laptop, phone with music loaded, noise cancelling headphones, socks (super important) and something very comfy to wear, I made a few wardrobe mistakes before realising this was important, and then I decide do I want someone there or do I just want to do this by myself and have some quiet Mez time.
It was not what I expected, it was pretty uneventful, scary to watch the amount of ugly chemicals they are pumping into you but not as bad as I expected. Each ‘chemo day’ is on a Friday, then I go treat myself to a nice grilled fish and glass of wine somewhere nice in Sydney and then go home to relax. This makes my day feel like there is something I’ve done for myself also. You start to feel pretty rubbish and mouth starts to turn pretty much during chemo.
I finally moved to the Porta Cath from using my arm veins in 25th February. I tried but the arm pain was way too high. I admitted myself to emergency room and underwent a full day of scans and checks and none of the Dr’s could tell me what it was and really all I wanted were strong painkillers so I could survive the day, but I visited Dr Arthur (my haematologist) the following day and he said we should move to the Port in the chest and well done for trying.
The next 2 weeks went like this every time pretty much the same…
· Mouth taste starts going on chemo day
· Day 2 – Tired, mouth getting worse and food not quite right that evening
· Day 3 – mouth starts to get a little bit sore on the side of your tongue and you know what’s coming
· Day 4 – liquids pretty much, custard, custard, soups but not too hot, shakes with fruit in them blended, protein shakes, vegetables and minced meat with gravy was a great one I had completely blended of course. Coffee is gross. (that sucked for a caffeine addict like myself)
· Day 5 – body getting quiet tired, mouth still sore and slowly gets worse, talking very exhausting
· Day 6 – pretty exhausted, miserable feeling – I ended up taking this day off every time so I could break up the week
· Day 7 – Feeling slowly better with the mouth, but your body starts to ache now
· Day 8 – aching body still
· Day 9/10 – for me this is the following weekend, so sat and sun I would be fairly good and back on red wine so I would socialise now if I could but not all day. Its too tiring.
· Day 11 – 14 – Feeling remnants of sore body and fatigue but nothing major, however this was my early on experience, later on I would get more tired so I had not set expectations with myself or those around me very well as I didn’t have much of a clue what was to come.
· Day 15 – Chemo Day!
TIP? Take vitamin B tablets, helps with energy and sore mouth ulcers, rinse mouth out with bicarb soda, mouth wash with no alcohol, eat something yummy the night before and day of chemo day, it made me feel better, so if you are a foodie – this is a great way to feel good while you can.
I lost 5 kg since I started treatment, days of sore mouth meant I lost kg’s instantly.