Wow I’m coming back. It’s 7.06 and I feel okay, so okay and feeling loved that I feel compelled to start today’s post. However let me just rewind for a few hours/days so that you can understand how happy I am this morning.
They say that the 2nd or 3rd wave of chemo is the worst, well mine has been this one, the 3rd. It’s so hard to articulate how shit chemo makes you feel. You become the living shell of a person you know is in there but you can’t find them. It’s like being mega pissed, without having any fun. Thought processes, feelings, the ability to speak sometimes is hard, no taste to anything, energy all gone. No energy and devoid of life. Family have to just wait until you return, as the long hours turn into days.
At midnight last night I received some lovely messages but reading them is so hard, concentrating on the words and being able to respond. I fear not being able to sleep so I stay up alone but drift in and out of a none sleep like state. At 2.30 I decide I have to try to sleep in my own bed. I slept until 6.30 WOW. This was broken sleep but at least I slept. I dreamt of Dr Weaver telling me I only had a year to live, I think the stories of some peoples journey through cancer is starting to play on my mind. How long have I got? How long have any of us got left? Yesterday it was so hard to take the tablets, not because I struggle to swallow them but because if I didn’t take them I would feel okay. I long to feel well again but I know I wouldn’t survive. So I keep taking them but I really do understand why people (40%) give up on taking chemo. The tumour in my neck worries me as I can feel it growing and pushing on maybe nerves all the time and I have no idea about what is going on with the other tumours in my belly. All these questions I hope will be answered at our meeting on 31st July.
I wake and feel a little better, brushing my teeth I start to gag! Oh shit – NO I don’t want to be sick. I make it downstairs but the gagging continues. There are 3 bits of potato left in the sink from tea last night and these buggers are not helping. I try water on my face and holding the gagging in. I make it, I am not sick, thankfully. I feed the cat as usual and go for the 1/2 biscuit, coffee and fag, that will make me feel better I hope.
I log onto Facebook to see who is awake. I get a lovely message from Simon who works for BHS. We have sat next to each other at meals at BHS conferences and attended a few meetings together but that’s it. He shared my blog and sent a message with it to say:
“Any support you need your BHS Family are here”
Wow! this and other messages from the bigger BHS family out there really touch me. It really made a difference to me this morning. To think that people, a team can think about me whilst their own lives are so busy, I just find so incredibly touching. I have also been contacted by a member of staff who is going back to his home in Sri Lanka for good. He wants to see me before he goes, wow. I try to tell him not to and that the journey wouldn’t be worth it for him but his messages are just full of love, I need to say yes to seeing Jiffy and Ish. I just hope that I can do this and I’m waiting for him to reply on flight details.
Now my own family have to put up with me, they have little choice in coping and seeing me so ill. That’s so sad. I haven’t walked Molly for days and everyone knows I’m bad if I can’t do this. Mom wakes up and notes that I look better, not difficult as at least my eyes are open LOL. it’s a good start. My mom has given up the last two weeks to cook, clean, walk the dog and iron. Anything to help us all and it’s appreciated so much. But she has to have a break and a life so she is returning to the Midlands for a few days from tomorrow. Elsie part of the Scilly Six from ‘buffer face island’ has had an operation and my mom needs to give her our love too.
Another family I have here in Wycombe is a political one. Steve and I have been involved in politics locally for years. This blog is not political so I won’t go into how I believe in freedom and a fair society unlike the Tories who just want to appeal to middle Britain, sod the lower classes, the poor and disadvantaged, oh and let the fat cats of business make their own rules on taxation! Whoops sorry and back to the point. I very very rarely ask for help apart from Steve with my screams of ‘mines broken’ but this morning I sent an email asking for help from someone who I know via politics. Now all I’m going to say is that those of you who know Phil Alexander will have an idea of what I’m planning. I’m hoping in a week or two to share it with you all but I’m secretly very excited. Those who know me know that I love a good laugh and I’m hoping that my latest mad idea will be just this, with Phil’s and a few friends help it should be a great hoot!
I texted Mr Grey last night about his uncle. He has some great news. He had 22 lymph nodes removed, none cancerous and he won’t need chemo. WOW I’m so pleased for Mr Grey’s family, they have been through so much worry but at stage 1 cancer he should be back on his feet soon and his bag can be reversed in 6 months.
Karen starts her chemo today so I texted her last night too. Cycle 3 for her too and I’m just praying with Rita that she can take this 3rd attempt at being able to tolerate the drugs. With you all the way chemo bud! xx
I’m so glad that I wrote most of this post between 6 – 8 pm as it’s now 3.15 and I have hardly been awake for more than 1/2 hour at a time. I can’t believe this fatigue, it’s not just a feeling of being tired but a complete exhaustion like I have never experienced before. I’m worried about the planned meeting tomorrow and my 50 Shades of chemo evening turning into 50 shades of snoring. I have to try and pull myself together. To try to smile, talk, walk and look as normal as possible.
At one point I wake to receive these two lovely video messages from old colleagues at M&S Oxford Street, sent via Lorraine. Oh how they made me smile to see old familiar faces saying hello. It’s been a very long time since Lorraine and i worked together at M&S at Marble Arch, I think it’s been 13 years ago. WOW, where do all the years go hey. Thank you all so much for your messages.
Today I received a text to say that baby Jacob Guy who was born 9 weeks premature is finally going home to be with Andrew, Fiona and the beautiful Sophie. So pleased for you all.
And finally before we move onto the ‘Birds and the Bees’ section I just wanted to thank you all again for your support in sharing my blog. This morning I was so stunned as when I checked my stats we were in 25 different countries! Now you are either all on holiday or we are reaching out across the globe. I have only been writing this blog for one month and it has been seen by 16, 374 people! I think that is amazing and I can’t thank you all enough for helping me. I did laugh at one message yesterday that said that a daily reader reads my blog in the bath! Now that’s a new one on me and made me smile.
Birds and the Bees
So the birds and the bees – now I am looking forward to doing 50 shades of chemo for you all. I worry I might offend people by writing about intimate stuff, is this blog the right place to do it I wonder?
Steve compared me to the ‘all you can eat buffet’ to making your own sandwiches analagy which always makes me laugh. I have tried to explain to my mom why we are doing 50 shades of chemo for everyone in the style of the ‘all you can eat buffet’ so here goes.
If you go out for a meal and it’s the all you can eat style. You look at all the options available. If you love sweet and sour or the crispy duck then you are eyeing that up, is there enough? Is it fresh? Is there going to be enough for you? You look at the starters available and whilst they are nice you want to keep some room for the main event. There is also pudding available, what a dilemma? So seated you maybe have a drink or two and this is nice but it just fuels the need for the crispy duck. The starters are a distant memory or maybe you have a few nibbles but it’s full on for the main course. You overfill your plate and tuck in! Finally crispy duck, the sweet taste of all the aromas coming together, your palate satisfied, finally. You may drink some more and then go for seconds but the first mouthfuls of that crispy duck was so delicious.
Now I hope you get my point. That how often do we due to living with our children and families miss out on the starters and go for the crispy duck in silence! Fear that you maybe waking someone up? Fear that your loved ones may find out that you like a good Chinese meal occasionally? We all put on this facade that we don’t do it like it’s naughty, we are decent upstanding people of our family unit. Or maybe it’s just that we are not as liberated as our European neighbours.
The project of 50 shades of chemo I hope will provide two things to you. Firstly if you are going through chemo it can offer some real alternatives to what you can and can’t do safely. That if you are suffering with any illness that prevents you from having a normal sex life for any length of time it gives you tips and ideas that you may not have thought about doing for a while. Just because you are ill it doesn’t mean that you stop being loving and passionate.
Secondly if you have been in a relationship for a while and you have been stuck on the main course for two long with little starters to wet your appetite you can choose from our selection of starters from the buffet of life.