02/02/16- Home: Seven days without leaving the house would do even the most committed of life’s sofa sloth’s head in. (That’s me by the way- when I’m not even on chemotherapy!)
…and it certainly has done!
This third chemo has taken me nearly two weeks of my allotted three weeks recovery period to blinking recover from- which technically leaves me only one week of ‘Party on down!’ left…
…not happy let me tell you!
Once again, battling with an interesting assortment of physical flare ups symptomatic of an immunity in decline, I manage with aplomb, in spite of the fact that a short ten minute walk to the shop and back sets the soles of my feet on fire and we’re not talking in a Michael Flatley, dance type styley!!!
So it isn’t a surprise to find that subsequent and slightly longer walks, my attempt at preventing the fossilisation and atrophy of both body and mind, bring about beautiful large blisters on the sides of both my big toes! One being so bulbous, red and shiny it would have given Rudolph’s nose a run for its money had it arrived in time for Christmas!!!
The psychological warfare of my third chemo however is a whole different kettle of fish.
Prone to bouts of the ‘blues’ throughout my youth, I have devoted many years to the development of a personal resource ‘tool box’ containing mechanisms to manage emotional triggers, strategies for self protection and solutions for self soothing.
Of my favoured ways to head off the depression dogs that have come nipping at my heels over the latter years, walking is at the top of the list!
Walking nurtures me- mind, body and soul. It provides the balm that soothes my restless mind, food that fuels my hungering soul and structure for my ageing body.
Well exactly how am I meant to put this simple but effective, healthiest of strategies in place, with feet of flames and bubble toes???
Okay so next from my personal ‘how to fix my head’ tool box, comes retreat!
Yep! Removing myself from the world on a temporary basis.
Closing down contact, returning to the inner sanctum of my home, my room. A place of calm, no external pressures or demands upon my energy-I can rest and calmly come round…
I have been in chemo imposed isolation for the lion’s share of this past two weeks and it’s not calm or peaceful or a sanctuary it’s a bloody prison and it’s all but driving me insane!!!
Alcohol, chocolate, and all my favourite foods! Yep…they’re next in my box of tricks!!! (Okay so this is my slightly less healthy resource but used in moderation under the right circumstances it has proved an effective part of my self help regime)
Yep! All the things that make me want to hurl during the ‘sick’ part of my recovery which as I might have mentioned has been the best part of TWO WEEKS!!!
There’s no wonder I’m slowly falling apart!
And as if the feet, in addition to the other ongoing symptoms weren’t just the cherry on the cake or more accurately- the toe! (I refer you back to the photo at this point) I then begin to experience the most horrendous toothache from a pre-existing problematic molar!
My options- suspend chemo to have root canal work or an extraction carried out on said tooth or put up and shut up till my chemo is completed!!! Rock and a hard place me thinks!
Still…as everyone (not doing chemo) around me, keeps reminding me:
“You’re half way through now!”
Half way through?
Half way through…this is because in simple mathematical terms, if I have to do six cycles of chemotherapy and this is number three then technically I’m half way there- except that six cycles of chemotherapy actually amounts to eighteen weeks and I’m currently seven and a half weeks in…which by my calculations means I still have just over ten weeks left to get through!
So…not half way through at all!
Chemo three is crap! Roll on chemo four!!!