Friday, 5 July 2013

4th July 2013 1st Chemo down 5 to go...

So it has all started.  My first chemotherapy session had its ups and downs but mainly ups.

I was very nervous but excited to get the treatment started.  I know that sounds weird but when you are living with 'Clive' you just want it rid as quickly as possible.

The rooms are all quite spacious and there are about ten chairs in each room.  5 rooms all together, I was in number 5 sat next to the big pink cold cap machine that was going to be used to preserve my hair!

The first thing the nurse did was place the canular in my left hand into a vein.  Well that made me dizzy and almost sick.  It was probably the hardest part of the whole day!  Anyone that knows me, knows that needles are not the problem, veins are.  I have always had an uncomfortable feeling about veins so that was not easy!!

I waited there with saline dripping into me for another ten minutes and then for the cold cap.  The worst thing about this is what it looks like!!  Imagine a cycle helmet so tight that it screws your face up into a ball.  Not the most attractive i've ever looked!!  It was freezing but doable.  I am almost always hot so having something cold on my head was ok.  I did start to shiver towards the end but after 2 1/2hours of wearing a freezer on your head it's no surprise.

The chemotherapy was not that bad at all.  I am on an infusion of 3 different drugs for the first three sessions.  FEC for short.  Don't even ask me to spell them out one by one, I can't even pronounce them let a lone try and spell!!  FEC is easier, believe me.  The first drug is bright red and I had 4 of these.  The next two were clear so much better.  The nurse had to manually put in the drugs for me to make sure that my drip was working properly. Very successful.  That took 40 minutes, the cap took 3 hours.  A drag really but we'll see how I get on with the cap.  If my hair starts to shred a lot and go thin I may as well cut it off but i'll wait and see.  I don't want to make any crazy decisions just yet.

There was a lady opposite me who had shaved her head completely.  I mean as bald as an arse.  But she pulled it off and I think it gave her more empowerment.  I admire her for not wearing the cold cap but I admire people who do.  It is a funny situation to be in.  On the one hand I want to shave it off, embrace the bald look and wear my fabulous wigs and head scarves.  Be proud that I am a fighter.  On the other hand I do not want to look like a cancer patient.  As soon as that scarf goes on your normality goes out the window.  I am just still debating how brave I really am.  Either way I am staying positive and will make my mind up when I need too.

I have had a few funny side effects but nothing I can't handle.  I felt very sick and tired the day of.  The next day I went to the gym and then went to lego land with my sister and nephew.  Then my girl friends came round in the evening.  I have had very little appetite which is annoying as I have been given steroids and anti sickness drugs to take.

The side effects of these pills are laughable.  They say you may experience depression, a moon face, imagine things that are not there, suicide thoughts, basically go a little crazy!!  Oh good, I thought.  What a wonderful mix of drugs to stop me from being sick!!  I haven't had any of these yet but watch out!!

I finally washed my hair this morning after 48hrs of conditioner and ice on my head.  I feel human again.  I still feel a little nauseous but I am drinking plenty of water and managed some porridge too.  I'll take each day as it comes but right now I feel ok.  Hopefully the next one will be just as easy as this one!!  Here's hoping.

The whole experience so far is quite numbing and very surreal.  I never in a million years thought I would be going through this and as I sat in my chair reading my book and watching all the people fight I thought wow, what a world we live in.  All these brave people fighting this disease with their heads held high.  And I am now one of them.  Courage comes in all shapes and sizes and from my first treatment it has already taught me that we are all stronger than we think.

It is simply extraordinary.


  1. Good for you - incredibly brave x

  2. Thank you Susie, I guess I am just as brave as the next woman fighting this, although maybe a little more outspoken lol xx


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