C17: Or a Train Coming Towards Me

What happened to my usual two days of goodness: the respite where I feel energized before the Dark Side kicks in and the rot starts?

Chemo cycle 4 was yesterday and the vicious red venom was infused by a Manchester City supporter. Not a good omen and I was hastily advised by many friends to “Get out of there immediately,” even the City fanatics agreed there were dangers involved. Normally I feel quite bouncy at the conclusion of the infusions; it’s quite pleasant, but yesterday I felt nauseous throughout and very weak and ‘down’ at the end. I blame the blue end of Manchester, of course. The finger tingling, hand shaking, and cramping started immediately, and when I reached home I had a fever. My muscle tone is almost non-existent because I’m spending most of every day either lying down or sleeping. It was both worrying and depressing.

Worrying because the first three cycles have been easy, handle-able and horrid in that order, but each has started with at least two days of feeling bouncy. Yesterday broke the pattern and I don’t like broken patterns. I was hoping the pattern would be a pyramid-type thing where cycles 4, 5 and 6 reversed the trend and were horrid, handle-able and easy – light at the end of the tunnel and all that. The horrid was not a pleasant thought but if it was part of the turning point then OK. Fear is not pleasant but it’s a condition I can deal with. Fear is when you don’t know what’s going to happen.

The depressing aspect was the possibility that the pattern was, indeed, continuing but that I had the wrong pattern. This possibility was that the escalating horridness of the progressions would simply continue, becoming more and more horrid. Beastly, dreadful, hideous, appalling, unspeakable, ghastly – whatever the escalating degrees of unpleasantness are. This leads to dread – you know what is going to happen but there’s nothing you can do about it. That’s depressing.

The steely knives had appeared during the transfusions and they got worse and worse as the evening progressed. Nothing seemed to shake them, even the morphine. Sleeping tablets were a waste of time and more painkillers at one in the morning also appeared useless.

And then …. 05.30 arrived and I felt great! No headaches, no weakness, and clear(ish) thinking. The only negative was an itchy head, but that could have been lots of ants trying to bury into my brain (we have seasonal ant infestations of varying sizes, these are small things) or good ideas trying to worm their way out.

I’ll let you decide.

C16: Game of Two Halves.

April 2: two points of interest today!

First, my weight is 86 kg. My fighting weight in my hey-day was 84 (13 st 3 lb) and I really wanted to make that at some point because, well, just because. That means that I’ve dropped 18 kg since the problems really started escalating in early December and I stopped the eating lark. I did need to drop quite a bit but 18 kilos is quite a hefty chunk, isn’t it?

At the start of chemo 1, at the end of January, I was 98 kg so the drop is 12 kg in 9 weeks. On the way down, 92-94 kg felt good. It felt comfortable, so it will be interesting to see what it feels like on the way back up again, whenever that is.

Second, today is the end of chemo cycle 3 of the six, so half-way. Time for a 15-minute break, a quarter of an orange, a swift once-over with Dettol and a wire brush, a generous swill with the magic sponge, a rub-down with The Sporting Life, and a quick pep-talk from the Gaffer, whoever that may be. Game of two halves and all that.

But first, we have a blood test before the chemo tomorrow. I have to fast before the blood test but I keep dreaming about Y-U-G-E beef sandwiches – six or seven generously large slices of beef, liberally slathered with mustard and seasoning, on fantastic, multi-grain, farmhouse-type bread. It’s not fair because I can’t eat anything until the blood draw is over. Then I’ll pop into McDonald’s for a sausage-egg McMuffin or two. With hashbrowns. Or two. And coffee. Or two.

Anyway, as I say, Game of two halves. All downhill from here, what!