The run up to my second blast of chemo, and the immediate chemo aftermath have been an improvement on the first. Hurrah! I didn't have the same levels of anxiety about chemo in the week leading up to it this time. I knew roughly what to expect, and my side effects had not been too bad after the first night, meaning I've not been toooo worried. Plus my oncologist had told me I could do whatever I wanted during the third week of the cycle so I made the most of it, and kept very busy.
Preparing for chemo #2
Friday night I went out and got drunk on Pina Coladas with some of my friends from work. I even got conned in to having a tequila when the "You only live once" line was thrown at me. I'm easily led. I was prevented from pulling my hair out in front of people, but my chemo side effects were used as an attempted alternative explanation to the red marks someone got all over the table ("That's not nail varnish, her over there on chemo had a nosebleed." !!!)
Saturday afternoon I was back to the pub to meet up with some local women who are also in the Younger Breast Cancer Network (YBCN). I had such a lovely afternoon, it is so inspirational to spend time with such amazing, strong, positive women. And I discovered that there is more to "drawing on eyebrows" than getting an eyeliner and literally drawing them on, which is what I was imagining, and dreading. No, there's a whole world of building eyebrows out of magic stuff, which stands up to very close inspection (I did peer at some from a distance of about 3cm and was completely blown away by how real they looked).
Sunday afternoon, for a change, was spent in a pub garden, with one of my loveliest friends and her gorgeous baby. We established that we are having some similar experiences going through chemo and having a young baby - we are both not getting enough sleep, both have hormones all over the place, both spending too much time discussing bodily fluids, but both making ace new friends as a result.
Monday morning I went in to work, and then I took the afternoon as annual leave to meet up with Rebecca where we spent a good 7 hours over a few glasses of well-earned wine discussing... everything. And I won't be expanding on that here.
Tuesday morning before work I went to oncology where I was told that all was well. Had a day in the office, and then went out with my friend Amy for my last supper before chemo #2. When booking the table for dinner, Amy had told them I was celebrating finishing round 1 of chemo and ..... they brought us a bottle of Prosecco on the house! Seeing as Amy was driving, and my oncologist had told me I could do whatever I wanted during week three I did drink most of it! You only live once right?!
It is the worst day. There's no denying that. The thing I was most anxious about was passing out again (having nearly fainted again at the doctor's on Monday when the nurse struggled to get blood out of my chemo hardened vein. OUCH.) This time though, I didn't pass out. Well done me! And they gave me the real anti sickness meds this time. Well done them!
But oh my days. There's nothing like watching tubes of poison being injected in to you for an hour, while wearing a head freezer, which, put on extra tight this time, makes you want to rip your own head off. My first cold cap experience was fine - this one was not. I need to say a massive thank you to Emily here, who sat in a miserable hospital for about 4 hours, listening to me whinge and whine about the fucking cold cap. It was making me feel seriously ill, and I could not get out of that hospital and in to McDonalds quick enough (because as soon as it was off my head and we were out of the hospital I felt fine!).
The miracle anti sickness meds I was given this time did their job. I ended up fast asleep in an armchair by about 8pm feeling sick, but I never was sick. Vast, vast improvement on the first chemo.
Post chemo #2 - so far
Chemo was Wednesday, it's now Friday so it's only been two days but I have mostly been fine. Slept a lot. Lazed around a lot. I've turned down a curry out with friends tonight not because I couldn't, cos I bloody well could! But because my 5k charity race is next weekend and I want to do my best to avoid getting ill - particularly from picking up other people's disgusting germs - between now and then).
Now I just hope that the next few weeks are as kind to me as the last few weeks were.(And perhaps kinder on the hair front.) And if I remain well enough, I'm about to get mad about Page 3 again. More to follow.
Oh and one last thing because I don't think I can ever say it enough, thank you to every single one of my friends. You're all amazing, I am so lucky to know you. Once this is done, I'm throwing you a massive party. XO