July 13th 2011
Well looking back is interesting; it's like another person back there, but oh so real. Chemotherapy can be different for each person and each type of cancer, so please read this post with that in mind. My journey may not be another's.
July 7th 2010
After coming home and starting the tablets things started to happen fast, first there were the headaches, itchy legs lack of sleep and then phlegm, lots of phlegm.
On the 7th I recorded getting home, feeling exhausted and couldn't sleep after taking the tablets, bed at 10pm up at 12 midnight, very restless, got back to bed at 2am and slept a little until 7am and then got up.
I had an energy drink at 9am for breakfast and took the anti-sickness pills (1 large and 2 small). Had a hot drink to loosen the phlegm before I could eat and take my chemo tablets. Dissolved 2 tablets in warm water and had custard to help them down, sipping slowly to ensure they go down without being sick, started 9:40 finished 10:20. The day passed by feeling very tired and unwell, but my family and friends cheered me up and I am so lucky to have them on my side. In the evening I started again, took some thin soup at 7pm and started on the sickness pills, and was sick, oh well, just couldn't get them down, lots of phlegm and realised I haven't had much water all day, feel very dehydrated. I had to force my gullet open with gulps of water till it cleared, then tried the chemo tablets, again dissolved in warm water, managed to get them down with lots of hiccups, and trying all the time to keep it down. Finished about 8pm and kept it all down, another day over.
Up at 2am sick again and coughed up a lot of phlegm, but feel better after and slept again. Had some hot tea before the morning routine and stated the pills at 9:55 and finished at 10:30 a good session!
Each day I am also taking reflux tablets (Omeprazole) and these help reduce acid. Today I had homemade chicken soup (strained of course) but oh so good, then my wife Sara made me a glass of carrot and apple juice, don't ask me why these two but it seemed to really do me good and became a staple part of my diet. You have to trust your feelings for food while going through this as your body does let you know what it needs and doesn't like, trust this, it takes a while to tune in, but it is worth it.
I slept better last night, and I needed it. Off we go again, hot drink, get the phlegm up, have an energy drink (these are prescribed by the Doctor) and start the tablet routine. 9:15 to 10:00 all went well. Had a milk shake for lunch, with a banana in it, as I am short of potassium, then more home made soup, but difficult to swallow and with the phlegm took a while to get some of it down, then sicked it all up again, oh well.
Food for me has become energy drinks, thin soup and custard, what a choice, but the main thing is getting the tablets down and allowing them to do their work, so it's a case of digging in and getting on with it. It's funny everything is, hard to get up (phlegm) hard to get down (food and tablets) and then hard to keep down (everything), but as long as the tablets stay down I'm doing good.
Last night was not good, up at 1am phlegm and sick and then again at 3am.
Took Omeprazole at 8:25 and then the sick pills and an energy drink, stated chemo at 9:50 and finished at 11. Lunch was apple and carrot juice, (1 cup) followed at 2:30 by some spinach and broccoli strained soup, (1 cup). I got very tired and rested from 3 to 4:45.
Off we go again at 7pm with sick pills, energy drink followed by the chemo tablets which I finished at 8:40. God the taste is awful and I have taken to sucking pineapple ice cubes to help with this and the dry mouth, which has started.
This is a bit delicate but I should mention that I have not been able to go to the toilet (number 2's) for 4 days now, this is one of the side effects from the drugs and needs to be managed well, or problems can occur, more of that later. I will mention all that happens to me in this blog and will not leave anything out, as those who go through this and those that support them need to know what can happen and how best to get through it, sometimes this will not be pleasant reading, so skip those bits if they offend you.
Took the normal pills and energy drink at 8am and then started the chemo which lasted from 9:40 to 11:10, throat still nearly closed up and very hard to get this stuff down, it's sip, sip, sip, wait a bit and then sip again. If only those Doctors and nurses could see me, when they talk to you it's "you just take these tablets, so many in the morning and then these ones at night. LITTLE DO THEY KNOW! Maybe they do know and it's just me but God this is hard to do. It tastes vile and wants to come straight back up again.
Spinach and broccoli soup again for lunch. A tip on the soup, Sara (my lovely wife) makes it into frozen cubes for me and then I can have it when I want it, either 3 cubes, or if feeling greedy 6! Just put in cup and microwave till hot, lovely. This evening I had a small amount of quorn and potato, mashed up fine, I managed to get it down and wrote; there is hope - I hope!. Started energy drink and chemo at 7:30 and finished at 8:45, another day gone.
So now I am into a routine, of tablets, thin foods, fighting to get phlegm up and keep all the other stuff down, and not be sick all the time, still no toilet, still very tired and some side effects starting to kick in. But me and the chemo, (or 'the chemo and I' for the purists) are on our journey, with a purpose, and that is to beat this bastard!!