Sunday 14th January – post chemo is a bit like Pulp Fiction
Well that weekend flew by and, I’m very happy to report, not in a haze of post-chemo side effects, or at least nothing worse than an average hangover. Whether it’s sheer luck (I question my belief in luck after the last couple of years) or that I’m just super hard (I definitely question that when I have a paper cut and faint) I don’t know, I’m just very grateful that, to this point so far chemo has been ok.
On Friday morning I felt well enough to go to the park with my minder (Ally) and Filly to meet our friends (grown up and toddling) from ante-natal classes. I knew that I’d feel comfortable enough with the ladies to be myself (and disappear quickly if necessary) and also that not being confined to barracks all day would be good for me, and I was right (of course!) The tiny coffee shack at the park even made me a decaf, almond milk latte; it was a smashing morning. The rest of Friday involved napping, for us all and lots of spinach gnocchi with extra greens, my crazy toddler is bonkers for spinach, kale etc so she ate well.
Friday evening was the first of 5 injections to be given nightly into my tummy, the injections (Nivestim) are to encourage my bone marrow to produce more white blood cells in order to boost my chemo depleted immune system. Both Ally and myself had completely misunderstood the nurses and we were expecting an epi-pen affair to come out of the box in the fridge that had been staring at us since Thursday evening. Ally slowly unboxed the beast to reveal an actual, proper full inch long bloody needle! At that point I lay down on the sofa, put a scarf over my eyes and told him in rather Naval four letter words to get on with it. So, he pinched an inch of my skin, jabbed and pushed the plunger, it was just like the overdose scene in Pulp Fiction….. It actually barely hurt at all, and much less than being bitten by a toddler or having ones foot trodden on by a horse. I took a couple of paracetamol just before the injection to try and combat any painful side effects; the injections can cause big bones to ache, and I did feel a dull ache in my pelvis and femurs but I managed to sleep through the worst of it.
Saturday was a quiet day at home with lots more juice, and still only a little wheatgrass. My favourite so far is celery, cucumber, Apple, mint and lime; I’m still experimenting with carrot juice but adding Apple or something else sweet certainly helps. We did take the dogs for a swim at the Cotswold water park and had a fairly steady walk around for a couple of hours, it was chilly but the skies were blue and it was a lovely change of scenery. I hope the boys aren’t feeling too neglected as they haven’t been out as much as usual, but we try to treat them to a swim or an out of village walk as often as we can. They are so handsome and although not the easiest of hounds they are my best friends and I would be lost without them.
I’m writing this on Sunday morning, Ally and Filly are lying in bed pretending to be pigs next to me. My parents are due to arrive this afternoon to take over from Ally as he heads back to work for the week after jabbing me tonight. He has no idea how much I will miss his lovely, round face, but I think the break from cancer, drugs, doctors and all that it brings will do him good. When he’s flying he’s always happy and relaxed and I’m sure he needs that right now, plus he can eat all the meat he chooses when he’s back at work and they are feeding him!
I’m going to cook up a huge pot of stew for my parents; I’ve got lots of lovely mushrooms and fancy purple carrots to go in with some homemade mushroom stock. My parents, Ally and Filly will also have some organic beef with theirs. I’m going to serve up polenta mash, or if I’m a bit weary and someone else takes over then celeriac and potato mash (because I’m horribly fussy about polenta and I don’t trust anyone else to make it), and obviously there will be double greens on the side in the form of French beans and broccoli. My father is expecting health food hell while he’s staying here over the next few days so this should butter him up nicely before I hit him with the full ‘almost vegan’ experience on Monday morning.