Monday, 20 May 2013

Halfway through chemo, yay!

I was planning on writing a new post last week, but to tell you the truth, I was feeling pretty terrible. They say you shouldn't drunk text and I figure you shouldn't sick blog, so I waited and am now feeling much better. I may even have a glass of wine tonight. 

Chemo was a week and a half ago. My wonderful friend Morgan, who I've been friends with since we were both 6, came with me, AND she brought cupcakes! We even got to have a picnic in the sun after my blood test and before my oncologist appointment and chemo, and I love picnics, so it was a great day. Chemo itself was a breeze. I started much later than usual but I still finished at the same time because they can give me my drugs faster now, which I was very happy about. I also didn't have a problem with the giant frozen gloves, or get tired this time. In fact I felt so good that night, that I was able to help bath little birdie and her four cousins when I got to my sisters place, where my parents had been looking after all five grandchildren all day. 

Unfortunately, that was pretty much the end of the smooth sailing. I started feeling a bit nauseous that night, and by the next morning I just felt crappy. I took my anti-nausea medication which helped, but my taste buds were gone and ironically, I had a horrible taste in my mouth that I just couldn't get rid of. All I could really eat were crackers, and strangely Thai stir fry with rice. Despite all this, I still had a nice weekend. 

My husband and my dad finished landscaping our front yard on Saturday while we had some work done on the inside of our house, so little birdie and I just hung out together. Sunday was Mother's Day and I was spoilt. My husband and little birdie both gave me beautiful cards and two pairs of adorable Bambi pyjamas (which I had subtly hinted that I wanted. By emailing him a photo of them. I never expected to get both pairs though.) We were having lunch with my family and decided to take the scenic route so little birdie could have a nap in the car on the way. We left mid morning and drove through the national park, across the water on the ferry, and then through semi-rural suburbs. We saw flower and fruit stands set up on the sides of roads, plenty of farms and nurseries, as well as the odd horse grazing near the road. It was like a lovely, sunny, drive through the country side. Eventually we made it back to the traffic of suburbia and it wasn't long till we were at the restaurant. Lunch was lovely, if not a bit hectic with four kids, 5, 3, and two almost two, running around. It was such a luxury to be in a restaurant surrounded by family, even if it was a very busy and noisy one. Little birdie was very well behaved and even sat and watched Pepper Pig while we waited for our food. The best part of the day though was when we got home. My husband took little birdie for a walk to the park at the end of the street, while I got back into my Bambi pyjamas and had an hour long nap. It was heaven! The rest of the afternoon/evening we all just hung out in our bedroom together and I was able to forget about my upset stomach and horrible tasting mouth. 

(With my beautiful mum on Mother's Day)

The whole next week I felt off. I had to take my anti-nausea medication Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, which I've only ever taken once or twice past the first two days after chemo. I found this quite depressing as I hadn't been nauseous at all since starting chemo, and was hoping I would be able to get through all my chemo without the nausea. The medication helped but I still had a horrible taste in my mouth, which meant I was constantly hungry, but could rarely find anything other than crackers that I could eat. By saturday I was almost feeling back to normal. We had a nice, relaxing weekend at home, and even had a couple of picnics in the sun in our back yard with little birdie. It was just what I needed. 

Today I met my Radiology Oncologist. My husband and little birdie came too and played with her new favourite toy, a play microwave her cousin gave her, while I talked to the Doctor. She was absolutely lovely and explained everything thoroughly. I will have radiation five days a week for 5-6 weeks to my whole left chest wall, part of my neck, and I think my underarm where my lymph nodes were removed. The whole procedure should only take an hour or so, but i haven't worked out what I'm going to do with little birdie for that time. Im exhausted just thinking about it. Anyway, back to the point. My Doctor talked me through the side effects that I was aware of, like fatigue and the possible sunburn like burn to the treated skin, but also discussed long term side effects that I had no idea about, including a higher risk of lymphedema, and possible damage to my heart and lungs down the track. She made a point of telling me that they are hesitant to use radiation treatment on younger patients unless absolutely necessary, as these problems can effect them negatively later in life, whereas a patient in their 50's or 60's realistically won't have as long for these problems to develop, but in my case the benefits and need obviously outweighs the risk. After all, i think it's more important to make sure I make it to my 60's before we start worrying about what side effects might pop up then.

I've decided to start ending my posts with a list of a few adorable things little birdie has said and done. This week there have been quite a few, in between throwing the not so odd tantrum. Those terrible twos are definitely on their way, what timing!

1- After waking up from her nap the other day, I asked her, as i often do, if she had had any dreams. She told me she had, and when I asked her what she dreamt about, she said 'Daddy'. I almost cried, it was so lovely!

2- Speaking of dreams, just last night she was playing with my hair brush (I certainly don't need it right now). She was running her hand over the bristles and said 'It feels nice'. I responded by saying 'Really? What does it feel like?' And she said 'Dreams. It feels like dreams mummy'.

3- While playing in her bedroom, little birdie has continued to 'read' her books, but has started saying 'once upon a time' as she flips through the pages, and even makes the same sound effects that I do when reading them to her. 

4- She also did this:
(Fell asleep on my sleeping husband, halfway through 'painting' on the iPad) 

5- And this:

6- And this:

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