Saturday 3rd February – Chemo #2 and oversharing
Knowing whether to tell people that I had cancer wasn’t an easy decision. I knew I had to tell my family and friends that I see on a regular basis, but I was embarrassed at first about telling other people; I wondered if they deserved to know, if they wanted to know, or if I was burdening them with my diagnosis. And then this blog, originally I was only writing it to keep my family up to date, and a few close friends, but then they started sharing and it snowballed, I still get sweaty palms and feel fairly terrified each time I write something new. I feel privileged to have heard from people (strangers) all over the world, and also to have heard from old friends from school that I haven’t seen for almost 20 years, and from old family friends. I’ve had flowers from my aunts and uncles, from friends; I’ve had thoughtful gifts from my RDA team, and an acorn bracelet (to signify strength) from a new friend (who has been through the same process as me). And people who perhaps haven’t known what to say but have ‘liked’ or ‘followed’ my ramblings, I’m completely amazed. I still feel a lot of guilt for putting my family through this, and for making people worry, but through all of the kind words and thoughts (and I know it is a terrible cliche) it truly does make me feel blessed.
I had my second cycle of chemo this week, which means – the last meal before chemo! Ally and I took our parents, and Filly out for lunch on Wednesday (to thank them for being so wonderful over the previous 3 weeks (my dad’s driving and injecting aside). Before lunch I’d had a consultants appointment in the morning – not much to report from that, just that my blood test results were fine (massive woohoo) so that chemo would be going ahead on the Thursday.
We went to the famous Woolpack pub, written about by Laurie Lee (Cider with Rosie is one of my mum’s all time favourite books so she was delighted). The food and drink (as far as possible) is all from within a 6 mile radius of the pub, unfortunately (for me) the menu was quite meat-focussed, but everyone else was happy. Ally won dish of the day with a whole partridge on Skirlie (a Scottish oat and bacon dish) with pickled chicory, I couldn’t resist a small taste (I know, no bloody willpower when it comes to food!) and it was delicious, the partridge wasn’t over-gamey and I have been scouring the internet for recipes for Skirlie ever since. My last meal was steamed cod with fresh kale and sprouting broccoli, which has got to be one of the best things about this time of year. It was my last meal because I also sneakily had a half portion of skinny fries and I was too full to eat dinner and too nervous for breakfast on Thursday.
Chemo went smoothly, the cold cap was bloody freezing again, so fingers and toes crossed that means its doing its job, and my lovely nurse got the cannula in on the first time of trying, although I had a dizzy spell afterwards. The chemo went in without a hiccup and I felt a bit wobbly and a little nauseous on Thursday evening but nothing too terrible.
Friday wasn’t great, I didn’t sleep well on Thursday, in part due to my dear husband’s snoring, but also the adrenaline from the day plus the steroids and anti-sickness drugs can be a hindrance to sleep. So, I spent most of the morning in and out of sleep, woken by Ally with some burnt toast (he is not a chef!) and some meds for lunch and then back to sleep. I felt a little better later in the day so my brother came across for a visit and for dinner (vegan burritos – again) which was a lovely break and distraction, he can always cheer me up.
And now the 6 Nations rugby has started so I’m going to put my feet up with a juice (celery, plum, apple, kale and lime) and try and keep Ally from shouting too loudly when Scotland lose to Wales. Come on England!