Thursday, 13 September 2012

Chemotherapy Days 2 & 3

Sorry this is so late but here is last week's Chemo Experience...and it all starts again tomorrow.

Friday Night

Apparently it was like sharing the bed with the child from The Exorcist - I managed to maintain a relatively normal skin tone and didn't projectile vomit (that comes later) but I did flail around madly, hitting Al - an extreme case of restless limb syndrome and a side effect of the steroids.

Sleeping with steroids...

Day 2

I woke up at 5.45am thinking 'yay this whole chemo thing isn't so bad', bounded out of bed, decanted the casserole I made the night before into a Tupperware pot and considered making a cake. I was Supermum, nothing could defeat me, I laughed, or at least cooked in the face of adversity. 

15 minutes later it seemed I might need to rethink that.

The quick burst of energy was clearly a series of cells gathering together, planning a great escape, no sooner had they appeared than they were shouting "Quick jump! Go now! Abandon! Abandon!" and so they did. By 6am I was being sick and had agonising cramps. The cake was long forgotten and even the thought of the casserole made me pale.

The sickness ended at 8am and with the energetic cells departed, tiredness kicked in. Leaving molasses in their wake, my muscles and veins felt coated and slow, achy weariness oozed through my nerves, every move was laden down and laborious. All I wanted to do is sleep but I ached. I couldn't get comfortable and I just wanted it all to go away. I was too tired to even cry. At this point even a fluffy puppy seemed like it might be hard-work, and as for baking... 

Fortunately I have the best husband ever who took Rosie and Weebay (the dog) on a series of long adventures which meant I was left to rest in peace and attempt to sleep. 

Sleep, when it came was is flighty, full of strange, energetic, frenetic dreams - one involving Madonna! These are interesting times. It's a bizarre experience when you have more energy in sleep when you do awake. 

Slightly weirdly at 4pm I had quick resurgence of energy and (obviously) made a cake. This act of madness completely wiped me out and by 7.30pm I was fast asleep. Flailing around again and terrifying poor Al. 

Day 3

I actually felt a bit better. There was no sickness and besides being on off awake since 4am I was okay. I ached and I was tired but I felt a lot more human. The puppy felt less of a challenge (although, to the relief of Al, still a bad plan). And whilst I won't go as far as make up I did leave the house, albeit in garments that could be described as a track-suit. I am poorly. Please forgive me.

I watched a few episodes of Glee and read Closer magazine. It seems that chemotherapy is killing my culture cells too. Okay this is very lame. I watch Glee and have read Closer before. But, like the dodgy clothes, I now have an excuse.

The heartbreaking moment came when Rosie asks me if I am "feeling better." In my hyper-protective view of parenting, mothers are invincible and never get ill, children are protected from bad stuff and childhood is all about happiness, picnics and home-made cakes. It's not realistic and probably terribly wrong but I want to maintain that place where innocence exists. But now my little 2 year old daughter is aware that mummy is not well and has a poorly tummy. I don't want this to be her childhood or her memories of me. So we went and put on some make-up together. Always great fun creating pink whiskers (Rosie, not me...). 

Al was brilliant all weekend - entertaining Rosie, lots of dog walks and exercise and clearing up sick, providing water and generally being amazing. He doesn't get nearly as much attention as I do for this and deals with all the pain, stress and worry and cleaning up (we have a toddler with a potty). 

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