My second round of Chemotherapy has been increasingly worse than my first. Saying this however, I’m still not complaining. I’m aware of how much worse I could be with vomiting and hair loss which I’ve been lucky to avoid so far during my cancer journey. Nevertheless, this round has been more intense and I’m guessing that is perfectly normal and that Chemo is sort of like a game in the sense that each Round will get more and more difficult with more bad guys to face. Due to the increase in side effects this time round, I’ve fell behind with blog posts. I’ve not felt up to sitting at my Mac and writing something that I can read back and not cringe at, till now. Theres simply loads to catch up on, but at the same time, I don’t want to make the update too long so it may not be in as much detail as I’d like it to be, but you will all get the gist of what I’ve been up to.
Last time I ‘spoke’, I did so in the form of a video blog which was something new for me but I quite enjoyed being able to explain verbally rather than having to think of the words to type. The side effects in which I mentioned took longer to wear off, around 5-6 days rather than the 3 days on the first round. In addition to the numb sensation in my fingers and feet and the closed over throat, becoming breathless and tired has become a problem, so much so when I went shopping in the week with my family, I ended up having to have a motorised scooter… Not that I’m complaining!
I’ve also got my ulcers again and they’re back with a vengeance. I don’t know at the moment how to get them under control despite having gelclair, difflam mouthwash and spray, bonjela and aspirin wash. This leaves me with the 4 days I have off chemo, where I could potentially eat anything, not being able to eat much at all because of the pain the ulcers put me in. Apart from this however, I’ve only had two bad episodes one of which I had to leave a family meal for my granddads 80th for fear of being sick and then another where I was in severe pain with my stoma due to the Chemotherapy.
Now, despite the blog post so far only mentioning my side effects, this does not mean by any means that this is my life. In fact, I’ve been very successful in ensuring this is just a part of my life rather than a dominating factor. I’ve been doing as much ‘normal’ things as possible, and by normal, I mean things people without cancer wouldn’t think twice about doing, such as nipping the shop, getting your nails done or going out for tea. I’ve been out for tea numerous times and even had a night out on the karaoke at the weekend. But if anyone has my personal Facebook, they’ll know that the biggest part of the past week was definitely being invited to Manor House Stables for a private tour and Chester Racecourse by Michael Owen. My Clic Sargent Social Worker Jane got in touch with me two weeks ago about this opportunity and I was ecstatic. Michael had been my favourite player for Liverpool when I was young, so much so I even had shirts with his number on the back for when they played. It took us a fair while to drive to the Manor House Stables in Cheshire where we had been invited for a morning tour of Michaels stables, which hold 96 professional race horses trained by Tom Dascombe. I’ve always had an interest in horses, one that evolved into horse racing after working at this years Grand National so I was more than excited to see the behind the scenes. We met some amazing horses, some we had even heard of and got an insight into how they’re trained and what makes them a great racehorse. We also got access to the owners lounge which had absolutely stunning views of the land they opened and held some treasures of past race wins. Just before we left to go and get ready for the evening we got to watch the horses on their gallop, which was both exhilerating and interesting to watch, leaving me with plenty of videos of these powerful horses. The Tour then came to an end, just in time for my chemotherapy so we enjoyed a nice lunch at a harvester. The afternoon gave me a much needed rest before the big night at the races, which was more than I would have ever imagined. Not only did we get access to the races but we were in our own private festival chalet… Shared with Michael Owen! We were given a full hospitality package, including food and when walking out our chalet, the final furlong was to the right of us. The night was filled with betting and laughter as me, my boyfriend and parents fully enjoyed the racing atmosphere together. I enjoyed myself that much I didn’t once feel pained or exhausted, even after running to get a good spot to watch the race! This was certainly something I will never forget and quite possibly, without Clic Sargent and everyone at Manor House Stables, I wouldnt have been able to experience.
After the excitement of the weekend I then also went out Saturday night with my mum, dad and grandad to the local karaoke which again, I enjoyed so much I wasn’t pained. I’ve always enjoyed singing, whether I hold any talent or not and really loved the atmosphere, I was even dancing at one point. However, shortly after we got home, I was left with what could be described as rather excruciating pain from bowel movement in my stoma. I guess, because of how they’ve moved things around inside, this is perfectly normal but that didn’t mean it didn’t scare me. Overall, it’s been a good week and I’ve been able to push the side effects aside, now I’m just tackling to not let my ulcers interrupt me although I’m not really succeeding as they are definitely causing difficulty eating. Hopefully this time though, it won’t take me too long to write my next blog post and I’ll possibly even write one when I’m in clatter bridge on Friday.