I just had numero four of my chemo treatments. The one I was on for the first three months, Taxotere, is known as “The Batterer” in the unit I attend. The nurses assured me that the final three FEC treatments would be “a walk in the park” in comparison. Taxotere certainly has a reputation and in my case, not entirely earned although it made my body ache horribly, I found it was manageable with copious amounts of Ibuprofren and the occasional gin.
FEC is so different, I don`t think there is anything to be gained by making comparisons. For the first four days FEC absolutely floored me, I have felt so weak I could hardly get up the stairs to go to the loo and yet here I am on day five, I`ve been to the park on this beautiful morning and walked my dog oh joy and feel a gazillion times better. I consider myself very lucky as many people have horrendous side effects with FEC, the most severe one being chronic sickness and ulcers in the mouth and gullet. So hurrah but by golly I shall be glad when it`s all over! My nails are weird, ridged and peeling but not yet blue as some people`s nails become.
Yesterday I felt very low, in my depressed state I decided that I wasn`t going to have any more chemo, enough is enough and it simply isn`t worth it, the quality of my life is so different in comparison to the robust human being I was at the beginning of the year, why prolong the agony? FEC it! I shall have the surgery and takes me chances.
This morning though, feeling better and after a really good sleep (I am sleeping incredibly well, it`s very odd) I see it all a bit differently and rearranging my thoughts, I will of course optimise my chances of remaining well in the long term by completing my chemo course. Chemo I find is a bit like childbirth (sorry men, it`s the best comparison for me) and once you begin to feel better your body has a marvellous way of placing it all aside and filing it away under “rather challenging experiences it may be prudent to forget.”
And that`s my continuing message to anyone undergoing chemo. You will get through it, and once through it you can crack on with your life.
So take heart, stay positive, if you feel as rubbish as I did yesterday then I promise you it will pass. Try and say so and ask people for a bit of help. My friend Annie called to see me yesterday and chatted to me for an hour and that was so lovely and made a difference. If you are facing chemo on your own then in the UK you can always ring the MacMillan nurses and they are ACE!
And by the way…….. JOG ON CANCER!!!
Four down and two to go! 🙂