Chemo Diary #2 21Oct15

After the first chemotherapy treatment of oxaliplatin and avastin, I didn`t feel too bad at all, but once the capecitabine tablets started taking effect, more symptoms were becoming noticeable to me. The numbness and tingling (neuropathy) continued in the fingers and especially in the forearm, where the cannula had introduced the chemotherapy drugs into the body. It was very sore and sensitive. I`ll tell the oncologist. 
Headaches and tiredness developed and increased as the days panned out, when I rarely succumbed to headaches normally.

Some stomach pains, not really bad though, occurred. Shortness of breath on any exertion, such as walking, was apparent. My nasal passages became inflamed. My voice became hoarse.
The very worst symptom for me, was nausea, and though I took the antidotes as given by the nurses, it did affect my appetite hugely. So I ate little, and of what, I fancied, mainly cold food like crackers and biscuits, and drinks like whole milk, orange squash and juice and Horlicks. I ate slices of apple and grapes. There was a metal taste in my mouth that had an effect of the way I could taste food.

I became constipated and had to resort to laxatives. There was no diarrhoea though. 
After around 5 days of this, effects began to lessen, and I was able to eat small amounts of cooked food again.

Chemotherapy treatment can cause a strange feeling of restlessness, great tiredness and a general feeling of “not feeling well.” It can also affect the normal thinking processes and concentration. I found it was almost impossible to read, or watch TV for those first 6 to 7 days. Then, most side effects began to lessen, and I was able to do those things for short times again. The best way to get through these difficulties of overwhelming tiredness, lethargy and agitation, is to sleep as much as possible and rest when you can. Other patients I have spoken to in the past, have said the same, but we are all different and people are affected to differing degrees in chemotherapy treatment. There is no best or right way, of getting through chemotherapy.

8 days after the beginning of the treatment, I felt well enough to want to go out for the first time.

Phil and I arose and had breakfast. I was ready first. The weather forecast was fair. I ventured out into the fresh morning air, into the garden and looked across at the view over Dartmoor, all criss-crossed with hedges and fields and tors in the furthermost distance.
I settled amongst the spent summer patio pots of still-flowering and trailing displays. There was an analogy here I thought to myself!

I like these early autumn mornings, when the day is new and breaking, billowy mists clearing slowly like a raising curtain to the world.

Silver, dew-dropped cobwebs, thread silken slices of web, between every, and any given form and structure.

The bright pink fuchsias, now on straggly stems, devoid of greenery. The geraniums, their frilly, leaves, now as fiery orange and red as their abundant flower heads.          
The fallen green apples on the damp grass, now slug food - some bird food. The morning blackbird. Head turned, listening on the lawn. Silvery slug trails, the warm sun on my face and skin. 

This is why I will continue to fight. 
We took the narrow twisty lanes over Bodmin Moor, sheep and wild ponies on the roadside, minding their own business, through Minions, and read out aloud as we always do, all the strange sounding names on the sign posts……Darite, Siblyback Lake, Pensilva, Rilla Mill and Crow`s Nest.  Further on we noticed small herds of Belted Galloways, grazing peacefully.
It was a clear and uplifting day.

Hurrah! I`ve almost finished the capecitabine tablets and now for a few pill-free days, before it all begins again!     xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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