I mean, regardless of the fact I saw the clinical psychologist on Monday I am still doing my own head in today about the change in chemo drugs from tomorrow. I’d kind of got used to the FEC, I know it ruined a few veins, has made my eyes weird, lost my hair (won’t quite forgive it for that), but all in all I haven’t been too bad. Now I move onto the ‘T’ part of the regime, which is strange as its called docetaxal but I guess FEC-D doesn’t have the same ring as FEC-T!
I think what’s worrying me is that as I wasn’t that floored with the FEC, this is where I am going to be floored. Where has my bloody pragmatism gone?I I am struggling with these thoughts, and I finally said out loud to colleagues at work ‘I am struggling’. I have spent all morning procrastinating, attending meetings, avoiding wok that needs dealing with, emails falling apart and all I can do is think about tomorrow. What is bloody wrong with me?
To add to the chemo joy tomorrow, I also have the follow up Genetics appointment to see if I have the dodgy gene. I am actually a lot more pragmatic about that to be honest, I can deal with that like the original lump situation – it isn’t a thing yet, so don’t make it a thing. Its just this actual bloody cancer that is throwing my head about.
We follow our usual ritual of having a couple of drinks before chemo tomorrow as the man cub doesn’t have work, and we relax our way into the routine. Everything will be ok and we chat through it like we usually do. Then BAM, 9pm and I suddenly realised I had bloody steroids to take (its even written on the calendar) from 9am this morning – I had missed a bloody dose. F**k, f**kety, f**k. I am in a blind panic and I don’t know what to do, will they delay my chemo tomorrow? Will I have to live this bloody day again? Should I not tell them?! After a good half hour panic, I posted on the secret FB group and joy of joys I got positive feedback – it’s more than likely that I will just get an IV tomorrow of additional steroids which will prolong the time I’m in there, but unlikely to be cancelled. Thank god for that. I go to bed still reeling but happier that tomorrow is going ahead (pragmatist all the way!).
Fourth chemo – I am coming for you! Well, I didn’t feel that chirpy this morning but I’m ready for it. Straight into chemo ward (I say ward – I hate it, its so bad and we try and hog a corner seat so I don’t have to socialise) and I admit to the beautiful nurses that I missed steroids yesterday, so as anticipated they need to give me an extra IV. But I have more drama to deal with first – my platelets in my blood taken on Monday are borderline, I need to have that checked before I can even start. The man cub and I have a chuckle as of course we have a hiccup and an unexpected one at that! Thankfully, by 9.15 bloods were a go. Then the next hiccup!!! The veins weren’t playing and took three goes and two nurses to try and get the bloody needle in – then we started. I sent the man cub off half way through the morning as he was practically snoring and he got my fourth card in the collection from my lovely colleague at work. When he brought it back I opened it and absolutely burst out laughing (honest, I’m going to get a banning order on this ward!!). It was so perfect in tone and appropriate to my mood:
‘Your love of stiff cocktails and hard drugs has gone a little too far this time…’
The very fact that I was hooked up to the scary hard drugs, that I had dreaded this change, made me chuckle. (Just to clarify, I do like a stiff cocktail but not any other hard drugs!).
Finally, after the cold new drugs had entered, we were done by midday (bit panic as Genetics appointment at 1pm) and headed to the next hospital. I was numb by this point and just wanted to get it over and done with and get on with my afternoon. We popped into the shop to grab food and I stared for a long time at a prawn sandwich – why is it that you want what you can’t have – even sandwiches are defeating me at the moment.
After resorting to a ham and cheese (NOT a substitute by the way), scoffed in the car, we entered the next hospital in the queue today and waited for the appointment in a sterile corridor with lots of signs about dementia (it’s a community hospital). Thankfully the crazy woman who had talked at us last time was absent, replaced by a smiling, lovely woman who didn’t mess about and got straight to the point.
‘You don’t have the BRAC gene’.
And just like that, this part of the journey is done. Two minutes later, after some advice about my sister and cub being checked as they reached certain age points, we were walking back out of the hospital. I think we were stunned. I was in a bit of a daze at this point – so no dodgy genes means that I don’t have to consider a mastectomy, I also don’t need to consider a hysterectomy (chances of Ovarian Cancer are raised with the BRAC gene) , so in reality I now just need to deal with the drugs and radiotherapy. The belt and braces to ensure that no little pesky cells remain in my body. I guess I feel like the fight is now all on my body to do and I don’t quite have any control over that.
But this is a good day. I am happy, I don’t have to make more decisions, I just need to keep going with the chemo, the radio, and then recovery. I’ve got this. I really have!!