I’m back on chemo after a two week break and oh how I have missed that crushing fatigue and deep depressive state that follows a dose of good old bleach.
These last few weeks have been tough. I’m having issues at the moment with my haemoglobin (red blood cells) regularly dropping off the face of the Earth leaving me so exhausted I can barely talk and so out of breath that walking up the stairs is a struggle. Not an ideal state to be in when you’re trying to hold down a full time job. It would seem that it is probably a combination of chemo and my kidney failure that is causing this but they can’t be sure as neither the chemo or my kidneys should be affecting it that badly.
My white blood cell count and my platelets are also struggling at the moment leaving me at risk of infections and bruising and bleeding easily hence the reason why I needed this break.
I’ve managed to reach the 20 chemos stage which means I’m now two thirds of the way through treatment. 10 treatments left to go. It’s getting hard now with all the chemo backed up in my system and I’m getting really bored of discovering new intolerances to food. Lactose has become a new enemy. I also seem to be lacking in the eyelash and eyebrow department and my hands, feet and around my stoma area are permanently bright red and feel like they’re itching and burning all at the same time – another beautiful side affect of the 5FU.
The reality of the past year feels like it has set in too. I think that I’m just starting to realise the enormity that all these changes to me physically and emotionally are here to stay. I feel self conscious about my colostomy and it’s something that is always in the back of my mind. I feel insanely jealous that most people don’t have to shit uncontrollably from their stomach, change bags constantly or worry about making loud noises in quiet places. I’m also still not fully healed from the surgery and it’s getting frustrating after 8 months. I find that I get easily irritated by the everyday. If your life’s worries are solely your hair, make up, nails and what you’re going to wear next weekend to get drunk in, then I probably don’t have much time for you. Let me know when you’re bowel is sewn to your stomach. Or you could just realise that again, I’m just jealous that I have more than that to deal with.
Basically, this Christmas I would trade every single present from Santa to just be well, to be able to ditch the chemo, to not have a permanent colostomy bag and to never have to deal with cancer again. Although feel free to buy me shoes…I like shoes.