Time is a very strange thing. It seems like such a short time ago I sat down to write an update in Wales. And yet it feels like I left Wales forever ago. Time seems to have a pace all of it’s own. Whether that is constant, or not, here we are, and two weeks has passed.
I started the second cycle of targeted therapy on the 1st of May. The dose was reduced because the white blood cell count was not recovering sufficiently. This was 3 weeks later than I should have started the 2nd cycle. Owing to the fact that I absconded to the coast, we will never know what the cell count was prior to starting the cycle. I was under instruction to return to the treatment centre on the 8th May for a blood test. At the previous test the cell count was 1.8, it had gone up to 1.9 – but should be over 4. I will go back again next week to coincide with the end of the 2nd cycle to have more blood tests and see what the impact of the lower dose has been.
I mostly feel OK, but I am somewhere between tired and exhausted the majority of the time. My femur aches occasionally and my liver twangs from time to time – but it’s all manageable.
Regardless of that, I still have my daily hormone tablets and 4 weekly “death to the ovaries” implant and bone strengthening injections. The hormonal impact is in full swing and I can assure you that having a chemically induced menopause is not my idea of fun. I will spare you the full details, but having suffered some volcanic hot flushes over the last few months, I have suddenly developed “cold flashes”. Who knew that was a thing?! So this last week between the sweating and going bright red I now get freezing cold and shiver uncontrollably. Like I said, it’s not fun. However, I keep in mind that it’s all part of the necessary process to starve my tumours, and console myself that at least the drugs are working.
This week, I was called in to see my second Oncologist – the one that looks after my radiotherapy treatment. Or Clooney, as my friend and I like to call him. It is for this reason that I have trained him not to shake my hand but to give me a big old bear hug instead. He now greets me with open arms. This meeting was not scheduled and I have had to learn this year not to have a panic attack every time I get a surprise appointment, but it’s not easy. He reviewed my treatment, we discussed the side effects and he declared that I was recovering well and he was happy with my progress. No panic attack required.
So apart from all that, it’s been a mostly peaceful fortnight. I gave myself a small decorating project. I am trying to deal with my ice-cream addiction. I have, as always, been enjoying the spring cheer and sunshine and walking as much as I can. I tried a little pilates and then could only get out of bed sideways. I am excited about the Royal Wedding (so shoot me). I had planned to go to Windsor, but my compromised immune system is dictating that I avoid crowds, so instead I shall watch and drink something fizzy on the sofa. As of this week I get to listen to my sister on the radio again in her brand new afternoon show. I received my first bunch of peonies of the season. What’s not to love?
I have been listening to the Paloma Faith version of “Make Your Own Kind of Music” on repeat. I have always loved this song but this version is really punching me in the guts right now. In a good way. Please listen and think joyful thoughts…
Big love, AG x