Chemo – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly…

Well, hi there!

I’m acutely aware that I haven’t posted in aaaages, so I thought I’d bore you all with the ins and outs of chemo.  Lucky you!

It’s been six weeks since I started chemo and yesterday saw the end of the first round of drugs, which marks the physical treatment being halfway through (though technically I’m half way after my three week recovery, which starts today.) I’ve tolerated it pretty well, with just a few rubbish side effects.  I’m hoping that the next round of drugs is as kind, though I’ve heard it can be pretty horrific.  I guess we’ll see!

So, as promised…the good, bad and ugly.

THE GOOD.

I’m not bald!  I’ve worn the cold cap three times now and still have a good head of hair, which I’m both crazily grateful for and is also driving me crazy.  It’s thinning a little every day, though some are worse than others, and I have one tiny little bald patch, but it’s doing really well.  It’s a bit like a game of roulette though…every time I have the drugs I’m exposed to the hair loss again, so we won’t really know until the end.  Some ladies see hair regrowth on the second drug though, so hopefully by the end of July I’ll be over the worst!

I recover after about a week, and am generally so grateful that I get a little bit manic.  I’ve raided Ikea, built furniture, painted fences and redesigned my garden.  Anything physical is good and, honestly, feels amazing!

I haven’t had a sore mouth or lost my taste buds (yet, anyway) which I was really dreading.  I do like fizzy drinks and carbs more in recovery week though…

No shaving!  I’ve had smooth underarms for weeks and my legs have gone the same way.  I’d be happy for that to carry on once treatment is done 🙂

Exercise!  I’ve been running a grand total of twice, though I’ve managed a non-stop mile each time.  I’ve really missed it and am hoping the weather gets better so I don’t have to worry about catching a chill and can go out more!  I’ve also been going to pilates for seven weeks now, which is helping me stretch out after surgery and is very good for my mental health – an hour or two a week of breathing and focus is really good for my brain.

Game of Thrones rewatch.  I’ve hooked hubby in now too.  Only on season two though, and I’ve not seen 4-6, so no spoilers PLEASE!

Weekend away!  We managed a little break to Edinburgh, where I got dressed up, ate gooood food, had a few beers and even managed to do something with my hair.  I felt normal and it was wonderful.  Big thank you to my gorgeous hubs for having a ball with me – roll on the next one!

THE BAD.

As I said above, it takes me about a week to recover from what can only be described as the world’s worst hangover, without any of the fun before it.  Seriously kids, don’t do drugs, especially if this is what it feels like after.  Yuk.

Hair, again.  Yes, I’m insanely grateful to have mine left, but it also drives me bonkers. I can’t use anything on it (though I found a natural dry shampoo, which is amazing) and I can’t dry it, straighten it etc.  It looks decent for around 24 hours, then it’s scraped up and greasy, or shedding all over my house like a dog that’s malting.  Add to that the fact I feel like a bit of a fraud for keeping so much.  Meh, can’t win.

Fatigue.  The more the treatment progresses, the more tired I get.  Yes, I have good days, where I get loads done, but I’m not sure of my limits yet, so often tire myself out.  I need to learn to stretch out my activities better!

THE UGLY.

Look away now (though it’s not that bad…)

Hot flashes.  Just, ergh.  They make me panic and reach for my thermometer and then I look like a tomato for an hour or so.  I only get them in the morning so far…I hope that’s where they stay!

Nosebleeds and crusty blood bogies (sorry).  Again, not many, and they’re more annoying than anything.  Putting them down to low white blood cells. Plus a runny nose as my nasal hairs have done one!

Aches and pains.  Two days after my first chemo, I felt like I’d been hit by a car.  I’d like to say I was exaggerating, but I’ve actually been hit by a car, so could compare the two pretty well. It lasted for a few days and luckily I didn’t get it on round two, so here’s hoping it was a one off.

Chemo brain.  It’s tough to concentrate, especially in week one.  I’ve managed a lot of reading in my good weeks, but my writing is struggling.  Actually, it’s non-existent.  I have the ideas and I WANT to do it…I just can’t.  I’m also a bit dozy and forgetful, which I’m hoping is down to the fatigue and isn’t long lasting!  Oh, okay, so the doziness may always have been there…

Down days.  They’re a little more common than they were, but again, I think it’s frustration and tiredness.  I have a little meltdown at the end of my ‘bad’ week, but I’ve learnt to see that as the start of my good week!  I also get a bit down the day before the next chemo, knowing what’s coming and generally not wanting to do it.  But, I have no real choice.  I wouldn’t feel I’d fought my best battle without it, so I carry on.  Plus, I’m half way through now, so the light is starting to peek through at the end of the tunnel…

 

Okay, so ramble done!  Thanks for putting up with me as usual 😉

 

Two final things before I go and carry on with my Charmed marathon (Phoebe kills a crop top, my new style inspiration, ha!)

One – My Race for Life is on Sunday, so if you have a few pennies to spare, a donation would be greatly appreciated.  I’m running the 11am race, but have also been asked to open the 2:30pm race…scared but honoured!  Massive thanks to my gang and I can’t wait to see you all there!

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/CynthiaMurphy

Two – Cancer Research interviewed me and two other women about my blog (Shout out to Katy and Karina).  The Bury Times have published it online, so have a little peek if you can!

http://www.burytimes.co.uk/news/14618739.Teacher___s_blog_brings_3_women_together_to_share_breast_cancer_battles/

 

Lots of love,

Cyn xxx

 

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6 thoughts on “Chemo – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly…

  1. kpr6 says:

    Hi Cynthia, I thought after you message earlier that I owed you a read and how glad I am that you invited me into your world also. I can remember Danielle reading me one of your post to me a while back. Thinking about it now it has probably sat in my subconscious and inspired me to publish my first blog. You are incredibly brave and open and you will be an inspiration to so many. To see a young, full of life, beautiful women taking on cancer with such bravery will give them the strength for their own fight.

    Keep spreading the positivity and the good, bad and ugly parts of your journey.

    Thanks for the support and good luck with the run on Sunday. The roberts family

    Like

  2. Helen Whitaker says:

    Hello beautiful lady just know how amazingly inspirational you are and whilst I no the blog is helping you it also helps everyone who reads it. The ripple of inspiration carries on in thought word and need after I have read your beautiful honest and realistic blog. Keep going strong love and hugs as always. Hx

    Like

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