No sooner than I have finished my last session of chemo – and not even yet fully free of the side-effects – and I am off again on the train that is the health care path I’m on.
I saw the radiotherapy specialist this week. She was a truly delightful person and was very concerned about my car problems (my radio key had stopped working just as we arrived at the clinic) and was quite sorry that fixing them was not her area of expertise.
During the consultation, we discussed at length my further treatment, which is to be a course of radiotherapy. We also discussed the possibility of more surgery, which I have rejected. It seems to me that further surgery carries more risks than not having it. We are planning a short holiday in June, so her original plan of starting the radiotherapy in June has had to go out of the window, and the course is now scheduled for July. First, I have to have a CT scan and I already have a date for that.
So onwards trundles this train of treatment. I feel that my life is totally on hold until the late summer. But I plan for the end of the year to be uplifting and fulfilling.
So how did I get on with my last chemo cycle? Well, I had the usual ‘meeugh’ week: feeling tired, leaden legs, nausea, constipation for a day or two, sore veins, and the dreadful taste in my mouth. I also seem to have developed quite a sore tongue, but so far it’s not causing too much of a problem. Thankfully, the taste issue is receding and I can enjoy my food again instead of consuming what feels and tastes like cotton wool. So now I feel that I can concentrate on getting my strength and stamina back up to withstand the next onslaught of treatment.
I believe that I have been able to withstand the chemo regime quite well because I started off at a good level of health and immunity, and because I have concentrated on nutrition and immunity-boosting foods. I would imagine that if you start chemotherapy from a point where you are already quite ill, the effects would be very different.
I am resuming normal life in a number of ways. I went back to my gym this week and have booked some classes and a session with a personal trainer. I am looking forward to swimming again, and just being able to go to the gym when I want. Over the past few months, on rainy days when I couldn’t get out, I was stuck for exercise options. Of course, now I’ve taken this decision, the sun has reappeared in England, and maybe, after several false starts, summer can begin.
I also went back to choir last night. I’ve missed quite a few practices recently but am still on course to join them at our concert in June.
And I am resuming my guiding duties at the High Salvington Windmill this Sunday. If you haven’t heard me banging on about this heritage windmill, you can look it up here.
So life is really fairly full, but I am looking forward to this train finally pulling into the “end of treatment” station. But even that will only be a short stop in the journey. I shall always have to have check-ups.
Talking of check-ups, the news in the UK yesterday and today was full of the fact that a large number of women around my age got missed off the call list for a routine mammogram. I may well be one of them. I self-referred. If I hadn’t, my cancer would never have been picked up. However, I strongly feel that our health is in our own hands. So please, everyone, check yourselves routinely for changes in your body. Not just breasts: anything. If you feel something ain’t right, get it checked.
Here endeth the lesson for today.