A short summer break before the next stage

As you will know if you’ve been following this blog, I finished my last cycle of chemotherapy two weeks ago. I am truly thankful that I don’t have to go back, because this time it has taken longer to bounce back to my normal energy levels, and to regain sensation in my taste buds. Had I been going back for a 5th and 6th cycle, I probably wouldn’t have recovered too many days before the next onslaught.

As it is, I am well on the road to feeling less tired, less jaded, less “down”, less heavy-legged, and perhaps, to having hair again.


I have tried hard to return to my normal activities. I spent Sunday afternoon doing three stints of guiding at our local heritage windmill. By the last one I was feeling it in my legs (it’s quite a climb up and down those steps) and was beginning to feel a bit ratty, which won’t do at all. My colleagues at the mill have been kindness itself over my situation.


This week I have been back to the gym several times, joined in a Zumba dance class and started on a Body Balance class, as well as just using the equipment to exercise. Of course, with the glorious weather we have been enjoying, working out in a sunless gym isn’t really what I wanted, so I skipped the weekend. I still haven’t had a swim – preferring an uncrowded pool for my laps.

Medical stuff

I had a shock last Tuesday. I had an appointment with the oncology specialist who deals with radiotherapy. Before we moved on to discuss my radio regime, she threw me by suggesting I might have more surgery on my lymph glands. I hadn’t been expecting that, although she said that I had discussed it with the other oncologist. (I hadn’t!) Somehow the thought of more surgery, with the risks, discomfort and recovery period it involves, had me in tears and I refused the offer. But now I am wondering whether I should have, and in fact am awaiting a call from a MacMillan nurse to discuss with her whether I have made a fully informed decision.

Meantime, my radiotherapy awaits in July. It would have been sooner – they wanted to start me off next month – but since we have a short holiday booked, we couldn’t fit it in. So July it is. My great friend and neighbour is working out a rota of friends who have offered to take me over to Brighton. I’m not incapable of driving myself, but the parking at the hospital in Brighton is appalling and it’s much better for a friend to drop me off and wait till I emerge 45 minutes later. I am so grateful to all my local friends for offering to take me over each day. With luck, each one will only have to do it once. And joy of joys, son Stephen will be back in England for my last three sessions.

Before I start, I have to go for a CT scan. The radiologists take a lot of measurements and create a model of me, so that they can position me perfectly every time during the entire course once it begins.

As always, I have been given a long, long list of side-effects, which are scary and daunting. But if it’s anything like the list for chemotherapy, it won’t be as bad as it seems. The medics have to tell you everything that could happen. It’s their job. Hopefully my fitness levels will get me through this last stage of treatment as easily as possible.

More medical news. I have made an appointment to see my dentist. I need to do this before starting on the bisphosphonate drug that I am about to be prescribed. Apparently, it can affect your jawbone, so a dental check is recommended.

So I enter a quiet period and thank goodness for that. Sometimes the endless round of medical appointments gets me down. I have just two in the next 30 days. One with the chemo oncologist and the other for the CT scan. And the sun is shining as I write this, so with a bit of luck I can enjoy the summer.





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