Yesterday i had an appointment with my haematologist and specialist nurse to discuss my chemotherapy treatment and to sign the consent form… yep I signed my life away.. Before I go on to talk about that let me tell you.. My PET scan report is still not back.. So that means more waiting.. My consultant kindly said she will contact me when its back. I think I am now totally ignoring the significance of the PET scan.. I would much rather focus on moving forward and getting better..
Luckily I was the first to be called in, which meant I didn’t need to spend all day sitting in the waiting room, scanning the patients around me and creating their life story in my head. At first I was seen by my specialist nurse who explained to me the purpose of the appointment is to discuss chemotherapy, its side effects and the lifestyle changes I need to make. My consultant then came in and went over it again which was great..
So this is what we discussed..
Food and lifestyle: whilst on chemotherapy i cant have takeaways (sad times).. fruits have to be peeled, vegetables have to be cooked (no salads!!), no raw meat, no yoghurt with live bacteria (the ones that are advertised to be supposedly good for bloating), plenty of water to drink. I can’t catch the tube or be in crowded places including shopping malls (Praise the lord for on line shopping!! my piggy bank is not getting away with it that easily!). I have to avoid anyone who has been unwell in the last week or is unwell.. I have to restrict the number of visitors.. No travelling.. And i can’t remember the rest..
Chemotherapy treatment: I will be having four drugs which are abbreviated to ABVD, I will need to go to hospital every 2 weeks for the medication to be given in a drip over three hours. I can only have one person with me at a time. I will not need to sleep in hospital unless I have an infection which may mean I need to be isolated. If I do develop an infection my chemotherapy will be delayed.
Side effects: where do I begin? Everything under the moon and a pinch more.. No seriously it makes me wonder what’s worse the disease or the treatment.. Anyway enough complaining and here is what I remember off memory (this list is what I can possibly get, I won’t necessarily have all these side effects.. I hope to have none)
- Bone marrow suppression (infection, anaemia bleeding)
- Hair loss
- Damage to my heart
- Damage to my lungs
- Damage to my kidneys
- Damage to my liver
- Damage to my nerves
- Change in taste
- Sore mouth
- Problem with fertility
- Being tired
- Risk of developing blood clots
I know what your thinking.. Not an extensive list at all! On a serious note it could be worse.. I can’t remember any mention of brain damage.. at least i get to keep my marbles, thank the lord!
To be fair I am probably painting a bad picture.. It is not natural to think of the negatives first.. They seem to stick in my mind more easily..
I have been reassured that I will be monitored regularly for these side effects and if needed some of my chemotherapy medication may be reduced or stopped.. I have access to help at all times.. I am grateful to the team looking after me.. I know they are offering me all that is available.. I hope we soon find treatments for cancer which are less toxic.
I apologise for any delay in my posts.. Some days like today are rough for me (fever is back in town!) so I breakdown my writing.. Not ideal.. I prefer writing a post in one sitting but sometimes its just not possible.
On a more positive note let me share with you some of the Belgian chocolates that were posted to me by my lovely cousin Sherin who lives in Belgium.. We all know the power of chocolate.. Yummy..
Sending you all postive energy.. And praying my fever gets bored and goes away soon xxx