Chapter 7: Sun, sea & sensational news

I’m now officially half way through chemo! *jumps for joy*

giphy (7)

I was discharged the day after my lastΒ rantΒ blog post. I have now had 2 weeks at home to recuperate and stuff my face – the longest I’ve had out of hospital in 3 months! I’ve done lots of sleeping, lots of eating and lots of slapping on factor 50 and sunbathing. Chemo makes your skin extremely sensitive to the sun, as well as making it thin and dry and just generally gross looking (hello wrinkles that weren’t there before). After my last prison stint of 3 weeks, I was ready to fight the consultants if they didn’t give me a long break at home before trying to get me back in. Luckily for me (I so would have lost that fight) they explained at today’s clinic that the previous 2 rounds of chemo (we’ll call them A and B as they are entirely different drugs and schedules) they almost treat as 1 super-round of chemo. So whereas between A and B it wasn’t that important for my bloods and body to recover, it was more important to stick to the schedule, between the first A and B which I have already had and the second, which I am soon to start, they have to let the side effects subside and leave enough time for my blood counts to come back up to normal. I am not complaining in the slightest – give me more time in the sun, please! 🌞

Friday to Sunday we went down to Devon and it was glorious! Sunny and relaxing and just what the Doctor ordered (well, they said I could go away as long as I was within an hour’s driving time of a good hospitalΒ πŸ˜‚). We stayed in a lovely farmhouse B&B between Exeter and Sidmouth and drove around the coast visiting different towns each day. It was so nice to just be ‘normal’ and eat lots of good food. I managed to put 1.7 kilos on between last Thursday’s appointment and today’s! Looking less skeletal and sickly is a good thing!

IMG_6987

Today I was also given the amazing results of a CT scan I had last Tuesday. Prior to the scan, my consultant had said that he would hope the scan would show a 60-70% reduction in the size of the tumours. The report from the radiologists stated that the tumour in my chest was reduced by 80% volume and that there were no masses in my abdomen – which means that the 2 that were there have gone! *cue more jumping for joy*

lkj.gif

I also finally got the lavender wig of my dreams πŸ’œ, so all in all I can say this past week has been bloody great!

IMG_7009

Advertisements

Chapter 6: Feeling deprived

For those of you hoping that this is another update, I’m sorry to disappoint you. One will be coming as soon as I’m out of hospital again – I’ve been in here since the last blog post – day 20 and counting…

This post is more of a general rant / things I’ve realised while being in here for this length of time. Now, I’m fully aware that there are people out there who do much longer stints in hospital than 3 weeks, but this is the longest run I’ve ever had. It’s halfway through June practically and I haven’t seen any of it.

I’ve become very aware, especially today, that as well as being boring and repetitive and frustrating, hospital is a very isolating and depriving place. You are forced into a routine that you don’t want. You have very little choice over the meals you can eat. You cannot get a full nights sleep without being woken multiple times. You have no sense of the weather outside.

This evening, after being moved to a different room for the fourth time this stay, I sat on the window ledge and looked out at the same view I see from most rooms. The sky was the most gorgeous shade of soft pink and I could almost imagine being sat out in the warm evening air just listening to the sounds of the evening. If I concentrated really hard and got right up close to the window I think I could hear the birds outside, or maybe I was just hoping I could…

 

I could see people across the other side of the building with their windows open and I was so envious. The windows are screwed shut in the oncology and haematology wards to keep the rooms as sterile as possible. I never thought a room could be so silent and so noisy at the same time. The only sound I can hear is the whirring of the ventilation system, constantly replacing the air in the room with fresh. Sure I have TV and I can listen to the radio or music on my phone, but I miss the sounds of normal life. I miss birdsong at 4am. I miss the sounds of traffic passing the house. I miss dogs barking and people talking and the wind in the trees. I am counting down until I can stand outside and just listen.