Chemo 1

I write this on day 5 post-chemotherapy. It strikes me as a little euphemistic that this is called ‘therapy’ given that it involves being injected with two hours worth of liquid poison followed by another 112 tablets of powdered poison voluntarily ingested over another two weeks, with a further week to let the poison settle before at least three more rounds of combined poison to follow over the next three months.

One might wonder why it has taken a somewhat fit and (until recently) healthy person such as myself five whole days to get round to writing a simple blog post. This is due to the intensive and ambitious daily schedule that has consumed my energies:

Most of the time I achieved these five Herculean tasks in good time and sometimes even managed lunch in between naps. Occasionally, I’ve found myself a few minutes behind schedule as it’s taken longer than predicted to extract myself from bed or sofa.

Sickness and fatigue have been pretty tough so far. But that’s nothing compared to the predominant ‘side effect’. I can confirm that pins and needles can be a disabling condition. It turns out that my nerve endings have been alerted to the presence of the poison and are (un)helpfully sending acute sensational signals in response to being in contact with anything cold or even tepid. I don’t even have to touch anything to feel this and just need to leave hands out of my pockets or breathe to produce a gentle breeze. Alarmingly, this extends to my throat, which will let me know pretty clearly if I drink anything cooler than 40°C.

But with inconvenience comes ingenuity and I’ve cut my food prep and hand washing routines significantly – in order to make enough time for regular sleeping breaks.

Yesterday I even made it out of the flat (Ollie popped round and made sure I didn’t fall over) and smashed my post-Chemo record by about 3,000 steps with a giddy 3,337. My pre-chemo record is around 200,000 but I guess I’ve got to start somewhere.

Today, my sister Jess will visit and I’ll attempt to make it the 1km to the local forest. It’s strange being disabled to the point that writing these few words feels like a day’s work. Oh well – time for another nap I guess!