Too Much Chemo

After having told everyone that I’m in pain, I’d better write an update – as that’s what this blog was set up to do.

So this afternoon, I went to hospital – again – to get a precautionary x-ray and see the lovely poison doctor (sorry – oncologist). Thankfully, I don’t have a bowel obstruction – just fixable gut issues relating to the primary cancer.

We also went over the side effects. I’d written a long email detailing the various issues and asking if they were expected. Well – it turns out that it wasn’t meant to be this hard. I was expected to have the tingles for a few days, not two weeks. I should have spent around two and a half days being flat out exhausted rather than two and a half weeks. Nothing should have stopped me running.

So – I was told my dose would be reduced in the hope that the side effects wouldn’t be as bad come round two. I’m imagining the smiles and cheers as people read this. But I wasn’t doing any smiling. See – if I’m set a challenge, I’m going all in. No half measures, nothing left on the pitch, all the clichés for focussed effort and determination. And it’s not as if I’ve had the energy recently to focus my determination on anything but getting through this forsaken first chemo cycle. To give this treatment the best chance of working, I wanted all of it.

I started to retract and play down the suffering I’d previously documented. I almost pleaded to have the full strength version. But I was eventually convinced that reducing the dose was the best long term course of action for getting to the end of cycle 4 without spending it bedridden or worse. Even then, I promised that this cycle would be easy and we’d be able to ramp up the dose for cycle three.

I’m aware that most of this was irrational – it’s important for the treatment to cause less harm than the cancer itself. This exact same thing even happened to another runner and she’s still alive to reassure me. But I still can’t help thinking I’m being a bit of a wimp.

Ach… maybe this wimp will have a better quality of life.