9 months of chemo is a hoot. Not.

10707927_10152443593484506_400476837_nNow that the drainage tubes have been removed, I have a handy European socket in my side ready for plugging in those shavers, hair dryers and lamps. Sorry if you’re squirmish but it is pretty creative don’t you think?

The armpit and side infection is improving now that Ive had my 3rd lot of antibiotics and tomorrow I go to have more liquid put into my skin expander… or balloon if you prefer. Apparently they push the fluid in through a port which sits just under the skin, until I can’t take the pain any more. The way my pain threshold is I’ll end up like Dolly Parton.

Treatment plan

Yesterday I had an appointment with my oncologist and the radiology specialist. The oncologist advised us that because my tumour didn’t respond well to chemo and because it grew and another tumour developed, it is possible that cells are still floating about in my body or have planted themselves somewhere. So it was decided that I would have another 4 rounds of a different type of chemo. This type has also been trialled with my type of breast cancer. 9 months of chemo in total by the end of the year is a marathon and it feels like it but it’s better to get it over with and know that I’ve done all I can.

The radiologist also recommended that the type of cancer I have would benefit from 5 weeks of radiotherapy to prevent it from re-establishing itself into the chest wall. She was very thorough and informative and filled me with great confidence. I was expecting radiotherapy all along so this came as no surprise.

Yes… we have a plan but I have to admit I felt quite overwhelmed with the thought of it. I was enjoying the break and starting to feel like my old self. The MOTH keeps saying ‘I have my wife back!’. I’m giving him cheek so I think that’s what he meant. My hair is just starting to grow, my eyelashes are 3 mm long. I ate INDIAN FOOD without burning my stomach out. I’m dusting myself down right now and adjusting my sails towards the finish line again. I had an offload to my little sister yesterday. She is always so compassionate and yet very practical and it was just what I needed. She has enough troubles of her own and just needed her big sister blubbering on the phone LOL.

Chemo starts next Wednesday the 8th of October and radiotherapy will begin once chemo finishes. This chemo has the side effects similar to the first type I was on… give or take a few extras. There is high risk of nerve damage to my hands and feet, especially since I’ve already had 4 cycles of Paclitaxol. HOWEVER… I didn’t get any last time and I am not planning to this time!!! Boo to that!

My fitness isn’t so good now that I’ve been recuperating from surgery but I am going to try to boost it up a little now and keep my energy up as this has helped me immensely to overcome fatigue in the past. I’m not allowed to do any exercise until next Wednesday… which is when chemo starts. Erm.

We had planned a holiday to QLD so we have strategically booked my chemo appointments around it. My oncologist told me I can just bust the doors of the hospital down up there if need be. Let’s hope not. I can just see me on the beach with my Dolly Parton breast and my vomit bag. Nice.

I know this sounds all bad and gloomy but I can tell you now. If I had been healed instantly I would have missed out on the wonderful journey I’ve had along the way. Amongst everything, I’ve been married to Colin for almost 35 years and we have become so much closer during this journey. He is my buddy and my best friend. We have talked and talked about how this experience has enhanced our marriage and our love for each other. It’s a beautiful thing to be stripped of everything in life which doesn’t matter to be left with what does.

My sister told me today that it’s like the process of making essential oil. They use perfume and take everything away from it that isn’t necessary until all they have is the raw basic oil. This is the rich part which has the ‘essential’ and real ingredience. If I had been healed instantly this journey wouldn’t have existed. I’m so grateful to have had an experience which sorts out my life and shows me the priorities.

Arty news

Screenshot 1:10:14 7:41 AMAs I’ve said before… with all bad things comes good. I have had amazing opportunities with my artwork. I can’t keep up with orders! I’ve been approached by a children’s book publisher to illustrate a book, I’ve got my artist in residence job at Luther College and I have been selected to exhibit in the Maroondah Art Trail. TheMaroondah Art Trail allocated the Urbanlife cafe in Ringwood and Col and I popped over on Friday and hung 14 pieces of work on the walls where they will remain for 4 months (unless sold of course).

Pop in and visit if you get a chance!



One comment

  1. When you mentioned Dolly Parton I couldn’t help imagining you singing just the way she does! You are way more attractive and talented than her Jenny! I will be praying that the chemo goes well and that the side effects are minimal. It sounds as though you have learned a lot through this journey. I am sure that Colin has been a wonderful support.xxx


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