We are back from a wonderful 2 week holiday at Bargara in QLD. It was possibly the best holiday ever… mostly because we both needed it so badly. Having the beach 20 steps from the door at our resort and the golf course out the back suited us both fine. The MOTH came packed with his golf clubs with his bare essentials stashed amongst them. Who needs clothing in QLD? I was almost as bad as my case was filled with art supplies. I am a very light packer when I travel so we had one small suitcase between us and a set of golf clubs (plus 2 carry on bags).
Our friends Tony and Lorraine spent the first week with us and we took a day trip to Fraser Island and a few other wonderful and not so wonderful trips pioneered by our ‘tour guide’- The MOTH. It was lovely to spend time with them once again on our holiday and share hysterical laughter.
The MOTH and his injury collection
I totally forgot I was a cancer patient (well almost) and Maroondah hospital seemed so far away. I love the beach and ended up tanned and relaxed. Sigh.
THE MOTH… on the other hand… had injuries almost akin to his splinter episode.
- He played so much golf that he became very sore all over. At one point he climbed into a plane at the Hinkler museum and became wedged half way because his muscles wouldn’t do what they set out to do. He had a panicked expression on his face which I could do nothing about apart from laughing.
- He walked on hot concrete without his shoes on and got two 50c piece sized blisters on his heels. At one point he couldn’t walk and I had to stab the blister with a pair of nail scissors to drain it.
- He got badly blistered and painful calves from ‘golf’ sunburn.
- He was and still is, covered in sandfly bites.
- He got stung by a wasp on the hand and further up his arm while looking for a golf ball in a bush. This resulted in severe swelling and itching.
I considered calling 000 but I was too busy reading my kindle on the beach. Do the ambulance come for self inflicted wounds?
Prior to leaving I finished illustrating a childrens’ book for Jojo media (a book publisher) which was great to get behind me.
I managed to finish off 5 commission art jobs while on holiday and quite a few pieces of my own. This might sound like I was working but believe me… it’s quite the opposite! I go into some kind of trance when I’m doing my artwork and it’s the ultimate relaxation. One of the pieces I finished was inspired by a magical experience we had watching a massive turtle come up onto the beach and lay it’s eggs. I think it was up there with the most wonderful thing we’ve ever seen. It didn’t have cogs and wheels like my art piece but you know how my brain works. Colin thinks my brain is terrifying.
My hair is falling out for the 3rd time. Just when it starts to get about 1 cm long or so I start another chemo round and off it goes again. Each time it grows back it’s a different colour. Unfortunately it’s white and snowy this time so I’m happy to wave it goodbye.
You’ll be pleased to know that I managed to run 2-4km on alternative days… often on the beach. I didn’t run very WELL because my fitness has gone downhill since surgery but it’s a start. At one point I was overtaken on the beach by a guy dragging a car tyre along behind him. Maybe I need one of those. Apparently they make you run faster:)
Yesterday I returned to the chemo factory for another dose. I’m totally creating my own world. The doctor told me that they have me written down for 6 extra doses of chemo, rather than the 4 we agreed to because I am tolerating them so well. Colin and I both said ‘no’ in unison. The Dr agreed that there is no evidence it is doing any good and that it’s just to make sure. Enough is enough. Do I keep taking it until I’m not tolerating it anymore? I don’t know, but we have no way of measuring it now. Besides… I might be ‘tolerating it well’ but I do feel very unwell after it, of course. It’s not like I’m just shaking my head and carrying on! Given that the last two chemo drugs didn’t work it’s difficult to say if this one is. I’ve had radical surgery and … I have 25 days of radiotherapy after Christmas and the break in between will be much appreciated. 9 months of chemo is ENOUGH.
I also refused to take the Dexamethasone (cortisone) all together. Last time I took it the 2 days before chemo, during chemo but not the prescribed 4 days afterwards. This resulted in a significant reduction in stomach pain and nausea. I had a very nasty sore mouth and throat which resulted in lots of ulcers but that’s bearable. In fact I didn’t need to take any anti nausea at all, just the usual 3 Somac for the stomach pain. Isn’t the purpose of cortisone to reduce nausea? Strangely enough it is a side effect in itself, as well as burning pain in the stomach. So I didn’t take it before my chemo yesterday.
So… the doctor gave me a double dose of cortisone in my chemo infusion yesterday so that I wouldn’t have an allergic reaction. THAT’S WHY I’M WRITING THIS BLOG AT 5am!!! I even took a sleeping tablet. I’m like an Eveready battery advertisement. My brain has gone totally haywire. At least the sleeplessness is only for one night.
My sister and Dad came to visit me yesterday in the chemo factory… partly because Dad had an appointment at Maroondah and partly because it’s like a party in there and we all have a lovely chat. The nurses get involved in our banter. One nurse told Colin he is the King of Bull @#$% and the receptionist told him to ‘be quiet get out of the room’ (or something similar). He invites all of this so don’t feel sorry for him. Of course they were only kidding. I think he will miss stirring them all up when I finish.
One more chemo to go (9th of December) whoot!!!
On a sad note, two friends my age have died this week. One was a female fellow cancer sufferer who has been fighting fiercely along side me. My heart goes out to their families and friends, particularly their wifes/husbands and children. On that note… kiss your loved ones today and live your life with integrity. xx to you all from me.