When I’m plugged in during my hospital stays, I feel nauseous, hungry from the steroids, clammy, and I can only describe it as feeling like I’ve been wrung out through one of those things they use to get water out of clothes. Or hit by a train. Also it’s all the little things like being stuck in a hospital in a room full of random women you are obliged to talk to (I swear I am a very friendly person but keeping up the small talk can wear me out when I’m all chemo-ed up), or being in a room with people who are very sick. That’s not fun. And having a drip stand makes everything a pain in the ass because you can’t just get up and wander around, you gotta wheel this extremely hard-to-steer thing wherever you go.
Then when I get out the hospital, I still feel washed out, and the chemo starts doing it’s job. Everything aches a lot, everything tires me out. Last time I felt one day like I’d come out the worse for wear from some punch-up, I felt swollen and bruisey. Then compromised immune system means you pick up coughs and colds and won’t shake them for weeks. Other side effects like ringing in my ears, chemo brain (can’t remember a damn thing), dry eyes, hair falling out, weird bitter taste in my mouth…
So that’s my very specific experience of what chemo is. Ask someone else and you’ll get a totally different answer. TL;DR Chemo really sucks!
yeah chemo just sucks in general. i go once or twice a week normally... but its dumb because i normally just get sick after chemo and end up in the hospital anyways. No one should have to go through that shit. its like.. idk but 5 days is a lot.
im like... 90% sure they are going to do bone marrow transplant because last time i went into remission i relapsed a few months later.. my sister is a match which is perfect for me but like i dont know its just kind of scary thinking about it. its like, remission is supposed to be positive.. but thats not.
Well the bone marrow thing doesn’t sound like fun but maybe it’s gonna be that final thing that gets you well again and that’s good :) Got my fingers crossed for you yeah! I had to be dragged kicking back to hospital last week cos I got too ill but really I’m on my way to accepting these things when they happen :/
Pretty good seeing as I’m on the back end of 5 solid days of chemo! The other lady in my room likes the sound of her own voice a LOT and she has fortunately gone to sleep :P Also got some major steroid munchies! How are you?
Out of curiosity, what exactly are all those pills for? I mean I know they're probably for cancer, but what exactly do they do and how do they work?
There are the pills in question for anyone who missed the last post…they’re not very interesting, the yellow ones and the fat-ass white one are antibiotics and the other white ones are painkillers. At other times I’ve been taking tiny round pills for anti sickness, steroids (also helps with sickness…I think?), a third type of antibiotic, gaviscon and anti acid reflux stuff, the various painkilling combinations I can get my hands on (but all the standard stuff, ibuprofen, aspirin, paracetamol). And then jabs called G-CSF to make me make more neutrophils (white blood), and jabs to thin my blood to prevent me from getting thrombosis.
And apparently all this is a fairly light amount of medication if you are a cancer sufferer :P
We met some time ago and I'm just a number on your fb friend list. Saw one of your formspring responses on my news feed, saw this page, and only then did I realise you have cancer. Sorry to hear, but love that you're still lively + happy; truly inspiring!
Don’t you go calling yourself “just a number”!
Facebook is doing a great job of making people worry about me recently, going off to uni means I’ve fallen out of touch with way too many people and fb has vanished me off people’s feeds. Then I pop up all like “oh hai chemo sucks” and people are going “wait WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN?!”. Silly facebook…
Anyway, thank you very much for lovely lovely words :)
will you be able to have children, since it is cancer in the ovaries?
can't wait til you kick caners ass! xx
The optimistic answer to that is “maybe”. I’m having injections that shut my ovaries down, to protect the actual healthy tissue from getting wapped by the chemo. I have no idea how this works but apparently it does. No ovary activity = no hormones = menopausal at the age of 19 which is barrels of fun.
Anyway, if things go according to plan, the chemo sees the cancer off, then they take me off the injections and my ovaries miraculously grow back and maybe I can have babies, or at least not be stuck on HRT for the rest of my life. And if that doesn’t work, it’s not great but it’s not the end of the world I guess.
BTW, apologies to anyone who feels like they are getting spammed by my constant formspringing, I’m just posting these up everywhere because these are anons and I cannae tell where to direct my responses!
I’ve never been an ill person. Ever. And then I got to uni and came down with a water infection. I thought “oops, probably overdid it on the alcohol, sorry kidneys!”, took a course of antibiotics and got on with my life. Then it happened again, and again, and by the 4th time I was like “body, wtf!”. I’d also been getting tired. But unfortunately if you go to the GP when you are a student and you tell them you are tired you pretty much get told to go get more sleep. Bugger off and come back when you have real health problems…
Even though I’ve had a bit of a track record for being a lazy ass, finding myself unable to make the 20 minute bike ride home some days was…worrying.
On water infection number 4 or something I decided to get a proper doctor’s appointment (because until now I’d been going to nurses cos that got me antibiotics quicker). And I told her about being tired and the water infections and she felt my tummy and said “I think you have a bit of a lump in your tummy”. Wasn’t given any more information than that, but came out with an urgent gynae checkup appointment for the next week. The gynaecologist told me that this “lump” that I’d assumed to be like…the size of a big grape or something was more like the size of a 16 week pregnancy. Or a mango. And two ultrasounds and an MRI later, I was sat in her office with my mum being told that I have a thing called germ cell tumour. After that there was a bit of confusion because they couldn’t tell whether I had germ cell or lymphoma, but that was solved with a biopsy (they’re not fun, very big needles involved).
Just as a side thing, I have been very lucky with all this. Ovarian cancer is very hard to spot because the symptoms are so incredibly vague. I am very thankful that GP took me seriously.
TL;DR: Got ill, GP found a lump, mucho scans and bam I’m getting chemo.
The chemo is knocking me out, the window in my day where I feel vaguely human and not a shivering, clammy mess is getting steadily smaller.
Gotta keep telling myself that this is the same stuff Lance Armstrong had, and it knocked him out as well…
Today my dad turned 60. So we had a picnic outside the front of the Marsden, my mum, dad, brother, aunt and cousin. It was lovely that they all came up so we could all celebrate together, even if the celebration was on a grotty picnic bench in the middle of a hospital car park. :P
Just installed Snow Leopard, this means PORTAL 2 TIMES WOO :D
“Ugly is irrelevant. It is an immeasurable insult to a woman, and then supposedly the worst crime you can commit as a woman. But ugly, as beautiful, is an illusion. A matter of taste, a whim, an eye, a beholder, an opinion, a spin, light crossing the frame, paint, projection. The moment. Context.”—Margaret Cho (via shakethecobwebs)