Keep calm and have chemo

Just thought I would write a quick blog for those who might have been worried about me today in the knowledge that I was returning to chemo with much trepidation.

I’ve been, it’s done, and it was……ok.  On my first infusion in January 2014, I had one of my besties keeping me company all day, and it was a good thing, as I was in quite a state.  Since then, I have never allowed anyone to sit with me during a chemo infusion.  I always feel very, well….vulnerable, and I can be quite funny about being seen that way, and besides, it’s bloody boring and depressing and I don’t want to put anyone through it.  Today though, I asked a trusted friend to stay a while, and it was a good plan.  Besides having to breathe through a bit of panic on the way there, the anticipated breakdown fizzled out as I had distraction and even some laughs.

Not everything went according to plan.   The chemo nurses punctured the port site in my chest which has only been there since Monday, and by golly it did not tickle.  Neither was it a success, so we had to wander over to radiology, where they took me into the theatre there, full scrub up, and the doctor accessed the port by xray.  His first access was via too short a needle, and he couldn’t get blood drawback, despite agony and about 20 tons of pressure against my chest.  He finally whacked in local anaesthetic, and on the fourth go, success.  Four needles straight into your chest in the space of an hour or so was really not the best, and I don’t care for a repeat.

So, an infusion that was supposed to begin at 11am began at 2pm, but by 6pm I was at the pub having dinner with friends.  Not what I expected on an infusion day.  I’m tired, a tiny bit emotional, but I am ok.  Mostly just relieved that it hasn’t turned out to be as bad as I built it up to be.  I know it will accumulate in my system, and every infusion will wear me down a touch more, but as is my new philosophy, I’m going to take the small victories, and run.

Best of all of course, the little buggers are not growing unchecked now, I have a defence mechanism.  Let’s hope it attacks them, fast and long :)

Just wanted those of you who don’t know me in “real life” to know that I am ok.

Here I am in the chair, 1 hour into infusion.

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Exhausted, will see you again soon, when the dust settles :)

11 Comments on “Keep calm and have chemo

  1. “Introduced” to you through my lovely daughter in law to be, Jaimi Lyn, who lives in Cranbourne. I am over here in Kent, in the sunny south east of England, and your story has affected me greatly. I too had cancer, nearly 20 years ago, but now completely “cured” and enjoying life. In fact I’m looking forward to coming over to Melbourne in 3 weeks time to stay with Jaimi, son Barney, and their lovely kids. My heart goes out to you in your struggle. Hang on in there. All my best wishes, Michelle :)

  2. Hi Jules, just came across your blog recently and want to send a hello and a big hug. I’m two years in remission, and mum to a beautiful 2 year old (yep do the math…started chemoradiation treatment when bub was 6 days old). Anyway, love all your posts but especially relate to this one about feeling so vulnerable in chemo. For some reason I could be stoic for all my radio appointments, and kept us a brave face at home or out and about, but broke down and cried like a baby throughout every one of my chemo days. I couldn’t bear to have anyone there except my husband, despite all the lovely offers from friends who were willing to keep me company. Nice to know I’m not the only one to feel this way, and glad you found it helpful to have a friend with you today. Thanks for sharing your journey – you write beautifully and honestly.

  3. You girl are Chuffing amazing . I’m not sure where you go for chemo but if you ever want a slightly nutty 60 yr old gma .. to bore you silly with my life story . Chat . Play cards do a crossword . or just sit quite and you know I’m there .. I will be honored to come with you … your one awesome lady xxx

  4. Thx for thinking of us, of keeping us informed, when we’re thinking of you with a range of emotions that I won’t list but I’m sure you know. Glad you’re dealing.
    I don’t follow a religion as such but I will chat to the god that seems to watch over me, on your behalf.
    xF

  5. It’s very sweet of you to think of us during that. You take those victories and run, doll. Sending the biggest shiniest light of beautiful moments and hours that outshine the hard ones.

  6. Hi Jules I Have been following your blog for a while now & just feel the need to tell you, you are freaking awesome & beautiful inside and out.
    Angela

  7. Hi Jules. I haven’t met you but have seen links to your posts through my cousin Aileen Lee Sanders’ Facebook page. I am in Canberra, and had my first chemo in July 2013 (six months of treatment) after a major operation. Unfortunately another major operation in November 2015 and have resumed chemotherapy indefinitely. I had a port put in in early March and it has helped tremendously with the anxiety and panic symptoms. Just wanted to check that you know about EMLA local anaesthetic patches. The hospital provides them to me and I put one on the port an hour before the chemo is scheduled to start. However I know not all hospitals provide these. You can get them from pharmacies (including online pharmacies) but they are pharmacist-only so you may have to explain to the pharmacist why you need them. Worth trying to push a bit on this as someone I know had quite a bit of discomfort till she heard about these patches and swears by them, as indeed do I. Happy to talk to you any time. We’re all hanging in there!

    • Yes, thank you, my chemo ward gave me a tube and I did have it on, just that it hurt so much last time because the port had only been put in a few days before and was still sore inside. Hanging in there together, all the best x

  8. Thanx for sharing i don’t know you but you are helping me heal good luck beautiful person xxx

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