I have only been sick three times in my life. That is, until about 12 hours ago. FEC chemo two brought with it more pink pee, another ice-cream headache and, yes, you guessed it, a bit more vomit than I’d bargained for (three lots so far!). Thank goodness a) I can read my body well enough to avoid the bedding and the new mattress and b) I had an old washing up bowl by the bed (just in case).
Having experienced nausea in cycle one, I went into yesterday’s session prepared. With an extra dose of anti-sickness medication, I wasn’t even expecting to feel sick, let alone be sick. Just goes to show that, when it comes to chemo, even the best laid plans can prove fruitless.
As with chemo cycle one, the session itself was really rather nice. I passed by blood test and had a good laugh with the nurses. I got my medication ahead of schedule and everyone seemed to like not just my pretty PICC line cover, but my chemo-friendly Shakespearean T-shirt too (it says: ‘Though she be but little she is fierce’ and it was bought for me by a kind and lovely friend).
Everything was going so well. I enjoyed my dinner and even managed a few Miniature Heroes for dessert. Then the side effects kicked in. They were two hours earlier than round one and they were more intense from the start. Once in bed, I had to lie flat. If I rolled to either side and I felt like a spirit level knocked off balance. I tried to deep breathe my way out of the nausea, but it wasn’t long before I was saying hello again to my chicken and rice supper.
My poor tummy (thank goodness I’m back at pilates so it didn’t hurt to retch) and I made it through the night (along with a very concerned Duncan and mum), only to be greeted by another pile of bile-coloured vomit. The worst bit is when you’re tummy is empty, you’ve got nothing left to give, but your body is still trying to expel something.
Eight pills, two glasses of flat lemonade, a cup of tea and two pieces of toast later and I am still (touching all wood available) keeping food down. Let’s hope that I may make it out of my pyjamas/sleep cap/dressing gown/slanket combo at some point and face the world today. And if I don’t, there’s always tomorrow.
This is the first day in a long time that I actually feel like a sick person. You can read it in my face and the bags under my eyes. You can see it lurking under my sleep cap. And, I can certainly taste it in my mouth. Chemo hasn’t defeated me, but it’s giving me a bit of a beating.
Today, I have one objective: avoid vomiting. Chemo drugs, I plan to put up a good fight.