Breast cancer lesson 126: The most memorable moments in life are the ones you never planned

Ok, so I have slightly gone off-piste with the last cycle and veered away from ginger-related baked goods. But, given tomorrow is the last day I will have to watch chemotherapy drugs being pumped into my veins, I think it calls for something a little bit special.

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Little did my wonderful mum know when she met me at the hospital yesterday, that she’d be spending the best part of Thursday rolling fondant icing to help me make sugar pills! Each one of what must be more than 450 drug-shaped pieces is representative of the pill-fuelled journey that is chemo. From Steroids and Omeprazole to Domperidone, Emend, Fluconazole, Ondansetron, Clonidine, and Co-codamol (no to mention the obvious liquid drugs being pumped in), I think my body has no idea what normal is. If, in fact, there is to be a normal once more.

All I can say is, these pills had better taste nicer than Domperidone!

I have always liked to think of cake as having a rather medicinal quality. I think this is certainly the closest I’ll get to making it look that way and putting fuel into that argument!

After four months of poisoning, the last day of chemo is a big day (both physically and psychologically). Of course, it is not the official last day of chemo (which is Friday 8 August), but rather the last poisoning. Knowing that every day after tomorrow will be one day closer to a life without heart palpitations, bone pain, nail pain, muscle pain, a lack of taste, hair loss, dizziness, headaches, sickness, nausea, fatigue, injections, pills and, of course, toxic liquid infusions, is a wonderful feeling. So exciting, in fact, I have barely slept in days!

I have learned a lot over these last few months about surviving a chemo cycle. I have Ribena at the ready for when water tastes horrendous. I have frozen smoothie ice lollies and extra strong mints for a low-calorie sugar kick when the taste buds disappear altogether. I am armed with packets of Emend and Fluconazole to avoid the sickness from cycle two and the throat infection from cycle four. I have Difflam for mouth ulcers. I have a bran-based breakfast planned to avoid the Senna. I have a rainbow of nail varnish for those blackening nails. I have my mum to help me through the ‘emptiness’ days. And, I have a huge smile, which is probably my biggest weapon! Whatever this round is prepared to throw at me, I am ready.

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I never thought I would be celebrating the end of chemo. I never thought I’d get cancer. I never thought I would cover a cake in hundreds of fondant tablets and capsules. But, I have. And I am a lot stronger – and stickier – for it.

The 18 July 2014 is not a day I will ever forget. And, I fully intend to enjoy it! Let’s hope the cake doesn’t melt before I get there!

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