Saturday, 13 August 2011

If you shake me, do I not rattle?

First things first - an update on the cars which have been transporting me to hospital. On Thursday I had my first experience of being in a Smart car and rather lovely it was too! It was the sporty version and it was pretty nippy, actually. Then on Friday I was in a big BMW, so this week has seen lots of variety.

I did intend to post yesterday but unfortunately, I am suffering quite badly from the side-effects of the radiotherapy. Apart from the expected sore throat and mouth, I have very bad nausea and haven't been able to keep any food down for the last 48 hours (although I had a tiny bit of cheese sandwich earlier this afternoon which so far - fingers crossed - seems to have stayed down). Of course, having such a sore throat means that being sick is extremely painful so there have been quite a few tears at Sweeting Towers. It started yesterday morning when I arrived at hospital and was sick outside the building. I managed to see the consultant quite quickly, thanks to my chauffeur for the day, Caroline, who went in and told Reception that I wasn't well and asked if I could be seen sooner rather than later. There then followed the ignominy of bursting into tears in front of the consultant.....I hate doing that. It makes me feel so weak. However, she was used to it and gave me some tissues and said it was okay to be upset if I am feeling bad and that her job was to make me feel better. So she prescribed me stronger painkillers, some anti-emetics for the sickness and some *whispers* laxatives because the painkillers could make me constipated. I tell you, the ripple effect of those little lumps on my jaw is pretty impressive! Caroline and I waited outside until it was time for my radiotherapy and at one point, I was on my own while she went in to pick up my prescription (I was feeling decidedly ropey again by this time). A patient came out, complete with breathing tube up his nostrils and a sandwich and drink and asked if he could sit down at the end of the bench where I was. I said of course, as long as he realised I might be sick any minute....he seemed fine with that but then took out a cigarette, at which point I said that if he was going to smoke I would have to move because I would definitely be sick! He then took himself off to another place but it made me wonder why anyone would think that it's okay to light up next to someone who is obviously a cancer patient?? - to say nothing of the fact that all around the green area outside, where we were, are signs saying that the Royal Marsden is a no-smoking hospital. I may sound like a hardline anti-smoker, but so what if I do? I can't help feeling that patients have some responsibility to their own health by ceasing to do the things which they know make them ill. I know the argument about smoking being the only thing they can choose to do, or that it makes no difference whether they smoke or not because they're so ill anyway, but at the very least there should be a bit of consideration for fellow patients.

Rant over!

I hate feeling so unwell and having so little energy. Today I got out of bed at about 9 am, went back to bed an hour later, got up and then returned to bed at about 1 o'clock and have been lounging about either in bed or on the sofa since then. I am still in my pyjamas, for goodness' sake! Neil keeps telling me it doesn't matter and to rest up and take it easy but it feels odd not to be doing things. Amy is cooking dinner this evening and she and Adam will cook lunch tomorrow, so they are really pitching in. Neil bought loads of things that might tempt my appetite and be easy for me to eat, so I have a fridge piled high with goodies but no real appetite.  And to think that I'm not even halfway through the treatment! Goodness knows what I will be like by the end of it, but I can tell you that I wouldn't recommend the radiotherapy diet to anyone.

I seem to have my Moaning Minnie head well and truly screwed on today. Sorry, folks. Just finding it rather hard at the moment and not seeing much prospect of it improving in the short term.


  1. I read an account ...not a moan :-)

    Sounds utterly crap Ali :-(

    Be more relaxed about 'doing nothing' because your exhaustion will not last. Neil is right about taking it easy.
    This will not last

  2. Exactly +1 to what Madge said :o)

    It must be strange to know just how long you are going to feel rubbish for. But the reverse of that is that you know it will not be like this forever.

    In the meantime, (((hugs))) and rest well x

  3. For heaven's sake woman! That Protestant work ethic even gets you when you're ill! You are allowed to take it easy when you feel like poo without feeling guilty.

    Tomorrow is hump day - half way there. Remember your rugby training from school: head down and drive for the line.

  4. You're doing brilliantly, and let yourself be looked after - you more than deserve it, and the more you rest, the sooner you can be up and doing!

    You're working really hard, even if working really hard actually means making yourself do nothing :-)

  5. So, on Friday you were "not even halfway through the treatment" but on Wednesday you'll be past halfway :-)

    There are all sorts of platitudes I could offer but mine is simple: yep, it's shit but it's going to get better.

    lots of love from us two


    PS how about writing yourself an anti-list each day? It says things like 1. don't do any cooking 2. don't do any cleaning 3. don't do ironing 4. etc That way you can do nothing and tick off all the things on your list!

  6. you should do that anti list like womble said, I've got one, works a treat. :P

    just sending hugs really and love of course. hang on it there chuck xx

    loon xxx

  7. Good morning, lovely people - I am liking the sound of an anti-list (I am a great believer in lists, as some of you know!).

    I've managed to keep down yesterday's food (1 slice of toast, a tiny bit of roast gammon and some mashed potatoes) so I am hoping that my little tablets are doing the trick. Driving to hospital will be a bit of an acid test (pardon the pun!).

    Tomorrow's session will be my 15th and the halfway point. I score off the sessions each day on my little print-out and am tackling it the same was as when I run a marathon - once I'm past the halfway point, it's countdown to single figures. When I get to 10 miles, I know I can do a 10 mile race so that doesn't feel so bad. When I get to 10k, even better. 5k and it's in the bag :-)

    Feeling more positive today. Thank you for your helpful and kind comments. You are the best!

  8. Loving the anti-list idea!

    Sadly my tasks in outlook seem to work the same way

  9. Anti list idea sounds brilliant.

    Glad you managed to keep some food down, Ali.