Hello, me again, long time! We left off last time having had my first chemotherapy session and me telling you about the weird and wonderful side effects I’d been feeling.
Since then I’ve had two, count ‘em two(!) more doses! Time flies when you’re employed but on long term sick leave. Let me give you a quick run-down of the last 3 weeks since then:
So I had the second lot of chemo on Tuesday 28th September. It was largely uneventful. The chemo was scheduled to take place at 13:00, but due to pharmacy-related delays this was pushed back to around 17:00 ish. I’d come in to the hospital that same morning to get some blood’s done at 11:00 and I eventually got home at around 19:00.
The chemo itself went pretty smooth, a bit of a sting in my hand but nothing unbearable. I did strike up a nice conversation with the lady next to me (I want to say her name was Brenda or Barbara), so that helped pass the time quite well.
Side effects wise, I was relatively fine for the next two days. On the Thursday night and then on Friday however I did begin to feel quite uncomfortable around my mouth. My teeth were hurting, my gums felt week, and the sides and tip of my tongue had a slight burning sensation. Although this pain wasn’t unbearable, it was constantly there during the day, making it harder to eat and even sleep at night. Even water felt unpleasant as it went down my gullet.
On that same Friday, as I was sat on the sofa in the evening, I began to notice some pain on the left side of my chest. The best way I could describe this was that it was a ‘pinching’ pain that hurt every time I took a breath. The deeper the breath, the more pain I felt. After a quick once over from my brother who was at hand, I rang the hospital and gave them an explanation. They asked me to come down the same evening for further examination.
The plus side with being a cancer patient is that I didn’t have to go through the ordeal that is A&E, and as soon as I got to the hospital I was shown into my excessively large room for the night. Funnily enough, the chest pain was brought on in the evening and had lasted a fair bit of time before I rang the hospital, but by the time I was eventually in the car and en-route, I’d noticed the pain had miraculously vanished. Nevertheless I still spoke to some doctors at around midnight, had my bloods taken shortly after and was then taken in for an x-ray at what must have been around 3am.
I’d tried to steal as much sleep as I could during the night but the mouth pain was making this a near impossible task. I eventually did dose off and was informed by the doctor in the morning that all my tests had come back A-OK. The pain that I’d felt in the chest was most likely muscular, and not the result of blood clotting or anything more sinister. I was also given some paracetamol and 3 different mouthwash’s to help with the discomfort.
That was probably the most interesting thing to happen to me in the last few weeks. I’m pleased to say that the mouthwash’s worked like a charm and my mouth felt back to normal within the next day or two.
Around this same time I’d also noticed that my sleeping pattern was getting much worse. It’s difficult to say whether this insomnia was a result of my own sleeping habits, or a result of the treatment, but I’m confident that the treatment has definitely made it worse.
I tried in vain for a few nights to put my phone away and sleep at a respectable hour, but the only thing this accomplished was to have me tossing and turning all night until I eventually had to get up and go on my phone or watch tv. In the moment, nothing feels worse than desperately trying to go to sleep and getting increasingly frustrated by not being able to do so.
Nowadays I’ve come to accept this and am quite content with staying up until silly o’clock until I naturally tire. Since I don’t have work to go to right now, it isn’t the worse thing in the world to sleep in to the afternoon each day.
Anyhow, fast forward to this week and I’ve had yet another dose of chemo on Tuesday 12th October. Although the cannula did hurt a little more than usual this time, the actual chemo was pretty uneventful once again. I’ve felt completely fine the few days after this but have noticed some slight discomfort in my jaw and teeth (here we go again) earlier today. Surprisingly for me, I also felt incredibly tired at around 18:00 this evening and nodded off for around 4-5 hours.
I’m hoping the tiredness and mouth discomfort is a bit of a one-off, but we’ll see how it is once I eventually sleep and eventually wake up again later today. But enough about me, how have you been????