Monday, December 10, 2018

The Thrills of ABVD Chemotherapy

So it seems I’ve finally been given the chance to discuss my experience with chemotherapy…exciting I know. It’s going to be difficult to make this post seem interesting but however, to someone about to embark on their own cancer journey hopefully this will be helpful and an insight into what’s to come. For most I hope this is an insight into a medical world you’ll never have to enter! 

I’m just about to start cycle 3 of 6, I have to have 6 cycles over the six months. Each cycle is a month made up of 2 sessions, with a 2 week gap between each one…if that makes sense, I struggled to get my head round it too in the beginning! 

When I had my first chemo I had little knowledge on what to expect, which in hindsight was probably a good thing. Most people tend to get their side effects 3-5 days after chemo but for me, they hit as soon as I get home. With the first one I was sick as soon as I got home (the one thing I didn’t want to happen…at least I got it out the way) I also had tummy ache and felt generally unwell. I didn’t want my dinner (VERY unlike me) and all I wanted to do was lie in bed and watch telly with the fan on with a cold flannel over my head. Days 2 + 3 aren’t great either (I’m not really selling this to anyone am I…), I spent most of my days lay on the sofa battling the ongoing nausea and tummy ache and managing to stomach plain buttery bagels, anything else I wasn’t interested in. By day 4 I was starting to feel like myself again however, this is when my mouth started to hurt. My tongue felt cut and achy and ulcers make it hard to eat properly but they give you ‘magic’ mouthwash with antiseptic in and that does help a lot. All I can recommend is keep brushing your teeth otherwise you end up with an infection which no one wants!! 

It’s strange because with each chemo I’ve had different side effects, I always get the nausea and I always get a tummy ache but on my 3rd session I barely got any side effects at all which was very peculiar but I think this was due to the amount of water I drank whilst having chemo. That is my number 1 top tip - drink loads! It really does help I promise. With my last chemo, I did exactly the same as the one before and drank loads, but I had side effects this time. I suffered with really bad nausea again and one that I hadn’t experienced before which was the metallic taste in my mouth. Everything tastes disgusting and bland expect for strong flavoured food like curry, this does seem to do the trick and I’m able to taste this one. I really struggled with the taste of water so another tip for people is try flavoured fizzy water, its soothing on the tongue and tastes so much better (well it did for me.) 

The worst part about chemotherapy is its accumulative, so each chemo is going to get harder and harder. At the moment it takes me a week to feel like myself again, but I know this recovery time gets longer with each one..something that I’m really not looking forward to. 

Life update - 
So I’ve managed to stay out of hospital for a few weeks which Im so grateful for!! I had my port fitted two weeks ago which was again, an experience but no where near as bad as having a Picc line fitted. Tomorrow I’ve got chemo again and start my 3rd cycle. On the 27th December I’ll be half way, which to be honest is all I’m focusing on at the moment. Once I’m half way, it really is just a countdown then and counting down seems a lot easier then counting up! My hair is hanging on by a thread…literally lol. Honestly I look like the nutty professor from back to the future, it’s so bad! The crying seems to have stopped about my hair (depending on the day) and I’ve decided to just take the piss out of it now because what else can I do? Scarves have become my new best friend and don’t look that bad so for now that’s what I’m going to stick with and I do quite like them, don’t get me wrong I miss my long hair so so much but I know one day I will have my long hair again, this bit right now is just temporary. 

For my next post I’m going to write all about hair loss and what I have done to cope with this if anyone is interested. Hope everyone has a good week! 

Grace xo 

1 comment

  1. Grace, we are friends of Ian and Tracey and have watched your journey through your blogs. I take my hat off to you for your strength of character and good humour, it's clearly not a journey any of us wants to go on but you are an inspiration to us all. Hope you are able to get rid of those pesky ulcers in time for Christmas - could be worse, you could be a turkey!! Our best wishes for a cancer free 2019 and for the return of long hair :) Sarah & Phil Nicholson


© A Lump in the Road
Blogger Templates made by pipdig