Tuesday 29 December 2009

Back Today

Sorry about that blip, which I wasn't expecting.
I was able to read your comments from time to time.
It was so encouraging to read your good wishes and know that everyone is rooting for me. That means so much to me.
I had meant to keep this blog fairly cancer free and carry on writing like I used to...... with humour and photos and memes etc. However, that is never going to work now as I am being treated for cancer and I feel every day there is a struggle to just do the necessary things for survival. I have got some things in draft form and later on I will post them. Today though, I feel that I have to be true to myself and I guess you are all wondering what I really feel like. I think it would be more real to be honest and if anyone is upset by it, then I'm sorry. Some of you have already been treated with chemotherapy and am really pleased you took the trouble to write to me and encourage me.
The treatment is different for everyone and each person is probably being treated very differently from someone else.
When I had the the chemical put in through a drip (it took hours) I had been told that if it got onto the skin it would cause burns. How the body copes with it I do not know. So its not surprising that it has taken its toll and given me some nasty side effects.
The worst part, I think was not knowing what is going to happen to me and for how long. I got a list of possible side effects and other cancer suffers could tell me what they felt. Its not the same though and I had nothing to go on as to how I would cope.
The main problem that hit me straight away was screaming joint pain. Obviously I have arthritis at my age and that seemed to be amplified big time. The thought of that going on for months made me wonder whether it was worth it. Fortunately for me that passed after several days.
The next thing was even worse.
I became extremely negative and had visual disturbances ....... things that slithered on the floor like snakes. I knew they were not real but I thought I was going mad. I kept feeling I couldn't go on with it and the family had to get me to a locum doctor, who said I wasn't psychotic but the chemicals were causing me to have visual effects. Fortunately this only lasted a few days.

The sickness had already set in by then and I couldn't keep anything down. I was getting so weak. I didn't think my body would cope. Not being able to drink anything, the hospital was considering having me admitted to the ward if it continued.

Yesterday, I felt I was able to think more clearly and waves of tiredness consumed my body and I slept for hours.
My wonderful daughter gave me a tiny lunch of a baked potato and a small slice of pizza that tasted so wonderful and I managed to keep that down. While I was eating the meal, she had a friend round, who I knew well from the days when all our children were at school together, and I can remember talking to her for a long time and suddenly I woke up and she was gone. I had slept on the settee for a few hours. I went to bed and slept for hours. Seems I cannot get enough sleep.
On arising today, I ate breakfast and drank plenty. My sight had been affected badly in one eye, making me feel I had done real damage to it through these blasted chemicals..... however this morning, I can read again.
I am not as creative anymore. I cannot concentrate. I had hoped to use this recovery time to read and blog. Maybe I will feel stronger soon. I know that the next week or two will make me very vulnerable to infection as my red and white cells and platelets are having to re build to normal.
However, today I am alive and in a better frame of mind and resting. I can eat and drink without being sick. Theres always something to be grateful for and today I am in a positive enough frame of mind........ so I am grateful about that.
However, the thing that I am most grateful for is that I have noticed that the tumour in the groin has diminished considerably...... so it does look as though that is the right treatment for it.


VioletSky said...

Updates on how you are feeling is good to read. Also enlightening, as I have no experience with chemo. Am so glad the disturbances lasted only a few days and that you have loved ones nearby to help you through this.

Anonymous said...

Dear brave Maggie, how courageous of you to let us know what is happening to you. I swear you are helping so many people with your blinding honesty. Sending you gentle hugs and a great deal of love.

ChrisB said...

How great you are to tell us all your feelings and about your pain, I hope you continue to improve and the news about the tumour is fantastic, so hang on in there! Love and best wishes....

Saz said...

maggie, you are wonderful to blog this out...if people dont wish to hear the detail, fine...personally I want to know how my friend is doing and feeling and I'm honoured you wish to share this...

just so sorry to hear you feel so crappy...my friend said she always felt better 4 days after chemo...hope it passes quickly for you....

be measured though and keep some energy in reserve...

look forward to hearing from you soon!!

love saz xx

Anonymous said...

maggie I think you shoul dtell it as it is , we never know when we may have to face this,cancer doesnt discriminate
Keep warm , keep fighting and keep positive

Rose said...

Maggie May, I do appreciate your honesty, and I think you will help many others by telling the truth about what you are going through. I have never had chemo, thank the Lord, but I know from loved ones' experiences that it is very unpleasant. My mother-in-law decided after one round that she didn't want to go through it again; she passed away a year later. I can't help but wonder if she would still be with us today if she had gone through all the prescribed treatments.

You are a brave woman, Maggie, and I hope you keep your fighting spirit. Hopefully, each day will find you feeling better and better.

Mickle in NZ said...

Dearest Maggie

Do you have any inkling of just how amazing and incredible you are? To be living with these effects of the treatment AND to then be able to share it with us = something very incredible.

So pleased your darling daughter came up with the right food just when you felt like eating again.

And then you share the exciting news about that tumour in your groin with us too - so wish I was closer so I could help you and Harry in a practical way too.

Happy news for you all - saw many Photinia plants growing while I was away with the so very beautiful red of the new leaf growth shining out. A something for you all to look forward to in late Springtime.

Sending very much gentle love with healing thoughts (while those wee chemo daleks zap the nasty cells),

Michelle xxxxxxxxx (Zebbycat huggles to resume tomorrow)

Formerly known as Frau said...

You are a brave and strong women...I wish I could take the pain away. All I can do is pray for you and send positive energy your way. Maggie rest and rest some more. ((Hugs))

Lindsay said...

Glad you are giving a frank account. Keep your spirits up.

Marian Dean said...

Oh Maggie, so distressing to hear what a time you are going though. I SO wish you well, and hope the tumour continues reducing.
Keep faith and make sleep one of the aids, as it is obviously good for you.
Thoughts and good wishes for you Maggie.
Love Granny

St Jude said...

i'm so sorry to hear the side effects you have been suffering, but as you pointed out so graciously it is all starting to have the desired effect.

I hope that things keep on improving for you. Take care of yourself and sleep as much as you need it is very healing.


Jackie said...

Maggie....first of all, I am glad that you are feeling better than you were a few days ago. How terrible you must have felt...to see the visions you saw, to feel the pain in your joints, to not be able to keep anything on your stomach...you have truly endured an enormous amount of pain, a frightening experience with wondering about the things that 'go slithering' on the floor...and the physical draining your body took. I am so very glad that those feelings are better...even if it is only somewhat better...that is a praise, and I praise Him for seeing you through it. Next, the fact that the tumor has shrunk...another wonderful praise. Thank you to God that the medicine is doing what it is supposed to do.
Last, I am very glad that you are sharing this...for us....and for you. This blog is yours...and we come here because we love you and are a part of your life. I want to know how my friend is feeling...whether it be good or bad...and I am blessed to have you as a friend Maggie. I am thankful for your wonderful daughter being with you...and may I also say that you made that baked potato sound like the best meal of the century!
:)) Keep your spirit high...and I know that you will. You are that kind of woman. Know that prayers envelope you....and what better protection could be offered to anyone....the protection and the comfort of the Holy Spirit. Much love to you, Maggie. Thank you so much for sharing. Rest, my friend.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Maggie, my dear friend...I'm not supposed to be commenting today...but I didn't want to trouble you with an email you felt you needed to answer...I'm so sorry that it has been so rough...I have been praying it would not be...but chemo is what it is, I guess...simply horrible...(I found myself walking into walls, head-on, etc.) But the sleep part...that is a very good thing...And you are so wise to simply follow your body's lead. You are extremely courageous and brave, and always so upbeat...I would be very surprised if any of your readers were put off by your authenticity!!! You are a beautiful, loving and fantastic person!! And we WANT to know how you are!!!! We love you so much!!! Sending hugs...wish I could do so much more!!! Janine XOXO

P.S. So happy, though, that the tumor has shrunk...and so quickly!! Love you! ~J.

Expat mum said...

Maggie - don't feel the need to apologise when you're not feeling up to blogging. We can wait, but please know that we're all still thinking of you even when you're not posting as regularly. It all sounds pretty awful and I'm glad you've started feeling better.

Jinksy said...

One day at a time, Maggie - that's the way, I'm sure, as everything changes. I'm glad you decided to tell it like it is, for otherwise we'd never know just what a courageous lady you are! xxx

aims said...

Oh Maggie. My heart aches for you. To have to go through this - I'm so sorry.

However - let's get back to the positive okay? So here we go again - positive positive positive.

As you say the lump is getting smaller than the positive is working!

How I pray that the next treatment is not as bad as this.

With much love from a very cold Alberta.

Bernie said...

Oh my dear Maggie, what a dreadful time you had....I hated chemo but I didn't have those horrid visions, although as it built up in my system I did become very ill. I am happy you are feeling better now, please Maggie take care as best you can and know how much I care about you. You are forever in my heart and prayers....we all care about you Maggie and I think it is good you are able to share your feelings, and sleep is a blessing as it will help you to rebuild your immune system. Now that tumor shrinking is fantastic after only one treatment.....that was great news to me.......:-) Hugs

Working Mum said...

Your honesty is refreshing and appreciated. It is good that you are feeling more positive and that the treatment seems to be working. My godmother went through chemo and I remember how hard it was for her (I felt pretty useless just visiting and sending letters, but she said contact with others really helped, so keep blogging and we'll keep sending the love). As to whether the pain was worth it, she made a full recovery about ten years ago, so it is worth it - be brave and persevere and lean on others to help you.

I think that the first treatment is the worst because you don't know what will happen, but now you will be better prepared for the next treatment. I wish you well in your recovery and lots of (((((hugs))))) WM x

Chic Mama said...

As others have said, you should tell us how you are feeling.
Yes focus on the thought that the tumour is being zapped by those awful chemicals.
Are there any homeopathic remedies you can take to try and counteract the side effects?
Take care, build yourself up in between the bouts you can't eat to try and keep you strong.

Eddie Bluelights said...

Maggie, it was great to see you today and to see also you are much better. One day at a time and you have proved now you can get through the bad times which should help you if you have to face them again. God Bless ~ Eddie x

Suldog said...

Well, all I can say is that I'm glad you're feeling better now than you were. Quite disturbing, to be seeing snakes and such. But, you're made of strong stuff (I've been told that by a very good source) and you'll get through this with flying colors!

Hilary said...

I'm so impressed by your openness, honesty, strength and hope. You're quite a lady, Maggie. I'm so sorry you're having such a rough go of this nasty cure for a nasty disease. So glad you feel it's making a positive difference though. I'm rooting for you, my friend.

Mimi said...

Maggie, my love, all I can say is Wow! You are an incredible lady!
I've never read an account before of someone going through chemo, and i'm bowled over by what you've written, what you've had to endure (side effects I didn't ever hear of before) but most of all by your bravery and honesty.
Thank you.
It's brilliant that the tumour is responding to the treatment.
Take it easy, sleep, sleep and rest and recover.

MARY G said...

Your courage is like a beacon! Hang in there! Rooting for you.

Thumbelina said...

Good to see you Maggie. Hang in there. Lots of water and sleep, sleep and water. It is just a grit-teeth-and-get-on-with-it situation. No other way. But you WILL get through it.

It is horrible when the treatment makes you FEEL worse than before, but remember it will pass, and as you have noticed yourself, it seems the benefits are definitely there.

Still thinking of you, praying for you and rooting for you!
Lots of love and hugs.

Lakeland Jo said...

I didn't have the best time with chemo either- it's so counterintuitive putting a strong chemical into your body isn't it? Knowing it is making you sick (short term). I had to keep remembering that long term it would make me better...I found the book Creative Visualisation by Shakti Gawain really helpful. Hugs.

Rosaria Williams said...

Oh Maggie, sorry to hear about your pain with the treatment. Some of us only imagine what you are going through. Know that this too will pass; and you will be feeling better soon.

Hugs and love.

Gone Back South said...

My gosh what a horror. Well done for getting through it and for writing it all down - one day when you're better you'll be glad you kept this record of what it was really like.
My thoughts are with you, stay strong. xxx

Dimple said...

Blessing, wholeness, sanity, peace, rest, and good food which stays down to you, Maggie.

Brenda said...

I ate lots of baked potatoes when I was on chemo, they just tasted right.

I'm glad you blogged about your experience, I think people want to know.

Believe me, you WILL get through this!

Ayak said...

Maggie..like all your blogger friends, I too admire your honesty. It will be of enormous help to anyone who has to go through the same thing. You show such courage. My heart goes out to you and I wish daily for an end to your suffering and for a speedy recovery.
With much love xxx

Jeni said...

Just keep on doing what you've been doing and you'll come out on the other side of this crapola in good form! Several things said here -by you and by others too -do hold up so true. Each person who's had cancer and chemo, radiation too, experiences some things the same and some things differently. Some depends on the type of cancer and chemo, some depends on each individuals tolerance levels as well. A friend of mine who had colo-rectal cancer about 4 years prior to my diagnosis, told me how his system had responded to this or that treatment, etc., and some of the reactions he had, I did too -others I maybe had only slightly. It's all a game of variables, as I see it. And also, as I see it now from your perspective, just starting out on this blasted journey, you now have an idea of what to expect when you get the chemo, and how it is going to affect your system for a while thereafter too. Forewarned is forearmed, so you can be better prepared when you go for the next round of treatments. And your fortitude will bode you quite well then as I do believe you will dig in your heels and reach to the deepest depth inside you to be able to continue to move forward with each onslaught of the chemo. You're handling this like the real trooper we all know you are down deep inside. It's amazing how much strength a body can muster when it's forced into it but you did it now and you'll do it again. So glad to hear too that you can already notice a diminishment of the tumor too! That is awesome and I'm betting that alone is giving you just that extra ounce of fight you need to come out on top!
Give it Hell and what for, Maggie!

Maggie May said...

Many thanks for your encouragement, dear friends. It means a lot.
There is life in the old dog yet!
Slowly getting better. Tired, weary but alive and kicking!

Linda Bob Grifins Korbetis Hall said...

what free mind, what cute cat!

I love the peace, relaxations, and reflections you have shared.
sharing is caring,
caring is loving!

just in case.
Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Dear, sweet Maggie,

If only we could somehow take away this dread disease and the treatment effects which seem as horrid as the cancer itsself. Please don't be afraid you will lose us in the truth of what you are suffering.

If your friends in blogland were near we would take turns sitting with you, bringing any comfort we could dream of, and listen to the very worst of what you are going through. We would not shy away. So we listen from where we are. We offer any comfort we can and listening to your story is a comfort we can offer. I hear you. My heart aches for you. I pray for you as you come to mind and as I read. Sending you love and hope.

Irene said...

Hi Maggie, it's good of you to be so totally honest and tell us what's going on with you right now. It's not a pretty picture, but it's more realistic if we know the truth. We don't want to think that you just breeze through this treatment. It's good if we know what cancer patients go through. It could happen to any of us. It has happened to some of our dear ones. Stay strong and be good to yourself. I'm glad you are now able to eat and drink.


Lulda Casadaga said...

Dear Maggie: I haven't been by here in so long and was dismayed to hear about your illness.
Damn that cancer...I pray that the New Year will see you up and about and feeling like a million pounds or bucks, as we say! I'm sending you some prays and positive vibes.
Hang in there my friend!! :)

Akelamalu said...

It will be worth it I'm sure. Big hugs and oodles of Reiki to you. x

cheshire wife said...

Thank you for your blunt account of the side effects of chemo. I have often wondered what it is really like. Look after yourself and chin up!


Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Dear Maggie - I too think you are very courageous in dealing with your illness and treatment in this way. Thinking of you and sending love and a hug to wish you well. A x

Iota said...

This is hard to read, and you are brave to write.

I had mental disturbances of some kind at the first bout of chemo. Horrible nightmares, and I felt I was losing my grip on reality. Really scary. The doctor reduced my steroid dose second time round, and that seemed to help. Or perhaps it was just less scary knowing what to expect. The first round is such an unknown.

I am sure that a really positive and strong mental attitude is a powerful tool against cancer. You do such a good job on that front. I hope the blog continues to be an encouragement.