So it's Plan D time. I can't believe It's my two year Cancerversary and I'm still writing about undergoing treatment. This Monday I was in Barts 7A looking at the same faces, same lay-z-boy chairs and (some) of the same chemotherapy drugs that I've had many times before. The radiotherapy was only a partial success, so more treatment is necessary in this ever long game of cancer whack-a-mole.
After the world falling through my arse after my first session of three drugs (Irinotecan, Paclitaxil, Oxaliplatin) Yesterday was the second of six weekly sessions to try and bring down my AFP tumour markers before having lung surgery to take the hopefully last three nodules of activity out. The chemo is boring but familiar. I'm really worried about the lung surgery though as I've lost a sizeable chunk of my left lung in my major surgery of February 2015. So getting more chunks cut out could lead me feeling like a wheezy old man not able to run to the bus. Also as a professional Tour de Commute cycle athlete I'm also going to be left for dead by people called Gerald on their Brompton's and I'm not sure I can deal with the shame..
There are other depressingly familiar things that come with getting back on the treatment hamster wheel. My hair is starting to fall out again. I don't think I'm particularly vain but I do *like* having my own hair. I picked up a new bright blue and yellow bobble hat at the NEC cycle show the other week in preparation. It's bloody cold without your own insulation! Other things that come screaming back are how your taste buds and cravings change. For me chemo is a magnifier. So bitter things become too bitter (so long my beloved craft ales!) Sweet things become too sweet (no chocolate) and life becomes just a tad duller all round. It also suppresses your appetite. This becomes a problem as I'm trying to keep as much weight on as possible, so keeping eating enough is a battle. It's a though I'm in the world's worst Weight Watchers group. Instead of cheery fellow friends trying to lose a few pounds, I'm glumly looking at my pasta bowl trying to force another mouthful down.
Psychologically it's really tough as well. Trying to motivate yourself to go through what is months of grimness (and it is grim, there's no getting around that) is really really hard. It's like being trapped inside an MC Esher drawing where you are pushing a boulder up some stairs *forever*.
So here we are. My third autumn in a row where my life is dominated by hospital appointments, drug schedules and scans. But I know I'm incredibly lucky (and I think at this stage it is luck, not design or fight) that I'm still here, telling you my story. Whatever happens next it's been a hell of a journey these last two years. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. At this point we're in to the point of testing the limits of my medical team's ingenuity and expertise. We'll see what happens next.
Currently I'm... Listening to Michael Kiwanuka 'Love and Hate'... Watching Peaky Blinders S3... reading Greg Jenner's ' A million years in a day'
This blog is dedicated to Amber Jane Fox 1985 - 2016. We'll go for that pint sometime still...