Typical Pro Chemo Week

I have done nothing but sleep as per usual following my very last chemo session but what I love about it, I dont give a shit.

Usually when I am bed ridden, suffering constipation, followed by hemorrhoids, tears, tantrums etc I am an absolute sook and can not be consoled. But this time, I am A OK. This is it. No more chemo. Fingers crossed, no more backed up poops due to the endone and other medication.

What was the reason I popped in here for…..?

Um, shit, let me think.

Oh, thats right. I just read a lady complaining that she couldn’t afford to purchase her husbands birthday gift due to medical bills and all other life time bills that never end.

With cancer, there needs to be a ‘on pause’ card, or something similar.

My partner and I have total and full health insurance and pay a grand amount for this and even still, we are very strapped for cash through this cancer bizzo.

All in Australia dollars, I pay approx $150.00 per month for health insurance. This is the top health insurance you can purchase and when I did my tax this year, I found I had spent over $5,700 out of pocket for what my health insurance and Medicare did not cover.

Why on earth do people pay for health insurance?

Well, I’ll tell you why. I overheard my amazing oncologist on the phone last Thursday when I was being blasted with more chemo and he stated on the phone to his receptionist that he simply could not take on another five ‘public’ patients. This is why my diagnosis, surgery and chemo has been so quick.

Yes, I complain about my health insurance fees (as well as my home, car, contents and what not) but at the end of the day, it has saved my life and time. I can’t even imagine how I would feel having to wait for surgery, results, more surgery, more therapy etc.

A bit of a good news story is I had sent Dr Hands to the local bottle shop (remember, we live in a country town) to buy two bottles of red wine for my amazing GP who home visits me for no cost to give me my after chemo injection every three weeks, and Dr Hands came home with an amazing bottle of bubbles. It was a bottle of Mumm which is quite pricey. I asked him why he had purchased this bottle along with the red wine for the doctor and it turns out that the owner of the local had donated amazing bottle of bubbles to me knowing that my last chemo session had just been had. My local bottle shop had donated a $50.00 bottle of bubbles to me out of the kindness of their hearts knowing what I had been through.

My point of the generosity of my local bottle shop is not the price of the bubbles but the fact that they remembered, they’ve been through this journey with me and they cared. Would this happen in the city? I hope it does happen in the city and all over because seriously, going through the shit of cancer, chemo and so forth, it is lovely to have someone recognize the crap you’ve been through and have rewarded you at the end.

This week, it’s been tough, but knowing it is my last ever post chemo dealings seriously makes my life a lot easier. My hair is growing so long and amazing except for the middle section which is as shiny as a diamond, so I look like an 80’s rock band producer. Sam and I have agreed to shave it all off again in a couple of weeks because a woman with beautiful platinum blonde (No Not Grey) with a receding hair line just doesn’t look lovely.

Anyone who is interested in my life of hemorrhoids, yep, they’re still the bane of my life and I cry and shiver and shake and am like someone being tortured every time I go to the toilet so I will be not sad to leave this part of the cancer/chemo journey behind.

My gorgeous father in law popped in during the week and dropped off a couple of bottles of bubbles, a punnet of strawberries and a pink ribbon ring which totally brightened my day. He is amazing.

My amazing mother still brings me flowers every weeks she comes over on the weekend. I was getting worried for a while because my house was starting to look like a funeral parlour but is now looking just lovely with pretty flowers. My mother in law to be bought over some gorgeous flowers from her garden that also came with a bottle of bubbles which was also a lovely gesture because she was heading off interstate and wouldn’t be around to celebrate my final chemo session.ย  There seems to be a pattern going on with the bubbles. And I love it ๐Ÿ™‚

I haven’t updated my ‘books’ section of this blog for a while but just know, I have finished every single Game of Thrones book and OMG, what a book hangover I had from that. This is seriously an amazing series of books. I couldn’t put them down. I love the fact that any person of any age can read these books and love them. I say this because I got my mum into them, Dr Hands has watched every episode, and I know a lot of other people who have either read or watched the series.

I will update my book section soon though because I have read so many books through this cancer/chemo journey.

So as you can see, there is nothing new to report today. But I guess I just wanted to get some words out, let you know I am doing ok, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, can’t wait to get back to work, can’t wait to start attending events, birthdays, weddings and what ever else comes along.

One last thing, my neighbour comes home today from England!!! It has been torture seeing her car in her driveway knowing I can’t just pop over and have a total and complete breakdown about some trivial thing. Once she is over her jetlag, has been to work, I am over my post chemo effects, Clare and I will be catching up over many many bubbles. ๐Ÿ™‚

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This celiing fan is my saviour each night and day. Poor Sam has to freeze each night to ensure I am at a comfortable temperature.

My gorgeous Sturt Desert Pea (South Australian Flower) in my front garden, flowering yet again this year….. How pretty xx

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Separate Beds Tonight

Dr Hands is sick. Like, really sick. Some gastric thing of sorts and no, he hasn’t gone to the doctors.

What he has done though is build a camp for himself ‘up the other end of the house’. Thank goodness we built a big house with two living rooms and four bedrooms because he will not come near me in fear of infecting me which could potentially create a visit to the hospital for me.

So tonight, I’ll have the bed to myself and I do not like that idea but the thought of a hospital trip due to illness is a worse idea so separate beds it is.

He did go above and beyond tonight though and cooked me dinner. He wouldn’t let me eat anything he had pre prepared over the last day or two in case the food was contaminated. I could smell something cooking so off I went to investigate and found Dr Hands in the kitchen with surgical gloves on and a surgical mask. I do not know where he comes up with these ideas (or surgeons mask mind you) but there he was, cooking my dinner and ensuring there was no contamination from him. He refused to let me take a photo but it was a pretty funny sight. And dinner was lovely, steak and veg.

One thing that has really been bugging me lately though is I totally need a creative side. My friend Gilda went above and beyond in the world of ‘squares’ and has knitted me a mountain of squares and a few large rectangles so I’m thinking, these might be better used to create a cuddle cushion. You know, like kids have teddy bears and adults have a cuddle cushion. All adults have a cuddle cushion right?

Anyway, that is my idea and I am thinking I will go forth and create it. Check it out. Gilda has always called me Bailes and has this on my rectangle ๐Ÿ™‚

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Today was slightly better with me being able to stay awake for about four hours straight. I do wonder though, come bed time, what will Brady do with Papa sleeping in the spare room and me in the main room? This will confuse and upset him. He is quite the OCD dog and likes his routine. I think he’ll choose me though.

Aaaaaachoooooo! Give me Soup!

Yep, that is me sneezing my guts out. Unfortunately, it isn’t the flu. I can’t take any cold and flu tablets to get rid of this. T

This ‘illness’ is a side effect from chemo. I think. I sneeze like crazy, constant runny nose and a bit of a cough. But, I don’t care too much because, it is saving my life. Not everyone agrees with chemotherapy or radiation therapy, both of which I have chosen to continue with but it is my choice and I am going to embrace this lifesaving technology. And deal with the feelings (side effects) that come with it.

Today, I had a day out. I put on my pretty little hat that Gilda had delivered to me, I popped on some make up and off I went. Sam had sent me a text saying he would take me out when he got home from work but I declined. I woke feeling pretty good today and I was ready to face the world. And, I really wanted to buy a bean bag.

My bed is my most favourite place in the whole wide world. What I am frightened off with all these chemo feelings is that I might fall out of love with my bed. Saturday I slept until about 5ish. Monday, I was up at about 6pm. So you see, I am having some really bad days where I spend hours upon hours in bed.

I know this would be a dream for some people and in all honesty, this is the most favourite feeling given to me from chemo. Sleeping through the headaches, nausea, dizziness and what not is great. But, I dont want to get to a stage where I dislike my bed. That would be terrible because I honestly have an intense love for my bed.

So, this beanbag I bought I figured might/will be a great alternative. My sofa is about 13 years old and isn’t so comfy anymore and Sam’s sofa is, well, woody. I say woody because if you ‘throw’ yourself down on to it you get a big bar of wood in your back. Enter, beanbag. I will hide it from my gorgeous dogs because I would love just one thing NOT to smell like a dog.

Anyway, I have one week today until next spa therapy session (chemo) and I am thinking that I should be feeling amazing but it isn’t so yet. Maybe tomorrow I’ll feel amazing but I doubt that too. I say this because I seem to have a good day followed by a not so good day. I have my positive feelings saying that tomorrow is going to be amazing and I will be up and about to do some chores that I have on my list of things to do.

Thanks to my cousins and family, there isn’t a great deal of housework to do. There are always things to do though hey? Not important things but just things.

I want to walk Brady (my big white groodle) because not only will he (and I) love our walks but his nails are getting long and boy they are loud on our floor boards. I want to assemble a simple Ikea side table, fill a bean bag etc.

What I am happy about though is that I made pumpkin soup today. Sam doesn’t like my soup which is great because it means there is so much more for me. There is a bit of healthy intake that included butternut pumpkin, onion, garlic, sweet potato, chicken stock and a bit of cream. One must have some dairy right?ย  I am pleased with this ‘healthy dish’ because yesterday, I had nothing to eat but pancakes for dinner. Appetite is real hit and miss these days. I feel it is best to eat what you feel like when you feel like it because that craving/appetite goes just as quickly as it arrives.

My big question today is for those who have had/have cancer and have had/having their lymph nodes removed. Have you thought of or had a medic alert bracelet made in case of emergency? You know how we can’t have any blood taken, IV’s inserted etc… What happens in a car accident or a head injury where you can’t tell the doctors or nurses not to use that arm?

Random Photo of Brady again because seeing a photo of me with my red nose, bald head, dry skin, is just not as cute as my Groodle Brady …..

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Five More Minutes……

I am terrible at being woken up. Always have been and always will be. If there is a chance to get another five minutes sleep, I’ll find it, beg for it and take it.

Imagine how poor Sam is going having to wake me constantly to drink, take tablets, eat etc. I just want five more minutes sleep please! But Amanda, you have been asleep for six hours, just get up for five minutes, have some water and tablets and then you can go back to sleep.

This is a daily conversation for Sam and I and I am only at day four post chemo. Yeah I know, I wrote Post Chemo Day 3 on my last post, lets just say that along with waking up, thinking isn’t a strong suit of mine right now.

Anyway, Sam and I knew that with him returning to work today, there would be the high possibility of me being in the same position in bed when he returned from work as when he left. This cancer fighting superhero stuff really does take it out of you so we came up with a great plan. Get me up before Sam goes to work to ensure I have eaten my breakfast, taken my tablets, had my water etc. Thats all well and good in theory but Sam wakes at 4am! Thankfully he didn’t wake me until 5am and I think I was so confused by everything, there was no argument for five minutes more. I was too stunned and just seemed to get up and out of bed obediently.

Of course I was back in bed as soon as my breakfast had been shoved down my throat. It really is hard to find an appetite at 5am but I know that if I don’t obey, I wont eat until Sam returns from work at about 2:30pm. Apparently that is not good for my fighting superhero powers so I shall continue to obey as much as I can.

Sam rang from work at about 10ish to instruct me to drink water and take tablets he had left next to the bed, told me he loved me and made me smile. Instead of rolling back over for more sleep, I got up and here I still am, an hour later, up and about.

Have had a little chat with my mate Summer across the road who I found putting a little handmade gift into my letterbox for me, have answered a few emails, unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher and had very in depth conversations with Brady and Kelly (My dogs).

So, what now? I don’t know to be honest. I don’t need to eat for a while. Have had my fill of water. The house is opened wide and bringing in beautiful fresh air, showing me blue skies through the windows…. how about I just enjoy the day.

This is the view from my backyard where I can sit and enjoy the world……

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Today I will stay awake a little longer, spend time in the sunshine with my dogs, maybe even try and finish that darn book by George Orwell 1984 and wait for my man to come home.

Side effects are as follows –

– nausea but only very mild and controlled by medication

– tingling scalp which isn’t really a side effect

– sneezing regularly. I am assuming my nose hairs are ready to fall out causing me to sneeze – am ready for that nose hair fur ball!

– headaches but like the nausea, mild. Having said that, I am taking tremadol for the headaches because I just couldn’t get rid of them with plain old panadol. The headaches are bearable with the tremadol but not without.

– tiredness of course, just five more minutes …..zzzzzzzzzz