I’ve survived my first chemo cycle and I can honestly say that it has been a rollercoaster. No two days are the same and it is true when they say you have good and bad days. Towards the end of the cycle I had a 24-hour drip of methotrexate. For me this was the nasty one. A few days after having it I got mouth sores and ulcers which made it impossible for me to eat. This has caused me to lose weight and being the size that I am I really can’t afford to lose weight during treatment. The mouth sores have been the worst side effect for me. Not only do I have to live off milkshakes, but I would wake up with blood in my mouth during the night. I also cancelled visitors due to the fact that it hurt to speak! Methotrexate also caused me to have eczema on both hands. I’ve never had eczema before and it started to get really bad on my right hand. Luckily, the dermatologist prescribed a steroid cream and it does seem to be getting better. My counts are now going back up which means I’m finally healing and the nasty side effects are disappearing.
Emotionally, this week has been tough but everything I’ve been through has been do-able. It’s uncomfortable, annoying, frustrating but it’s do-able. Remember, I’m on an intense, high dosage chemo treatment as an in- patient. I don’t get to go home like some people. Physically, its draining and exhausting. Emotionally, I found that I just needed to cry a few times to get out the negative energy. One of the nurses hugged me when she could see I was in pain with my mouth and hands and I didn’t stop crying for half an hour. Then I got pain relief, had a nap and felt alright again.
So for now, I’m just focusing on healing before my second cycle. The doctor has said that I can go home before the next round of chemo and I can’t wait for a change of scenery. The next cycle is only 9 days long so I’m hoping it’s not as intense or has as many nasty side effects as the first one. I have to say that I totally made the right decision to have treatment in the UK. My mam has been amazing! She sleeps in my room when she can and she helps me wash myself when I’m wired up to machines and fatigue sets in. In this kind of situation, you need that one person to really help you. My mam will do anything for me…she is the best mam in the world!
I’ve found that taking one day at a time and setting small goals is what gets me through the whole thing. Walking around each day is a big achievement, and very frustrating considering how active I was before treatment. Having visitors helps to pass the time, but I’ve found that I only like people to come when I’m feeling alright. Everyone’s different, but when I’m sick and feeling crappy I prefer to be on my own or with one close person. For me, the day’s fly by. By the time I get up, stomach my breakfast, take my tablets and tidy up its half way through the day. A routine is always good to stick to and time seems to be going very quickly. More days down, fewer days to go!