Approaching my last round of chemo brought mixed emotions. I mostly felt relieved that I only had 5 days of chemo left. It didn’t seem like much at all in comparison to what I’ve been through but I was desperate for it to be over, to cross the finish line and say “I’ve finished my treatment”. In the previous cycle I completed the IVAC round with no problems and I was only sick once. This time was a little different. I was sick several times on the last day and this had caused my NG tube to pop out of my mouth whilst vomiting. I had agreed with the dietitian that I would leave the NG tube in a week or so after treatment until my appetite was back to normal, but I guess it had enough. There was talk of a new tube, but thankfully the doctor decided my weight wasn’t a concern and I didn’t need a replacement tube put up my nose. The only other side effect I had from IVAC was being itchy, especially during the night, which caused a rash to appear on my back and then onto my stomach. Once my platelets were at a normal level, the rash soon disappeared.
Since my last chemo, I have been going into hospital to get my blood checked. I was told yesterday that everything looked fine and that I would only need to go in once a week from now on. My PET scan will take place next month and my consultant doc has said that I don’t need the two further drips of Mabs that were originally scheduled for day 21 and 42. All good news! Right now, I am focusing on building up my strength and returning to a normal way of life. The best thing to do is to listen to your body and right now I’m still sleeping and resting a lot but at the same time, I have an urge to introduce some light exercising. My appetite is back to normal and I now weigh more than I have ever done throughout the whole of my treatment. Each day is a step closer to recovery.
Now that I have finished treatment there are A LOT of things that I am grateful for. I have read many stories from cancer fighters and survivors who have said how they took things for granted in the past and that cancer has taught them to appreciate everything. For me, I was someone who didn’t take life for granted. I loved to make the most of every day. I would wake up early on the weekends to hit the gym, lie in the sun and spend quality time with my husband and friends. I would look forward to doing something different every weekend. I loved to travel during school holidays with my husband and explore new places with him. I worked hard but I made making memories with Baz and friends a priority. Instead, cancer has taught me to appreciate the really little things in life. Here are a few things that I am really grateful for:
Being able to enjoy a meal and finish it without feeling nauseous.
Going to the toilet without having to leave a bedpan.
Walking more than 10 minutes without needing to sit down.
Getting ready for bed without spending 15 minutes to set up my feed through my NG tube.
Going to bed without being attached to wires.
Being able to eat what I want and not being on the neutropenic diet.
Being able to eat out in restaurants.
Being a healthy weight.
Going out in public without an NG tube which made me look super ill.
Not feeling sick. Not being sick.
I have a totally different outlook on life. I don’t stress or worry about things that don’t matter. I look forward to little things like a movie with Baz, good food with family, a walk out to somewhere nice, or spending time and chatting with friends. I don’t place all my happiness on the big holidays, fun at the weekend or materialistic purchases. I now realise that the little things every single day is what makes me happy. I am content with my life right now while looking forward to what the future brings….