I made the decision during round 2 of this chemo to wait until I was well before writing a blog update about it. The reason being is that I was likely to be in a better frame of mind, and I didn’t want to come across as being too tragic about the side effects. Of course, as I got well, I started to get busy with other things and round 3 descended upon me, followed by round 4.
So as I ascend out of the cloud of chemotherapy from my fourth round I figured an update was due.
Round 2 and 3 were equally as tough as round 1, with the noticeable absence of hiccuping, which was a relief. There is no doubt that this regime takes a tougher toll on my body than previous regimes. The nausea lasts longer and the fatigue equally so. The well time, as intimated in my previous post about my decision to stop working, has dramatically decreased between rounds. Hannah and I therefore make the most of this time and we have filled it well. Almost to the point of being even more tired during my well time because we have being doing too much.
This most recent round however is fraught with irony. I have actually recovered quite well from it with very little effort on my part, consisting of less nausea, and less fatigue. The irony is, for the first time in 78 rounds total of chemotherapy, I have had an ulcerative mucositis that has plagued me over the last few days. Each round previously has always involved a mild mucositis, and I don’t know whether it’s the new combination of drugs cumulating their toxicity, or whether an unknown factor has led to this, but I have been in an extraordinary amount of pain. Oral mucositis is where the mucosal lining of your mouth gets inflamed, the ulcerative part is where the inflammation reaches a point where that epithelial layer of cells die off exposing the submucosa and potentially tissue layers beneath that. We have all had mouth ulcers in the past I am sure, and on this occasion, I have had multiple LARGE ulcers all through out my mouth. Eating is like chewing razor blades and then bathing it hydrochloric acid. The result has been resorting to puree type meals and the use of Xylocaine viscous, a topical anaesthetic agent to numb it all. So far I am about 3 days into this episode, and I am hoping that they will be on the improve soon. I have a wedding on Saturday, shortly followed by Christmas, and it would be a pity for my palate to endure tasty food and pain at the same time.
In other semi-related news, Hannah is now 35 weeks pregnant today, which means any time from now is pretty much fair game, although January will be nice, and not when I’m on chemotherapy. Things have been progressing well, and the nursery is all set, it just needs a baby to make it complete.
Until next time…
I have been really bad at posting photos on my blog over the past year. This is in part due having less time to take photos, and in part not sharing the photos I have taken.
In order to break this drought, here a few shots from some recent time away at Waiheke Island.
As it happened, they seem to follow a heavy flora theme, which is often the consequence when shooting macro.