Deep breaths…. tomorrow all going well at the oncologist appointment, I will get my first batch of capecitabine tablets. I have spent the last few days making the most of the good weather and good health and getting out and about when I can. We had YD home all weekend as it was her birthday, and I also thought that it would be good if she had a whole weekend with me if side-effects from the chemo curtail our time together other weekends.
I have to admit as the time comes closer to start the chemo I worry about whether I am going to be fit and healthy enough to keep doing all the activities I do now. University, spending time with YD etc. I guess all I can do is try to keep things as normal as I can.
I have reprioritised a few things. I decided I would resign as the local AFS (Student Exchange) chapter newsletter editor as I have been doing that since 2003 and as it is voluntary but requires working to deadlines I decided to minimise my stress a little more by giving that up. I figure the stress of working to uni assignment deadlines will be enough. The flowers at the top of the post are a thank you from the AFS committee.
What I have done to prepare is try to keep my fitness up by walking everyday, getting a manicure and pedicure to get my hands and feet in as good as possible shape for the bad side effects that will affect them. They call it hand-foot syndrome – numbness, tingling, pain, redness, or blistering of the palms of the hands and soles of the feet – sounds like fun doesn’t it. Ooops: edited to add due to this expected side effect I had to get my wedding rings cut off. They were too tight to come off easily, and I thought it was better to get them off before my hands were swollen and painful. They are rejoining them at the cut and I will wear them around my neck for the duration.
I spent time in several phone calls from the hospital making sure I had all my relevant information and appointments. This time around I have assigned a specific oncology nurse specialist in addition to my oncologist to ensure I get continuity of care and who I get in touch with directly if I have any concerns regarding my health and/or chemo side effects. I must admit its things like this that make me realise that this time is different than my first two rounds “this time- its serious” (not that it wasn’t before)
I’ve pulled out my “My Health” folder which I take to all my appointments when I’m in active treatment and rearranged it to be ready. I take it and slot in any blood test forms, other chemo information, and appointment forms I am given at each hospital visit . Its one of the things that helps me keeps organised.
It did depress me somewhat that it is pressed into service once more.
I need to get to the hospital early tomorrow to have an ECG to check my heart is still good. I have found out one of the possible, but not usual, side effects of this next chemo is angina and myocardial infarction (heart attack) – gee , could I possibly put in an order not to have one of those!