Wanting To Give Up
Updated: Apr 20, 2022
Today marks almost a week since my 2nd cycle of Docetaxel , chemo 5/6! Don’t let the picture of my smiley face with pup deceive you but he looked cute! Safe to say I am well and truly over it. I have kept a diary of my side effects over the last week to give a little insight into what my day to day looks like but remember chemo affects everyone differently!
Chemo Day 0- 4 hours sleep due to steroids, had anti-sickness and paracetamol before. Slept for 3 hours once home from chemo and all night. Feel okay.
Day +1- Better nights sleep, nausea- continued regular anti-sickness. Woke up with flushed face from the steroids. Fatigue kicking in- everything is exhausting! Half hour walk with dogs at a push and little bit of housework. Legs started to ache. In bed by 7pm- slept 12 hours.
Day +2- flushed face again, bad acheing legs , regular pain killers / hot and cold packs. Bit of house work, very quick trip to the shop (did not drive and used trolley to support me) , bed by 9pm.
Day +3- awake few hours in night due to joint pain- continue pain killers. Very short walk with dogs , small bit of housework otherwise in bed. Started GCSF injections.
Day +4- good sleep, constant leg pains, small walks round the house to try ease pain, sore mouth and can’t really taste anything. Mostly in bed. Injection.
Day +5- slightly less fatigued, acheing legs, very sore nails. Managed quick food shop with Sam. Injection. Stayed on sofa most of the day.
Day +6- 2 fainting episodes in the morning after getting out of bed. Had to sit up very slowly and wean myself out of bed. Body aches all over now worsened by injections- now in hips , shoulders and neck. Sore Mouth. Managed 1 hour dog walk- slowly on the mend!
My worst side effect by far is bone pain and this is hugely concentrated in my calves. I can only describe it as on and off cramping of the muscles whilst the feeling of someone giving you a dead leg all day! I have to take paracetamol, ibuprofen and morphine and also alternate between cold and hot compresses to try and distract from the pain! A gentle walk can sometimes help distract the mind but on the days I’m stuck in bed 3-4 days after chemo it is unbearable!! This is prior to starting GCSF injections and even reduced to 5 days these make the pain so much worse!
These awful symptoms have led me to really consider if I can go through with my last cycle of chemo. Of course you question.. how much of a difference is one more cycle going to make? Surely if the cancers gone then it’s done it’s job by now? BUT at the same time is it worth the risk of it potentially coming back in a few years and the what if’s when I’ve already come so far?
The side effects are not all that comes with chemo, so many things intertwine with it. Everyday life becomes SO difficult. It waits until you’re just about coping to then having another cycle and knocking you straight back down. Like a slap in the face over and over again. Just getting out walking the dogs, doing some washing up or hoovering feels exhausting. It causes arguments and irritability and pure frustration. It causes mental turmoil , I feel sad, ugly, depressed and just want it all to stop. Is it really worth all of this misery? I truly believe unless you’ve been through chemo you cannot physically understand what it does to you and people just don’t get it.. like at all!
I discussed with my specialist nurse/ consultant today about not having my last chemo. Of course this was never going to be recommended and they want me to have it. However, they have said I can discontinue the GCSF injections for my last cycle. I’m still going to be in pain but potentially slightly less so I guess that’s an incentive to get through. Sh** but slightly less sh**!?
Ultimately, you must do what is right for you and not everyone is going to agree with it. I know having my last chemo is what I should do but I also need to consider my quality of life and health and a few meds adjustments are necessary for me to do it.
My mental health has not been good recently. Especially focused on my hair loss. I have been adjusting to a new wig and am attending Lucinda Ellery again tomorrow to have it tweaked abit more. They’re so hard to get perfect and I am such a perfectionist! The stress not having hair/ having fake hair has caused is crazy. I really hope tomorrow goes well and I feel a little more confident. I really really miss my old hair.
Positive: My old friend anxiety has recently been hanging around making day to day very tiring filled with unnecessary worry about insignificant things. This led me to look back on the work I’ve done. To recognise which worries are real and hypothetical and storing them away appropriately so you can be in the present where you should be ❤️ Seriously if it means taking a minute or an hour of a day at a time then do it. Life is overwhelming.