Friday, June 3, 2011

Claiming Chemo Brain!

Well, this morning I duly fronted up at the day hospital for my next infusion. The appointment was for 11am, so I went out to find my rough road on which to torture my bare feet. Found one not so far from home - by car. The people driving and walking their dogs to the beach along the street averted their eyes as I approached, so I just chirped 'good morning' and kept going. I don't think I mentioned that I have to pat my tummy below the navel - and my bottom, with alternate hands with each step I take. That might help you understand why the eyes were averted.

I've been pounding my chest, massaging my ears and rubbing my liver and spleen ever since.

While I was driving back home from this exhilirating morning exercise (at least the sun was shining), I received a call asking if I could come early for my treatment. As I had left the day completely free, except for food shopping which could wait 'til after the treatment, I agreed to go in early. I went home and had breakfast, took relevant tablets, showered and got myself there at 10.15am. Not bad, I thought.

I settled myself in on one of the new purple lazyboy chairs with swivel table for cuppas and odds and ends. The delightful nurse hooked me up and I got out my book to read.

The nurse asked me something about the Xeloda tablets I was taking and if I had taken them for 14 days after the last infusion. Disaster, dismay, tears (yes, I lost it momentarily). I told her that no-one had told me to take them for 14 days and then have 7 days free before the next infusion! Went she commented that I had been on this treatment before and thought I would remember, I reminded her that that was way back in 2007-8, and that I had been through an amazing amount of stuff since then and didn't actually recall that detail. I'm claiming chemo brain :)

She went away into a huddle with the NUM and came back to tell me not to take any Xeloda tablets for the next week. Instead of having my week free of it at the end of the 3 week cycle, I should have it at the beginning.

So, just a note to self - try to ask every question you can when going on to a new/old treamtent. Don't ASSume anything.

Note to nursing staff - don't ASSume that the patient knows ANYTHING. They'll tell you if they do.

May I say that I love all the staff at the day hopsital. They do a great job, create a stress-free atmosphere and I couldn't imagine being cared for by any better nurses.

So.... I have a few days free of any medical or social or family commitments and the Hopemobile is coming out of its carport. Kur-ring-gai National Park, Pittwater and Palm Beach - here we come for 3 days - Sunday to Tuesday. I'll take pics.

After my treatment today I did the food shopping, went out with friends for a cuppa at the golf club, called in to First Friday drinks with old rugby club mates, had a Vietnamese takeaway meal with a great friend in front of the heater at home while we finshed the cryptic crossword. Am in bed now and can't sleep. It happens every time - first 2 nights after the chemo infusion. I wish I could remember each time. I'm claiming chemo brain.

Right now it's 12.45am on Saturday 4 June 2011 and I'll probably fall asleep just as I want to get up to meet my walking group for a cuppa at 8am, after their walk. .... never in control :( but trying :)


Anonymous said...

Dear Terrie,
I am sending you all my best wishes and admiration for your fighting spirit - you really amaze me ! I'll have to make do with sending you biiig electronic hug over the globe, from such a very cold Iceland - summer is upon us with 5°C and rainy wind, ugghhhh.
Lots of very warm thougts to you,

tim said...

Hi Terrie,
You have a new reader, me.
Keep up the good fight and always remember you are an inspiration to others.
Cheers and best wishes.
Tim Mullins