Weary, weary, weary… The first phase of chemotherapy may have been particularly intensive from a toxicity point of view – and the delayed recovery to my blood counts was reflected in that – but it didn’t come anywhere near this phase in terms of tiring me out. In terms of toxicity, this round has generally been less invasive, but neither Mariacristina nor I were expecting it to leave me so weary.
As a result, whenever I’ve tried writing a blog post, I’ve only managed to struggle through a couple of sentences before finding my eyes closing and the words swimming on the page. Unfortunately I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so rather than doing the sensible thing of at least scribbling something down to keep people updated, I generally felt it better not to subject readers to poorly constructed sentences and forced anecdotes…
But this blog is about keeping people in touch with what’s happening, so even if I don’t have the energy to come up with a relatively amusing story or delicate prose to offer these days, here I am.
Remarkably, I’ve nearly reached the end of this phase, as the final treatment is due on Monday, which will be Day 29. Between the distractions of Christmas and New Year, and the fact that the phase only lasts four weeks in total, I’ve suddenly found myself almost at the end, without quite knowing how I got here.
The treatment on Mondays – involving antibodies as well as chemo – has tended to knock me sideways; the fact it takes all day and involves a trip up to the Royal Free has probably contributed to making me feel so tired. I’ve generally been going up on Wednesdays and Fridays, too, for an enzyme called erwinase, but that doesn’t take so long and hasn’t hit me so hard, so I’ve tended to feel better as the week goes on. Today I had a lumbar puncture, too, to get some chemo into my CNS (central nervous system) – my back’s a bit sore now but the procedure was fine.
On Monday I’ll have the final treatment, as well as a bone marrow biopsy, which will allow us to assess whether I’m going to need more treatment to get into remission or not; we’ll take things from there once the results come back.
Meanwhile we’re so grateful to those who have helped – or even just offered to help – with lifts to and from the Royal Free; the journeys have added to the tiring nature of the treatment, but being able to undergo this phase as an outpatient has been a wonderful bonus. It’s also been great to have a few people over to ours, although I’m sorry to say my sparkling conversation has usually been curtailed somewhat by my tiredness… I’m sure by now it goes without saying that Mariacristina has been a rock at the centre of it all.
I’m hoping the end of this phase will enable me to recover a bit of energy, but am not sure yet what is set to follow; either way, I’ll try to do a better job of keeping you updated!