My face
A bagful of blood helps the medicine go down

Well, they said it was going to be intensive, and they definitely weren’t joking. I’ve not managed to blog for a few days because the chemo really wiped out my energy levels. The good news is that I was given some blood last night and am receiving some more now, boosting my haemoglobin and therefore energy! Hurrah!

The third chemo drug (Ida-rubicin) was started as planned on Sunday. Coming through the tubes, it looks like Lucozade, but that’s where the similarities end. It’s been the Cytarabine that’s felt like the biggest burden, though; not only does it run over four hours, but it also makes me feel as though my body is really having to work hard when it’s coming in. No surprise really, given that the chemo is attacking my body! Having said that, it felt like less of a strain last night.

To add to the fun, I’m now on the full range of anti-emetics, anti-fungals, anti-everything else, as well as Pentamadine (breathed in once a week, I think) to protect my lungs. But oh no, that was never going to be enough for me, so I spiked a temperature (it’s been up pretty regularly over these few days), leading to serious antibiotics (the doctor said they call it Domestos), the taking of blood cultures and a few doses of good old Paracetamol.

So the past few days have been… heavy. I haven’t necessarily been feeling too bad, but I’ve just been so tired. I spent most of yesterday in bed – some might say that for me it must have been heaven, but to be honest it’s just frustrating. The next most annoying side effect has been that I’ve had more than my fair share of diarrhoea: it’s not very nice to start off with, of course, but it’s even more annoying when I have to drag my IV trolley all the way around the bed to the bathroom, then back again, only to then realise I need to go and do it all again shortly afterwards… At least I get some exercise, I suppose.

George wearing nebuliser
Enjoying the pre-Pentamadine nebuliser

The good news, of course is that today is Day 6, the final day of the protocol, so I’ll be getting my last G-CSF and chemo for this round. They will still of course be working their devastating magic inside me for a while, but it will be a relief not to be plugged into them for so long.

Thank you for all the cards and messages; it’s particularly wonderful to wake up to a pile of envelopes in the morning and exciting to work my way through them. Thank you, too, to all my lovely visitors over the weekend. Hopefully my energy levels will stay up long enough for more blogging; in the meantime I might try to teach Mariacristina and my siblings (Harriet arrived from Malaysia yesterday!) how to use WordPress so they can keep people updated even if I’m too tired.

6 thoughts on “This is Hardcore

  1. Hi George,
    So sorry to hear you are going through this. I looked after my Ma through chemo last year where she acquired the great skill of dangerous internet shopper…I hope you can find some fun in the moments between treatments.

  2. George, you describe your whole journey in such a fascinating way to the Common People and your whole blog is a Different Class! Keep up the spirit, be strong so we can Disco 2000 soon!
    Lots of love from Jana and Dave

  3. George,

    Wishing you every strength in kicking this permanently into touch. God bless and lots of love from us Allens.

    Will and Catherine

  4. George,
    Harriet told me about the return of your illness and having had very little contact with anyone who has had cancer I have read your blog with interest. I have no real knowledge of what the process is with chemo. The straight forward approach certainly makes it easier to understand. Again, I had no idea really about the Anthony Nolan Trust and will be registering as a result of your blog.
    As others have mentioned, if being positive helps, then you will have this dealt with in no time at all.

    We’ll be thinking of you and wishing you a strong recovery
    Graeme, Ali + Callum Finlay

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