I keep collapsing

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26/03/2008 at 12:09
I agree with Walktallkate, i hope you are both well and keeping strong x
26/03/2008 at 18:05

Thanks again for all your kind thoughts.

My initial views on the new low steroid regime were extremely positive until the nausea started to gain a hold in addition to feeling frozen to the core. Two heat pads, duvet, socks and triple pyjamas made no difference. This was not pleasant  and ended with a lengthy kneeling in front of the white throne.

The nausea stopped: my core heated up and within a very short space of time I was 95% as right as rain.

A telephone call elicited the information that my dinner companion had shared a similar fate. This implies that simple food poisoning was the problem and that it was unfair to blame my life-saving chemo.

So I'm now feeling extremely pleased that the low steroid regime may be OK after all.

I have my single chemo dose tomorrow (blood test permitting) and then I'll be exactly two thirds of the way through my initial planned treatment. I use the words initial planned treatment, because I haven't asked the oncologist what happens after my six cycles.

It's very strange (I guess it's called acceptance), but I have very little curiousity about what the doctors have planned for me. This actually makes life very easy, because I'm not in a state of perpetual worry about what they're going to say or do next. I hope that my lack of curiousity continues.

Thanks again folks,

Douglas

26/03/2008 at 20:08
glad that you're feeling better, Douglas. I guess it's normal to blame the chemo until proven otherwise!
04/04/2008 at 10:00

I had a routine meeting with my oncologist yesterday. As I'm two thirds of the way through my initial, and hopefully only, course of treatment, he started talking about the next phase.

Shortly after the end of the treatment I'll have a scan. These scans are only accurate down to tens of millions of cells so they can't guarantee that the treatment has got every last cell. I guess it's all down to statistics.

He advised me that the scan may still show a tumour, but hopefully all the cells in it are either dead or dying.

I can't remember if I've mentioned it before, but one of the reasons why I had such an early diagnosis was the fact that I lost my voice. This was something to do with the cancer (either a tumour or lymph node adenopathy; I haven't asked which) pressing on the nerve that leads to my vocal cords. My voice is slowly improving though I wouldn't get a job as a sergeant major.

It was a very strange period when I couldn't talk. I play bridge once or twice a week and I resorted to writing my pithy comments on the state of play on little cards, which I held up when approriate, or, as often as not, when inappropriate.

My oncologist also advised that there are plans B and C in the event of plan A not working. I didn't ask what they were as, at this stage, I don't need to know.

I am full of admiration for all the medical team helping me. The previous patient before me had just been told that their case was terminal. That must be very difficult for all concerned.

Now the weather is getting better and I'm feeling better, I'm planning to go on my first run in Richmond Park on Sunday. It won't be very fast, but it'll be good to sniff the air.

I'm also doing more weights in the gym and it's good to feel that post exercise burn the next day.

Keep well everyone,

Douglas

Edited: 04/04/2008 at 10:02
04/04/2008 at 10:14

Good to hear from you Douglas.

I had a prolonged bout of laryngitis at the end of last year and really got fed up with not being able to talk (my family and friends loved it though!). I do sympathise with your loss of voice and am glad to hear that things are improving.

PLease continue to let us know how you are getting on.

04/04/2008 at 13:25

Douglas, Good to hear things are progressing,

 I've been following your posts since the turn of the year and was starting to get concerned that we'd not heard from you for a few days,your philosophical approach to what must be an extremely challanging situation is inspirational.

Keep well and don't overdo it on Sunday !

 All the best,

Alistair

04/04/2008 at 13:52

Oh Douglas! Had first chemo on Monday. Unfortunately my 3 different types of anti-nausea drugs didn't work. Starting to go out and about again. Its a hugh effort but it does make me feel better - especially as such a lovely sunny day. Got to have white blood cell boosting injections for 5 days. Shame I have a needle phobia. At least one down and get two weeks respite before round 2.

Have a good run on Sunday.

LIVERBIRD    pirate
04/04/2008 at 14:40

Douglas - delighted to hear that you feel well enough to go for a run on Sunday -that is brilliant news!

My OH dreams about me not being able to talk....

Lorra- keep posting! Everyone wishes you well on here.xx

04/04/2008 at 15:44

Lorra,

I'm sorry that you're having grief with nausea. I guess that both the chemo and the anti-nausea pills affect everyone differently.

Good luck with the white blood cell boosting jab. Although I had grief, it doesn't affect everyone as badly. My initial anti-bone pain tablets didn't work so I moved onto stuff called Tramadol, which was quite effective. Tramadol did make me sleepy and constipated. I took an entire bottle of Lactulose to no avail!

I'm not entirely happy with needles either. I look away from whatever bit of me that they're jabbing and concentrate really, really hard on being totally relaxed.

Good luck with it all.

Douglas

04/04/2008 at 16:33

Douglas and all the other cancer sufferers on this thread,

I have just read most of your story and I must admit it brought back a few memories of chemo (I had a Seminoma in 04/05 but I was unaware until I collapsed with the latest of a number of blood clots on the lungs).

Good on you for keeping as active and as fit as possible.

I found that the anti sickness steroids caused dramatic weight gain (6 stone in 4 months and a further 4 stone over the next 8 months) - and don't the cancer hospitals serve the most calorie laden food you have ever seen in your life ! ! !

I now go swimming every lunchtime and manage a stuttering 3 mile run along the clifftop and back on the sand every night; the weight is falling off and i'm beginning to feel (and look) like me again.

I wish you all the very best for the rest of your treatment and trust that Plan A works as your oncologist expects, but at least it's good to know there's a Plan B and Plan C.

05/04/2008 at 18:23

Bomo,

Glad to hear that you got through your treatment............I presume that, if you were treated in 2005, you're about three years into the magic "five years and you're clear".

Like you I got the munchies after the steroids, but now I'm on a reduced steroid dose that effect has gone away. I've put on about half a stone since starting chemo, but as I was a serious racing snake in 2007, many people are saying that I look a lot better now that I've got a little padding.

Brilliant news that you're in into a weight loss zone. Once you've established a steady regime, it's only a matter of time before you hit your target weight.

I lost 30lbs in 2006. I was perpetually very slightly hungry, but the minor hunger pangs were easily outweighed by the positive story that my scales were telling. I became quite obsessive about doing a daily mental calories in versus calories out calculation..........and it worked. I averaged a daily calory deficit of around 300 calories a day.

Your regime of daily swimming and running sounds perfect. A three mile run alone consumes 300 plus calories. Good luck in getting returning to mean, lean running machine mode.

All the best,

Douglas

PS If you decide that you want to swim the Channel, it may be best to retain a winter coat and not lose too much padding!

10/04/2008 at 14:11

Hi folks,

I was up bright and early this morning and I did a quick session of light weights at the gym (I stand on the flat side of a BOSU thingey, whilst doing high reps/light weight exercises) before heading off for hospital for my double chemo dose.

I was all set up with Sudoku and Killer Sodoku (mild only) plus lots of planned visits from friends.

White blood cell count was 0.7, which is a great fat FAIL. There's not a chance of chemo at that level. Ideally they like it above 1.5, but they will occasionally do it if you're more than 1.0. In view of the grief that I had from my last bone marrow jab, they're not giving me white cell booster jab.

So it's back next week.

However I feel very lucky. The chemo side-effects that I've heard about from my oncologist are tinnitus, peripheral neuritus, nausea, tiredness, reduced lung function and low white blood cell counts. I only seem to get the last three.

I'm actually quite pleased to get some proof that my chemo isn't a double-blind placebo; yes, these crazy thoughts do wander through my brain even though I know that it'd be a highly unethical course of action by the hospital. However, it does happen in the movies and we all know how accurate Hollywood is!

London Marathon this weekend so I'll be watching from the luxury of a very soft sofa.

All the best,

 Douglas

Edited: 10/04/2008 at 14:31
10/04/2008 at 16:06
Great that you are doing well and staying positive.
10/04/2008 at 16:59
Sorry that your white cell count has dropped again. Fingers crossed for next week. xx
11/04/2008 at 22:41
Good to hear from you again Douglas, nice that you aren't getting all the possible side affects of the treatment. Keep smiling, and plump up the cushions for the marathon coverage!
15/04/2008 at 17:38
Hi Doug, Im glad to hear your side effects from the chemo are not nearly as bad as they could be.   I hope you enjoyed watching the marathon from the comfort of your sofa xxx
16/04/2008 at 11:54

Hi DJ

I have just read your posts after feeling sorry for myself after catching my third cold of the year and now feel very humbled.

You are a total inspiration! I want to wish you all the best in your recovery.  If we all had just half of your PMA the world would be a much better place.

17/04/2008 at 08:00

Hey-ho, and off to chemo I go.

 Today's the double dose day that I should have had last Thursday. So fingers crossed that I pass my blood test. If I fail, I'll ask for the horrid bone marrow jab; I'll question the doctor as to whether they'll agree to giving a half dose. In layman's terms half a dose equals half the pain, but the medical profession may have other ideas.

I also managed to get my on-line application in for London Marathon 2009 before they closed the website so I'm feeling rather pleased at my wisdom and foresight.

Hey Tilly P, I'm sorry about all your colds; maybe you've caught all the colds that I haven't got, in which case I thank you.

Thnks for your support folks.

Edited: 17/04/2008 at 08:01
17/04/2008 at 08:03
Let's hope your blood cells have been revising so that they pass the test! Good luck for today. xx
17/04/2008 at 11:12
Good luck DJ and anytime I can help with the colds (but only after South Downs thanks)
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