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Days 1-4 after chemo

1 August 2015

The first few days after chemo where always going to be scary for me. I was no longer in control of my body. I had no idea how I would react to the chemotherapy. Would I get some or all of the side effects? How bad would they be? When would they kick in? How long would they last? Being out of control is something I do NOT enjoy!
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Days 5-7 after chemotherapy

4 August 2015

So I made it through the first 4 days after chemotherapy, and was starting to feel really quite rotten. What would the next few days have in store for me?
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Neutropaenic sepsis...?

7 August 2015

So today was Day 8, the start of week 2. And it didn't start well. I woke up silently screaming at 1am with the worst headache I have ever, ever had. I was crying with the pain. Paracetamol and ibuprofen didn't touch it.
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Turning the corner

8 August 2015

What a difference a day makes! After my trip to the oncology day unit yesterday, I woke up feeling like a different person. It literally felt like the fog had lifted. The headache had finally eased and I got a little more sleep.
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Hair today

13 August 2015

Most people know that chemo makes your hair fall out. I was told this at the initial appointment with my oncologist, and had decided not to use a cold cap (to try and keep my hair), as it might induce vascular headaches, seeing as I'm prone to migraines.
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The 'good' week

15 August 2015

Although I had been looking forward to week 3, I was really scared about having to go through another round of chemotherapy, as the first one was a real struggle for me. I wasn't sure whether I would feel as good as everyone said I would - but they were right.
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Cycling to cycle 2 of chemo

21 August 2015

I had been joking to a couple of friends that I would cycle to my second chemo session, as it was the next cycle of chemo. And suddenly, the day had arrived. The sense of trepidation and anxiety was awful - just the thought of having to go through all those side effects again and feel that awful was horrible.
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Cycle 2 - not quite as TAXing

22 August 2015

If you remember from my last blog, I jokingly asked Dermot in the car on the way home whether he would do the Park Run with me on Saturday, the day after chemo, and he said yes! I hadn’t done the Park Run (Bury St Edmunds, Nowton Park) for almost a year, and hadn’t run for a good couple of months.
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Mystery shopping

28 August 2015

So far, so good. Friday had come and gone without me ending up on the day unit having my bloods checked! I was so relieved. I was starting to feel a wee bit better, and was looking forward to Dermot coming home so I could have a sensible conversation with someone, instead of staring in to space like a zombie.
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Going to the Mensroom

10 September 2015

The weekend after my night in hospital was spent sleeping and resting and swallowing tablets - something I hate having to do. I was also getting constipated again which made me feel very miserable, so I was also taking 2 sachets of Movicol a day to try and get things moving.
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Cycle 3 - tired of being tired

11 September 2015

It was another lovely sunny day, that was going to be ruined by my final Docetaxel chemotherapy cycle. I was really dreading this. Although I couldn’t really remember just how bad I was in the bad week of cycle 2, I knew that I didn’t want to have to go there again.
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Run or Dye Tri-ing

18 September 2015

I’d made it through the last of the Docetaxel, which was a huge relief. Everyone was telling me that I was half-way through, which was a good thing. But I’ve always been a pessimist, and being half-way just meant that I had to go through it all again. But I tried to put those thoughts behind me, and enjoy the 2 good weeks coming up, as I had a couple of crazy things planned, and a birthday to celebrate :)
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Reality kicks in

After such an amazing week, with my birthday and completing the sprint triathlon, I shouldn’t have been surprised that I started to get very, very low. The reality of having cancer was slowly kicking in. Up until now, I had still been in denial - I didn’t really have cancer, I wasn’t really going to have surgery, and chemotherapy was just something I was going through.
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FEC chemo and a cold don't mix

14 October 2015

I really, really didn’t want to turn up to chemo today. After scaring myself by reading blogs and forums at the weekend, I was nervous. It was a new round of chemo drugs called FEC, and I was back to not being in control. For those of you who know me, you’ll know I don’t cope well when I’m not in control.
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What is a breast?

2 November 2015

What is a breast? Now don’t look at me as if I’m mad. It’s a valid question, and one that I thought I knew the answer to. I’ve spent three of my final 6 years training as a surgeon focusing purely on breast surgery, learning how to treat breast disease, from harmless to serious, and how to operate, reshape and reconstruct a breast and a nipple.
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5 down, only 1 to go

12 November 2015

So here we are, the penultimate chemo session, and I really didn’t want to go. I know I say that every time, but it’s true. I’d thought about cycling in, but it was cold and windy and I was tired - tired of life at the moment.
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Transition time

24 November 2015

Suddenly it was time to go to my last chemo session. In the end, I decided to dress for comfort. It was a blustery day and I was feeling the cold, so jeans and a hoodie to keep my head warm, allow access to the port, with a zip for quick cooling for the hot flushes was the order of the day. It was Friday 13th, and I wondered whether that was bad for the cancer, or bad for me.
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How to cope with chemo

I had no idea what chemotherapy would be like, and didn't know what I needed to help me through. Simple things like what to wear to chemo, and how much paracetamol to buy. Some absolute angels sent me their survival tips, and I'm now sharing mine with you. It's a long post, but I hope it helps.
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