Two down and 4 to go

I had my second chemo yesterday and all’s well. It was less scary this time after the previous desensitisation success, but we went through the same slow dilutions again just in case. Maybe we’ll stick with this safer all-day process every time. It’s only one day out of my month, so I don’t mind.

I find I like the 4 week cycle, despite wanting the whole thing over and done, of course. In the past I was always on 3-weekly chemo. The reason is the different drug combo – caelyx requires 4 weeks.
Some advantages of 4 weekly over 3 weekly are

  • I get more time to feel (almost) normal between treatments
  • My bone marrow has time to replace the destroyed cells, and so far I’ve had none of my usual delays for low blood neutrophyls
  • My immunity recovers too, so my last fortnight I’m not at such risk of infection

I suppose the cumulative battering to my body may take its toll later, but so far it feels easier.
No hair loss with this mix, you’ll notice. That also depends on the cocktail.
I’ve had to slow down over the last month due to drowsiness and some fatigue. The pain killers increase my sleepiness so I’ve been pacing myself and learning to be patient with short days. Otherwise, I’ve had only a little nausea, nasty taste, sore mouth, upset tummy and moments of foggy brain.

I’m grateful for

  • my family! xxx
  • my kind and trusted medical team
  • when my back hurts, the pain in my hip goes away
  • I can climb steps!

I may not be as fast as my lycra-clad companions, but I’m so pleased with my achievement – up the 105 steps at Kangaroo Point 3 times yesterday after chemo, and 4 times today! All evidence shows that exercise helps cancer treatment and recovery, but pain can make it difficult to do much. It’s weird that I can’t walk but I can climb.

It’s funny about the pain. I think it’s all in the nerve transmission to the brain – there’s only one pathway so there’s room for just one signal at a time. Perhaps if someone stamped on my toe I’d get a rest from the other pains, ha ha! All the time I’m hoping for the chemo action to make a difference, although there are no guarantees. Caelyx is usually a bit slower to bring a response, they say, but come on Carbo!

I was really looking forward to my first Music Therapy yesterday. Thanks to Kylie I got to play the hang drum (pron “hung”).  It’s a 21st Century Swiss invention, a bit like a mellow steel drum and looks like a pair of woks. The instrument is tuned to a pentatonic scale so all my experimentation sounded somewhat Japanese to me. Wrong notes are impossible because of the gentle tone and the tuning, just the way wind-chimes can play in any order and always sound beautiful. What a treat! I applaud the Mater Foundation for buying this and other musical gear for the Mater Cancer Care Centre!
We also sang some songs together with Kylie’s guitar, some of hers and some of mine. She suggested more possibilities, and I think I’m going to really enjoy this creative expression for my inner coping.

22 thoughts on “Two down and 4 to go”

  1. I was wondering reason for apparent Chinese takeaway served still in wok …… Glad to hear you are managing treatment well. Think your stair climbing would beat me! Great too that music therapy is helping you to cope. xx

  2. I was wondering what you were doing playing that Wok! What an interesting instrument. I am glad the music therapy is able to it is able to help you with your recovery. Sending you lots of love and good vibes through round two of your chemo.

  3. Alison, what a giant of a woman you are! And what a metaphor, that you can climb more easily than you can walk.

    You are amazing. Much love from Helen xx

  4. Great to hear you are doing so well. Finished my radiation today. Just Tamoxafin to go. Keep strong. xxx

  5. Great to hear it is all going well Ali. I hope your hands and feet avoid the ‘caelxy peel’, so far so good though by the sounds 👍. Im amazed at your climbing the
    Kangaroo Point steps, it nearly killed me doing it just once! 😕
    I love that you are enjoying the music therapy too 🎵🎶its so soothing,
    Take care, love Carolyn xx🦋

  6. Your hair is looking gorgeous, I’m so glad you’re not losing it this time. I think looking good can make us feel better. The drum looks interesting. Great the one day a month treatment is a good way to go. Good luck with the rest of your treatments and getting rid of the tumours and the pain.

  7. Thinking of you and amazed at your infectious spirit. All the very best with your treatment and quality of life.

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