I haven’t posted here for a while, so here’s a catch up…
Although I was still affected by my treatment, it was a happy Christmas with all the family, including Mum visiting from Sydney and Helen back from London. Very exciting! Then on day 8 after chemo, I went camping at Woodford. Yes truly! (I am still pinching myself and wondering if it really happened.) I decorated my scars with vines and a gecko (temporary tattoos) and set off to the festival wearing a crop-top, and with my folding 3-legged stool slung on my shoulder. The little seat is a wonderful aid for someone who needs to rest after walking 100m or so. I accepted a lift in the disability buggy for times when I wanted to go all the way to the amphitheatre, but I surprised myself with my energy levels and mobility. The 6-day festival was great, and it really distracted me from chemo recovery. Humarimba workshops went well in the kids’ area, I learned some billum-weaving and how to make undies from scraps of stretch fabric, and I loved seeing dozens of old friends – oh yes and there was beautiful music too! On the last day my right leg ballooned with lymphoedema and some nasty mouth ulcers popped up, therefore recovery from Woodford was significant, but well worth it!
My second last chemo went well with another long day of desensitising dilutions, then I climbed 300 steep steps at the Kangaroo Point cliffs. I do this for exercise and to make me feel terrific. I also find I can climb the staircase in our house. 15 stairs x 7 gives me 105 steps (so 21 “laps” = 300). The goal is to keep my heart pumping the blood around my body.
The months all feel like half-months because I’m so drowsy. Mornings I sleep in late, I sleep most of the afternoon, then early to bed. No wonder it feels like I never get much done. I’ve had lympoedema again too, but improving quickly after wearing compression stockings and putting my feet up.
Yesterday my chemotherapy was postponed for one week due to low blood count. I have too few white blood cells for immunity, so it would be dangerous to proceed. Naturally I have been looking forward to getting my last treatment over and done, so it was a disappointment. However, there’s nothing I can do except enjoy my bonus week of feeling well.
What an irony that I hung around the hospital yesterday regardless, first to keep my music therapy appointment, then lunch with a friend followed by a nap. I highly recommend the Mater Cancer Care Centre for their extra services and very caring staff!
I’m composing a song and feeling very shy about it, but receiving strong encouragement from Kylie, the music therapist. In my first session she mentioned the song-writing option and to my surprise an idea popped into my head quite quickly. She said perhaps just compose a jingle – it doesn’t have to be a long piece. Another suggestion was to write my own words to a familiar tune. However, I dreamed up an original jingle, then it developed into the chorus for a whole song with new verses added each week. It has been a very positive diversion from the grueling treatment and I am really happy to have had this experience. Yesterday we did some recording, using the opportunity to sing without accompaniment by the IV drip which beeps and goes tick-tick-tick. Hopefully I can share my song with you soon.