One Saturday we went for a walk in the forest at Kincardine to see the autumn leaves. The next day my left eye was swollen. This is not unusual for me, it's happened before at this time of year and has been ascribed to an allergy to fungus. After a week of oral antihistamines and eye drops it wasn't getting any better (see previous post pic). Around the 10 day point I spoke to the Dr and was prescribed antibiotics, the next day my eye was beginning to weep and we thought it was best to speak to the cancer nurses. I sent them photos beforehand which they showed to the consultant. The consultant made the decision to pull me into hospital for IV antibiotics as they didn't want the infection moving back into my brain, understandable, which could have happened because I have "hee haw immune system".
After 3 extremely boring days in the hospital (although a slightly better week for food than the last time including teacakes!), I was freed with some tablets the size of bars of soap. I was also given an extra week off chemo and therefore was allowed off one of my treatment drugs for that week which means I can treat myself to a glass of wine or a gin!!!!!!!! Totally worth it x
Then they gave me another week off chemo because of the above and low white blood cell count. Fingers crossed it starts again soon otherwise I'll be getting chemo for xmas! I asked Santa for a new immune system :)
Chemo Round 4
Round 4 is done, which has been more of the same. I have recognised the pattern now: The first weekend is pretty unpleasant - this time it included sweats, which may or may not have been caused by a change in dose of painkillers alongside the chemo drugs. This side effect led to a change in my chemo dose during week two. The second weekend wasn't great fun either, as I suffered from neuralgia in my feet this made them hot and my legs sore. I also developed a swelling in my eye, this is something that happens occasionally at this time of year due to an allergy.
Besides that, I have lots of time at the moment, so my head is playing all sorts of games:
I know I am “ill” and should be letting my body and mind get better and be gentle with myself but my head is doing the thing where it tells me slightly unhelpful things. It’s telling me that I should be doing something with all this time, however I know that I can't work because I can't concentrate or move about like I did, which makes it difficult to teach yoga etc. I am reading but I don’t really take it in so there isn't a lot of point in learning a lot of information relating to yoga, massage or anything else. In the background my head is also assessing the impact of having a year off from my yoga classes, massage clients and everything else.
I also feel a bit frustrated at the loss of some of my independence, I can’t drive at the moment so I can't go places, not that there is anywhere to go at the moment. Gordon takes me to the hospital and other places. I go for the odd walk by myself and spend a lot of time by myself, which makes me a bit tetchy.
One thing I am doing is meditating most mornings to help deal with these unhelpful thoughts. I also feel a little more capable now, so I have been playing with doing more yoga... but this has led to a couple of sore days.
I do plan to use this time to do some knitting for xmas, which is also a meditative passtime, and hopefully I can quieten my mind and learn to be a little bit less rough on myself.
Sarah Barron, founder of SMYL