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The end of the adventure

While waiting for radiotherapy in September, I picked up a booklet by Macmillan about what happens after cancer treatment. It said that, instead of feeling relieved that treatment is finished, some people feel abandoned.

I didn't expect to feel abandoned but I realised that there were aspects of going for treatment that I would miss. I resolved to make the most of the positives while I could.

The end is nigh

On the way back to the waiting room area to change out of the hospital's green gown, I spotted a lady and her husband I met during chemotherapy.

I hadn't seen them for a couple of months; I sat down so that we could catch up.

After an hour, I was still there, nattering away with this couple, still in my green gown, just steps away from the changing booth.

One of the radiographers walked over to me; she had a long face.

I smiled, knowing what this was about asked, "are you here to ask why I am still here?"

Chapter 9: Radiotherapy

I've just finished my first week (5 of 18 sessions) of radiotherapy at Reading hospital. I have no ill-effects to speak of.

I'm due to have two more weeks of weekday sessions plus three days of boosters for my surgery scar.

August update

To be honest, I no longer remember what I thought about cancer before my own experience with it this year. Maybe people with no experience of it think that the only options are Never Had Cancer vs Will Eventually Die of Cancer.

I forgot that my mother doesn't have access to this journal. I wonder what it is that people imagine that I Am Going Through. Maybe they imagine me pacing the rooms in tears, worrying about dying.

Chemotherapy & gifts

As my birthday was two days before my last chemotherapy I asked the cake club ladies and my Facebook contacts to give me flowers to cheer me up after chemo and/or fruit and veg to use in my food dehydrator.

Here are some of the birthday presents I received. I love that Yvonne remembered I'd mentioned I'd never had a teddy bear growing up. My new teddy now sits on my pillow during the day.

Chapter 8: On radiotherapy

In three days, I will have my last FEC chemotherapy.

It's my birthday tomorrow and I've asked for flowers to cheer me up during the period following chemo of nausea and glum. (The other request is for fruit and tomatoes to dry in my new food dehydrator).

My stigmata

I have been finding the first week after each chemotherapy since my second session quite hard. The inevitable nausea and seemingly constant tiredness is very dispiriting.

I had my fourth FEC chemo (of six) a few days ago. The third had been a bit difficult because, although my veins are visible, they are giving the nurses trouble in getting the cannula in.

I'd not had a problem with needles before, but I've taken to squeezing Frank's hand when they try to get the needle in.

It's only a colour

I wore my new turquoise blue wig outdoors for the first time today (although, I had to cut some of the long fringe first as I couldn't see otherwise.)

The wig is a gorgeous colour. It's not one colour - it's streaked - and so it looks like dyed hair rather than a synthetic wig. I have to figure out how to make it spikey. It got flattened in transit.

The day before chemo #2

I am due to have my second (of six) chemotherapy sessions tomorrow morning.

It's a Bank Holiday today and so I was not able to go to my local hospital for my pre-session blood test to check that my white blood cell count has recovered enough.

Instead, we first have to go to Slough early tomorrow morning for the blood test and then on to Windsor to await the results.

The boringness of apathy

It's been a week since my first FEC chemotherapy.

Physically, I feel mostly fine - 90% fine, I'd say

I took the three days of anti-sickness drugs I'd been given. I seem to get two short bouts of mild nausea a day (like travel-sickness), constantly cold hands and feet, some sleep disturbance and occasional odd sensations in my throat and nose.

I should be very pleased that my side-effects are so manageable. But, in fact, I don't feel much at all.

Chapter 7: First chemotherapy

Once or twice a month, I meet with some of my neighbours from where I moved in January for tea, cake and chat. When we had to move house, one of the reasons I wanted to stay nearby was because of these very good friends I'd made.

I'd rescheduled today's get-together to yesterday so that I could host it. I made a variation on a lemon meringue pie that I'd been thinking about for months: chocolate and lime.