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NOTW = Not of This World?

Last night, for the second time this year, I watched in open-mouthed amazement Paul McMullan talking about the News of the World (NOTW) phone-hacking scandal.

He was a journalist at the News of the World between 1994 and 2001.

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.

Ramblings of a Bad Fairy

Catching up on my RSS feeds yesterday evening, I noticed an unusual flurry of posts from the blog Ramblings of a Bad Fairy.

The Bad Fairy (BF) started her blog in March this year. She had been diagnosed in June 2009 with secondary breast cancer in her liver. That was when she first found out that she had breast cancer. There were also possible tumours on her lungs. She was 40.

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).

How to reduce sickness during chemotherapy

As I write this, I have had four out of six sessions of FEC chemotherapy. This advice is based on my own experience of trying to manage nausea.

Nothing I suggest is harmful or woo-woo. If you're struggling with nausea during chemotherapy, these might be worth trying.

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.

Found, one mojo

During 2008, I lost a total of 70 lbs. I decided that I would dye my hair in greens, like my Second Life avatar, Poot Dibou, once I reached my goal weight.

I stopped calorie-counting and put on weight. I am about 20 lbs from my target weight. But it occurred to me that, if I am to wear I wig, I can wear a green one, because I Am Worth It.

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.

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