BEP Cycle 2 Day 21

Monday 15 July 2019

Today was the last day of cycle 2 and I was feeling pretty good! I squeezed a grapefruit and some oranges to make a juice and had that with some other fruit for breakfast.

I put out the rubbish and recycling which was due to be collected. We’d accumulated a fair amount of cartons and plastics, which are not collected by the council, so I decided it was time to drop them to the local recycling centre. I drove down there, then dropped into a couple of shops, got a few things from the supermarket and filled the car with petrol.

I was feeling considerably less tired than any day recently. For me, this was almost a repeat of the last day of cycle 1, on which I was feeling great and had a very active day.

I felt that I still had a good amount of energy when I got home, so I ran the lawnmower over the back lawn and around the vegetable garden, which was already nice and short since Stuart had come to help a couple of weeks earlier. After I’d finished that though, I was pretty worn out and needed a good rest. So it wasn’t quite a repeat of three weeks earlier, but I’d done pretty well. I spent the afternoon a bit more leisurely, still managing to fold a big pile of laundry and to pack some things for my next hospital stay the following day.

Pia’s mum had flown over from Finland and was coming to stay for the week to look after the girls while I was in hospital, freeing Pia up to come and spend some time with me in Bristol every day. She arrived on the train during the afternoon and Pia collected her from the station.

In the evening, Pia got a message from one of our neighbours that they had seen a sign on a lamp post asking if anyone had lost a chicken. Pia called the number from the sign and the description of the chicken that had been found matched Lucy. She had been caught in a garden about 500 metres away from our house, and the person who had caught her had left her with a neighbour who had a flock of chickens.

We went around to see them and sure enough, there was our Lucy! She had been put in a little coup on her own and they were going to let her out to associate with the other chickens (including a rooster that had been eyeing her up) after a few days if nobody had claimed her. We had a good chat to the couple who lived there. They knew a lot about keeping chickens and had several nice breeds in their flock. We were really glad that they had been able to look after Lucy for a day or two, and even more glad that we were now able to bring her home. She’d had quite the adventure, travelling half a kilometre across roads and through several gardens over two weeks. It’s a wonder she survived, but we’re very grateful that she did! We brought her home and put her into our chicken run. We thought we’d keep her in there for a few days so that she could re-familiarise herself. Then we’d need to be careful about when we let her out, should that cat come and chase her again.

So cycle 2 was complete. Here are some of the highlights:
– I’d experienced a lot more tiredness than in cycle 1 and needed to sleep or rest much more often
– I’d still had a lot of occasions on which I couldn’t stay on my feet for too long
– I’d had some mild headaches, but nothing too bad
– I’d had feelings of sickness that I’d not had in cycle 1, particularly on the couple of days after my inpatient stay, and the couple of days after Glastonbury
– Tinnitus had been more apparent than in cycle 1, but it wasn’t bothersome
– I’d had mild temperature spikes on days 9 and 16 of the cycle (day chemo days), but my temperature didn’t exceed 38C
– Like in cycle 1, I’d started to lose my voice a little on days 4-5
– The heavy feeling in my chest had gotten worse, but I was still able to breathe normally
– I’d developed a shallow dry cough which was more annoying than anything else
– I’d developed a nerve-like pain in the back of my right forearm and wrist
– I’d developed a blood clot along my PICC line, for which I was prescribed two injections per day of anti-coagulant medication
– The stinging in my urethra had remained and been quite bad on some days
– My head was looking even more bald than when I’d just cut all of my hair off – clearly more of the remaining short hairs had rubbed off or fallen out
– My facial hair had stopped growing and I wasn’t getting any stubble, but I did have a few thin whispy white hairs protruding from my chinny chin chin, which had required a shave
– I still had a good appetite
– I hadn’t had any proper nausea, but I was taking Metoclopramide whenever I had a feeling of sickness

Towards the end of cycle 1, my oncologist had suggested that I might find cycle 2 easier to manage. That had definitely not been the case, but on the whole I felt that I’d been coping pretty well. It would be interesting to see how cycle 3 would go.

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