BEP Cycle 3 Day 11

Friday 26 July 2019

I woke up in the morning feeling quite good. I was much improved compared to the previous few days, which was both surprising and elating. It was a total contrast from the day before. I didn’t feel anywhere near completely normal, but the improvement was a huge boost and mentally I felt over the moon!

I still took it fairly easy for the day, but spent more time outside and pottering around in the garden. It had cooled down quite a bit so being outside was much easier. The previous few days had been in the 30s, but Friday peaked at about 23 C which was nice and comfortable.

Pia baked a loaf full of buckwheat, seeds and butternut squash. We had some for lunch and it was delicious. It was a recipe that we used to make a few years earlier, but it had been a long time since we had last done it.

We spent quite a while after lunch sitting outside and talking. We decided that the next day we would go and get a couple of new hens to join Lucy, as she was starting to look quite lonely on her own. The question was, what sort of hens? And where would we find them? I contacted one breeder by email, but they didn’t currently have any breeds that we thought would be suitable for us. We then discovered another breeder near Glastonbury who had a good variety of hens available, so we decided that we would visit there the next day.

Later in the afternoon, we drove to Homebase to see what kinds of large plant pots they had, as I wanted to repot one of my feijoa plants that was getting too big for its existing pot. We didn’t see anything that took our fancy, but we did buy another pot in which I could put an olive plant that I had received for my birthday.

My olive plant in its new pot

When we got home, we spent a couple of hours out in the garden. I clipped back a number of brambles and roses that needed tidying up, and I pulled out some ivy and dried up stems from one messy looking corner of the garden. I think I wore myself out a bit with this as I was quite exhausted afterwards and could no longer stay on my feet for more than a few minutes at a stretch.

Pia cooked some home grown potatoes and courgette for dinner. She had dug up a row of potatoes the day before and had been pleasantly surprised to find 3-4 kilograms of nice looking specimens, including some big ones. We’d had a home grown courgette almost every evening during the last week, they were coming thick and fast.

All in all, I’d had a great day and was feeling so much better than I had at any point during the previous week. I was very grateful for that. It was truly amazing what difference there could be from one day to the next.

BEP Cycle 1 Day 21

Monday 24 June 2019

The last day of cycle 1, and it turned out to be a very good active day for me!

I woke up feeling pretty good. I had a nine o’clock appointment, so I walked the girls to school and then went off to my that. When I got home, I was still feeling pretty good so I cleaned up the kitchen, put on some washing and changed the bedding in our seven-year-old’s room in preparation for a guest arriving. Then I dealt with a chair that needed adjusting.

I was still feeling quite good and felt that I had a fair bit of energy, so I drove the car to the local recycling centre to drop off some plastics and cartons (which are not collected by the council at present). Then I visited Homebase for some DIY bits and pieces and got in some grocery shopping at Sainsbury’s.

When I got home, I was still on a roll, so I put a new blade on our lawnmower (the old one was no longer sharp and quite bent out of shape), and I mowed the back lawn (not including the back end of the garden where we have our vegetable beds and where the chicken lives).

I had such a good active day that I even managed to mow the lawn, something I couldn’t possibly have coped with during the previous week or two

Our friend Lee, who lives near Brighton, arrived shortly after. She had come to stay and look after the girls for the next few days while I would be in hospital and Pia would be spending more time with me. It was so great to see her and wonderful that she was able to come and help out.

Pia and I had booked a parent teacher interview at school, so we went along to that. I was amazed that I’d been managing so well all day, especially after having been so tired the previous couple of days. When we got home, I put our youngest daughter to bed and then went out to water the garden. I’d gotten through so much and done so well, but I was now ready for bed myself. This had been by far the best day I’d had since starting chemo.

Cycle 1 was complete. Here are a few highlights:
– I’d experienced a lot of fatigue
– I’d had moments of feeling unstable on my feet
– I’d sometimes felt delirious
– I’d had some mild headaches, but nothing that I felt required medication
– I’d had fevers on days 7 and 9 of the cycle, requiring one hospitalisation
– I’d lost my voice somewhat on days 4-5
– I’d managed to pull off a DJ set on day 6, despite feeling quite out of it
– I’d experienced a little mild tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, but never for more than 10-15 seconds at a time
– I’d had a heavy feeling in my chest after receiving Bleomycin in my day chemo sessions, but this didn’t impact on breathing
– I’d started getting stinging in my urethra about a week after having finished my inpatient stay and this has persisted since
– I started experiencing hair loss on day 14, which escalated until day 18, at which point I cut it all off
– I’d maintained a good appetite, but was craving more starchy carbs than usual
– I didn’t notice any changes in my ability to taste foods
– I hadn’t had any specific pain or nausea, but I did take Metoclopramide if I ever had a sick feeling around my stomach

I think I’d managed the cycle rather well considering all of the potential side effects that I’d not experienced. My oncologist had told me on Friday that I might even find cycle 2 easier to manage. Well, we shall see!