BEP Cycle 2 Days 19-20

Saturday 13 – Sunday 14 July 2019

I woke up around 8:00 and went downstairs, feeling fairly good. I prepared breakfast for our guests and the rest of the family once everyone else started to emerge. After an hour or so on my feet, I was worn out and needed to go and lie down for a bit.

Later in the morning we all drove into town to have a wander around. We had a look at some shops and a small market that was on, then everyone was keen to eat. I was getting tired, so I walked home while the others went back to the car and headed to the café and ice cream parlour at the nearby Pyle Farm. I got home quite exhausted, but had enough energy to make something to eat before having a rest. The others got back after a couple of hours and our friends headed off to their next destination in Dorset. It was great to have had them visit.

Our eldest daughter had been invited to a sleepover on a farm which she used to visit frequently a year or two earlier. One of her friends came to collect her, leaving us with just one child for the night. We got her off to bed straight after dinner, which gave us the luxury of a free evening. We picked a film (after much deliberation) and stayed up to watch that, quite ready to sleep by the time it finished.

The next morning I was still quite tired, not really having been able to shake the fatigue off over the past few days, but at least I wasn’t feeling sick. The cough was still there and I was beginning to expect that to now be a permanent feature during the chemo.

Pia and I spent a little bit of time in the garden. We repotted a couple of plants and Pia put a few new seedlings in vegetable beds. I rearranged a few things in the greenhouse, trying to make the best use of the space for what we had in there.

Pia went out to collect our elder daughter (and her friends) from the sleepover. After lunch, the two of them went to Bath to do some shoe shopping and I stayed at home with our younger daughter. We played some board games and had a mess around with my little Roland TB-3 digital synthesiser. It’s a newer digitally modelled version of the classic TB-303 from the 1980s, which is famous for its unique squelchy bass lines popularised by the sounds of acid house and acid techno dance music. It’s quite good fun.

I went out and watered the garden before dinner. After dinner, and once the girls were in bed, Pia and I dealt with a few bits of admin before going to bed ourselves. I’d been feeling ok most of the weekend and managed pretty well, but the tiredness was pervasive. Although I was coping with getting things done and even spending time in the garden or walking around town, it was exhausting and I was still having to rest a lot. I suppose that’s not surprising though, being six weeks into my chemo schedule.

BEP Cycle 2 Days 10-12

Thursday 4 – Saturday 6 July 2019

I was really tired on Thursday and couldn’t stay on my feet for very long at a time. I ended up staying in bed most of the day, sleeping for some of it. I noticed that I was getting more regular tinnitus, but each burst only lasted 10-15 seconds.

I was feeling a bit better on Friday, in terms of tiredness and general ability to do things. However, I had a very achy back and joints during the morning. I put this down to possibly having been slouching too much during the previous day or two. I stayed on my feet for quite a long time as it was hurting my back to sit down. I alternated between standing and lying flat on my back with no pillow for most of the day, napping on a couple of occasions.

Towards the end of the day the aching in my back eased. I went outside for a little while in the evening and watered the garden.

I noticed episodes of tinnitus quite a lot, as per the previous day. The stinging when urinating had also become quite intense and I felt that I was getting a bit phlegmy.

My chest felt more phlegmy the next morning. It was a hot and sunny Saturday and our friend Stuart had offered to come and help us in the garden. Although I’d managed to mow part of the lawn on a good day a couple of weeks earlier, I’d not been in a fit enough state to take care of the rest of the garden and it was getting a bit out of control.

Stuart brought a trimmer round with him and he started by running it over the grass at the back of the garden to get it down to a reasonable length. I then started to mow over the areas that he had trimmed. In the heat and with my general level of wellness, I was quickly overwhelmed and needed to sit and rest. I got up and down and helped with bits and pieces, but Stuart did most of the work, for which I am very grateful. Each time I got up and did something for a couple of minutes, I started to feel faint just couldn’t stay on my feet. Stuart stayed for 2-3 hours and left with the end of the garden in a much more manageable state than it had been to begin with. It was really nice of him to come around.

After he left, I had to go and sleep for a while. It had all been quite exhausting.

A family we know but hadn’t seen for a couple of years were coming up from Dorset and staying locally for the weekend, so Pia and the girls popped out to meet them in the afternoon. They spent a bit of time in town then visited the nearby Pyle Farm which has an ice cream parlour. I had a shower after napping and everyone came back to ours for dinner in the evening. I was feeling a bit more refreshed by this point.

On the whole it had been an exhausting day, but I’d still been feeling generally better than I had during the previous few days. My arm was also bothering me less, which was a good sign.

BEP Cycle 1 Days 19-20

Saturday 22 – Sunday 23 June 2019

Maybe not surprisingly, after having had a long day and a late night on Friday, I was feeling very tired and a bit under the weather on Saturday morning. I opted to rest as much as I could and spent most of the day in bed, combining a bit of napping with catching up a little on the blog writing (still way behind though).

The girls’ school summer fair was on and I had hoped to go along but I just wasn’t feeling up to it. So Pia and the girls went on their own and had a nice time. Pia brought be back a couple of second hand records she found for a pound or two each: The Beatles Red Album and a compilation of 50’s and early 60’s rock’n’roll, containing a lot of good tracks.

In the afternoon, Pia’s sister, her partner and their little boy came down from London to stay for the night, which was great. I was still resting, so Pia took everyone else out for a couple of hours. I got up when they got back and we set about making dinner. After dinner we played some games before winding up for the night.

My youngest daughter, who almost inevitably ends up in our room at some point during the night, had been sniffly and sneezing before bed, so to spare me from getting any unintentional exposure, we put her to bed with Pia and I slept in her room instead. Since the trip to accident and emergency on day 7 of my cycle, I have been keeping quite vigilant about avoiding any possible exposure to infection.

I woke in the morning to hear a lot of clucking coming from our one remaining chicken. The ginger cat that had chased her out of the garden the week before does not want to leave her alone. I don’t think it intends to do her any harm, otherwise I’m sure it would have done so by now. I think it just wants to chase her. None-the-less she remains one terrified little chicken.

I was still feeling pretty lethargic. The roof of my mouth was starting to feel tender too and I was getting slightly irritated eyes and nose, all signs that hayfever was finally kicking in. I often start experiencing those symptoms a few weeks earlier, but June was only just starting to warm up having been rather mild for the first half of the month.

A children’s festival was being hosted along the banks of the river in town, so we wandered down there after lunch. There were all sorts of activities, most aimed at younger children. There were a couple of more daring fun things to try too, such as a zip line across the river, which our seven-year-old did a couple of times. We ended up at a playground at one end of the festival where there were a number of food stalls and everyone ordered pizzas and burgers and things to eat. I just had a green tea.

I was getting quite worn out and it was time for our guests to get moving, so we walked home. Pia drove her sister and family to the railway station to get their train, while I napped for a bit. It had been quite a tiring weekend, all in all.