Hi folks. It is always a little odd how much I enjoy the day before a chemo treatment. It approaches so quickly… and suddenly there it is. That normal Wednesday every two weeks before the Thursday festivities. Unfortunately the weather continues to suck here. It is cold, rainy and windy and not showing signs of improvement. And here I thought having chemo in the spring would be so lovely — sun on my bald head, showing off my bare legs with the latest in shorts. And so forth.

Anyhow, tomorrow I start the big countdown. For the first four chemo treatments I counted up. But those are over now. And I do believe that NASA would agree a countdown is more appropriate for the final four.

Whenever I go for chemo I try to get inside my head and get psyched up to do battle. If you are taking a drug that has bad side effects, you have to focus on the positive: namely, that the positive outweighs the negative and that this drug is exactly what you need even if it isn’t exactly what you want. So when I settle into my white leather chair tomorrow morning at 0900 London time and 45 minutes later my blood work comes back showing a fabulously high white blood cell count indicating “all systems go,” I will do my battle cry.

It goes a little something like this: “Die, motherfuckers.”

Sometimes I wonder if there is even anything bad in there left to kill. But just in case, we’re going in. And they will never see it coming. I feel almost sorry for them (not).

The really great news is that people say my “new” chemo drug, Taxol, is easier for many to take than my previous drugs (AC). But there are still some pesky side effects to watch out for. I read a laundry list of them once but it started to piss me off so I filed that information sheet and now I am starting to forget. But I do remember that they include joint, muscle and bone pain, tingling in the hands and feet, alopecia (I know I am already bald but I do still have eyebrows and lashes to worry about), nail changes, including discolouration and loss of nails (that sounds pleasant and attractive) and well, lots of other icky stuff. The queasiness isn’t supposed to be as bad and I am very excited about that because I get testy when anything interferes with my meals. I love food and I love to eat. And the thing that bummed me out about the first four treatments more than any other symptom was the combination of queasiness, metal mouth and taste bud changes.

What were we talking about? Oh yeah, the new drug, Taxol. Sorry I am tired and my writing today is rather random. I’m gonna go with it.

My cousin was on Taxol a long time ago when it was experimental and she said the joint pain was so bad she had to walk with a cane for a while. But that doesn’t scare me, because if I need a cane I will get a really badass one with a stainless steel skull on the top and a retractable knife in the base and I will go around clubbing people who make inappropriate comments and picking up trash on my street with the knife in order to beautify the neighbourhood (what you thought I would really stab someone? Come on I am not that mean and the riots are over — for now). She also still sometimes has residual tingling from nerve damage. That does make me a bit nervous, pun intended. Tee hee.

So to ward off these ill effects, today I visited the special doctor. The one who does complementary therapy. I had acupuncture, which helped enormously with my fourth and final AC treatment, and also some homeopathy. Phosphorous. I like the idea of that. The idea of sparks, of flames and of powerful energy banishing unwanted sensations. I am girl on fire, like Katniss in The Hunger Games. As I lay with the acupuncture needles in me, I imagined myself floating above the table, aglow with sparks. Invincible. Ready to do battle.

Ready to kill it.

Now don’t get all serious and depressed on me. Tomorrow I have a funny one planned. Promise.

7 thoughts on “Countdown

  1. I have my calendar marked, numero cinco for you tomorrow. You’ve made it over the “hump”! You are the girl with the golden gun 😉 xoxo

  2. Em,

    You have certainly made gallons (or litres) of lemonade from your rotten lemons! Could not stop reading every word of your blog; love your spirit and perspective. Rooting for you and your family from this side of the Pond.

  3. I remember being VERY happy when I reached the midway mark on both chemo and radiation. it’s great to be closer to the end of all the bullshit than the beginning.

    Good for you! XXO!

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