So, the second cycle of my chemotherapy is drawing to a close. I’ve two more days of my “resting week” left, before I start cycle #3 with another IV infusion in hospital. I can’t say that I’m looking forward to it, but by the end of this next cycle I’ll be over a third of the way through the treatment, rather than just a quarter. And in some ways, the only thing that keeps me going with this is focusing on the end of it.
Overall this second cycle has been very similar to the first cycle. I’ve had much the same side-effects; some worse, some better than before. The nausea has been better. The peripheral neuropathy has been a lot worse. The tiredness was much the same.
The thing that has caused me the most problems however has been the management of my ileostomy. My output has been much higher during this cycle than the last one, and I’ve struggled to maintain a reasonable level of hydration, despite having gone back onto the full dose of codeine again. Of course, this has raised problems itself – I’ve struggled with the tiredness, forgetfulness, and lack of concentration that that causes.
It’s frustrating really – I would really like to get back to work, but it’s clear that at the moment that’s unlikely to be possible until such time as I can get the codeine reduced or removed. And that seems unlikely while I’m taking the chemotherapy medicines, though I will discuss it again with the oncologist when I see him on Monday. My best hope at the moment is that my management and I (possibly with the help of the Occupational Health department) may be able to find some useful background work that I can get involved with where there aren’t any specific deadlines, and I can pick up and put down the work as my abilities allow. Failing that, I guess my next best option is to work up some sort of self-education plan so I can at least use the time to build some useful skills ready for when I can return to work properly.