Update on cycle 6 (part ii)

This cycle seems to have passed in a complete blur. Some of that is because it’s the school holidays, and the kids are all at home, so there’s a lot going on around me in the times that I’m actually awake, and part of it is the fact that I’ve not been awake very much!

The pain from the IV line into my arm faded quite quickly, and by the end of the first week was basically gone. So I’d class that as a positive result. I’ll need to make sure that when I go in for my next IV (Tuesday, assuming I pass the white blood cell count) that I repeat the exercise, and get two piggy-back bags of glucose, in addition to regular heat pads to keep my veins open.

The peripheral neuropathy has continued right through the entire cycle, though it has faded in intensity. However, for the first time it seems like it isn’t going to wear off before the start of my next cycle. I’m still experiencing some pain in my fingers, though that’s pretty minor, and the “slush puppie” experience when eating or drinking anything cold, though this too has diminished considerably over the last fortnight. However, I am experiencing a lot more discomfort in my feet than ever before, and that has if anything, actually got worse through this cycle, not better. Although I can walk reasonable distances, it becomes very uncomfortable, and I can’t keep up any pace. I’m also experiencing a lot of blistering and peeling of the skin on the soles of my feel, which is rather unpleasant.

My sense of taste returned towards the end of the second week of the cycle, which again is much longer than previously. Interestingly I notice that even so, there is still a very slight metallic taste to things. It seems as though this may be another side effect that is persisting (albeit at a very low level) across the cycles now. I’m compensating by eating more strongly flavoured foods đŸ™‚

The tiredness has been pretty all-consuming through the whole cycle. I could easily sleep pretty much all the time if I allowed myself to. However, that feels like a submission on my part, so I’m trying to limit how much I give in to it. I figure if I set myself a couple of goals a day and achieve them (even if they’re trivial) then at least I know that it’s still me in charge of my life, and not the drugs. I suspect that my tiredness during the next couple of cycles is going to be even more pronounced though, and that’s going to be really hard to overcome.

Still, I have quite a lot of things going on around me at the moment that all require attention, so with some careful scheduling I ought to be able to keep myself busy with tasks to achieve each day, while still allowing myself enough time to rest so that I don’t get too over-tired.

I must admit that I’m increasingly just counting the days (38!) to the end of the last cycle though. I can’t believe how quickly this illness and it’s treatment has eaten its way through the last 6 months, and I still have 6 more weeks of chemotherapy, a months recovery, an operation and then a further month or two of recovery from that to get through before I get my life back. It’s going to end up being nearly a year out of my life before I’m finally through with it. That reminds me how good IBM has been in helping me through this; for all their faults (and they do have their fair share of them) my employer has been superb over this; many lesser employers would have been far less helpful and caring.

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