Update on cycle 7 (part iii)

I’m nearing the end of the drug-taking part of this cycle now, with my last set of chemotherapy tablets to be taken with breakfast on Tuesday morning. This cycle has been rather strange really, with some pretty good high-points, and some rather low low-points. I’m looking forward to the resting week, and hopefully some respite from the see-sawing from one extreme to the other.

My sense of taste is still really limited at the moment, so I only really taste very strong, pronounced tastes. Milder, subtle tastes are completely swamped by the metallic tinge of the drugs. One of the first things I have really tasted recently was a chilli that I had at my work’s social club on Saturday. Colleagues tell me it was especially hot that day (not normally my choice) whereas it tasted quite mild and pleasant to me.

Tiredness continues to keep coming and going as described in my last post. I find that I often need to grab an hour or two of sleep in the afternoon, and I’m struggling to do any exercise now. Last time I went out on my bike I had to give up after only a mile or two as I was completely exhausted. Overall it’s still not as bad as on one or two of the earlier cycles where I seemed to be losing whole days at a time, but it’s clear that the effects have been building up.

Hiccoughs are in remission again. I haven’t had any in several days, which is just fine!

The peripheral neuropathy continues to be the main side effect that causes me noticeable annoyance all the time. It’s not actively painful in my fingers any more, but I still have tingling in the fingers all the time, and my feet always feel somewhat painful. The blistering and peeling of the soles of my feet finally seems to be reducing though. If I could wish any one side effect away it would probably be the side effects on my feet simply because it’s difficult to mitigate them in any way.

The pain and swelling in my arm from the IV has now completely gone away, which is positive news.

I’ve been finding it easier to get warm over the last few days too. Not sure how much of this is down to the improved weather, and how much is down to the fact that I’ve adapted to just wearing a fleece a lot more of the time. I guess we’re getting to the end of the summer anyway, so maybe I’m just noticing the effect of that a little earlier than the majority of the population?

I’m still struggling with my ileostomy output being very high, but there’s nothing much that I appear to be able to do about it right now. I suspect when I stop taking the chemotherapy drugs things will drop back to a more manageable level again. It will be a huge relief to be able to get the ileostomy reversed in due course, and get off all the medication associated with keeping it in check. I get to see my surgeon on Thursday to discuss that very matter. Here’s hoping it’s a positive discussion!

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