Start of final chemotherapy cycle

Despite the best laid plans of mice and men, I ended up in hospital for most of the day today. Unfortunately there were multiple consultants in the hospital running their private practices, and the nursing staff were stretched to the limit again. Despite getting my bloods done yesterday, and being cannularised almost immediately, it still took 90 minutes before my oxaliplatin turned up. Add in three hours infusion, and some messing around at the end, and it was another 6 hour session.

Still, it’s the last one, thank goodness. Just need to get through taking all the tablets over the next fortnight and I will be finished. Symptoms are the same as previously, but considerably more intense again.

Tiredness is very pronounced. I got home and had to go straight to bed. Will be interesting to see if this continues through the cycle, or if it’s just a short term effect from the infusion itself. At the moment I suspect the former.

The peripheral neuropathy is very bad. My fingers, hands, feet and throat are all playing up much more badly than before. My fingers are actively painful, and typing this is difficult. I have little sensation in my fingers, but feel sharp pains in each finger as I strike the keys on the laptop while typing. Walking is very uncomfortable. I hope this eases off, as it will be very difficult to cope with everyday tasks otherwise.

I’m also currently shivering. I can’t seem to get warm again. I know the temperature is actually comfortably pleasant at the moment (23-25c depending on which currentcost I trust!), but my body doesn’t seem to agree for some reason. I’m going to curl up under the blankets again after I finish typing this to try to get warm.

No idea about taste yet. I have absolutely no appetite at all at the moment.

Also no sign of any hiccoughs yet. I suspect that if I do experience them, they will be triggered by eating and drinking; I’ll let you know when I finally get to that point.

Despite getting nearly 3 bags of glucose to the 1 bag of oxaliplatin, my arm is very sore and tender. Wearing a sweater is very uncomfortable where the sleeve touches my arm. However, I need the sweater for the warmth, so no real choice there. Still, at least I remembered to take some medical adhesive remover (basically an alcohol-based spray) to the hospital, so I could loosen all the sticky tape that the nurses had secured the IV lines with. Last time when they pulled all the tapes off I was close to tears. This time I was able to loosen all the sticky tape first, reducing the pain substantially. Interesting that none of the nurses knew of the existence of these sprays. Score one for me.

The elephant in the room is going to be how this cycle affects my ileostomy. I was high output for most of the last cycle. I really hope that it doesn’t get any worse on this cycle, as I’ve very little room left for manoeuvre. Still, I figure I ought to be able to put up with pretty much anything for a fortnight. Just a matter of focusing on the end result, and getting on with life, one day at a time.

I’ll post some more in the next day or two as things start to (hopefully) settle down.

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