Tuesday was the day to get things started… I had to start taking a week’s course of anti-everythings… biotic, fungal and viral. This is all prophylactic, i.e. to protect against any infections, rather than to treat them. Chemotherapy makes the blood count drop, so you’re more prone to infection.
On Tuesday evening, my friend nervously prepared the first GCSF injection as per instructions and bravely injected it into the fatty skin of my stomach. Fortunately, there’s still a good supply of it despite losing so much weight. As any diabetic will tell you, it’s actually a pain-free injection – just a tiny sting as the needle goes in, but otherwise, I felt nothing.
The injection process continued all week and apart from feeling tired and achey, the only other side effects were a gurgley stomach and very realistic and disturbing dreams, which woke me up most nights. One night it was so horrid and vivid that I woke up crying.
Towards the end of the week, I was experiencing a deep throbbing pain in my pelvis each night, a bit like being punched continually in my lower back. I’ve been reliably informed that this is a “good pain”, i.e. it shows that the bone marrow is working hard at producing stem cells. A couple of co-codamol every four hours got me through it.
In between all the injections and anti-everything pills, I felt quite tired with fatigue all week, so I took it easy and had early nights. But I still managed a couple of days out at the weekend: Earth & Fire and the Derbyshire County Show.
Earth & Fire is a ceramics fair that I love. It’s held at Rufford Abbey at the end of June each year. While there I caught up with a potter friend, Wendy Lawrence. Since we last saw each other, she’s split up with her partner and I’ve been diagnosed with cancer… Life, eh?!
In an unexpected gesture of friendship, she gave me one of her pieces. I was really touched. I’ve found a place for it in my bedroom, alongside the small vessel I bought from her previously. She also invited me to visit her in North Wales. Who knows, maybe once I’m feeling strong again, I may go and do some potting with her…? 🙂
At the County Show on Sunday, I took it easy as the ceramic fair had completely wiped me out the next day. After walking around looking at stalls, demonstrations and animals winning rosettes, I plopped myself down in a chair by the main ring under the sunny blue skies and knitted quietly while watching vintage tractors, heavy horses and horses with carriages doing a concours d’elegance. Later in one of the marquees, I could admire the baking skills of WI ladies, who had also won rosettes. All very genteel English!