Monday 26 November 2012

more ups and downs - chemo 3, week 1

During chemo cycle 1, Steve came down with an unknown infection and ended up in hospital at the end of the first week.  Things looked up a bit on cycle 2, although the end of week 1 was marked by a getting things out of his system by throwing up his evening meal.  The first week of cycle 3 has been quite quiet by comparison...

Taking Emend anti-sickness tablets in addition to dexamethasone, ondanestron and metoclopramide has helped keep nausea at bay.  Five days of steroids has given him a boost, although it makes him edgy and the come down as the dose reduces is very noticeable.  Ironically, these days even the thought of metoclopramide makes him sick, so he was determined not to take any more once he reached the stage on the drug chart where it says to take only "as required".

However, the combined effect of coming off steroids and trying to limit the intake of other anti-sickness meds is not conducive to a good mood.  As Friday wore on, Steve became increasingly irritable, down-hearted and fed up with everyone and everything. Another of those occasions when I wished I had a magic wand to help him (and me) get through the hard times....

Saturday was a quiet, relaxing day to help him get his strength back - not that we would have gone out in the high winds and driving rain in any event.  Although he was still feeling  rather vulnerable, he got by without any metoclopramide, nibbling a ginger snap biscuit whenever he felt a bit wobbly.

Yesterday we were lured out by blue skies and bright sunshine. We took a leisurely walk into town, stopping on the way to look at the park at the end of our street.  

the entrance to the park from our street

car park under water - golfers beware!

Because of the recent heavy rains, it's now a lake complete with gulls and swans - far too deep for kids to paddle or dogs to walk. Let's hope it doesn't come up much higher, or there will be water at the bottom of our garden like there was when this part of Oxford flooded in 2007. 

play area under water

However the water had risen noticeably in less than four hours.....

11 am when we left home: 56.5

3 pm when we returned home: 56.6

While we were in town, we enjoyed two exhibitions at the Ashmolean Museum - one to celebrate the bi-centenary of Edward Lear, who was an amazing illustrator of natural history and landscape painter as well as writing and illustrating The Owl and the Pussycat and other nonsense verse.  After lunch we had another short walk, then back to the Ashmo to see Threads of Gold and Silk, an exhibition of ornamental textiles from Japan - stunningly beautiful, delicate work.  

I think we both feel much better for getting out of the house and enjoying some sunshine and fresh air.  Sometimes a change of scene helps put things in perspective.  Although Steve hasn't sailed through chemo like some lucky souls, at least he hasn't has an extreme reaction like other meso warriors, most recently Jan who is on the same regime as Steve, just a short way behind.  Take care, Jan - sending lots of love and positive vibes :-)  

He is also still very much here, almost three and a half years since diagnosis.  With more meso-related deaths reported in recent weeks, we truly appreciate how lucky we are compared with so many others.  

We are even beginning to look forward to Christmas, although we can't make any firm plans at the moment. It all depends on how Steve is feeling.  However, the Meso Warriors Secret Santa present is sorted and sits ready to be wrapped up and posted.  I don't think we've ever been this organised before.  First present in the bag and it's not yet December!  

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