Charlie T
Posted by

I'm done

Charlie T
Posted by
19 Feb 2016

It’s over. 12 session of chemo over the course of 6 months has finally come to an end. There were times when I never thought I’d get here but I have.

The last 6 months have not been without a few downs; little things like resigning from my bridesmaid duties at the wedding of two of my closest friends, missing out on celebrating the birthdays of my two best friends and not being able to take my dad to his favourite restaurant for his birthday – it’s our annual tradition, just the two of us. Then there was the week I spent in hospital at the beginning of December thanks to an infection I picked up. The experience wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be, if you discount the food! However it did mean my treatment got delayed by a week.

Hand on heart at the time these events were horrible to miss out on but looking at the bigger picture those birthdays will happen this year and they’ll be mean even more. Ok I might not get the wedding back but my friends have been so supportive I couldn’t ask for more.

The chemo itself wasn’t as bad I thought it was going to be. At times it was long; on a good day I could be done in about 3 hours, on a bad day it was more like 5 but what’s 5 hours when all you have to fill your time with is hospital trips. I’ve been incredible lucky that apart from a little bit of nausea on chemo day I’ve not been sick or had to take any anti –sickness tablets. I have of course suffered side effects; a slight sore mouth, heartburn and of course tiredness. I think along with the hair loss, the tiredness has been my worst side effect. Remember though whatever your side effects your medical team will able to help you manage them so don’t be afraid to speak up. They’ve heard it all before, you don’t need to feel embarrassed!

The following got me through the last 6 months. I’ve survived and you will too. 

Water – drink as much as you can. It helps flush all the toxins and drugs from your system and for me being hydrated helped massively with my tiredness.

Honey and lemon – another great pick me up. If I felt like I was getting a sniffle a couple of honey and lemon drinks seemed to keep it at bay. It’s also a great way to get your hit of vitamin C.

A walk in the fresh air – get out and about even if it’s just for a little 10 minute walk. Just getting the blood moving and a change of scenery always seemed to perk me up.

A hot shower – there is nothing like breathing in the hot steam from a lovely shower. Washing away any stresses and worries helped me take a deep breath and realise I could take on whatever was being thrown at me.

Rest – You are going through a lot, don’t be afraid to rest up when you need it. A quick cat nap on the sofa or a snooze in bed, whatever works for you.

Saying no – Now is the time to be selfish if you need to be. Don’t put added pressure on yourself by feeling you have to have people round to visit or you have to go out. Those closest to you will understand.

Travel sickness bands – I found these helped massively to take to edge of any nausea I was feeling. You can get them at a reasonable price at Boots or most chemists.

Lemonade – Again if I was feeling a bit queasy them a few sips of lemonade seemed to do the trick.

Finally laugh – Ok your situation is what you want and you’re probably feeling scared and emotional but if you can surround yourself with good friends and family and have a laugh at your hair or you side effects or the cancer itself you’ll be that little bit better. After all they say laughter is the best medicine!

Next is to start my road to recovery. I can’t wait to get back to work, exercise and seeing family and friends without the risk of picking up a bug or germs. There is life after chemo and I intend to prove it!

Comments

24.02.2016

Hi Charlie,

I have enjoyed reading your blogs, and think your list is really good. When I was having treatment for HL I also had ginger for nausea and pineapple (tinned or fresh) to freshen my mouth. I would also add trying to eat well (although I had a few cravings....Pain au chocolat with warm raspberries was a favourite breakfast)

It feels bad at the time when you have to miss out on key events. Luckily I made it to my daughter's wedding. It is the realisation that everybody else's life is going on while yours is on hold. Be patient when recovering. It suddenly hit me after all my treatment what I had gone through, and I had depression. I also got frustrated when I couldn't do things. As you are much younger than I was you will probably recover much quicker than I did, but listen to your body if you need to rest, and make the most of the good days. Suddenly you will realise that you are having fewer and fewer bad days.

You sound a lovely young lady, and I wish you many more years of good health. Best wishes xx

 

01.06.2016

So glad to hear this Charlie. Well done on completing your treatment and staying in such good spirits - and making time to share your tips with othera going through the same thing. Best wishes for your recovery and here's to more weddings for you to go to in the future! Helen (Bloodwise)