It’s certainly brightened mine which, coupled with the fact that this is my ‘good’ week on the chemo cycle, has been a major boon.
Last week was not great: I felt horribly sick, had a dreadful cold and was at a really low ebb. So thank God, (again!), for the lovely Mr P. who tidied and cooked and generally tried to keep my spirits up.
I’m also not yet ‘wig confident’. I really don’t feel comfortable in it. I’m kind of OK with people I don’t know – even though I’m paranoid that it will slip or people will stare at it – but I get massively self-conscious seeing friends or colleagues in it for the first time.
Of course, people are lovely, and have been very complimentary in saying how much it looks like my real hair ... (Unless, of course, my real hair looked like a ‘syrup’?!) I suppose I’ll get used to it but, with the best will in the world, I’ll never be able to move my head completely naturally. And I won’t be going on a roller-coaster anytime soon ...
But, despite my paranoia, the wig and I have been out: to lunch on Friday, to the pub on Saturday, and into the office and to the park on Monday. It was really lovely to see everyone and to catch up.
We (i.e. the wig and I) also went to see a nutritionist. I’d booked an ‘intolerance test’ last year, pre-diagnosis, and thought it might be useful (a) to find out if there were ways to boost my system during treatment, and (b) not to waste the money!
It was really very interesting. It was a non-invasive technique, so no needles. (Score!) Instead they run an electric current through your body to see what is stressing or weakening your system at that time. I was a bit sceptical about this but when it showed up things that I knew I had an intolerance towards – (although, sadly, Keira Knightly was not listed) – I did have to give it some credence.
Unsurprisingly, my body is currently very depleted of certain vitamins and minerals so I have bought some heavy duty (and might I add, expensive) supplements. I’ve also bought some Epsom Salts to bathe in. These contain magnesium, which can be absorbed through the skin, and can help with the nerve damage and muscle weakness that I’ve been experiencing.
My left arm is particularly bad. Quite aside from the fact that the nurse botched the cannula into my hand on the last chemo visit, to the extent that I started to faint, the chemo drugs do cause inflammation along the length of the vein as well as nerve and muscle problems.
It’s not debilitating. I can still use my arm but it’s really got no strength. I get uncomfortable spasms in it too – which hurt – and it’s like my bicep has gone dead.
It was particularly bad on Sunday. Mr P. and I had a lovely day in the garden: him, mowing the lawn; me, watching him ... ;-) But then my hand, as well as my arm, really started to hurt.
Knowing my melodramatic nature, Mr P. discouraged me from ‘googling’ blood clots and thrombosis but did offer to take me to the hospital. Ah, God love Ealing Hospital. It really is a shit hole. And even on a Sunday evening they charge the full £4 minimum rate for the car park (Thank you Ealing Primary Care Trust!)
Anyway, the long and short of it is, after a two-hour wait (despite being marked as ‘urgent’) it’s just one of those things that I need to accept and get on with. *Humph* So I’ll take the supplements, take it easy, and make sure I don’t get that evil witch of a nurse when I go back to Charing Cross Hospital next week.
Mr P. and I also plan to take advantage of the services offered at ‘The Maggie’s Centre’. It’s a lovely facility that offers free therapies and advice to cancer patients at the hospital, as well as to their carers. It’s all very laudable. And while I’m not really into the fluffy stuff, or wanting to explore my ‘feelings’ through creative drawing, I think it’s great for those people who are.
That said, we’re also not going to look a gift horse in the mouth - and two aromatherapy massages have been duly booked.