General status update:
Despair Demon: He abseiled in through the window earlier, and has opened up a Giant Black Hole of Despair in the middle of the sitting room floor, into which I am in severe danger of disappearing, never to be seen again.
Hair: the only part of me that seems normal at the moment. Still, miraculously, mostly attached.
Nausea demon: He started the day with an opportunistic bout of early morning retching, as I tried to swallow my anti-emetic drugs, but I managed to keep them down, just. I need to eat, but all food tastes disgusting – even water tastes disgusting. Everything is unspeakably foul. My stomach feels sick, sore and kind of scorched, all at the same time. I am living in the middle of Satan’s digestive system. Maybe I AM Satan’s digestive system. Please make this stop. Why am I being tortured like this?
Chemo Muse: she didn’t stand a chance today. There are the Dog Days of the chemo cycle and I just want to die. Who cares about blogging?
Chemo Brian: With the help of Lorazepam and Chemo Brian have somehow got through the day on the sofa. I feel so bad I can’t even read. I watched moronic property programmes on the television because the noise and images diverted my mind from my stomach.
Fatigue/weakness: has hit me earlier this cycle – I am in quite poor shape all round. So much for your body getting used to being poisoned.
Sleep, lack of: I took a Lorazepam last night, which helped me make it through the night, and am counting down the hours until I can take another one and become unconscious again.
Anxiety level (1-10): Have stopped caring about anything pretty much, except wanting not to feel like this.
State of mind: Not sure if I can do this any more. Each cycle it gets worse, and right now, at the worst point in the cycle, the thought of doing it twice more is just unbearable.
You know what? Your body doesn’t get used to being poisoned – at least, mine hasn’t. This is day 5 of FEC4, the worst day of the cycle, and it is every bit as bad as the previous three day 5s.
I FEEL TERRIBLE.
And the idea of there only being two more doses of chemo to go doesn’t comfort me at all. Each time there is more and more dread, and it is getting harder and harder to force myself to go down to the chemo ward to be poisoned, in the knowledge that a few days later I will feel like this; endlessly nauseous, endlessly toxic, completely overwhelmed by extreme physical discomfort.
Whoever thought inflicting this on defenceless, ill human beings was a good idea? Whoever thought it was worth inflicting chemical weapons on people so that they would suffer horribly, for a very small chance that it might help stop their cancer coming back?
Why do doctors push chemo on people when it has such a small success rate? OK, this is not the time to write about this, because at the moment I am hardly rational. However, it would be different if it had a success rate of 30 or, 40 %, even of 25%. But for a 7-8% chance of being helped AT ALL, I am enduring 18 weeks of torture from the effects of the chemotherapy drugs, not to mention all the problems I have experienced at the hospital with the administration of the chemotherapy, and with getting help afterwards with the problems from the side effects.
It has been 78 days so far of pain, nausea, toxicity, extreme fatigue, weakness, infection and being at the mercy of people who sometimes aren’t very interested in helping you. The whole thing has been a complete nightmare. Before I started the chemo, I was in fairly good mental and physical shape – now I’m pretty much a basket case.
On the whole, today, I wish I’d listened to my instincts and legged it to Goa while I still had the chance.