Fighting the side effects


17th November :  It’s fair to say that this is not a brilliant time.  It’s not desperately bad but I just feel a bit like a sad old rag doll. 

Not helped by the fact that my hair is falling out big time and trying to disguise the massive bald patches at the front with a comb-over is becoming increasingly difficult. It doesn’t seem like hair anymore and there doesn’t seem much point in washing it. If I put a brush through it comes out in chunks. 

It hurts a bit too.  My scalp is definitely a bit on the sore side.  Around the house I have taken to wearing a scarf.  The wig feels a bit cumbersome – probably because I don’t feel so good. 

So miss not drinking tea and a glass of wine.  But the idea is really quite repugnant. The medication is keeping the nausea under reasonable control and I am able to keep going but am definitely not firing on all cylinders. 

I’ll spare the details but the anti-emetics are playing havoc with my digestion and I am taking some dreadful laxative powder as prescribed by the hospital.  This gives me a tummy ache. Oh woe is me! 

I am trying to seek out foods that appeal and soup seems to be a winner.   A friend recommended Miso Soup and this does seem to ease the nausea.  

I am up for anything that will help keep the nausea at bay and I splash out £8 on a pair of Sea Bands.  These are simply elasticated fabric bracelets with beads forming pressure points on the wrist.  They used to work fine for my kids for car sickness (and I am sure they didn’t cost anywhere near £8).  I am sure it had a psychological effect on them and am hoping the same will work for me.  I’m desperate. 

One thing I have come across and would like to spread the word about are some tapes I have downloaded from a website called the David Allen store.  David, who is a hypnotherapist, has put a whole series of hypnotic tapes together to ease both the physical and emotional effects of a cancer diagnosis.  I will talk about these in more detail in my next blog. 

I have downloaded five and all for free.  There is one about controlling nausea, another about trying to offset the unwanted side effects of chemo (like losing hair – bit late for me this one) and also one for needles and pain and coming to terms with breast cancer. 

At this point I can’t say how much difference these are making but they are so thoughtfully put together and very relaxing and reassuring and are just the thing I need when I wake at the crack of dawn and can’t get back to sleep again.

 I assume I am wired with chemicals.  If only I had the energy and felt well, I would crack on with my day but I feel too worn out to do anything but lie awake.  

Even listening to Dave Allen’s hypnotic tapes doesn’t send me off to sleep but they are very calming and a comfort in the small hours when everyone else is asleep