So, the couple of days’ worth of steroid tablets I was given have run out. In the middle of the night I woke up with the strangest little pains in my joints and muscles. All over the body. Quick stabs, in the knee, then the hip, then the neck, the ankle, the soles of the feet. To the point where you are going Ow, ow, OW. There was no escape. I should then have consulted the notes I was given about the chemo. They say ‘Docetaxel can cause joint and muscle pains. It is important to tell your doctor about this, so that they can prescribe painkillers.’
Instead, I did the ponies. My friend Barney met me there. Interesting to look at a bale of haylage that normally you would chuck lightly over the fence, and realise you can’t even drag it over the grass because your arms and fingers are so weak. Barney did two barrowloads of poo for me. We then went for a walk in the sun. I had to ask Barn to go more slowly as the aches had really become quite debilitating. I decided not to shop as I didn’t want to be going ‘ow ow’ in the supermarket.
Had to miss my Riding for the Disabled. You can’t help a kid on or off a horse with weak arms and the shakes! Have only just become an instructor so that is annoying.
I have been reading a book which my friend Nellen sent to me called Anti-cancer a new way of life. It has lists of fighting foods. When we got home I decided to make an Anti-cancer Soup using whatever I could find in the house.
I sizzled three cloves of garlic in olive oil. Chopped up two organic carrots and a sweet potato and sizzled them too. I sprinkled lots of turmeric over them, and ground some black pepper. (The book says to use those two together.) I separated the florets on two heads of organic broccoli and popped them in. In went the heart of a green cabbage, a kettleful of hot water, a little bit of sea salt and a cupful of quick-cook four-grain mix. After about fifteen minutes it was ready. It was surprisingly fab. Barney had some too, and another friend came by and had two bowls.
I’m going to do this every day, using any ingredients that are mentioned in the book. Multiple sources of information causing confusion though, as have come across a couple of alarming sites on how cancer is caused by fungus, and we have to avoid peanuts, cashews, mushrooms, and other things which I considered good. Of course there are zillions of theories out there; this is a big subject. Sifting the crack-pot ones from the genius is what we have to do.
I did consider painkillers most of the day, you understand, but the chemo nurses had made a big deal about not masking potential symptoms of infection (ie. raised temperature) with Paracetamol. However after lying down for a while with the pains tormenting me in all parts of my body, especially legs, aaargh, I managed to find the correct information sheet so I worked out that this definitely was a side-effect, and decided that seeing as how I had no temperature I was allowed painkillers. Ooh, the relief.
Delivered Alfie’s guitar to school and managed a quick shop. Nipped into the health food shop to pick up the Essiac tea I had ordered. It’s a blend of eight herbs, which rebalance you. It’s not a tea really, it’s a liquid. You add double the amount of hot water. Had a cup. A flute pupil came round. We played duets for an hour. The pains drove me back to bed.
Just had another painkiller. Hope it kicks in quick. Tried to get up to make supper and had to come back to bed. The pains seem to have joined up and are cramping me up and making me shake. Can’t write long sentences! Tabby brought up my file. I rummaged through all the phone numbers they gave me for just such occasions and phoned Ward D9. Asked if there is anything I can take for some relief. The doctor is going to ring me back. I hope they say I can have Solpadeine as I love that. Makes you feel like you are sinking into a fluffy cloud.
My friend Claire has been texting throughout this latest drama. The last missive says ‘I am so sorry this is happening to you. Wish I could take it away for you. But focus…it’s curative :-)’
(This is a reference to my relief at the doctor the other day ticking the box that said ‘curative’ as opposed to the one that said ‘palliative’.)
I texted back ‘You are right. I have to imagine the rogue cells screaming in agony.’
She texted back ‘Lol. They are just like little nazis.’
Now she has sent ‘Can you have gin?’
I just phoned Tabby downstairs to ask her to bring Warrior Man up from my bag. Need him. Ow ow ow.
It’s an hour later and they have not rung back. However had some trout, rice and salad made by my daughter. The pains have settled somewhat into an all-over ache that is more bearable. Am going to time any painkillers carefully so it doesn’t go out of control again.
This is only day three. They said days eight to fifteen of each cycle would be the worst. You can see how it could wear you down after a while. (If you weren’t a Strong Woman and didn’t have a Warrior that is.)
OK, a doctor phoned after another hour. She said the pains would likely stop after a few days. Not allowed Paracetamol, but can have Codeine, hooray. Fred has gone off to the all-night Tesco to see if he can find any.