Thursday, 8 May 2008

9 weeks after surgery – 12 days to chemo III

Thursday 8th May

Well, I was right, I did feel much better the next day. Sunday I managed to clean the entire house, just trundling about doing a bit, then stopping – major achievement was actually changing the bed! Wow. Small things make a lot of difference – I was shattered afterwards, but at least I had a productive day.

I think I MAY have found the answer to the pains in my joints! Since I was such a grump on Saturday, I decided to get with the program a little more sensibly – that is, stop eating loads of trash [I am terrible for comfort eating – I could LIVE on chocolate, bread, pizza and stuff like that] and stop sitting on my butt quite so much. That’s a bit difficult, as my work is all on the computer, but I am now trying to break the day up with some exercise in between.

Monday was a holiday and Aj was back from Stoke, so we attacked the garden, Aj doing all the heavy stuff and I was doing the pots etc. I really struggled [this is mainly to do with having no stomach muscles yet], but we got loads done, and the SUN was out! That makes no end of difference. So now the house and the garden both look a lot better, and all the moving about, lifting little things and organising has done me a world of good. It was hard to motivate myself to do anything much at first, as it hurt my stomach/made me tired etc, but once I got past the initial struggle, I’ve actually improved and really noticed it.

Plus we’ve decided to get back to a ‘sensible’ eating plan – lots of salad, fruit, grilled meat/fish etc. It isn’t making me feel very cheery that I’ve gained a stone in weight! So, off it goes, bit by bit I hope – it will be nice to be able to get into my jeans again. I keep forgetting that I had surgery, as thinking about the effects of the chemo takes up all my time.

Basically at this point, healing is supposed be slow but steady. But apparently, for the first six months post-op, you're still doing heavy healing as all the scars turn to strong tissue and the nerves grow back. Also, [and no-one warns you about this, so it can cause panic!] the drain on your body expresses itself as a lot more fatigue that you expect, and you continue to have some tummy swelling as the day goes on or when you overstress it. Supposedly, you reach about 80% of your total healing at about six months and it takes the rest of your first post-op year to reach 100% of the healing you will ultimately achieve. This amount of time seems astonishing.

And this is ON TOP of the chemo – or vice versa, depending on how you look at it. No wonder I get tired! I’m surprised I’m not asleep all the time with all this going on – and it’s weird, as I don’t actually think about all this. Hmm – probably that’s why people are booked off work for 3 months – for a hysterectomy. AND, usually people are booked off for the same amount of time for chemo – sometimes I detest being a freelancer. Just imagine – 6 months off work – paid?! All that sleep – lovely...

Anyway, joint pains are now down to a dull roar, and I only get them if I sit still for too long. Very little nausea, dealt with by the ‘emergency’ tablets. So far, NO rash this time – great! Stomach muscles starting to get a bit of a work out, and generally feeling ok. Still getting attacks of tiredness, but not as much this week. Considering I’m in the midpoint of where the number of red blood cells is usually at its lowest [from 7 to 14 days after having the chemo], I’m not doing too badly. Cross my fingers it carries on this way. Right, that’s me done!

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