It’s the third day post EC number three and I’m still feeling waves of nausea. Feels like a massive hangover with all the typical hangover symptoms: light headedness, dry mouth, slight headache, nausea, craving for strong tasting foods, tiredness, no motivation, etc. This is definitely the most nausea I have felt since treatments began a few weeks ago. Last time feels like a breeze compared to this.
Still grateful it is only that and no more. My right arm has started to feel better and the vein pain that has been there the past couple of weeks seem to have eased a little. It’s still sore when touched but not as bad when I stretch my arm.
The third session took place on Thursday morning last week. Despite having just got rid off a cold, my blood results came back very good with white blood cells at 6 which is higher than all previous times. I asked the nurse about vein pain and whether things are set to get worse with more infusions. She said that it might not necessarily be the case. In light of things, she looked for a vein further up my arm and at first hit a vein valve. Ouch! On second try, we found a suitable vein on the inside of my arm. I asked for a heat cushion and extra hydration to be flushed through my arm after the drugs this time round.
Once the cannula was in, a friend of mine who was with me for the session, got up to go to the restrooms. A minute later I heard various screams: ‘Can we get some help here please!’ Sounded like a patient was having trouble. My nurse also left me and ran away to see what was happening. After a couple of minutes I heard my friend’s name mentioned, so I got up to see what was going on, only to find that she had collapsed. Collapsed on the floor with six nurses and doctors around her. I couldn’t help but laugh…. She was alright of course, had just passed out probably due to it being quite warm in the place, unfamiliar sounds and sights, lack of breakfast etc.
With that emergency tended to, it was time for the cold cap. So f… ing cold! Apparently around -4 degrees. Feels like it’s colder each time, no doubt due to the hair thinning on my head. I closed my eyes and imagined myself on one of my favourite beaches, with the sun beating down on my head, burning my face, my body, smell of sea salt in the air etc. and after 10-15 minutes it was bearable again. This time round, we changed the size of the outer cap to large for some reason as medium didn’t fit. I hope the coverage was as good as the previous times. I tied a scarf around the cap as per previous times to enhance the fit.
I think it’s fantastic that the cold cap was invented and introduced into the system but have to say there’s a massive design flaw. At least for me, the fact that the cap only tightens via a strap that rests under your chin really doesn’t help with fighting nausea. It sits very close to that particular point between your chin and throat that stimulates vomiting. I wonder whether this might be changed in the future.
I actually started feeling mildly nauseous during the infusions, which is a first.
At some point, the doctor on duty for the day appeared and asked me how things are going. The conversation felt so wrong on many levels and went something like this:
“So how have you been? Any side effects since the last one?”
“Aside from a bit of nausea the first couple of days, nothing no.”
“So no bone pain?”
“No stomach ache or other pains?”
… and he listed a few other side effects. What a way to conduct a conversation. I know he meant well but he could have just stopped after his first question and my answer surely. All I kept thinking was, please keep all those side effects to yourself and take them out of my space!
After a good few hours, it was a massive relief to take the cannula out and get the cap off my head. We made our way home and as per previous times, I spent the rest of the evening feeling very drowsy, eating bits of dry cracker and drinking lots of water. I slept well that night and woke up to a little more nausea despite all the anti-emetics. Had a big breakfast with muesli and fruit and spent most of the morning doing bits of work and relaxing on the couch. Around lunchtime Mati and Rav came round and it was good to be in easy company for a few hours. We just chatted on the couch, had lunch and lazed about. Similar to previous times where cravings included pizza and Thai food, I managed to eat a massive portion of Lasagna which they brought from the local Deli. Somehow eating seems to ease the nausea slightly. In the meantime, my aversion to fish/ seafood seems to continue. Shellfish just about seems okay.
I was supposed to meet an old friend from school this weekend but just haven’t felt up for that. Hoping we can catch up later this year. It seemed that most conversations actually took a lot of effort. In fact everything took effort. I finally managed to leave the house yesterday to drag myself to Waitrose to stock up on food and drinks. It was freezing cold and windy but it was good to walk.
I woke up this morning feeling a touch better but still sluggish or unenthusiastic may be a better word. There doesn’t seem to be quite a matching word for ‘Lustlos’ in German. I’ve resigned to taking the steroids this morning to see if they make a difference to the nausea. I reckon it’ll be another quiet day today and a short walk later and hopefully this massive hangover will shift soon!