As this week comes to an end, I’m finally starting to feel near-normal again. Day 1 after treatment went by uneventful but with quite a lot of nausea. I don’t think the additional anti-sickness that was meant to tackle delayed nausea was as effective as I had hoped. Towards the evening of that day on Wednesday I started getting a headache. Went to sleep and woke up with the same headache around 2am and just couldn’t shift it. I have never experienced head pain like this before. It was literally like someone had ran over my head or smashed it against a wall. I never get headaches so it was a totally unfamiliar pain for me. I guess it was a combination of the drugs and the anti-sickness drugs. No paracetamol or ibuprofen offered relief and I wasn’t going to take anything stronger that would only add to a feeling of drowsiness.
So I spent probably all day just staring into space and sitting in silence. I couldn’t look at screens for long, couldn’t watch movies or even listen to music. I literally just vegetated on the couch for hours, trying to relax and breathe in hope that it would pass. And it did pass of course.
I woke up on Friday, day 3 post treatment feeling slightly better and with less of a headache. Also finally managed to leave the house and go for a short walk as well as go out for a little while in the evening to watch a movie.
Little by little and hour by hour things improved and I had a lovely weekend, meeting up with friends, socialising, with a good appetite, much less tiredness, no headaches and generally feeling more upbeat. It felt so good being out at the film festival, seeing familiar faces, chatting to friends and returning to some normality.
Then earlier today, my friends organised a surprise lunch for me at Southbank to mark the end of chemo. So sweet. I think it’s slowly sinking in. I felt very touched, emotional and I felt very loved. One thing that people have often said to me in the past few months is that I’m so brave. My friends said that it’s been inspiring to watch me stay upbeat throughout it all. I never felt comfortable with being called brave (and I know from others that they don’t either) but I guess yes. It has taken a lot of mental strength to pull through the last few weeks. It hasn’t all been grim, but it’s been quite a ride.
The experience has taught me a number of things.. about time, about focus, about perspective about choices, about friendships. I have a feeling I’ll be reflecting on these more soon, but for now I finally feel a little emotional about the end of a journey and the start of another new chapter. I’ve been very lucky to have had consistent support from loved ones and friends who have kept me upbeat, have kept me laughing and made me feel loved. Thank you!