On the run

First run since chemo finished at 29 minutes – exhausted, but happy with that! Also back in the saddle at BOOM Cycle since last week. I’d really like to get my energy levels higher and higher in the coming days and weeks. It looks like my surgery to replace the temporary implant with a permanent one is set for Wednesday, 4th May and I’d like to be in a fit state before having general anesthesia again with the hope that it will speed up recovery afterwards.

My hair seems to still be falling out while growing back in places where I had small bold patches on the side of my head for example. I’ve also started to feel really hot at night and it’s led to restless sleep most nights. I tend to wake up feeling incredibly hot and sweaty on my forehead and chest, I throw the duvet off to cool down and then cover myself again a few seconds later feeling cold. This happens a few times a night. I was starting to get worried and posted my concerns on the MacMillan forum and as usual received comforting responses from the community with many saying that the hot flushes are all part of the effect chemo has on hormones. Chemo can cause a chemical menopause, it can be temporary or in some cases permanent, asĀ  ovaries struggle to produce oestrogen. Someone recommended getting a chillow pillow so I ordered one and it arrived today. Hopefully it’ll help cool down my head at least during the night. I’ve also resumed acupuncture which I think will make a difference with my sleep and the hot flushes.

I also have a follow-up appointment with my oncologist this Thursday to talk about this and I guess to schedule/ get a prescription for tamoxifen which I’ll be starting on at some point after surgery.

Emotionally it’s been a roller coaster these last few weeks. It almost feels like I held it together for so long and kept mentally strong so my body would follow with strength. I guess it worked but I guess also now is the time to really get to grips with what happened and to be kind to myself and process a lot of these feelings which I seem to have locked away for a long time. I spent a lot of time focusing on my body and I need to start clearing my mind to find a bit of peace amongst all the noise.

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Moving along

Hard to believe it’s been a month since my last chemo session. In some ways the time has passed quickly and in others it seems like only yesterday. I’ve been feeling good, my energy levels are better than a couple of weeks ago even if not quite back to normal. I noticed that I feel very quickly out of breath when running up the stairs and I haven’t yet managed to go for a run.

My right arm is still quite tense and painful as I stretch it and I guess my veins are going to take quite some time to recover from the drugs. My hair is still falling out – I would have expected hair growth to start roundabout now but I guess it’ll be a slow process.

As part of some of the lifestyle changes, I made an appointment with someone to come and measure electromagnetic waves in my flat. This is something my mother was especially keen to investigate, since she believed that the breast cancer could somehow be related to (time-wise) to me moving into my flat. It seems that in Germany, there are legal standards homes need to adhere to when it comes to radiation/ electro-magnetic fields etc. whereas this isn’t something that is widely known in the UK. It wasn’t easy to find someone but I came across Roy Riggs and booked an appointment for him to investigate the state of things in my home. He arrived with a number of devices that measured different things and took time to explain everything to me. Many people might think the whole thing is a hoax but I was reassured by some of the scientific explanations.

He reassured me that all levels were fine and there were no unhealthy levels of electromagnetic waves coming from the nearby station, my wifi router or any other places. At some point he used a dowser to identify energy fields that cause geopathic stress
generated by harmful earth rays (natural radiation that rises up through the earth and is distorted by weak electromagnetic fields created by underground streams, certain mineral concentrations and fault lines).

Interesting stuff. I had never heard of geopathic stress before and having done a bit of research, it seems that it’s being taken quite seriously in countries like Germany, Austria, France etc.

It seemed that there was an area in my bedroom which showed high levels of this stress and he recommended I either switch bedrooms or move my bed to a different position – a little difficult in the small bedroom. The general theory is that while we asleep our body should be resting so it can repair body cells, fight infections and absorb nutrients from food. But if we sleep in an area affected by geopathic stress, our body has to use all its energy just to keep its vital organs going. As a result our immune system becomes weakened. In the long term the stresses on our bodies will emerge as more serious conditions like MS, Chronic Fatigue, miscarriages and cancer. When he left my place, I decided that I had nothing to lose by switching my bed around and removing it out of this ‘zone’. I have to admit that since then I haven’t been sleeping particularly well but that might also be related to other factors. I’ll see how I get on.

Yesterday, I went to see my breast surgeon for a follow up and to set a date for surgery to exchange the temporary implant for a more permanent one. After our conversation, she checked both breasts and said that she felt something lumpy on the other side. My heart almost stopped. “Honestly I’m not worried but I’m going to send you for a quick ultrasound” were her words. As I sat waiting for the ultrasound, memories from last November came flooding back. My name came up and I entered the same little room and of course the same radiologist walked in to examine me. As he moved the device around, I asked him to share what he was looking at. After a thorough examination, he said that he couldn’t find anything malicious and he left the room. I broke down in tears of relief. I went back in to see Ms Hogben who again reassured me that everything was fine. My god, is this what it’s going to be like for future check-ups? I hope not. It took me a while to get over this experience. It all still feels so raw I guess.

On a lighter note, in the last four weeks I traveled to Barcelona twice for the weekend and it felt so good to get out of the UK, to go back to one of my favourite cities and ‘feel normal’ again. Prior to this episode, I wasn’t a keen flyer but I noticed how this has now shifted. It felt exciting to board a plane again, to be up in the air and to go places. My time in Barcelona was, as always, wonderful in every way. It was SO good to feel warm sunshine on my skin, to be outdoors, be by the sea and to just wonder around the streets looking up at the beautiful buildings. There’s a certain energy I feel in that city that I miss in London and I’m looking forward to spending more time there over coming weeks.

FCbarcelona