I’ve been thinking of writing for a while but there was always something coming up…. I was going to start before the chemo session to say how scared we both were. Graham even said “from all the session this one I’m scared the most of”. Me too. I wasn’t sure if the 25% reduced dose they did on cycle 6 was going to cumulate now and it all would go wrong. Cycle 7 was horrible in terms of Graham’s arm pain – he expected worse now. And I feared the seizures returning.
All the chemo cycles were different. There weren’t two the same. First cycle was probably less scary as we didn’t know what was coming. If I think now back to February/March this year, I really don’t know how I survived. I was so deeply depressed. I cried driving in the car. I almost had an accident. I didn’t see anything positive at all. It was truly horrible and black time. First cycle was difficult as he had full dose of chemo with all the regular antisickness medication and full dose of steroids. He had three seizures on Friday night after the treatment. They were horrible. Seizure one was about midnight then he went back to sleep, seizure two was about 1.5 hour later and he was slowly waking up from it and seizure 3 was later but he didn’t gain consciousness for such a long time that I did rung 111. They send an ambulance. One of my friends came at 2am in the morning to be with me and I’ll never forget that. The next day was meant to be Graham’s father and brother birthday party but Graham was nowhere near state to go. He slept the whole day after to regain energy.
Cycle 2 was the best from all I’d say. It didn’t affect his much at all. Apart from the neuropathy – as the Oxaliplatin is affecting Graham’s nerves badly. He has hypersensitivity to cold, cannot touch cold things. And has a risk of laryngospasm when breathing cold air (funny, the first cycle was in the middle of the biggest snow fall in UK in years). Graham’s arm hurt from the IV chemo.
Cycle 3 was bad again. He felt very very sick to the point he actually was physically sick – that’s the only cycle when it happened. He didn’t eat or drink much. And on top of it the chemo tiredness was strong. He was managing without any steroids or antisickenss medication as they all have epileptic fits as side effects. The seizures came back anyway, a bit later. Two in a row. Maybe only two as I did manage to keep him awake after the last one. Yet again my friend came and stayed with us.
Cycle 4…. was ok. I can’t remember anything significant from that one apart from that it was in the middle, so not the beginning not the end. It was dragging. The nausea was bad. Overall it wasn’t as good as cycle 2, but we got through it.
Cycle 5 was bad again. They started Graham on new antisickness medication which looked expensive to me. They did it because he wasn’t coping with the nausea without any medication. I checked and seizures weren’t one of the side effects on the new anti sickness. Hot flashes and seizures came back. They came in the evening the day after chemo. Two this time. The only one I haven’t witness myself but his brother was with me and actually second seizure happened next to him when I was at work. Yet again the rest from it took few days.
Cycle 6… reduced dose 25% was better. Sickness was still there, arm pain was still there. Neuropathy was getting worse. The pin and needles in the arm and tingling was still there and getting stronger.
Cycle 7 … the arm pain was unbearable and lasted soooo long. As Graham’s brother said Graham was “more vertical then horizontal” during it. It was almost the last one… ALMOST makes such a difference. So close but yet so far.
Cycle 8… now. the last one. Whatever happens you can think it’s the last time we feel like that. But the fear is there. And last time or not Graham still has to go through it. But it does help it’s the last one. LAST. I can’t believe we are almost there. For me it won’t be the end until the last tablet he takes.
But what next? Life is the same but everything has changed. Everything.