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Status report

This evening marks the half-way point in the first three cycles of chemotherapy, or putting it another way I’m a quarter of the way through the entire chemotherapy treatment. That feels like a little bit of a milestone, although no physical event marks it.

I’ve resumed one of my projects, and am half-way through the tasks that we agreed for the next ten days. I’m very happy about that, and the results so far are very pleasing indeed.

I wrote earlier about my upgraded shower arrangements, and they are still working well. In fact, I’m getting faster in the morning. It won’t be long before my morning routine is back to a normal-ish amount of time. That’s quite a relief, as it now makes it so much easier to get the day started that I feel as though I’ll be able to get more done with some of my personal projects.

Something else that helps with that is discovering that Waitrose delivers groceries in our area. I make a menu and a list as normal, and then instead of going out and buying it, I simply order online. It feels slow and clumsy entering each individual item, but the time saved is considerable. And when I’m in purdah, as I am now, I can’t go out, this delivery service makes a huge difference.

Visiting card

Finally on the upside of the week, my new visiting cards were delivered. I made the picture side of the card based on the photo that you can see near the top of the page. I used inkscape to trace the original image, and then finished it in Photoshop. Moo printed the cards for me, and I’m very happy with them. It was quite a long, involved operation, but I really enjoyed doing it. The image tracing itself was a very right-brained activity, and the time passed very quickly.

On the downside of the equation, however, I have been sick almost every day this week. The oncologist has increased my anti-emetics, which may have helped, but I’m not sure. I think the fact that I have been able to reduce the amount of morphine I am taking, and also the amount of anti-constipation medicine, may be having more of an effect. Last week the sickness was mostly on waking up, and provided I could throw up a sacrificial mug of tea, the rest of the day was fine. This week, however, the sacrifices haven’t always worked, and I have often felt grotty during the day. What’s worse is that sitting in my usual chair seems to make things worse, whereas household chores appear to make them better, which means I find myself doing laundry and ironing, much to my surprise.

The other thing that has been getting me down is the constant sniffle, due to the 5-FU, I am told. I wake up with a stuffy nose, and I am constantly mopping up dribbles. It makes my nose sore, and feels like an unnecessary drag on my day.

My weight has dropped again. I weighed 11 stone 1.6 lb last time I weighed myself. A couple of weeks ago I was over 11 and a half stone. I thought I had been eating well, so I don’t understand where all the poundage has gone. This week I’ve been concentrating on packing in the calories, ensuring that I eat larger lunches than I am used to, and trying to fit in both desserts along with snacks and biscuits or sweets during the day. We’ll see how much difference that makes next week.

Overall, a mixture of good and bad. I’m disappointed about my weight, the continued nausea, and my runny nose. I’m pleased about the things I’ve accomplished, and about things that have got easier. I’m going to carry on concentrating on the latter.

{ 8 } Comments

  1. Nigel | 15 February 2010 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Hello there Chris! Due to a comms cockup on my part, the email I got from Dave Allsopp telling me about your blog has lurked unread for over a month on my barely-used gmail account. Arse!

    It’s heartening to see you’re fighting this damnable thing with dignity and spirit.

  2. icyjumbo | 15 February 2010 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Hello again to you too. Nice to re-make contact.

    Did you know that you can re-direct all your gmail to any other email account? See here for example.

  3. sue hawkins | 15 February 2010 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Me again! Glad to be keeping up with you here, and I have learned a new word (“Purdah”, of course), along with hammering the meaning of “stone” a little deeper into my skull.

    I have a close friend who has MS and she finds delivery of groceries to be very useful. It seems that it is better small grocers offer services like that over here. You can have a sort of a running list, with things that come and go from time to time (from the list).

    Looking forward to the next installment!! Cheers – sue h

  4. icyjumbo | 15 February 2010 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Glad to be of service, Sue! It was my pleasure to open a new word for you, and to hammer a “stone” further into your skull. Bing!

    Sorry. Attack of the Hitchiker’s there.

    Waitrose is hardly a small grocer, although it is one of the smaller supermarket chains. It’s not as well known as the big four. I must get around to making a core list, to which I can just add, although I’m not sure our shopping works very much like that. The list of core items tends to have only about ten things on it, while the final list is usually 50 or 60 items. That’s the downside of a varied diet, I suppose.

    Next installment is already up. It’s not so upbeat, I’m afraid, although I’m doing much better now, as you’ll appreciate.

  5. Nigel | 15 February 2010 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    I did, but as it happens I used it as a ‘sink’ account for stuff where I suspected people might spam me. That’s changed and now it’s in use (now I am gainfully, if fitfully, employed – huzzah!).

  6. icyjumbo | 15 February 2010 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    (Fitful) Congratulations!

    How’s the book coming?

  7. Nigel | 16 February 2010 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    It sleeps the sleep of the very torpid indeed.

    On the other hand, that’s because of competition for headspace and time. This job is writing fiction. I’m writing content for a browser game as part of a startup company run by an old friend. The job is only fitful because of the usual ultra-lean startup stuff, where there’s no money and vast amounts of stuff needing to be done. I’m enjoying it immensely so far, though.

    Grab a twitter account and head to if you want a look. The game is meant to be played for a few minutes a few times a day – it might suit your schedule.

  8. icyjumbo | 16 February 2010 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Shame about the novel, but the startup looks fun. I followed your instructions, but I’ll have to spend a little time looking around.

    Are you on Twitter? Ah, yes, you are. I found you, and followed you.

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