Well, here I am with only two - yes, two! - sessions of radiotherapy to go until I finish this particular stage of treatment. Last Sunday I couldn't imagine getting to this point: I felt as if I were standing at the foot of a very high mountain, looking up, with leaded boots on my feet and no ability to move. But it's a case of just grit your teeth and get on with it, girl. So here I am, several days later and, in Marathon terms, running past Big Ben and towards Queenie's house. I have to say that, in every London Marathon I have run, it's been more of a trundle and less of a run by this point, but don't let truth get in the way of a good analogy!
I continued to have severe problems with nausea and dry retching but on Wednesday I saw a doctor while at hospital and he prescribed me different anti-emetics and a nebuliser, which seem to be making a difference. I have to nebulise (see how quickly I have become familiar with the language!) 4 to 6 times a day, which takes up to an hour, so I am pretty much tied to the house for most of the time. It produces a lot of steam, hence the reference to steam in the title. Flipping noisy, though! It makes me quite anti-social to be near :-)
On Thursday, as usual, I had bloods taken after treatment. Once again, I made the mistake of pulling down my sleeve after the dressing had been put on and managed to make myself bleed all over my arm and sleeve, so had to see a nurse to get it cleaned. She then decided to have a look at my neck and gave me some aqueous cream to put on it and asked me to see her again yesterday. It turns out the skin is blistering and starting to break so I now have some tubes of granugel stuff that Neil has to slather on, then a pretty pink collar which I have to wear around my neck to stop my clothes irritating the skin - it's not quite like the funnel which dogs or cats wear to stop them scratching their wounds, but it's not a pretty sight, despite the pastel colour and contrasting strip of micropore!
Friday was consultant day, as usual. He said my throat and mouth are doing well and that I have to be prepared for continuing to feel worse for about two weeks after treatment finishes before I will then start to feel a bit better and that it will be a long, slow process. I have confirmed I want to stay at the Marsden for my oncology follow-ups - they will see me once a week to monitor progress, then two-weekly, then monthly, three-monthly, six-monthly etc. My appointment with the consultant plastic surgeon is on October 13th, so another milestone for the diary. And I am meeting our new GP on Tuesday (our old one retired) - I thought I should make his acquaintance sooner rather than later, as he might well be seeing a lot of me over the next few years and I might well be one of his more unusual cases!
So far I have lost 8 kilos, largely because I just have no appetite. Nothing tempts me at all, so if there is anything that I have the slightest desire to eat, I have to try it just in case it makes me get some calories in me. This week I have had a little bit of beans on toast, some scrambled eggs and a tiny bit of mushroom risotto. Today I fancy an iced coffee and I have home-made vanilla ice-cream in the freezer, so that will do me a bit of good. I don't recommend this diet - no food means no energy :-(
As always, my thanks to everyone for their thoughts, prayers, practical support and help. Our son and daughter have been ironing, cleaning, vacuuming during the week and my lovely husband does all that and more for me - he really is the best support I could have wished for and I wish I could find a way to show him how much he means to me. Any suggestions, please?