Chemo Confirmation / Cole’s Miscellany (Part Eleven)

[I felt that I couldn’t publish a blog without saying anything at all about yesterday’s attack in London even though I have nothing to say that hasn’t already been said. Hope those of you in London (and your friends and family) are safe and sound. Take care.]

To mark the end of Brain Tumour Awareness Month, Brain Tumour Research is hoping to make Friday 31 March 2017 “the biggest, boldest and hattiest Wear A Hat Day EVER“. So get your hats out (or borrow one of mine) to join in!

Chemo (Round Two)

On Tuesday, I met with Dr M, my Consultant Oncologist, who asked me how I had found Round One (which I said had gone fine, as it did). She also asked how many seizures I’ve had since the “flurry of seizures”* (Dr M’s term) that I described in Two Steps Forward, Eight Kicks Upwards. I confirmed that the anti-seizure medication has not been changed by my Consultant Neurologist since he wrote to her a couple of weeks ago and how the weaning of Steroids was going.

Dr M said that sometimes with chemotherapy, the tumour site can be irritated and trigger seizures. As I was already suffering from irregular but frequent seizures before my chemo started, she said that they couldn’t say whether my McFlurry of Seizures was triggered by the chemo. She is happy for me to proceed with the second cycle if I am game – she can’t guarantee that the seizures won’t increase again but what’s a few seizures between friends?!

Regarding the Steroids, I suggested changing the timing of each fortnightly reduction so it doesn’t come either immediately before or immediately after my chemo. She agreed that it was sensible and essentially gave me carte blanche to change the dose as I wish as I know best how I feel. Consultant-approved self-medicating: the control freak in me is happy!

Poison Pills

As my blood test results were normal, Graham and I duly collected the chemotherapy tablets, anti-nausea pills and preventative antibiotics from the hospital yesterday. We waited in the same room as last time with about 35 other people either receiving chemo by IV or accompanying someone who was. It was almost standing-room only. I wouldn’t refuse chemo if it was given by IV in that room but I’m glad that my chemo is in the form of tablets taken in the comfort of my (parents’) home.

The four little pink and white pills went down and stayed down so long may that continue! I felt shattered last night after a long period of time without a lie-down. I was asleep by 8pm and had around 12 hours’ sleep. I feel much less tired today but will nevertheless take it easy.

Cole’s Miscellany (It’s Been a While!)

I’m trying not to fall again into the sea of despair reading the news about the “self-interested and soulless”** on both sides of the Atlantic and around the world. I’m staying out of the troubled waters at the moment by not reading much of the news and by searching for positive (or at least light-hearted) waves to buoy me:

  • To start with an inspirational story, here’s a video of the late Sir Nicholas Winton on a TV show in 1988 as a member of the audience, unaware that the people sitting around him were only alive because of him.
  • On a vastly less important note, I find that these palindromes and this vertical folding technique soothe my fatigued brain.
  • This badge is not at all applicable to me:


But only because I don’t have a therapist.

  • This is also not applicable to me:


But only because I am usually already in bed when I come across the misinformed masses on the internet!

  • Tibetans used to measure distance in “cups of tea”. Three cups of tea is roughly five miles. Graham reminded me of this the other day as one (of many!) facts and prose that I have read out to him over the years. There I was thinking that he wasn’t really listening! This particular gem came from “Into The Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest” by Wade Davis, which was an epic and amazing book.***
  • Nobel prize-winning author Toni Morrison said: “If there is a book you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it”.


*Does anyone know what the collective noun for seizures is (if there is one)?

**Credit for the term to one of my former bosses.

***That lengthy tome was the first book that I read after Jennifer was born!


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