This post is a health update but it’s mostly about my attention-seeking carers and children, who are dropping like flies around me!
Leo was sick a couple of times at the end of last week and is better on that front. Jennifer followed with sickness late on Tuesday night but had recovered by mid-morning on Wednesday. Graham succumbed to the bug on Wednesday afternoon and so I sent him to sleep at our “old” house (it’s a good job we are such property tycoons!). My Dad came down with the bug yesterday morning. My Mam has been feeling a bit iffy for a few days but hasn’t been sick so far. Despite me being poisoned, and my immune system being at its weakest at this point in the chemo cycle, I’m Still Standing, although I expect that I’ll capitulate at some point!
This week has therefore involved even more juggling than usual among the Triumverate. The “least bad” among them at any given time have been handed caring responsibilities while the other(s) have rested! They have walked the tightrope between pushing themselves and resting as needed.
Poor Little Chicken
As if they didn’t have enough plates to keep spinning, Jennifer came out with spots this afternoon/evening. We suspected chicken pox and it has been confirmed to be the case. My Dad took her to the Walk-in centre this evening not because she was feeling particularly ill. Rather, we needed to confirm what we are dealing with and whether it could be something dangerous with my weakened immune system. I had chicken pox when I was young so I should be immune but the nurse said that I should have minimal contact with her.
Out of an abundance of caution, Graham had gone up to spend the third night in the sick bay (our old house). This time, he took Leo to give my parents a break from his 6am-ish starts. After the chicken pox had been confirmed, we decided that Jennifer should sleep up there too. So she’s been packed off to her seaside room with calamine lotion, calpol, breakfast, bowls and spoons etc. We suspect that Leo is going to catch the pox given that he’s never come across an infection or illness that he doesn’t like! We will cross that bridge if and when we come to lion taming!
It’s a good job I’ve had a relatively good and uneventful week so far!
Strong and Stable
I saw my oncologist, Dr M, on Tuesday, who was pleased to hear how I’ve been doing and commented on my improved mobility after watching me take just a few steps. She told me to keep on taking the tablets and she will see me again in two months, just before my last cycle. She said, as always, to let them know if there are any problems in the meantime.
As I’d forgotten (boom boom), Graham raised the issue of my uncharacteristic short-term memory lapses. She said that both my memory and slight articulation issues could be caused by scarring from the radiotherapy, which is likely to form around two or three months after the end of radiotherapy. I don’t remember when the memory issue started but Graham said he’d noticed it over the last month or so. The timing indicates that it might well be down to Radio Scar-Scar.
Dr M said that it could be caused by something known as “chemo brain”. It is not just experienced by people having chemo for brain cancer but other chemotherapies as well, such as some treatments for breast cancer. It is basically Baby Brain caused by chemo! If it’s caused by scarring or chemo brain or a mixture of the two, Dr M said the effects usually subside as time goes by. If my symptoms noticeably worsen, she said to let them know so they can possibly give me another scan to see if they can identify the cause.
Literal Sunshine on Metaphorically Rainy Days
Despite all the sickness this week, there have been bright spells, particularly with the sunny weather over the last few days. I have spent a couple of hours outside each day over the last few days watching and cheering on as the kids have been playing on the trampoline and water table and generally running around the garden having fun. Happy days in even the most testing of testing times!