Day Dreaming about Travelling

Sorry I haven’t blogged for a couple of days, I have been having a lazy weekend.  I saw my Medical Oncologist today ready for my next Chemo tomorrow, which he said will be the same as the last two, a cocktail of Epirubicin, Cyclophosphamide, Flourouricin, but my next three will be Docetaxel which could make me more tired apparently, but doesn’t make you lose your hair and doesn’t cause as much nausea.  I haven’t felt sick at all, so the last three should be no problem.  Also my hair will in all probability start to grow back fairly soon. Most people don’t realise my wig, is a wig.  The young resident who was sitting in on my review today, said he was wondering where I was losing my hair from as it looked fine, till I told him it was a wig. (Update on that, apparently some people do still lose hair with Docetaxel, so we will see how it pans out).


Today I left home at 7am to be at Fiona Stanley by 8am for blood tests and then my review at 9am.  The only thing is everyone gets there at the same time and the waiting room is full.  I have meanwhile asked my Oncologist if I can do my blood test at Mandurah, and he doesn’t mind, so next review day won’t be so early, I won’t need to leave home until ten to eight in the morning.  My doctor was telling me he sees around 60 patients a day, and he is not the only one that has clinics in the Cancer Unit.


I don’t know why but, lately I have been obsessed with You Tube videos on How to pack light for traveling.  I love them, even though I can’t really go anywhere at the moment, which is probably why I am day dreaming of escaping to some more exciting place than being in the middle of a Chemo programme.  When Allan and I went on our round the World trip, we only took carry-on luggage. We had apartments in a few places where we could do washing, and apart from the fact that you get sick of seeing yourself in photos with the same clothes on, it worked out fine.  Next time though I won’t take a coat but will buy one of the those light down filled puffer jackets that pack into a tiny bag and don’t take up much room in your case.

zoom_variation_001_view_E_2192x2200Just had my third round of Chemo today, but will post about that tomorrow. I’m half way. whoopee!!

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A Busy Weekend

Well it has been a birthday kind of week.  Jordan our oldest grandson turned ten on Monday, then his dad Troy turned 40 on Wednesday, and then today we celebrated Ben and our youngest daughter Hayley’s little boy Beau’s third birthday.  It is funny how life doesn’t stop for Chemo. Last week I promised to make sausage rolls for Beaus Fire Brigade birthday bash as I had all the ingredient and I was at the end of my treatment cycle and feeling well.  Got the meat all ready and pulled out the pastry only to find it was short crust.  I was too far into proceedings to stop so I went ahead and made the sausage rolls which we had for dinner with vegetables and I froze the rest.  They were ok, but a little crisp and not what I wanted to present for the party.  So yesterday I tromped off to the shops and got more supplies.  The only thing is, the medication they give me to help side effects is basically speed, so I probably shouldn’t be let out in public.
I may have bumped someones car with my runaway trolley in my Chemo haze and just decided to ignore it.  It was only a little bump.  If the owners were looking at the time, I was wearing my elegant newly acquired, scarf and beanie combo, so I may have gotten away with it.   Surely, they wouldn’t report a lady who has clearly got no hair.


Back home I rustled up eighty little sausage rolls for the party, and made up the batter for some Ricotta and Zuchini muffins to bake off in the morning so they would be fresh.

Saturday morning and Allan was off to a darts event early, so I planned to go back to bed for a while before embarking on the baking.  Plans never work out.  My sister was down the road in Port Kennedy, and said she would call in for coffee after her appointment.  I gave up on sleeping and popped the muffins into the oven, then made up a batch of my beautiful body soap, just to add to the chaos.

Homemade Body Wash:  I just grate a bar of extra sensitive dove soap, add it to three cups of water and half a cup of olive oil, then simmer for about 20 minutes till all soap has dissolved.  Leave it covered with a tea towel for a day, then whisk it up and you have a lush creamy body or hand wash.  I made a double batch.  Chemo therapy dries out your skin, it feels divine to wash your face with this rich moisturising cleanser, that is great for sensitive skin.











Next I  thought I had better make myself beautiful before Lynne got to my house.  Half way through Sarah called from Sydney and we had a long chat, consequently Lynne arrived before I got my make-up on so I just shoved on my wig.  She wasn’t planning to stay long as she had a wedding to attend in the afternoon, but, we did our nails, and I straightened her hair then she headed off after our catch up over a coffee and fresh savoury muffin with cream cheese and chilli topping for brunch.

Life is so busy for everyone it seems.  Even when serious stuff happens, it just keeps on going.  This is probably a good thing, as there is hardly any time in life when we can just think about ourselves and what is happening to us. Most of our lives are entwined with other people’s busy lives and it is hard to drop out. However, we probably could all take some time just to slow down.  My friend Rikki said she always dashed about like she was being chased by a bear, until she had a car accident and had to ease up the pace.  Although I still seem to be doing quite a lot, I do feel a little bit like I am on vacation, if having post cancer treatment can count as a holiday.  I have cut back on my life quite a bit, so I do have some lovely rest days in amongst the rush, twice this week I have slept in till ten, then had breakfast in bed.  My latest fad is soaking porridge oats overnight.  I pop half a cup of old-fashioned oats, not the quick cook variety into a Mason jar for each of us, pop in some dried cranberries a little raw sugar or honey and cover with milk, you could use Almond milk or soy if you don’t want to use dairy.  While you sleep they turn creamy and delicious, and you have instant breakfast ready when you get up.  I have eaten this in the car on the way to Church Sunday morning.  Mind you I am not recommending other people do this as if you crash while eating yours, I don’t want to get the blame.  I have used up my weeks quota for accidents with the trolley incident.

He really wants those Blood Test Results in a hurry

He really wants those Blood Test Results in a hurry

Meanwhile, back at the appointment department, it turns out, my plans to get out of waiting around at the hospital blood place by going down to the one in Mandurah on the way in to the hospital and there is no waiting, have been foiled. The Doctor really likes to have your blood results before reviewing you the day before your next Chemo round.  So I need to see him at 9.00 am at Fiona Stanley and to make sure he has my bloods, he has given me an 8.00 am appointment for my blood tests at Fiona Stanley.  That should be fun getting there in the early morning traffic.  I will need to leave home at 6.45 am and I find it hard to get up before 8.00 am at the moment.  Who thinks these things up for us Chemo Patients, do they look at where we live (in the country) before allocating times.  Then we go back the next day for Chemo, I hope I get the private room again, so I can catch up on my sleep.



Drive thru Hospitals


I went to check in for next weeks lumpectomy at the hospitals pre admission.  The staff were all very nice as I did the rounds, filling in forms, getting blood tests, ECG’s, and check up with anaesthetist.  Everything was going swimmingly till I came back from blood tests and found the anaesthetist had been and gone and would be back in fifteen minutes.  One hour later he did in fact return and we had our pre op meeting.  While waiting I looked around at the crowd waiting, some for pre admission like me, but most were waiting with their bags to be called in for there surgery, totally cold turkey and no transition from walking in and being knocked out and cut up.  To add insult to the cattle awaiting slaughter atmosphere, there was a sign telling us that the waiting room was for patients, and that relatives should wait outside.  So not only are you to sit there wide awake nervously anticipating what was ahead, but now you can’t even have someone there to hold your hand.

On the day of your procedure, you sit with your gown on waiting to be called, then walk in to the operating theatre and hop up on the table.

To be honest it made me hanker for the good old days when you went in for surgery the night before, so they could give you a sleeping pill and make sure you had a good nights sleep, followed in the morning by some nice pre op relaxer which made you all dozy and you stopped being at all nervous about the procedure you would be having, and not notice that you were hungry from going without your morning coffee and breakfast, and at which point you wouldn’t care if they cut a limb off you were so chilled.


While I personally wouldn’t want to go back to the ten day mandatory stay in hospital when you had a baby, we may be swinging too far the other way.  They have been doing a study on the concept of a Drive Thru ER at Stanford in the US. which may have its merits, you can at least watch the DVD player in the car, and bring the kids if you need to.  This is all to cut money and time of course, the population is exploding, hospital budgets get cut instead of increased, and I suppose from the patients point of view everyone is so busy they don’t want to interrupt their business with inconvenient hospital stays. They already have Drive thru Pharmacies, Drive Thru Funeral Viewings, so  I suppose before long with surgeries becoming more micro and less invasive, and recovery time being less, you may be able to pull up at the drive thru Hospital, duck in and have your appendix lasered out through a tiny hole, while hubby keeps the motor running and pop back a few minutes later with a couple of paracetamol to swallow on the trip home, without having missed much of the programme you were watching on telly before the pain struck.

The Day clinic is closed on the day of my surgery, they are just doing a few emergencies in the theatre, so I get to go to the Surgical ward.  I may even get a bed to wait in as I will be staying overnight, I will need it as I start the day off with an appointment at Royal Perth Hospital for a lymphoscintigraphy (radio active injection in the boob) at 8am, then off to Armadale hospital for 11.30 to get ready for my surgery booking at 1.00 pm. I will totally be ready for a nap by then, so just for old times sake, I would like to be plonked in a bed in a ward to wait.  One can only hope.