Waiting to nail chemotherapy

This was supposed to have been a big day for me. Right now I should be recovering from my first dose of chemotherapy. But I’m not.

My consultant has decided that I’m not well enough so chemo has been delayed for a couple of weeks. It’s unbelievably frustrating.

It might sound strange but I was looking forward to being pumped full of toxic chemicals.

All the bits of my cancer have been removed. The surgeons searched and destroyed anything that looked bad.

Potentially though, there could still be some microscopic cancer cells inside me. They need to be killed by the chemo which is why I’m so keen for it to begin.

I dressed smartly for my hospital appointment. I wore make-up, a rare thing these days and I even painted my nails bright red.

I was determined to look chemo-ready.

But I couldn’t fool my consultant. I’ve known him for years and he could see the tiredness in my eyes.

Just travelling to the hospital had left me shattered. It reminded me of the feeling I sometimes get after doing overnight shifts at the BBC.

If there’s something big happening you’re totally rushed off your feet. Often in the dead of night you travel to the location of the story and then report live for Breakfast TV and BBC radio.

When it’s all finished you make your way home to bed just as most people are starting their day at work. Feeling pretty exhausted and kind of dazed, you move slowly and know that you could fall asleep at a moments notice.

For my consultant it’s not just the tiredness that’s a problem. The pain is back in a big way and my body hasn’t quite healed as much as it should have done.

I know he is right but it doesn’t make the delay any easier to deal with.

I need to be properly prepared for the onslaught of chemo. It would be really awful to start and have to stop before the end of the treatment. There’s also a whole array of horrible things that could happen to me if I’m not well enough.

So I wait.

Over the next two weeks I’m going to be sleeping lots, eating healthily and thinking positive thoughts.

Plus there’s going to be plenty of time to paint my nails again.

15 thoughts on “Waiting to nail chemotherapy

  1. It’s not strange at all to be anxious to start. It gives you a feeling of control over the disease and one step closer to being done with it all. I hope you feel up to it very soon.

  2. I wish you well, hope you are well enough soon for chemo.
    I have just had my 4th chemo session, and you do need to be tip top to cope with it, both physically and emotionally.
    Get well soon, so many people are drawing strength from you ans thinking of youHelen.
    Kind regards.

  3. I fully understand the frustration of not getting what you expect from a hospital appointment – although not with chemotherapy. I hope that you soon recover enough to start your treatment

  4. Helen, sorry to hear that you were not well enough for your chemo today. Each chemo session is preceded by an anxious few days, filled with trepidation about the impact of the treatment and the desire to attack any rogue lingering cells. My heart goes out to you. Take care and rest up, with the objective that the chemo can start as soon as possible – because you will know that you are getting better and the next phase of treatment can start xx

  5. unbelievably frustrated for you! But doc knows best I guess. Good luck getting ready for it next time, C x

  6. Good luck Helen! Sounds like you’ll completely wipe the floor with those pesky cells!

  7. How frustrating for you.

    Nice to hear your keeping positive by sleeping, painting nails, eating healthily followed by alot of positive thinking which is the best remedy!

    Miss you x

  8. Helen: Sounds like you know that your consultant is taking a wise decision to hold off on the chemo for a couple of weeks until your body is able to cope with the treatment. You’ll have a better outcome for sure, but waiting around must be a drag. Try and get plenty of sleep and catch up on some old films! Having finished a week of nights recently, I know how tired you must feel. Best regards, Donny G

  9. Helen, sorry to hear that things aren’t progressing as quickly as you’d hoped – but you’ll get there. So many people in TVC/Bush newsrooms are thinking of you xx Kathy

  10. So sorry Helen that you weren’t able to start chemo yesterday. It must have been very upsetting and upsettling for you. You know I’m thinking of you and I hope you can feel all the love off everyone that comes your way via your blog and fb. If best wishes, love and kind thoughts could kill those cells you’d be back at work tomorrow !! Keep doing what you are doing and get better soon. x x

  11. Hello Helen, I’m biting my nails so you don’t have to. Sending lots of love and really big hugs.

  12. Quel bummer. I really hope you can get started on your treatment soon. While you’re waiting, I so hope you are able to spend your days immersed in whatever floats your boat: music, books, TV box sets, something to lift you. Please imagine a large hug coming over from someone who doesn’t know you well but is full of admiration for the clear-eyed way you confront and write about your illness. I guess there are no easy victories in your campaign but you have won over Allies.

  13. Hi Helen, I just heard that the sodding cancer is back. 3 years ago, when I was going through chemo, you sent me a lovely email that helped so much – not least because you told me how awful chemo was – rather than telling me how brave I was to be going through it (doh – I have no choice!). In hindsight, I’ve always thought that your decision to email me – which can’t have been easy – was the single individual act that helped me the most in my battle against cancer. All those images of the chemo warriors battling the cancer cells really helped. So I understand your desire to start the chemo, coupled with the awful knowingness of what is to come. But you also know that time moves on and come Christmas you’ll be regrowing your hair and in a couple of years you’ll have lovely thick locks again! I also had the best complexion I’ve ever had after my chemo, plus no need to pluck my eyebrows!

    Will be thinking of you this week and hoping you can start your treatment soon. I had the nice aggressive kind of cancer and no-one was very positive when I was diagnosed – but ultimately, you know that it is entirely possible that the surgery to remove the cancer may be all that was needed and everything else was “just in case”. I hoped that was the case with me but would have taken everything they could throw at me “just in case” – as you will.


  14. Helen really sorry to hear this news. My nan is in hospital at the moment also with cancer and its a horrible place to have to spend time. Its great to hear how your fighting and I still believe you can do anything. Funny how going home is a tonic. I’m back in the country to stroud. Hope all your battles get easier

Comments are closed.