What now?

The countdown is on to my last chemo. There are just days to go. I’ve dreamt about this moment for a very long time. I really don’t want to get ill and delay my final treatment. After this I’m done with the cancer. But there’s been a scary new development.

For the past week I’ve been in the danger zone. This is when my immune system takes a violent nosedive and because of this I’ve kept myself pretty much isolated from the outside world. Away from many of the everyday germs.

Following my last chemo I had that horrible hurty injection. It boosts your immune system but it makes you feel like you have flu and arthritis. I put up with the pain as I knew it would protect me.

When I had that really bad infection a few weeks ago I was advised to steer clear of certain risky foods so I carried on with this special diet. Salad, cold meat, milk that’s been opened for more than a day, yogurt, soft cheese, fruit and vegetables that haven’t been peeled and many others were on my banned list.

So I thought I’d be safe but I was wrong.

It turns out that I have MRSA. As in the superbug that kills hundreds of people each year, as in the bacteria that’s resistant to some types of antibiotics.

After my GP rang me with the news, the next thing I did was have a look on the internet. I know I know it was a stupid move. I was scared by what I saw but I did find this piece of advice: “The best thing to do is to avoid becoming infected with the bacteria.” Yeah, thanks for that.

Anyway, concerned by what I’d read I called one of my consultants. He put my mind at rest. I may feel overwhelmingly tired and have all the other horrible side effects of the chemo but I don’t have any of the worrying symptoms that would mean I have full blown MRSA. It’s unlikely to become critical.

Apparently many people have the superbug but most will never get ill from it or even realise that they have it. My case is a bit different so I’m back on antibiotics again. Plus I have a special pink shower gel which is stuffed full of ingredients with long medical names.

As long as the MRSA doesn’t turn into something serious before it’s sorted then I’ll be okay. My last chemo should be able to go ahead as planned.

Just as I’m so close to finishing my treatment I can’t believe that something else has come along but after all that I’ve been through I won’t let what is only a small problem get in my way.

9 thoughts on “What now?

  1. Helen, I’m not at all religious but news like this makes me wonder whether there are Roman-style Gods up there, interfering in the fate of us poor bloody humans just trying to get on with our lives! I, being an ordinary mortal, have done battle with the bog-standard staphylococcus after every operation I ever had. I looked up MRSA too, and I didn’t realise you could have it without necessarily getting all the ill-effects. It wasn’t a stupid move, you’ve got to know your enemies, it seems to me that’s what this blog has been all about. So ‘they’ have sent you a superbug. But did they realise you are a super-person? With a super-consultant. Here’s wishing you the best of luck with your last chemo when it comes, and just a ton of sympathy and empathy and all the good -pathys to help defeat the bad -pathys.

  2. Hello Helen, I know it’s a real bummer getting MRSA but keep taking the tablets and using the pretty pink shower stuff and it will soon be just a distant memory. It must seem like one thing after another but there WILL come a time when you’ll look back on this and think………. CAKE! Thinking of you Clare 🎂🍰

    Sent from my iPad 2

  3. Hello Helen
    You are stronger than you think and we’re rooting for you. Take care and keep planning those super-good times that will follow these nasties as surely as night follows day.
    Christine x

  4. Hi, Helen. I, too, had to follow the low-microbial diet for a couple of months, so I share your disappointment that you have to pass on the salads & such. (I’m still not to eat berries – too many nooks & crannies for the germs to hide in, I guess.) My mother-in-law discovered that she had MRSA when she was hospitalized for cancer surgery. She has no symptoms, but any time she is hospitalized now, they take extra precautions. She’s 95, & looks & feels great. Keeping you in my thoughts. Despite the new wrinkle, sounds like you’re still progressing nicely.

  5. An ocean away, I read your blog and find myself cheering with good news and my heart sinks when I read something like this……I send you my prayers and deepest most powerful anti-germ fighting, next chemo-having thoughts.

  6. Thinking of you and your four letter word…well, not really a word…There’s a big piece of cake waiting for you when you’re next up for it. Xx

  7. Helen- I’m the one who a few weeks ago said I wanted to see you standing in the snow and ice this winter reporting on the bad weather. And I still do!!! You’re almost there.
    This almost feels like a Bond movie were the baddie (cancer) has been defeated, but there is always one last twist were the baddie or his sidekick make one last futile attempt to wreck everything (MRSA) And that last twist is always defeated too.
    Almost there now. Best wishes, Paul.

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