Chemo no 60

IMG_1324I found it hard to believe that this was my 60th chemo cocktail. As you can imagine I was dreading it. I was well aware of how horrific the next few days and months will be.

I had a bit of a wobble the night before but I actually felt great as I sat in the hospital chair waiting for my toxic fix.

I realised that doing something you’ve done so many times before has it advantages. You know what to expect and how to prepare. And most importantly I had Luke to hold my hand.

It was such a long day at hospital. Endless hours of being attached to a drip. For anyone interested I’m having two chemotherapy drugs – Cisplatin and 5FU. Plus the usual fluids, magnesium, and steroids.

Oh yes the steroids. I’d forgotten how wonderful they are. After a few of hours I was on a steroid high. It felt almost like a drunken daze. It certainly makes the chemo cocktail easier to take. So what else is a drunken girl going to do? Take selfies in the toilet of course!


That drunken daze stayed for the rest of the session. Maybe it was the drugs but I felt happy to be having treatment. While I dislike chemo. I hate even more the sense that my cancer is growing again. I want to be in control. As my friend Kevin put it, I’m now building up my chemo-cation airmiles.

When the drips were done, the chemo hadn’t finished. I had to take home a bottle of the 5FU drug. It’s attached to me via tube into the port thats in my chest. I’m now on a constant portable drip. It means this drug will be going into me 24/7. The bottle is attached to a belt around my wait. You could say that its my new hip flask.

I’ve no idea how I’m going to feel. I had the first drug many years before and it was fine. But I’ve never had the second drug or been on a continuous drip. I’ve been told to expect to be exhausted. A couple of days on I feel quite rough. I woke up on the first morning after with what felt like a hangover. I suppose that was only to be expected.

Since my last blog post I’ve had lots of lovely comments. Thanks ever so much. They mean so much to me and help to keep me going.

Thats the first one done, I’m so glad to get that under my belt without any big drama. Just 17 to go.

29 thoughts on “Chemo no 60

  1. You are an inspiration to us all, please keep fighting. I pray for you daily x😷

  2. I have been reading your blog for a couple of years. Thank you for you openness and willingness to share this experience. You are an amazing woman!

  3. I have been reading your blog for over a year since my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, and I was and continue to be so inspired by your courage, honesty, and most especially, your list for living. Please know how much your writing is helping others through difficult times, but also through regular ones, also!! Wishing you all the best and cheering you from the sidelines x

  4. I have nothing but admiration for your positive spirit. Sending you a big hug, J,J,F&S xxxx

  5. What an inspirational women you are, always so positive and open. Keep fighting and complete that list for living.

  6. Blimey! Your look amazing in that photograph. I wish you all the very best again

  7. Go Helen xx I love your toilet selfie xx I hope the treatment is kind and you feel better very soon xx

  8. Oh Helen I never know what to say !!! 🙄.
    I’m certainly not as quick as Kevin ( is he a journalist )!!! Lol
    Well sweetie…. Hold tight, stay focused on all that’s good ( Like Luke)….
    Much Love xxxxx

  9. Seemed so so strange reading about the chemo drugs you are on this time Helen. I was diagnosed with aggressive inflammatory breast cancer 20 years ago, surgery was not an option.. The chemotherapy I was given is exactly the same as you are on this time, through a Hickman line in my chest, 24/7. It put me in remission for all these years, and I pray that it does for you too. God bless

  10. You’ve done so well in such difficult circumstances, you are extremely brave……. and sharing your journey with people will help many others with the difficult journey they have to make. Take care and keep strong !!

  11. Dear Helen,
    Yes, you are an inspiration but also a source of strength and of resilience. Your blog is important to me and to many more people out there, whether they experienced cancer or not.
    It helps me in my daily fight against my immunodeficiencies, making me feel connected to the world and infusing hope and strength to carry on. Thank you for this. I wish you all the best that you deserve. You are not alone, out there.

  12. Oh Helen, how I love to read your optimistic and graphically written description of what’s happening to you. I’ve never followed anyone’s blog before you (I discovered your bucket list story on World Service ages ago while walking a dog) and you’ve had such a big and moving impact on me ever since. You won’t be in a position to read a book whilst you’re undergoing this latest chemo bashing, but have you heard of this book: ‘Cancer Whisperer’ by Sophie Sabbage? I heard it reviewed on Woman’s Hour recently and was very struck by Sophie’s relationship with her cancer. Keep writing and telling us exactly how you’re feeling; you are so expressive and a wonderful girl. Nina xx >

  13. Thank you for your willingness to share your experiences! You are an inspiration to us all! Wishing you the best from across the pond!

  14. Bless you, Helen, thank you for sharing this. It is awe-inspiring and shows you are 1 000 000 % journo! At times I feel a bit like a voyeur reading about what you are going through but I know that is not so. For very very different reasons, (depression, divorce – love of my life had 2nd affair and left me, moving house – mostly on my own…) I am also in a bad place and often feel so alone… From now on I am carrying you with me like your portable chemo and we are in all of this together. I know it often means very little to hear how well you are doing from my there people because they have no idea what is really going on inside. I have found visiting a local Buddhist temple very helpful mindfulness chatter is everywhere – and I am slowly absorbing the key points! I hope you can too Sorry I have gone on but basically – hang in there, you are amazing and lots of people are surrounding you with love, comfort and support. 🏅☔️💐 🏆🌈

  15. What a blow Helen, thinking of you and praying that you come through this dreadful time, miss you on the bbc. You are so brave.

  16. Have been following your blog,Helen and you are indeed an inspiration.I am a breast cancer survivor of 20 years and would have found a blog like yours back then very comforting and am sure you are helping others in similar circumstances today. Good luck with the latest round of treatment and thank you for sharing your experiences. You are a very brave lady.

  17. Like you I too have been told my cancer is growing again after being stable for 18 months. So I have started oral cancer drugs and along with all my other medication it means 50+ tablets a day. This is for as long as it works I try to be positive but it can be hard but I just have to read your blogs which are like a pick me up and help lift my mood. Take care. xXx

      • Imagine if this one didn’t make you ill. Wouldn’t that be heaven?!
        I don’t envy you the steroids… Although drunk sounds fun! When I think steroids, I think insomnia. I watched so much trash tv on my iPad in bed when I was on them.
        So proud of you for going in with the same fighting spirit. Sending you lots of love and cancer-ass-kicking vibes. Take good care angel. Stay away from germs. We don’t want to hear about any infections! Big kiss xxx

  18. You are such an amazingly strong woman, Helen! I can’t even begin to imagine what chemo nos. 60 to 78 must feel like, but if anyone can get through this gruelling time, you can.

    So many congratulations on getting engaged, too – that really made my week!

    Very best wishes and love from us all back in Moscow again, Chloe and family Xxxxxx

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