Chemotherapy Diary - Cycle #4: Day 7
A quick recap of how my mum's chemotherapy cycle #4 was going:
- She was very tired as this was the 4th cycle of chemotherapy after a major operation involving a full hysterectomy of 9 hours
- She had started to feel nauseous, vomit and feel a lot of pain in her abdomen
- During a routine appointment, her pain escalated and she was admitted into hospital to manage the nausea, her pain and subsequently her dehydration.
I left my mum the day before at the hospital with my sister. I've written previously about how my mum does not speak English, is elderly and like any able bodied person, is scared of being in hospital by herself. Though the staff are amazing and treat her very well, it still makes her feel anxious that doctors come to stare and talk about her and nurses come to poke her with needles. So my sister stayed the night at her bedside whilst I had to get up at 5am to catch a train into London for work. It was going to be a long and busy day in a city I was unfamiliar in and deeply worried about my mum. Although I was feeling less anxious as I knew that she was being taken care of and would get help with her pain and nausea. Unfortunately, you can say that after 5 hours sleep I was not exactly alert so missed my train by 1 minute. But was able to catch the next train in 30 minutes. My sister messaged me to tell me that my mum was restless through the night and had to have more strong pain medication to help her. The medical staff confirmed that as a result of the chemotherapy medication she had taken to prevent nausea, she was severely constipated. After surgery, my mum had adjusted to life with a stoma well and the stoma's swelling had subsided to a point which seemed healthy. However, the chemotherapy medication had clearly affected her stoma. There is a stigma that those with cancer undergoing chemotherapy are very tired, vomit a lot and lose their hair - it's almost romanticised to some extent. However, chemotherapy is an intensive treatment that brings with it the ability to trigger other events. This is why cancer causes an adjustment to the current lifestyle and why my mum requires assistance and care from time to time. On the positive side, my mum had stopped vomiting and the nausea seemed more under control. It was very hard to concentrate all day and I was very tired so during lunchtime, went outside to take a walk along the Thames since I was close to London Bridge. During the afternoon, my sister messaged me again to say that my mum was starting to feel a little better and had eaten a cup of fruit which was good news. Unfortunately, on the way home, I missed my train. Again!!!! Nooo!!!!!! I grabbed a quick sandwich at the train station while I waited. I knew that by the time I got home, I wouldn't have time to go to the hospital to visit my mum and actually my other sister was due to take over in my sister's place. Tag team style. So I knew that she would be tired and probably wouldn't want to see an extra person but I did ring her to see how she was doing. She said that the pain had subsided and she was feeling better. She sounded better which made me feel better but I still missed her and was gutted that I wouldn't be able to go to the hospital to see her. When I got home, I quickly cleaned the house since it was still in disarray from the day that she was nauseous and admitted into hospital and I'm ashamed to say, was so tired that I fell asleep just after 9pm, ready to wake up at 5am and do the same again the next day. But with an added bonus as I knew that I was going to be able to see my mum at the end of the day which I was excited about.
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