Preparation – Days 19 & 20


As I suspected, the weekend has taken its toll.  I.  Am.  Knackered.  This is a tad irritating, but I standby my ‘It was worth it‘ attitude.  I still managed to press on with most of my planned activities, although a theatre trip had to be postponed.

As well as catching up with friends, these two days have been all about preparing for the next week of incapacity.  Now I have some idea of how being poisoned affects me, I can better plan.  The Captain is pretty good in the holding the fort stakes but he does appreciate guidance.  So I have drawn up a meal planned for the next ten days.  The shopping has been completed.  Most of the meals are done and in the freezer.  Those that need to be cooked fresh have all the ingredients to hand with the recipe, page number and book all listed.  This list is stuck firmly to the fridge door.

Besides meals, I have also prepared a series of easy to grab snacks for when I need to eat to keep the nausea at bay.  Ginger is an ever present theme.  I am well stocked with ginger snacks but you can never have too many so imagine my delight at having been given a ginger hamper 🙂 :


Just for completeness, for the past couple of days I have been troubled with sore eyes.  Sometimes they leak.  Sometimes they are dry.  Always they are sore.  It is not the end of the world.  But neither is it pleasant.  And today, I am back with the sore scalp.  The whole lemming like hair situation seemed to slow up a bit once the Great Shave had happened.  We could debate whether this was down to the lack of weight pulling on the follicles.  Or we could assume my follicles had had a change of heart.  Whatever the reason, this reprieve has been temporary.  All things hair like are plummeting once again.

Finally, today, I have been reflecting on the whole of this first cycle.  Tomorrow I see The Doc for a check up.  I have collated a list of my most troublesome side effects to discuss with him.  In particular I am hoping for some improving in my nausea management.  And in the management of my exploding bottom.  So, in The Doc we trust.

The Great Shearing – Part 2

Beauty Parlour

Today has been another chaotically busy day in my frantic preparations.  The biggest event was my date with my darling hairdresser who I adore.  We have been planning for my hair loss for sometime.  I had my usual six weekly appointment just before we went away and had my usual bob length hair cut much shorter.  Today’s was all about minimising the mess when my hair starts hurling itself from my scalp.  I now sport and very short crop albeit with some slightly longer bits on top.  And I have a cunning plan for when the Great Shedding occurs.  The minute it starts to come out I shall be on the phone to the Serious Delinquent who has promised to come round armed with clippers and Prosecco.  I do not want to wait for it all to come out in handfuls.  That it is going to depart this life is inevitable so I would rather attempt a little control of the situation.

Anyway, my fabulous hairdresser has done a pretty amazing job.  I am really rather pleased:

Photo on 07-06-2016 at 14.44

Of course, it will be the shortest length of time I have ever had a hair style for.  Except possibly some gross errors of judgement in the eighties.  But on the whole, I feel it bodes well for the regrowing period.  What could have been a fairly traumatic moment in my cancer career, turned into a lovely one.  And it got even nicer.  I was not allowed to pay.  How kind is that?  I was so overwhelmed, I nearly cried.

Following this, I had another indulgent time.  For my fiftieth birthday back in November, I was given a voucher for a local beauty salon.  And today was the day I used it.  I had a manicure and pedicure so I am now sporting expertly painted nails in shimmering purple for my fingers and bright red for my toes.  That I do not match disturbs more than I care to admit.  I cannot think what possessed me.  But I do love each colour.  I just need to not see them together.

The rest of the day has been spent cooking up a storm for the freezer.



Every year the Captain and I look at each other after Christmas, assess the damage and embark on some form of weight loss campaign.  We have been doing it for nearly the whole of our marriage.  Over the years it has got harder, but each Spring we have lost an average of a stone and a half each.  Consequently my summer wardrobe is generally slightly smaller than my winter one.

This year, the weekend of our annual appraisal was followed by my summons to the Recall Clinic and so on and so forth.  Strangely, this did not affect the diet well.  Initially I did not eat but I have more than made up for that since.  And despite having a kilo of me lopped off in surgery I am exactly the same weight now that I was at Christmas.

This has meant buying almost an entire summer wardrobe.  Not only do I need clothes that fit me now, I also need clothes that are ‘comfy’ as I am assured that most people put on weight during breast cancer chemo.  And then, of course, there will be the difficulty in shedding the excess timber thanks to the delights of hormone therapy.  Lovely.  I am not looking forward to the post chemo diet!

Food, Glorious Food


You do not have to know me very well to know that I enjoy cooking.  I run a food company for goodness sake!  Prior to being diagnosed with cancer, I had only ever lost my appetite once when a cold removed my sense of taste for a few days.  It is reasonable to say that I love food and all things relating to it.  So the prospect of the FEC-ing chemo interfering with that is not a happy one.

I think everyone associates chemo with nausea and vomiting.  I know the medical staff load you up with anti-emetics so I am hoping this will not be too bad.  Following on my puke-tastic time after surgery I have been promised Emend, a top notch drug.  Only time will tell if it works, but I am hopeful.  However, there are other prospects.  Sore mouth, bleeding gums, metallic taste, and all sorts of other delights.  With this in mind, the Captain bought me The Royal Marsden Cancer Cookery Book.  It is lovely.  All sorts of delightful recipes with a grid listing which are suitable for particular symptoms.  So for a sore mouth, one might be tempted by a Blueberry & Avocado Smoothie or Pea & Pancetta Risotto.  For nausea, there’s Green Tea & Peach ice lollies or Elderflower Jelly.  While still on the mouth theme, how about Cinnamon French Toast with Apple & Blackberry Compôte or Mongolian Stew for changes in taste?  All sounds a bit delicious to me.

I have begun to fill the freezer with such goodies in order to have some things on hand when required.  Inevitably the recipes have had a little tampering.  I am not used to cooking while having painted nails so the Celeriac, Lemongrass & Lime Soup with Nail Varnish Chippings should be interesting.  When I have done a few cycles, I will try to reflect on which recipes I found most helpful.