Following my diagnosis of osteoporosis back in October, I started taking oral Bisphosphonates immediately. This was a jolly good thing. For two reasons: good for my bones; good for secondary cancer prevention. Unfortunately it turned out to be a disaster for my gut. I could not tolerate it at all. First dose led to me crying ‘Huey’ and ‘Ralph’ into the giant white telephone for a fair part of the day. Subsequent doses were not quite so catastrophic but pretty nasty gut rot followed so this line of administration was declared A Failure. I had similar problems with the administration of Vitamin D and Calcium for I am indeed a Delicate Little Flower. However, there at least, my GP has come up with a combo that works. I take an effervescent calcium twice daily and some vitamin D once a month. Marvellous.
Back to the Bisphosphonates. I need them. So in a bid to find an alternative way of administration, I was referred to the Osteoporosis Clinic where I found myself today. It was actually a small miracle that I found myself there at all as the appointment letter failed to specify where the clinic was being held. Funnily enough, I did not consider the Maternity Block a likely venue so it was last on my search list. But we all know I am over efficient in the being early department, therefore I had time to scour the entire hospital and there it was. I liked my consultant. We shall call her Bones. She did not look much like her Star Trek counterpart but wearing that uniform might have made her feel a little silly.
Bones has decided I am to have annual transfusions of Zoledronic acid which is the IV version of bisphosphonates. It involves being hospital for a few hours and then the likelihood of a few days of flu like symptoms. But once a year. I can live with that. Before I left I had to have blood taken to check my vitamin D levels are high enough, if not, extra treatment will be given. When I waved my chemo burned veins at the child-phlebotomist (I swear she was not out of primary school), her eyes nearly filled with tears which did not make me feel hugely confident. However, there was extremely good news on that front. Whether it was a fluke, a one off, extreme skill or signs of recovery, blood was let at the first attempt with no difficulty whatsoever. I rather wished I had had a lollipop in my handbag or a gold star with which to reward my young friend, who was giddy with her triumph.
All that remains is to wait for a transfusion date to arrive through the post.
The indigestion, it seems, has come to stay. Perhaps this should not be a surprise. Although in my Ever The Optimist fashion I was rather hoping I had got away without it. My particular cocktail of poison is inclined come along with a side helping of acid reflux and given that I am prone to this, I guess it was inevitable *sigh*. It is probably noteworthy that my worst side effects are all digestive in nature: nausea (annoyingly still a problem. Though not an issue. Fortunately), diarrhoea, and now indigestion. Make of that what you will.
Of course, this all meant another phone call to the Chemo Hotline. I got to speak to the same nurse I talked to on Sunday which was really rather lovely. After various cogitations and confabs it was decided that I should simply double my existing medication. And I am all for simple.
Despite the lack of sleep, I felt decidedly ‘me’ like for most of the day. I am at my most vulnerable to infection now and will be for the next week as my blood cells struggle to get themselves back into shape. Because of this, I will be avoiding crowded places and large groups of people. I thoroughly dislike this as I have always been one to ignore infection in the past. Just not wise now.
Today’s treat was watching the England match with my son and his fiancée. Both my offspring in two days, I am blessed indeed 🙂
Yesterday turned into a bit of a social whirl, comparatively speaking. I had a fabulous friend come and visit in the late afternoon to catch me up on all the news. It was so good to see her. I feel hideously cut off much of the time. Fundamentally I am a people person. There are times I crave solitude but by and large I need people. Only no one seems to have told my wretched body that. Chemo is playing havoc with my social life. I just have so little energy it is difficult to get out and about, or even to consider galvanising myself into anything resembling action.
However, a few intrepid types have discovered the joy of face timing with me. This has proved brilliant. We set a time; make sure we are sorted with tea, coffee, whatever; then sit and chat as if we were across the table instead of hundreds of miles away. Ok, so there are a few more delays in the conversation. A few more ‘You’ve frozen’ comments. A few more periods of actually taking it in turn to speak. But on the whole, it is fab. And I am loving it. The only downside is my memory, never good, has become shocking. Which means there is every chance I can arrange a call, and then totally forget all about it. If I have done this to you, I apologise. Just wallop me next time we meet. Or harangue me by text.
Anyway, back to my social whirl of yesterday. Having had my lovely in the flesh visitor, I then had a flurry of phone calls (the Captain was out) – all delightful. And then, the cherry on the proverbial, I had a visit from a dahn sarf friend who was passing by for work! He came bearing ginger cake. Delicious sticky ginger cake no less. So obviously I now love him even more than I did. His wife is fine with this. For his wife is Chummy. She of the Up Yours Cancer Lunch 😀 And it is not everyone I am prepared to greet in a Taken My Bra Off for the Night state. Which obviously has far more implications now than it did before I became Lady Lopsided of Tilting Town. You try covering half an ample bosom while juggling coffee cups. Definitely goes on the Things I Never Thought I’d Do list.
Today, I have been paying for all the excitement. I had a fitful night’s sleep. Indigestion seems to be featuring somewhat – not sure if that is a side effect (though I know it can be) or just my usual. The sweaty, tingling head did not help and nor did the bizarre hair related dreams that ensued: being chased by tentacles of hair; giant plaits trying to smother me, you know the sort of thing. So today I have been wading through a fog of sleep deprivation with a side helping of nausea and indigestion. And I am still making far too frequent trips to the toilet. TMI, I know, but I did warn this would not be pretty. A visit from my daughter and her darling family perked me up no end this afternoon. My baby granddaughter tried on some of my chemo caps and looked fabulous in them. Such cuteness should be available on prescription.