The side effects of chemo that Gordon started with were alarming on that first night, and neither of us got much sleep. By 2am we were both in the lounge and having a cup of tea. In some ways, it brought us so much closer being able to share this together, rather than having to deal with it on our own.
When we were at IconCare having chemo, there were a few people who came in and had their treatment without anyone with them. It may have been there choice, but I still felt sorry for them. Gordon kept saying how he was glad he had us there. It was hard for him to deal with this after being so fit and healthy all his life.
This is how he described them:
Well, what an interesting first night. Received chemo from 5 to 7 pm. Left hospital at about 7:40 and the side effects had already started. Included: voice failing when I went to speak, then it went squeaky. Very amusing for Tan and Kiki. Feeling very nauseous 😪 and salivating a lot. Could not focus my eyes. By the time I got home my forearms felt heavy and my limbs were getting clumsy. My lips were tingly and Tan said I sounded inebriated🤔. When I washed my hands at 10pm in cold water it felt like I was getting many little electric shocks in my hands. Got a cramp in calf muscle that had been twitching during the night. Abdominal muscles are twitching a lot too. Awoken at 1:00 and again at 4:45 and didn’t sleep much in between. Was up at 2 am with Tan….
The next day began more chemo in the form of tablets. He needs to take four in the morning and four at night. He has to do this for two weeks after the intravenous chemo then he has one week reprieve.
These chemo tablets were so toxic, we weren’t allowed to touch them. Because they were so hard to get out of their packet, we would have to cut them out, make sure we were wearing gloves and deliver them in a medicine container. Hmmmm.
Today was day four for Gordon and not a nice one. It was his Mum’s birthday, so we had breakfast with her and some other family members which was really nice. But by the time we got home, Gordon was ready to go back to bed. He spent most of the day on the toilet or sleeping. One of the worst side effects of chemo is the fact that you have to run to the toilet so much. Gordon’s problem is that since he had his stomach removed, he had been doing that anyway.
Today (and for many days to come), he didn’t know if the reason he was running to the toilet was because of what he was eating or a result of the chemo. We are looking for some bright days ahead.
To continue reading about our cancer journey, check back during the week. Tomorrow he goes back to see his surgeon, Professor Smithers.