Half Way Through Chemo a Big Yippee and HO HO HO

Well I am delighted to say that after Thursday I am now officially halfway through my chemo treatment.  Four down and four to go so that I must say feels great.  Thursday was a very strange day I thought full of new friends, old friends, sad patients, happy patients and hilarious patients.   Will try to keep this as light as possible as hey its Christmas and who really wants to read about chemo and the bastard disease cancer over Christmas.  However if I don’t write this its a bit missing from me and due to this chemo brain of mine I will forget it.

Aimed on getting in a little early this time in the hope of getting out a bit early ehhhh that certainly didn’t work.  Arrived into the Chemo depressing waiting room.   Same old faces looking sick, bored, worried and no-one talking and all looking around aimlessly, I knew straight away was gonna be a long day.   Had thought about bringing in a load of santy hats for the laugh and handing them out of course I forgot along with the couple of bottles of wine I was going to get for the nurses.  Would have been so much fun just to hop out of my chair and at the top of my voice started singing Santa Claus is coming to town just to see their reactions – Jesus the things you think about when you’re sitting there.

Finally got called an hour later to get the horrific bloods done and find a good vein to pump the poison through.  Had a new nurse she was lovely she got it on second time which was great.  My arm has a massive bruise from the first attempt amazing how a needle can damage you and make such a big bruise.  Anyhow was happy as pig in shit that it was now in place and I could leg it for a cuppa downstairs way from the grey and misery of the chemo area.

Had coffee after an hour back to the fun room where I waited for two hours.  However while sitting there some lady asked me “are you Deirdre Featherstone” I couldn’t deny it as I had my hospital badge on :-)    “yes indeed I am” it was a girl I had worked with on my very first job in a factory in Sallynoggin nearly 30 years ago where she was the head secretary.  We had a great ole chat I was even at her wedding I remember now, she has had cancer for three years and has had a very very tough time of things but she is a trooper as all cancer people are and she is looking on the bright side of things which was hard for her as one thing gets fixed and another thing seems to pop up.  Cancer reminds me sometimes of those baby toys you know where you hammer one part of it and another part of it pops up – its like a weed kill it one place and the bastard comes up the other place.

Anyhow got called as usual got my dentist chair the place was absolutely jammers this time and so busy.  I got seen to quick enough which was great and I sat back and soaked in “the atmosphere”.  There were a few new faces this time, two new men, three new women and a very bright and colourful character a Rasta guy (still with hair) and those great huge colourful rasta hats.  He was great craic and was chatting away to everyone I think he was Italian or something but then all of a sudden he was speaking Gaelic to the nurses “Conas a ta tu” etc.etc. his level of Irish was better than mine.   Everyone in the place was cracking up great when you get characters like this.

Met a lady I have met a few times (I don’t mention names anymore but you know who you are if you are reading this) we had a great ole giggle.  Talking about everything another lady came over for a chat too and we were all due back in three weeks from Thursday.  I swear to God between the three of us we could not get our act together and count 21 days forward.  One was coming back on the 31st January, I was saying it was the 14th and the other lady the 12th.  The old iPhone saved the day and next kick-off is 10th January we were laughing at the state of us not being even able to count.

The highlight of my day was I had met a lovely girl called Darina through this web or the cancer forum can’t remember now.  Darina had really been battling hard with cancer and they were afraid it had moved to her bones.  I had been on Facebook and got a message saying she was also in vinnies she was just waiting on the doctor to give her the results (which had taken ages) and she was shitting herself.  Told her to pop over after which she did around ten minutes later I had never met her in person but knew her straight away of course (the power of Facebook) – we had a hug and she had a huge smile on her face it wasnt in her bones YIPIDEDODAAAAA what fabulous news.

Day continued poison getting pumped into me my FABULOUS mother came in with my coffee and stayed a while, she is so great to me and again Mam sorry for being narky later on had been a long day, but as you said I am allowed (every now and again)…….  Got chatting to more great women who’se cancers were way worse than me but they were so whats the word, amazing, inspiring just plain wonderful the way they were coping.  I suppose when things get thrown your way you just have to grab hold of it and fight your way through it.    I said at the start of this it was a very strange day with tears and laughter there was a lady in the other dentist chair and obviously she had just received some bad news and was sitting there quietly crying in here chair (the way I am in bed now writing this quietly crying).   Her husband had been with her earlier but he had left I think to get clothes as she had to stay in.  I went over to her and held her hands and gave them a big squeeze and asked if she wanted me to sit beside her she said she would be okay but thanks.   Was awful…….

Room was emptying out at this stage around four guys left and around eight women.  The Rasta guy was in full swing saying Jesus they must be putting tequila or something in my chemo I feel high as a kite.   He said I havent drank for 15 years but Jesus man this is a buzz then he was saying right there are 4 men and 8 women the men could have two women each and we could all get up and do the Riverdance for the laugh and cheer ourselves up.  We got a great laugh at that and you know what if he had got up to do it would have got up myself.   It was great at this stage as it was late around 4pm that people in their desperation were really enjoying this even if they weren’t vocal you could see their smiles.  Meanwhile while all this was happening the poor lady was still crying back at the dentist chair.

Got the last bag of poisin around 4.30 Mam was back in with me at this stage however had not seen the doctor so needed to get a prescription.  Had to wait til around 5.30 for the doc to get the prescription.    At this stage there was only two people lady a very harassed lady non native who was giving the nurses plenty to deal with and also the lovely upset lady who was still in the dentist chair.  I went over and gave her a hug and said I hoped everything thing was gonna be okay for her she was still misty eyed – I felt so sorry for her my heart went out to her.

Myself and my Mam ended up getting a taxi (long story) up to the chemists to get the drugs.  This is where I got the narky head on me with my Mam was so tired, so brain dead and so not in the mood to try figure out things.   Got the drugs brother Sean picked us up from the chemist back to 31 for a cuppa.  Always great to see my eldest brother and must say looking very dapper!   Had a huge dinner of chicken steak and fried egg accompanied by brown sliced bread :-)    My folks are great they lit the gas fire (only gets lit on very special occasions) they told me to go in and relax and watch tv which I did was asleep in 5 mins.   My brother Colly and his son Eoin called later and we had a good laugh they hadn’t seen me without hair and with my wig.  So had to don the wig and show it off – they were very impressed Colly wanted to take it with him but I said no this time :-)    I was in a fairly antsy mood so there was plenty of discussions and opinions spouting out of me (whats new) so Colly everything we discussed has been taken onboard and sorted – advice taken and attended to:-)

Headed to bed my PJs laid out on the bed, the heat on, I even heard my Mam saying to me Dad “did you go up and fluff up the duvet?”  he said “Yes Ann I did for the second time” he has the patience of a saint my Dad with a wife like my mam and a daughter like me he hasn’t a hope!!

Headed down to Stillorgan Shopping Centre for a pre-arranged brekkie with my great friend Emer and was delighted that Grainne was there as well.   We had a lovely brekkie my Chemo brain was in full force I would be in the middle of a sentence and have to ask them what I was talking about.  Lovely buzz in the Shopping Centre I love that shopping centre so many memories of it as a kid, love they flowers they have and the outdoor seats.  It’s a pleasure to shop there even if it could still do with a few more shops like kids clothes etc. to stop people having to go to Dundrum.  Stick a Penneys in Stillorgan the place would be rocking.

Maggies Breakfast

Good things that happened

  • I am halfway through Chemo
  • We are getting a new Chemo Room in January which will be much brighter
  • Its Christmas and I have all gifts bought
  • Darina doesn’t have cancer in her bones
  • Dont have to set the alarm clock for two weeks
  • Still have two boobs :-)
  • Bought some things just for me :-)
  • Maggie has just come up with breakfast in bed for me – look at that healthy breakfast – usually not that healthy just no bread left
  • Only three more sleeps for Christmas really looking forward to it!

Folks hope you all have an absolutely fabulous Christmas.   Thanks once again for all your support you really have made this cancer a lot more fun for me.  Sorry if this post was a little sad but hopefully it will in some way make you happy that you are in better shape than others :-)

Below is one of my favourite videos and its seasonal - my four-year old took this all by herself I found it a couple of weeks later on my iPhone, its hilarious from Baby in a Manger, to lipstick to getting caught out by the door!

Remember this time next year YOU will be recovering from my Kicking the Shite out of Cancer party!


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32 Responses to Half Way Through Chemo a Big Yippee and HO HO HO

  1. Therese says:

    Happy Christmas to you and yours. Your daughter is only gorgeous, a definite star in the making.. Love reading your blog and this will sound very selfish but it makes me feel like I got off very lightly, I only needed a lumpectomy and radiotherapy and of course Tamoxifen..Like you, I can’t tell people often enough to go and have a mammogram. If I hadn’t been called for Breast Check I would not have found the lump early enough..I wish you and your family the best Christmas ever and hope you have a wonderful 2013

    • Deirdre says:

      Hi Therese – no it doesnt sound selfish at all I thank my stars after a day of treatment realise compared to other people I am doing great so this is what we take from things. I’ll be five years on Tamoxifen is there many side affects eto them? I know its mad with the Mamo isnt it I if you hadnt have gone what would have happened would have been way worse, if I hadnt gone too would have been way worse. Got a notification the other day for a Mamo in January so am hoping that this is gonna be good news that they can see that this has shrunk I will be devasted if after five chemos the little bastard or should I say big bastard is still the same size. Have a great CHritmas yourself and thanks for stopping by xxxx

  2. Anonymous says:

    Your updates are so uplifting and inspiring – you are an amazing and strong woman, and you continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. Best wishes for a Merry Christmas, and may the coming year be full of health, joy, and celebration!

  3. Marian Deasy says:

    Have a Happy Christmas Deirdre with your family, you are really an inspiration to all of us xx

  4. Anonymous says:

    Have a great Christmas Deirdre….

  5. Anne Cunningham says:

    Dee, wishing an absolutely FANTASTIC WOMAN a very happy Christmas. You have such an amazing positive attitude.
    Enjoy the holiday season with your girls, love you xxx

  6. Suzanne Browne says:

    Hi Dee – I can’t imagine how you are coping with this – you really are fantastic and with a heart of gold. Have a fabulous Christmas – and yes – let them spoil you! Sue xxx

  7. ger carroll says:

    always choked after ur blogs…its a tough one having chemo so close to xmas but it will pass and healthy year awaits u…u will kick it and yes will party next year..luv and hugs and p.g. u dont feel too crap over the next few days.xx

    • Deirdre says:

      Thanks Ger yes was a bit tough but its done now so its Christmas Time! THanks a million for all the lovely pressies girls and tickled pink and every Bratz in the house has been styled!!

  8. Tina Lynam says:

    Hi Dee, you are absolutly brilliant, keep up the spirits. Hope you have a lovely a lovelyb christmas with your family. You will have that party. Tina Lynam. xxx

    • Deirdre says:

      Hi Tina thanks a million hope you too have a lovely Christmas. By the way I will be having two parties one in Dublin and one in Kildare so you’ll be on the Kildare list :-) I dont usually do things in halves :-)

  9. Jackie McEwan says:

    Caitlin and myself have not stopped laughing at ‘away in a manger’ done in a very unique way……it’s officially a first that someone managed to get a lipstick in a Christmas carol, the twirling was magnificent and the chesty cough was the icing on the Christmas cake……have a fantastic Christmas. Love jackie xxx

    • Deirdre says:

      Hi Jackie yeah was gas wasnt it also loved the end part when the doorbell rang as if to say oops better stop this!! Have a great Christms love to Alan and Caitlin

  10. Anonymous says:

    Merry Christmas Deirdre & a wonderful New Year! You are an inspiration to others! Lots of hugs. Cynthia from Athlone. xx

  11. Anonymous says:

    Hi dee, I’ve just come home from an afternoon with my really sick dad, honestly I’ve never seen someone fight to stay alive so much, he’s amazing. He’s going through such a hard time at the moment but I know he’s going to get through it, but as u know it’s so hard and also for the people who would do anything to make the pain of it go away. As always ur amazing and you really help me understand him a bit more. Have a wonderful Xmas I’ll bring him to your party next year! ;)

    • Deirdre says:

      Hi Gayle looking forward to meeting him this time next year we will have a great knees up togther :-) As you say the main thing is he will get through it and come out the other end. Not easy for you to be looking on you would give anything to take away someones pain. So glad I help in some way that makes me feel good :-) Have a wonderful wonderful Christmas and looking forward to seeing you and your Dad next year xxxx

  12. Michelle Rogers says:

    Very best wishes to you – my beloved partner is also half-way through his chemo – had latest lot in Vincent’s the Thursday before Christmas – two more sessions to go… managed to eat a good Christmas dinner despite the relentless nausea… all the very best to you and yours for a really great 2013… positivity and hope!!! xox

    • Deirdre says:

      Hi Michelle sorry to hear your partner is also going through this maybe he was in the room with me I was in their thursday before CHristmas. Glad to to hear he had christmas dinner I did too but was a touch couple of days. THanks for your wishes and best wishes to yours too xx

      • Michelle Rogers says:

        Aw thanks Deirdre – so sorry was tough for you – tonight hard as he feels so very bad today all over, bones hurting, nausea, scalp feels funny so maybe hair going to fall out now, temperature going up a bit so we have to keep monitoring that in case of infection. You poor guys, not fun to experience as partner, so must be really awful to go through it yourself – I am saying to him you are half way through now, but sometimes hard to keep the chin up – he is not looking forward to the next two rounds…and like you say, he also feels you are letting people put poison into your body that is really hurting your body :-( sorry to be so glum, maybe tomorrow we will bounce back – I think only people going through it can really understand… Mind yourself and big solidarity and all good wishes to you Deirdre – you have really helped me just to know somebody else understands – thank you so much xxx

        • Deirdre says:

          HI Michelle hope he is feeling better by this stage I usually start to pick up on this day the Friday after chemo so around day 8 or 9……. he is very lucky to have you there supporting him it makes it much easier to get through it when you have support. Always here if you want a chat you can find me on Facebook – heres hoping he is feeling better and the New Year will be a brighter one xxx

  13. Family D says:

    Hi from Perth, Australia! I found your blog while reading up in chemo. I’m 40 and have just had a double mastectomy and lymph nodes out on one side. I’m starting 6 courses of chemo on 11 January which will be followed by radiotherapy and tamoxifen. Like you I’m so grateful to have been found early – mammograms are available at 40 here but too few people know that. I’ll continue to read how you are going. All the best for 2013. I’m hoping it will be a fast year! Kx

    • Deirdre says:

      Hi there thanks so much for leaving a note. Wow you have been going through the mill alright. I am a bit like you however mascetomy after the 8 chemos – and then tamoxifen. Chemo to be honest has not been too bad (much better than I though) I have more good days than bad days first week is a little “dozy” then I seem to pick up after day 8 or so. Best of luck with it all – keep in touch always nice to talk to someone going through the same things. Best of luck with your chemo and keep on kicking, having hair is not too bad really thought it would be awful but in a mad way quite like it pity its not a bit warmer here then I wouldnt bother with the wig :-) I too hope the year is going to fly for us so we can get it out of the way and move on to an even beter life. Take Care xx

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