I'm starting this blog update at 6am on Thursday 12th November. I've been indulging in watching the BBC news because my developing morning routine means I'm waking, most mornings, before 5am. I'm not averse to an early morning as a matter of fact I actually enjoy the peace and quiet of this time of day. What makes this morning different is it's the Thursday before chemo day and I definitely feel the negative effects of my treatment. Gradually, over the last 10 weeks, the number of good days in each chemo cycle have been reducing. This day has been expected but it's still a grim milestone, no "good days" between treatments. Don't be alarmed, I'm still able to function well, it's just I'm constantly aware of the less pleasant effects of my treatment.
I had a call from the oncology team yesterday which allowed me the opportunity to discuss my situation. What I'm experiencing is cumulative toxicity (chemo creep). At some point it's expected that I'll need to have some increased time between treatments to give me some extra recovery time. Fortunately that's likely to coincide with Christmas. It's hoped that my treatment will continue until mid February but no dates have been booked because, the harsh reality is, until I have a scan, it's not known if my treatment is having any effect. My scan is due in the next couple of weeks. Scary times indeed.
In one of my previous roles one of the common abbreviations we used was KPI which stood for Key Performance Indicator. Incidentally, KPI isn't an acronym. An acronym is when the abbreviation forms another pronounceable word like NASA. Just sayin'.
Anyway one of my personal KPIs are my feet. Sore feet is a well documented side effect of my particular treatment. Until now the soreness has diminished between treatments to a point that I have no discomfort at all. Today, however, that's not the case which is a bit of a concern because I'm doing one of my walks in a few hours and it's a bit longer than usual, almost 6 miles. Good boots and good socks are the answer and not to rush. I'm looking forward to enjoying the walk but the company is the real motivator. We may not be able to get together as we would like but you never know a few people might just have the same idea for the same walk at the same time. Who knows. Creeping around the covid rules.
My plan is to continue this update later with, amongst other witterings, a report back on my KPI.
Tricia and I arrived at the Castle-an-Dinas carpark at about 9:45 got our boots on and to our absolute surprise by happenstance Emma arrived. Who would have guessed?! The surprises kept coming another 5 had the same idea. Was it something I said? I thought it was a well kept secret.
The walk was great but for me the the best bit, apart from finding a sign that read;
THIS BRIDGE IS INSUFFICIENT
TO CARRY WEIGHTS BEYOND
THE ORDINARY TRAFFIC OF
by order of the COUNCIL
was encouraging people to access a sight that some had seen the signs but had never managed to visit.
The original plan when Emma started her walks was to raise awareness and money for bowel cancer. So for our next walk I'll be passing around a hat. But the good news is Emma's Just Giving page has just topped £3,000. Check it out at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/cornwallwalkstogether and maybe donate a couple of quid.
My worry about these walks are two-fold. My feet and my stamina. Two KPIs. My stamina is still holding up at the moment. My feet have ended up feeling a bit like they've been cooked, hot and a bit uncomfortable but no blisters which is a common side effect. I'm still managing to avoid this effect by moisturising my feet every day and wearing good shoes and socks. I intend to carry on walking while my feet and stamina let me.
I have some kitchen news. I should have the plinths later today and the worktops tomorrow. I'm not holding my breath but if they do arrive I'll be busy swinging my chemo pump (medical medallion) all weekend. No kitchen pictures yet, you'll all have to wait a bit longer. Then when Boris says we can, we'll all gather for a new kitchen appreciation moment, but it's taking so long the pandemic may just be a memory.
Tomorrow's chemo day number 6 of 13. I need to select a shirt, choose some socks and decide between blue brogues or red buckskin shoes. Chemo throws up do many challenging decisions I honestly don't know how I cope.