So Jo headed in to Cycle 4 of 6 in pretty good form following Cycle 3 which went really well. Though things didn’t start great, when the Portacath (What is a Portacath?) failed to give blood, when we went in for the Pre-chemo blood tests. Interestingly the flush was working, so fluids could go one way, but not the other. After quite a while of adjusting, fiddling and a second attempt, the nurses decided to opt for Urokinase, which is a substance that breaks down clots. This required this to be prescribed and then injected into the portacath and left for an hour. Thankfully at the end of the hour, blood flowed freely, hurrah!!. We decided to leave the needle in place in the Portacath ready for the next day’s chemo (if it ain’t broke don’t fix it). Jo had done that before and it isn’t too annoying or uncomfortable.
Blood counts were somewhat lower than the previous time (see below), which was expected as then she had just had a Blood transfusion before cycle 3 but they were lower than we had hoped. This will obviously increase the possibility of the need for a further blood transfusion and also the likelihood she will feel more fatigued during the cycle.
However Chemo the next day went without issue, the Portacath worked fine and the Carboplatin was received without incident.
Below are Jo’s notes on side effects and how she has felt during cycle 4.
From Day 1 to 14 Jo also is on Capecitabine oral chemotherapy also known by the name Xeloda. As you can see most days the effects and pain points do differ and she has to adjust all the time to her abilities and energy levels. She hides her issues well and to be honest doesn’t really moan, so even on the worst days she generally still is up and about, cooking dinner, going shopping or tidying up.
A bit tearful and slept badly due to the Steroids.
Feeling rather out of breath. Fizz Friday, rude not too!!
Aching legs, August night away at Cooden Beach Hotel, you may have seen on twitter, she looked fab. Great night.
Out of breath, sore feet, slightly constipated. Met up with friends again.
Aching neck and shoulders, bank holiday, day of rest.
Hot sweats and shivers.
Energetic, slept well, cut the grass and got told off by husband for doing it.
Energetic, slept well, had Oncology appointment which went well, no issues to report. He warned the side effects would tend to worsen over the next two cycles but we were doing well so far. Next visit to him will be just before Cycle 6 on October 1st.
Light headed and out of breath, went for dinner at favourite Chinese restaurant.
Mouth blisters, out of breath, still able to go to Uckfield Carnival.
Badly out of breath, quite faint, mouth blisters, still cooked Roast Dinner for 7.
Sore back, out of breath, tired, general aches and pains.
Slept very badly (1.5 hours), feet very sore, hot flushes, faint, bleeding gums, tearful, emotional and no energy, not a good day.
Last of this cycle of capecitabine, hurrah!!. Feet still sore but slept much better. Quite emotional following the death of Rachael Bland, found it quite shocking how quickly life can be taken away.
Out of breath still an issue especially going up stairs and bending down. Feet not quite so sore and she got some new slippers to help with that anyway.
Hands a bit sore today, probably because her husband forgot to put any cream on them. Oops!! a part from that not too bad, stairs and bending still an issue.
Went to Tunbridge Wells for a day out with some friends, Jo’s feet were sore and again she was out of breath but we ended up at her favourite place for a Chinese, so she coped well.
Family visited so we had a roast for eight. Usual feet and breath issues persisting.
Home alone as I went up to work in London. No change with the feet, tired and hot flushes.
So that’s cycle 4 complete. This morning we go for bloods. Will they be ok or as we expect will she be anaemic. Keep an eye on twitter for updates over the next few days.