So in to Chemotherapy Cycle 6, the final cycle!!
So final chemo bloods day went through without incident the Portacath worked straight away.
So turned up to Chemo for the last time with some chocolates and a card for the nurses. The nurse advised that Jo’s bloods were a little low, but not too bad and as it was the last one the Oncologist was happy to go ahead. I was a little worried that Jo would again be anaemic in a couple of weeks time but she would be having her Portacath removed then and so more blood tests would be needed and so she wouldn’t go along unchecked. Chemo worked like clockwork and we headed home with the two final weeks of Capecitabine to take.
Jo was feeling a bit anxious and emotional that Chemo had finished. It may seem strange that you would feel like that when surely you should be feeling top of the world, now that it was finishing, but in fact the process of Chemotherapy can be reassuring as you are doing something about the Cancer. Once you stop there can be a feeling of uncertainty and fear that it will come back or grow again and also what happens next. Jo also had a few bruises possibly due to the slightly low platelet count.
She was suffering from what has been quite a regular metallic taste in her mouth, normally most noticeable in the first few days following chemo.
Jo was quite energetic as she got to the end of the steroids, but she was also having issues again with sore feet (common side effect of Capecitabine).
Her anxiety was again quite prevalent which made her tearful and emotional.
Jo was feeling achy, bruised and had a sore throat.
Jo had hot sweats and shivers through the night to accompany the sore throat and she also started to get a bit of a cough. In the morning I forced her to ring the Chemo nurses as she was reluctant and they asked us to attend the hospital to be checked, which caused us to cancel her Radiotherapy planning appointment. The nurses were glad we attended immediately as she was showing signs of a Chest infection and they put her on intravenous antibiotics while they waited for blood test results to check for neutropenia.
Neutropenia is when neutrophil white blood cells get so low in the blood that your body is unable to fight infection and it can lead to life threatening infections and sepsis. Chemotherapy reduces white blood cell counts and that is why this has to be very closely monitored.
Thankfully Jo’s blood tests came back with good White Blood Cell counts, so she was able to go home with oral antibiotics. Had her neutrophils been much lower then she would have had to stay in for 3 days for IV antibiotics.
Jo was still suffering from the sore throat and chesty cough and feeling generally rough, which was also impacting her emotional state and she felt rather down.
Sore throat and cough started to improve but still feeling rather run down.
Slept badly and still rather emotional. Amber our dog who is 16 and a half is becoming more out of breath and unsteady on her feet, we have booked for the vet to come and see her after the weekend, she may not have long left.
Jo was feeling a bit more positive today having slept well. Amber our dog was a bit better on her feet as well.
We woke to find our wonderful dog had sadly passed away peacefully during the night, but we were so glad she passed while sleeping beside us rather than at the hands of the Vet later in the week. She will be very much missed. Apart from that Jo has recovered from the infection and was feeling better.
Jo was quite energetic today, but did have sore feet and hands.
Blood test today for Portacath removal, only checking for clotting, so hopefully ok. Jo is a bit nervous again, the Portacath is part of her attack on the Cancer and taking it away is like removing a crutch.
Last Capecitabine!!! Chemotherapy is finished!! Hurrah.
Jo was still suffering from sore feet.
Portacath removal day. So final part of the Chemo journey is being finished as we remove the amazing Portacath, which has worked really well for Jo. The operation was quick but Jo had opted for General anaesthetic for the removal, she is always happy for these things to be done while she is asleep rather than panicking if it was done via local anaesthetic. She recovered quickly and after a spot of lunch we headed home.
On to Radiotherapy…..