Thursday, March 20, 2014

Stage 3 of my treatment for stomach cancer

It's been a wonderful week, I had so much energy and was in such great form.i went out to our friends house for dinner and was so pleased to be able to eat well and sustain energy during the evening. I was on cloud nine after. I hope you all enjoyed St. Patricks day whether your are home or abroad, I know I did. 

I drove Mr Margie (first time since the surgery to drive) in my Landy, to St Patricks well a few miles away.
The well is maintained by local people and forms a stream that flows off to join larger ones. The farmer whose land the well is on opens the gates to the public for the day,and permits parking in his field. This well probably precedes Christian times. There is a china mug hanging on the tree growing along side it for use by anyone wishing to sample the well water. I always feel there is something very special about wells. There are many sacred wells in County Kildare. The sculpture of St. Patrick at the well site was carved by our dear friend Dick Joynt who passed away eleven years ago. His art legacy is evident in Marley Park, Tallagh Village, Dublin Airport, Along motorways in Wicklow, and in many private collections. He is missed everyday.
On Tuesday I had lots of people visit to wish me luck, being me gifts and chat, the visits were all much appreciated and I am so thankful for your friendship, kinship, support and love. I even went to the pharmacy for my anti sickness meds in prep for the chemo. I also went to the supermarket and the fruit and veg shop in the afternoon. 

I started the third and final stage of my stomach cancer treatment- sandwich or MAGIC therapy. Now that my cancer was taken away at surgery the next step is to make sure no rogue cells were left behind . I will have three 21 day cycles of the triple therapy (epirubicin, cystoplatin and fluorouracil ) to zap them all. The night before I packed my food bag for the morning, and my hand bag with drugs, crafts supplies, and a book.  I started the day off like a chirpy chicken, in good spirits. My mum and I met with the consultant oncologist Alexia, at 9:15 and she outlined the treatment,  and the plan for the next few months. I will have a CT scan in a couple of weeks, and a heart Eco graph soon also. 

By ten thirty I was hooked up to my fist iv hydration bag and I even managed to so some crochet before the chemo drugs were pumped in, all through my port, which makes life way easier. It's funny how I cannot stand having a cannula inserted, it's my pet hate and one of the things that makes me feel uneasy when I have to go to the hospital for admission. 
I began to feel tired, no more chirpy chicken, more a hounded hen, during the last iv flushing and hydration bags around 3:15 and was happy to see Mr Margie arriving in to take me home. I slept solidly when I got home, ate well and slept all night again despite taking the steroids. I am conscious of my food and nutrition again even more so this time as I have mastered my eating without a stomach and need to keep that functioning but also there are many foods that can upset the chemo causing nausea. Balancing the two will provide one of my challenges for the next few months. The other challenge comes from the foreign objects it have inserted in my body. I still have the j tube in for iv feeding should my weigh drop below it's current 39.6 kilos, it has to be cleaned and flushed twice a week. I have mastered the art of that myself. Finding the right dressings proved difficult but it's finally sorted. Since yesterday I have the Fluorouricil 5fu bottle attached  for continuous chemo flow through my port, this is 24/7 for the twenty one days. The bottle is housed in a bag (that's looks like a zippy pencil case I once had) as it is light sensitive. The bag is on a belt which I wear around my waist day and night. All this makes showering impossible as neither j tube or belt and bag, can get wet, so bathing is an event. 

I know that it will all be worth it in a couple of months and I am very honored and humbled by the love and support of my family, friends, neighbours, work colleagues, medical staff, and even strangers. Thank you one and all. 

Big hugs, 
Love Margie ❤️


Unknown said...

Hi Margie, I came across your blog just recently when looking for craft & knitting blogs. Your spirit is fantastic - to have such a wonderful attitude of gratitude when you've been through so much recently is truly remarkable. You're a real inspiration. With warm wishes for your recovery.
Hilary x

Leiny said...

One step closer to putting pencils in that bag! Glad to see the chemo start again, can't wait to see you tomorrow week!! Love Leiny xoxo

♥ Mary Janes TEAROOM said...

So happy to read that you had such a wonderful week are amazing and you have so much of your treatment behind you now when you look back, don't you?...Every day is another step forward and those steps seem to be getting bigger now too..x
Sending hugs a good weekend,
Love Susan x

Alex Morahan said...

Hey really sound chirpy and it sounds so good. Keep on moving and we are just so looking forward to seeing you the other side of chemo and cancer. You are a real gem and I think you have been shined and polished to perfection now! Love and hugs as always from me and my girls...Alex, Maggie and Megan xxxx

Cait O'Connor said...

You look beautiful in the photo. You are getting there, great to read your words again.

Edel said...

O my Gosh
Dear friend, I am so happy for you to have so much peace in your life at present, a true inspiration in all that you do. Cant express in words how happy I am for you, hugs always xxxx

Nancy Lee said...

I am so sorry to hear of your cancer diagnosis, and having to endure chemo in order to get well.
Today, I am sending some healing thoughts and prayers to you and yours, along with a wish for abundant joy and happiness in the days to come.
Many, many hugs. X

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

Just checking in to see how you're doing Margie. You continue to be in my thoughts, and to be an inspiration. Here's hoping he chemo is going well x

Rosie said...

Dear Margie you are starting the same identical treatments I had ten years ago.
I felt a little bit tired of the bottle 24/7, I was always looking around me but I never saw no one wearing the same bag with bottle and I was feeling a little bit weird...
During the first days after chemo I felt relieved eating orange icicles and drinking cold lemon tea.
I spent my time going to cinema, reading Harry Potter's books and knitting! :)
I wish you all the best.

Bi said...

A great hug, Margie, from Italy! :))