After the three weeks I had 4 weeks off of chemo! I was so excited to have some proper time off. It would be great to have normality back in my life and I couldn’t wait! The first week jack and I went away to the new forest for 6 days. We stayed in a friend’s caravan and used that as a base to go do loads of things. We did a 20 mile bike ride around the new forest. We went to monkey world, Nothe Fort in Weymouth, Brownsea Island, Poole, Barton-on-sea to see Jack’s relatives. And on the last day we drove over to Brighton stopping at my auntie’s house, who I hadn’t seen in years, to say hello. I had only been to Brighton briefly one October so needed to experience it properly.
It was a lovely week away and we definitely needed it. Jack had been working hard and was dealing with me at the same time so it was well deserved.
I went back to work for a few shifts per set. I was only on 4 hour admin shifts and it was enough. I went out with friends and met up with work colleagues for lunch and drinks (non-alcoholic unfortunately). It was good to feel normal again. Most of the time I forgot I had leukaemia. I did still have the PICC line in my arm which was there to constantly remind me but other than that I felt fine. I was going on short jogs. I was going food shopping and enjoying the sun, even though the doctors said to stay away from it, but you only live once and you got to do what you want to do. Be selfish. It was a good 4 weeks.
Then came the start of the next cycle. It was my 3rd cycle and I really wasn’t looking forward to it. I had had 4 weeks of freedom and now I would go back to sitting on my butt for the best part of 4 weeks feeling sick and sorry for myself.
A week before going back I had to have my PICC line re-dressed which is standard. I have this done once a week. But on the Monday before my next cycle started I had to have my line seen by the specialist nurse who inserts them. This was because the insertion site looked infected and my skin was red, itchy and sore underneath. It was from when I had the allergic reaction to a previous dressing and my arm didn’t heal properly from that. So they put a patch of silver on to try and draw out any infection and put a different dressing on. Came back on the Wednesday and it didn’t look much better so they took out the line and left it to heal. I then came back in on the Friday to have a new line put in my arm. I don’t like needles so already I didn’t like the procedure. I know I had had it done once before but it doesn’t hurt less just because you know what’s coming. It’s not better trust me. I’ve been through it.
Then the following Monday I started my 3rd cycle of chemo. I had another bone marrow biopsy and all the pain that came with it. I wish there was an easier way to get samples.
I had chemo every day except on the Friday. I was meant to but the ECG showed something which meant they couldn’t give me the drugs. So I was sent home to recover on the weekend ready for 3 weeks of treatment on a Monday and Thursday. It went alright. Same shit different day. Me complaining I didn’t want to do it and family and friends saying, “not long to go now!” “You’re halfway there!” “Stay strong, you’re so brave.” It’s nice to hear these things but when you are feeling like absolute crap these words really don’t help much.
I went back to work in my 4 weeks off of chemo which was great. I loved being back at work and socialising with everyone. I loved having some form of normality in life even if it was just 4 hours a day sat at a computer. I joined the job to physically do something about the world we live in and this disease has held me back from doing that.
My team from work and a few family and friends took part in the nuts challenge on Sunday 1st September, a 7km muddy obstacle course with 100 obstacles in their way. It was a great day! Even though they were tired and bruised and completely written off they still smiled when crossing the finish line. Jack and Jodi ran off at the front and smashed the course. They did it so well I literally caught them right at the end. Then my team came through next. They waited until everyone got to the end of the course and we all ran through the finish line together. Hannah was next to finish the course. She didn’t finish long after my team and she did it by herself bless her. But Hannah said she enjoyed it like that. My dad, Laura, Shannon and Nico were the last to finish. They looked so worn out. But I’m so proud of each and every person who took part. I was outstandingly proud of them all. They did this to raise money for the Eden Ward at Wexham Park Hospital and for Leukaemia UK. We raised over £2500 and planned to give it to them on a big cheque. I will definitely be joining them next year!!
My family celebrated my mum’s birthday and mine and Jodi’s birthdays which was nice since I didn’t have chemo. I ate loads of chocolate and cake (standard). I then carried on at work until it was time for my next round of chemo.