Sunday miscellany

A cure for insomnia? That seems something we are as likely to see as as a perpetual motion machine. Nevertheless, this article from The Guardian has definite cred. (Apologies, as ever, for cross posting.) Merely by taking people’s insomnia seriously, Dr Selsick of the Insomnia Clinic in Bloomsbury is doing a great service. The method seems to work, too, in the experience of the article’s author. The good doctor is also refreshingly non-doctrinaire about sleeping tablets. No-one regards them as ideal, but, as he points out, sleep deprivation carries risk as well.  (I have tried the sleep medication mentioned in the article, Belsomra. It does something, just not quite enough.)

I am going OK with the aftermath of the chemotherapy. Thursday and Friday were pretty normal days. Yesterday and today I have noticed more symptoms, mostly a bit of discomfort in the legs and ankles. These symptoms are not new, but have become more noticeable over the last couple of days. So far a combo of paracetamol and a little Endone is making it tolerable. (Thanks, Jane, for putting me onto that.) I found a good booklet on cancer pain and medications online from the Cancer Council, updated, as it happens, this month. The booklet discusses various aspects of pain, medications, and pain management in a useful way. Of course what I am experiencing is not cancer pain, more a side effect of the chemo.

I didn’t write much before about the actual process of receiving the treatment. Being the first time, it took a bit longer, there being more to explain. The nurse was very thorough in doing this and walking me through the side effects that I may or may not experience. After putting in a cannula, they started with an anti-nausea drug, then put another drip in for the chemo (a drug called Docetaxel). Putting in the Docetaxel takes about 1.5 hours. I also got an implant just under the skin of the stomach; this lasts for three months. The implant is about the size of a grain of rice. I haven’t had any problems with wounds where the cannula or the implant went in.

On Wednesday night, my face felt a bit hot, and my cheeks were a a little red. I just put some face cream on from the sample bag of products donated by the hospital pharmacy. (Marketing, of course, but the products themselves all seem good.) There was quite a number of mouth care products: moisturising toothpaste, mouthwash, and gel. The nurse also suggested I could make a mouthwash from a salt or baking powder solution.

The chemo goes on a three week cycle.  I am to have six cycles, so five to go. (I should be finished in early January, 2019.) I will probably feel pretty ordinary in the middle week of the three as the red and white blood cells drop. As these recover in the following week, I should feel better. I have to have a blood test at the beginning of each chemo week. If all is well here, and I don’t have a temperature, I should be good to go. I still have about half the ADT tablets to take, but I should have finished those by the time the next chemo rolls around.

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