It started out normally, but just before the first lot of chemo (Taxotere) my breathing felt suppressed. It wasn’t too bad, so I let it go. Then, chemo started and I developed what’s called a ‘septic shower’, meaning when the nurse accessed my portacath to check my bloods in the morning some of the residual bacterial infection might have got flushed back into my system – so I started shaking uncontrollably, developed a mild temperature, needed oxygen, drugs (antibiotics, valium type drug). Chemo stopped, then once the reaction was under control they finished off the chemo.
Chemotherapy appears to be rather grueling.
Humbling conversation overheard on the oncology ward between:
A. Educated woman in her 50s with carer.
B. Country woman in her 60s with an attentive son.
A: ‘I was supposed to go last November.’
B: ‘Yes … they told me this year.’
A: ‘It’s just statistics! Don’t believe the dates.’
B: ‘I don’t, I feel I’ll be here for some time longer.’
A: ‘Me too.’
It reminded me there’s always a tougher case than your own.