Friday, 16 May 2008


George A Romero, that maker of mad Zombie films, would have been proud of me yesterday. I could have easily starred in one of his films. I wake up, thanks to my wife's alarm clock and reluctantly helped get the kids to the child minder. I felt like I was not all there, just in a big old haze. I went back to bed and finally got out of my pit to get some lunch. Not a lot in, but I cobbled something together and then just wanted to sleep again. So, I did! I woke up just in time for my wife to ask me to pick the kids up because she was having a nightmare day at work and would be late. I groaned quite loudly, as all I wanted to do was sleep again. I know it sounds lazy but I just had no energy and felt completely drained. What I think was happening was that my body was responding to the withdrawl of the steroids. For those who don't know, part of the treatment is a pulse of steroids each cycle. By pulse, what they do is give you a high (100mg) daily dose for 5 days and then nothing. The steroids both rip up lymphocytes (which are the naughty critters making up the chest monster) and also give you some extra energy and help relieve nausea etc. So for the first 5 days, they're your friend, but then they're taken away and my body then seems to react. On Wednesday and Thursday (day 1 and 2, post steroids), I'm constantly dry mouthed and need to drink loads of water and then of course am paying umpteen visits to unload said water. That's my first sign, the other one is that where I seemed to have energy the previous days (alright, not loads, but I was happy enough getting up and pottering around like an old man) I no longer do. I think I now know what it feels like to be old (not that I think I am old, but you know what I mean).
Anyway, I dragged myself out of the house, picked up the kids, who of course wanted to go to the park and I had to say no and feel like a real killjoy. We got home and I went for a lie down whilst they played (emptied toys on the floor and caused general mayhem). I was hoping my wife would return imminently to help with bath time (usually okay, but can be draining if certain participants are not being compliant!) but she rang and said she was going to be really late. I suppressed the tears and tried to put on a true British stiff upper lip and say, "not a problem, old girl, I'll just crack on and see you later. Tally ho". Okay, I probably didn't use those exact words (perhaps the "Tally ho" was used, I forget). Again, it sounds a bit wussy, getting stressy over bathing a couple of kids but when in Zombie mode, it's a trial.
In the end, my mission was sucessful. The kids were compliant (halelujah!) and were bathed and tucked up in bed as per normal, with me not far behind.
Today I feel more normal again. I still feel somewhat tired, but not the eyes-heavy-want-to-sleep-now tired. Looks like my body has shook off the post-steroidal yoke and is good to go. Yay! Should feel better each day forward now. Just got to keep out the way of any lurgy carriers and all is good.


Sandra said...

Hello Mr. Baldy

I came across your blog via innocent. I mean, I clicked on their link, started reading and felt like I was invading someone’s privacy, so I left the blog pretty quickly, feeling somewhat uncomfortable.
Later I questioned my reaction. I do read autobiographies (very rarely but still). Blogs are public media. If you blog, you’re okay about sharing.
I’m the sharing type.
Having said that, I’m still feeling a bit invasive...
But after reading your blog, I couldn’t help but say if you ever go for that Mexican restaurant idea thing, it sounded great.
You sound great too. Amazing considering. Now you’re nearly through it. Brilliant!

Just wanted to send you some positive vibes from a stranger.

Oh, and go easy on yourself – allow space for some pampering (it’s the best bit of being ill).
Hope the piano lessons are fun.

Take care,

PS: Loved the t-shirts!

Richard said...

many thanks for your positive vibes and comments. i love getting comments left and yours were so nice.
i'm sorry you felt uncomfortable reading the blog. I really have no qualms about sharing or discussing any part of this illness thing, so feel free to throw any questions if there are any. Anyway, thanks again for dropping by any taking the time to leave such great comments

Rob Allen said...

Hey Man, I came across your blog through the Innocent website, being a big fan of smoothies and stuff.

Sounds like you are having a tough time, I hope you are feeling better, you seem to keep up the good spirits, and they do say laughter is the best medicine. Sometime though the tablets help as well :)

I hope you are feeling better these days. Get very well soon.

Sandra said...

Oh, sorry. I didn’t mean to sound like I felt uncomfortable reading the blog because of your illness thing. Noooo.
It was really about feeling I had invaded your private space, reading personal notes and stuff. It also happens when I flickr someone I don’t know and see their birthday photos by mistake... Something down the lines of the threshold between public and private and and the impact that
modern technology has on that, know what I mean?
It’s much nicer to be in the land of the healthy, but illness is part of life too. As it is kicking the illness’ arse - and you’re doing it beautifully!

As a matter of fact, I’m about to re-read your blog in more detail, particularly the bits where you mentioned the suplements that were easing the chemo side effects. Found out a cousin of mine has started chemo yesterday, so maybe I could steal part of your well researched tips.

Thanks for your reply.

Take care of yourself, OK?

San x