The everyday, inoffensive icy pole!
If you were playing on Family Feud and asked for a word to describe an icy pole these might be some of the answers (even from those families you can’t believe win through to another night with some of their incredibly mind-numbingly dumb responses)
* cold, sweet, tasty, hydrating, refreshing, yum!
Well six weeks ago I may have agreed with those answers – but not anymore! In fact I may only eat another two for the rest of my life.
My mind has taken control and the simple icy treat once associated with hot days running around the holiday caravan park or running around under the sprinkler in the backyard now reminds me of something much more sinister – chemotherapy.
When I was going through my first course of chemo drugs – Paclitaxel – I wondered why some of the patients around me were getting icy poles and I wasn’t! Had they been better behaved than me – well perhaps their veins were well behaved (something mine have never been)!
No, they were just being given a different drug. So after 12 rounds of not being spoiled with an icy pole I finally got my turn.
Chemo number 13 and over the nurse came with my sweet treat – just after she’d wrestled with my veins and just before she sat down to slowly administer this new, nasty red drug called EC – (epirubicin and cyclophosphamide).
It’s not quite the “red devil” – that is the name given to yet another different drug which I have not had to have – but it’s a bitch of a thing that has certainly seen me act like the devil!
The icy pole is used as a way of trying to reduce the onset of mouth ulcers by encouraging the chemo drugs away from your mouth by making it cold instead of a nice, attractive, warm place for the chemo to cause havoc!
Ten days – that’s about the time it takes for me to feel human after a dose of EC – and I get another hit of it this Wednesday. So I’ll apologise in advance to everyone and anyone who comes into contact with me for the 10 days afterwards.
The nausea is a killer. I have very little patience for anyone or anything. My fingers feel numb, my big toenails are bruised, mouth ulcers are an absolute joy and I’m tired beyond belief. I don’t know if it’s just the EC or the “not for suggestion” bucket of anti-nausea drugs my oncologist has prescribed me to take for three days after treatment. There’s some good stuff in there and they knock me for six as well.
But I’m learning to cope better with each treatment and learn more about my limitations – I have to or my family and friends will start saying the phrase “better the devil you know” is a complete load of crap!
I become the devil you never wish you’d met. But I have an excuse right?
As for those icy poles, they now represent one of the worst periods of my 41 years on this earth and I can’t see how I’ll ever learn to look at them in a loving way ever again.
As for those friends and family – I have “let them in” a little more along the journey.
My beautiful friend Tania came with me to a Look Good Feel Better session which was all about giving you the confidence to use makeup when your skin isn’t feeling the best and you’ve lost your eyebrows and eyelashes! It was brilliant and so good to have a friend there with me!
And then there’s been Kate – one of my gorgeous high school friends. We have known each other for 26 years and still she’s prepared to come and sit by my side while i battle this demon. How lucky I am to have these women in my life – and they are just two of a band of people who have allowed me to deal with this my way while also being there to support me when I need it (even if I don’t know I need it)! Xxx