First of all, thanks for all the comments, FB messages and txts. They are really appreciated. I was going to try and reply to all of them individually. Yes, I know ......
We heard more about Janine’s chemotherapy on Christmas Eve but have been waiting for a letter to confirm the details. The letter didn’t arrive until this morning and wasn’t quite what I had expected as it was simply a copy of the Macmillan info sheet on the particular regime to be used in Janine’s treatment.
That means we have a few more questions but what we do know is that the treatment won’t start until the week beginning the 10th January. As we had thought, Janine can’t have the chemotherapy regime that would usually be used first off with this cancer. Instead, it looks as though she will be having a form of the regime that would be used if this cancer had returned. She won’t, as we had hoped, have the chemo as an outpatient but will be in hospital for a few days for each cycle. When the nurse spoke to Janine she said that she will need to have a carer with her during that period as there could be neurological side effects. Three to four cycles appears to be the norm but we don’t know how long it will all last and are still assuming we are looking at the next six months in total. We are going to be heading back to the wig shop and digging our some favourite headgear.
If, like me, you are over inquisitive and want to know the details then have a look here http://www.cancerhelp.org.uk/about-cancer/treatment/cancer-drugs/ice or here http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Cancerinformation/Cancertreatment/Treatmenttypes/Chemotherapy/Combinationregimen/ICER-ICE.aspx . If you do look then Janine is going to have the Rituximab so her regime will be R-ICE.
It has been a bit of an unreal Christmas week but a good one and, as ever, we have so much to be grateful for as we head into 2011. The prospect of the treatment has seemed to hang more over me than Janine. She is still feeling well. Occasionally she is very tired but no more so than normal for someone who continues to live life at 100 mph on one leg. She went swimming yesterday morning, figuring that public swimming pools are not going to be the best environment once the treatment starts.
Last time Janine was unwell, I had a couple of sessions of counselling with the local hospice. The image of cancer and cancer treatment as an emotional roller coaster might be a cliché but it was an image that I found really helpful in explaining why I felt the way I did. The counsellor said to me that if we were on a physical roller coaster which was doing to us physically what was happening to us emotionally through the treatment then we would be not just feeling unwell but desperate for it to stop so we could get off. I hope this isn’t over dramatic but, in the last few weeks, I have felt us first join the queue then stand in line and then get into the car. Now we wait to see if this is going to be the tame dragon ride at Legoland or Thorpe Park’s Colossus.
I hope you all have a fantastic evening bringing in the New Year. Tomorrow I’m going to try and post some of the promises I feel God has given us for what it will hold for us.