Pills ‘n’ Chills and Bellyaches

6 Oct
Every third Monday is now my treatment day, when I get to go receive another dose of Oxaliplatin, and pick up more pills for the coming weeks. Whilst comfortable in my fancy Kubrick-esque pseudo-2001 space odyssey environment (see previous post for photo), the actual injection leaves the vein quite tender, so with a somewhat tenuous nod to the the blog title, these days may not be “Happy Mondays”. Although the tea and sandwiches are really quite nice, if I am to be totally honest, and the doctors are a smashingly nice bunch 🙂

My Pill regime following these appointments is set over 8 cycles, each of which is 3 weeks long. I get two anti-nausea drugs to take, as well as the core chemotherapy drug Capecitabine. In a fit of mathematics, I realised I need to take 4 of these chemotherapy pills every morning and night for the first 2 weeks of each of the 8 cycles – this is 896 pills in total ! To the left are the combined empty blister packs from just the first week’s pill intake. A little over-dramatic, I’ll grant you, but I quite liked the view of the aftermath from ejecting all these pills so wanted to share it with the general blog-o-sphere.

I’ve certainly never been a huge fan of chemicals in the body, and so taking all this medication has been quite a mental challenge for me. This purity of substance intake goes back to avoiding painkillers except when required by the worst headaches. And now it extends to working out which plastic bottles are killing me, as well as which of my favorite meat products cause Cancer too. There is a multitude of highly unhealthy food and drink products out there which are seen as perfectly normal, but seem to be a major contributor toward cancer, according to the experts.

But for now, I am obviously signed up for 6 months of Chemo’s marvellous medicine, and with a new regime to adapt to, I suspect I will be reliant on a number of factors to help me along, not least of which are memory helping tools such as my new “Medi-memo”, a box containing seven daily sections, each of which having dividers to spread pills across four different times of the day. Perfect for my current regime, I’ve even added a multi-vitamin onto each morning to bolster my iron levels (quite important I am told to avoid getting anaemic during the treatment), although I hope my diet is supplying much of my RDA for these things where possible. Certainly the large spinach curry for lunch today should have provided some good level of nutrition – it really is great that work have a “healthy eating” program in place at work, it makes getting nutritious lunches that much easier, giving me plenty of time to worry about all the other little things in life 🙂


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