STORIES Breast Cancer Awareness You came in like a wrecking ball It was the day of chemo and in true Cinderella style, as the clock struck midnight, my stomach turned from a respectable organ to a volcano spewing out bile lava! Luckily this time we were prepared. I had my bucket. I knew lying on the cold bathroom floor helped. My mum had her phone switched on (miracle!) so I could text the word “help”. Although she was so on the ball she heard me get up so she popped up like a jack in the box just as I hit send. Heart attack. Just what I need! I knew what I needed this time. Last time I was asking for random things, trying anything to get the taste out of my mouth, settle my stomach and not offend my wayward taste buds. This time I knew….an ice pop and chopped up apple. Trial and a lot of error last time means I can pinpoint a sensation and identify the foodstuff needed! Sitting at 1am with my ice pop and chopped apple in bed watching wheel of fortune I’ve learnt a lesson for next time….get some films on DVD to watch through chemo night! (Genuinely please tweet me ideas! @boobyblog) The whole night passes with a lot of shit TV but without much sleep so Friday is spent…asleep! On Saturday I felt fine, not what I remember from last time. I had been invited to go to my sisters baby scan and didn’t want to miss it so was up, showered, and picked up by 2pm. I even went out in the evening, feeling a little queasy but nothing compared to last time! Sunday I was a bit tired but on the whole feeling pleased as punch I wasn’t suffering as badly as before! Then Monday hit. And I mean HIT. Like a 2 tonne sledgehammer. I couldn’t wake up. I couldn’t lift my head. I couldn’t get out of bed. Kids needed to get to school but luckily they were being picked up. I just had to get them dressed. So from my bed I shouted out a shameless bribe “If you get yourselves ready, you can have biscuits with breakfast!” They went down and made their own breakfast and I could hear laughing and merriment coming from the kitchen. To this day I have no idea what they ate for breakfast. And I really don’t care. They ate and got to school. Job done. As the day wore on my body got heavier and heavier. Like my blood was turning to lead. I wasn’t awake for much of the day but when I was awake I couldn’t move. I was thirsty and saw a bottle of water next to me on the bed. But I couldn’t lift my arm to get it. I just stared at it…for hours. Literally hours. On Tuesday morning Josh came in to check on me…”are you still really poorly mummy?” I grunted a brief acknowledgement and he skipped off. 10 minutes later he came bounding in, fully dressed saying proud as punch “I did it! You can just get better today!” He had bright yellow socks but we overlooked that. I could have cried. He was desperate to look after me and wanted to do anything to make it easier for me. Emily on the other hand found the whole thing very upsetting. She kept asking when this will all be over. When will I stop getting so sick. And the hardest question of all…”When can I have my mummy back?” She is a creature of routine and doesn’t like all the changes that happen around chemo time. I wanted to offer her some kind of normality so promised myself no matter how hard it was, from tomorrow, I would do the school run. A promise I regret, but kept. My parents also came for a visit. Not that I really knew anything about it. I was asleep and occasionally heard pottering downstairs as my mum sorted out the havoc that had been created by 3 days of immobility. When I did flop down the stairs like a drunk slinky my mum was impressed I was dressed. I shamefully had to admit I hadn’t ‘got’ dressed….I was too tired yesterday to change so just slept in my jeans and tshirt. What she was seeing was Monday’s ‘getting dressed’ effort! This continued for another 2 days and my mood began to really take a hit. I knew it would pass, I knew I’d feel fine in a few days, but in the moment it didn’t help. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t focus on anything, I couldnt speak, I couldnt eat, I couldn’t drink, I couldn’t even text! This wasn’t helped by the only thing that did seem to be happening over the week was hair falling out. Its been 6 days Chemo, I was hoping for an easier ride this time but I certainly haven’t been given it. Chemo zaps everything. Personality. Soul. Spirit. It had better be having the same effect on the cancer cells. If last time is anything to go by tomorrow, one week after chemo, I should be back to 100%. If I had the energy I’d cross my fingers….