Wednesday, 23 February 2011

A Chemo Room With A View

I just spent my entire Monday in one, so I thought, for the uninitiated, a little ode to the place that makes me better (although it doesn't make me look, OR feel better, that's for sure), was in order.

This is my view, look, there's the boyfriend making me laugh with various medicines, I'm not sure how, but he's very good at it; earning the digital pseudonym 'DadJokes', and accompanies me every time without fail - no mean feat, that is a full 9-5 commitment.

There's my parents arriving,

again, they schlep up to North London from Surrey every time. So we have a little family gathering, where most people seem to come alone. The thing is, forget what you see in the movies, actual chemotherapy day is not so bad. You don't feel sick at the time (I never have anyway), you see some lovely familiar nurses and doctors, you get a lot of FREE lorazepam (to be taken responsibly of course)(and not to be joked about in blog form, but how to make a chemotherapy post slightly amusing? There you go!), and your family get to do their bit, where mostly they feel pretty useless.

Notice also I get a bed, in favor of an upright chair - bonus- since I have port-a-cath, which basically means my arm veins get spared in favor of an accessible plastic friend that sits between my ribs, so, after initial installation operation, the whole thing is pretty painless too.

Some advice though, kicked off by Nina Thompson, aka Nina Balleriana, who read my blog and offered this up:

"The day before chemo make sure you eat...ALOT...and .....when you feel like crap and can't concentrate on reading or TV I find listening to audio books really helps..!!"

She's right, I have an overly active imagination according to my own mum, which has resulted in anticipatory and association sickness. Basically anything I eat on chemotherapy day, I can never bear the thought of again (so far), since I feel pukesome afterwards. This has knocked out turkish food, (heave) pearl barley, (eurgh) and chickpea curry (previously loved and lost). It's like the salami that gave you that food poisoning episode association, but every three weeks. Haven't discovered how to overcome this yet, aside from living off mint tea and carrot sticks for a day. Does the waist line wonders though!

Any tips on this and other chemotherapy advice for the masses, please comment below, I'm still learning too...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. No advice but thank you for sharing. My aunt is about to embark on chemo and radiotherapy

  2. Hello my precious chestnut. Only your boyfriend here. Thank you for posting such a fetching picture of me on your blog har har, I shall be taking revenge... RICHARD O'BRIEN !!!

    Love you so much, you are playing chemo day down a bit as we don't really sleep much the few nights before through anticipation (which is all part of the hard work of this treatment) but I just wanna say publically that you are supertar-brave-amazing-wonder-woman and that's why i'm proud to call you my girlfriend xxx

  3. Well yes, that's where the lorazepam comes in!
    (aw, shucks, thank you xxx)

  4. just read your blog and cried in the shower!
    took me a little while as i had not heard...
    i read "Chemo Room" and read it with a bad aussie french accent thinking it was something posh...
    it's amazing... so sad and so inspiring.
    had lovely flashbacks to our night sharing a bed in a hotel, my hen's weekend and broadway market...a long flight between us but i still dream of london most nights...can i please have your address?
    ps your boyfriend looks and seems lovely
    and my hubby and lil winter send their love.
    also mothers intuition very strong at min KNOWS you will be fine... so see you soon...
    a trip down under would make a faster recovery!
    xx amanda

  5. Hi Sophie,
    I'm loving your blog! I can relate to what you are saying - I had it just the same (even wrote about it here
    In the end I more or less stopped eating on chemo-days until the evening. The only things I found I could eat that I never went off was Spaghetti bolognese, so you might want to try that. Oh and egg sandwiches! Another tip is to open the fridge door and eat whatever looks least disgusting;-) The good news is that you do get over it. I finished chemo in October and there are only a couple of things that I'll probably never touch again, otherwise the eating is back to normal. Hang in there! Kirsten xxx

  6. I've only had one round of chemo but I found ginger tea and ginger beer helped with the nausea where medication didn't. Does make you burp though so take care in public lol x

  7. Sophie, just found your blog on Monday evening, has helped me in so many ways.... Especially on the hair dilemma front. Keep writing and I will keep reading! Katherine