Well, I've been off the chemocoaster for over a week now, and I'm starting to return to something approaching normal.
I can't say it has been one of my better fortnights, though. When I last left you I was beginning the 10-day cycle, and it seemed to be going not too badly. The dietary restrictions – quite a lot of the fun stuff, including alcohol, particularly red wine – weren't proving too much of a problem as long as I was careful. I didn't have much appetite anyway, and the anti-emetics seemed to keep the expected nausea under control. But there was little I could do about the exhaustion – this particular type of daily poisoning, Procarbazine, seems to be particularly draining. By the time the cycle finished on February 15, there had been whole days in which I'd been capable of little but sleeping – although I'd had some good days, too, including one in which my mate Dave ran me up to Balmaha for a nice plain cheese-and-alcohol-free pub lunch and I had a burst of unexpected energy.
I've been trying to replicate that over the last week, slowly recovering my energy and taking the odd trip out, and I'm getting there. Even went out to a concert last Thursday, and I was out for dinner on Saturday. So it's coming together,
The next cycle is in mid-March, and I'm hoping it will go more easily, not least because I'll be back at work by that time, and I don't really want to take any more time off. I'm sick of sitting about – I've had more rolling news than even I can take – I'm completely bored with the Pope, Oscar Pistorius, the Huhnes, and horsemeat. There must be something else happening in the world, a spot of light middle-eastern shelling for instance. I need to get to work.
Which I do on Monday, by which time my eyesight – which had been deteriorating because of the effects of the steroids on my eye muscles – should be up to some long-term screen use. I'm now on a self-reducing dose on the steroids, and it seems to be having a positive effect. I can focus much better, and reading is a lot easier.
In the meantime, I've got nearly a week to pull myself together. With my eyesight and the tiredness under control, it should all be pretty positive.
Which is the point. It's OK to be tired. It's OK not do stuff because I can't see properly. These are just symptoms, like the itchy swelling I still have around my wound which, combined with the baldy patch last year's regular cranial zappings left me, gives me a haircut I like to think of as the Half Black Adder.
Symptoms are there to be endured (ideally, worked around) until they go away, and they will. In the meantime, I'll just get on with things. Even if people are looking at the side of my head like I've just been let out for the day.
It's the best thing to do – life's too short for whining.