My fifth week of chemotherapy

WEEK 5

5th February–11th February

As promised earlier, here is my free Inspirational Breathing meditation audio.

Nicola Price – produced by Rob Jenkins

Navigation through chemotherapy

I’m half way through!
This week I have reached the half way mark for this chemotherapy/clearing treatment! It is both easier and more difficult than I ever imagined! How odd to say that. But when the side effects subside, it is such a relief, with a sense of physical and emotional freedom surging into a lust for life, everything is brighter, richer, easier. When the side effects take their toll, it can be all encompassing, with no memory of any other state, just the present moment clinging on … and on. The in-between times seem to be oddly minimal. I wake up and the mists have cleared.

Week 5 in summary

A great start to this week with my daughter staying – so major kick back and support. I go out on a limb and go away for a weekend. I have a blissful retreat into yoga and Breathwork, and enjoy a group of 20 sensational women and one inspiring drumming man! I managed to stave off the mid cycle chills until I get home. I am then streaming with cold for two days.

What was REALLY HELPFUL and gave me the confidence to go away ON THE RETREAT at such a vulnerable time, was my electric blanket! It served me well in the last cycle, and now, when I had the shivers at night and through the breathwork it was wrapped round my middle. I came to understand just how crucial this and the protection of the kidneys is, when I was being driven home. From the warmth of a fireside saying our goodbyes, I got into a cold car, with no coat on, and within minutes my left kidney was uncomfortably painful. When I mentioned this to my lovely driving companion, she flicked a switch on her dashboard and my heated seat sprung into action. It was an enormous relief as the pain ebbed away with the heat below and behind me.

I have heard that in the cold, the Chinese farm workers wrap a band of silk round their midriffs under their work clothes to protect their kidneys.

I receive one of the most touching gifts from my 11year old niece that really powers me up.

My nose is still a problem. It’s bleeding but manageable, I’m just getting used to it as a constant.

Quite a busy happening week but balanced by off the scale relax time!

Tuesday 3rd February
Week 5, Cycle 2
Day 8
A day with Eleanor hanging out and watching ‘Sex In The City and Friends’, under the duvet and foot massaging, just like old times!! Went for walk to the village and picked up tickets to a Herbie Flowers gig in March. We will celebrate the end of clearing on March 20th at the music festival with Jazz!!

Wednesday 4th February
Week 5, Cycle 2
Day 9
Woke up at 4pm then back to sleep till 7. Looks like I might have shifted the night time 2–3am wake up zone.

A trip to see Julia the herbalist. She gives me a massage and really gets to know how my body is. It was wonderful and had me flying free in my consciousness by the end.

I am given Japanese Knot Weed capsules to try. It is sold as softening the side effects of chemotherapy. I will explore and take note if it works. There are so many herbal/alternative routes to go down for chemotherapy, it’s overwhelming, can be very expensive and even harder to find good solid trialled and peer reviewed results published.

Thursday 5th February
Week 5, Cycle 2
Day 10
Amazing breathing session from Emma shifting crunches from my neck and witnessing the extraordinary shifts in temperature as I released tension from my knees. I had an image of tiles on a wall, all clean, and there was a feeling of innocence and fresh beginnings. It does feel like I now have a new neck!

I walked over the hill to see the sea. It still is a magnificent surprise. Always different!

I cashed a cheque for £300 from Macmillan. It is the first money that we have received in support. The financial toll of the alternative cancer treatment and just trying to eat good quality organic food is pretty big, so this is very welcome!

I am taking it really easy as this is one of my worst days last cycle.
I slept on the sofa after lunch and then a friend, Eva, came over. Super indulgent relaxed time today.

Friday 6th Feb – Sunday 8th Feb
Week 5, Cycle 2
Days 11/12/13
Early morning breakfast with my father and stepmother. My brother Leo is over from Holland on a flying visit and my sister, husband and I go for breakfast to see him. At 8am we are boiling freshly laid eggs and loving some precious family time. I have cards from my Dutch nieces and nephew and a beautiful hand made soapstone drop pendant, with a card:

“Dear Stikki Nikki (their nickname for me – we always do lots of sticky things when we get together: baking and painting).
This is the drop of power you need. If you wear this necklace you get all the love and power I put into it. Lots of love your niece Maisy”.

Not a dry eye in the house. It will be much loved and is round my neck on a piece of wool as I type.

And from my youngest Dutch niece, her first English writing
“Dir Stikie nikie
I hoop vaat ju viel beter verie verie kwik”

They propel me into a new healing league altogether! How lovely to have such encouragement.

I am keenly aware that in the last cycle, day 10–12 was my worst time and now I am preparing to go away for the weekend to a Breathwork and Yoga retreat that I have been very kindly invited to. It could be my saviour for this cycle, with a weekend of delicious healthy food and activity, or it could be a disaster with me confined to my bed and electric blanket with swathes of tissues, sipping slippery elm far from home. I arrive Friday afternoon with every intention of having a fabulous time.

Sunday 8th February
I am now happily tapping away on this blog, it is early Sunday morning and I am very relieved to report that so far the retreat weekend has been absolutely magical. My sahara/nasal drip nose has been rather an annoying constant, with still a bloody nasal epithelium struggling without its little hairs. My nights were a bit flu shivery and the electric blanket hot/cold, duvet on and off made the nights a wee bit tiresome (my lovely room mate was most understanding) … but apart from that, I have had a blast. The itinerary of yoga, Breathwork, a silent woodland walk, drumming, meditation and the most delicious array of juices, smoothies, soups and REALLY yummy healthy snacks, has left me riding high at a time that I was rather wary of and not particularly looking forward to.

Is there a retreat place for people’s dip times in chemotherapy? All the support would be available at a time when it is challenging to have the energy to look after yourself. It would be such a gift.

Yin yoga was a first for me and I thought I had melted into the mat. It took enormous effort to get vertical at the end. Similarly, the yoga nidra had me comatosed. Jess Horn, our teacher shines bright.

I am impressed by the power of intention. We have been asked to set an intention for what we want for the weekend and reminders are woven throughout the days activities. Mine – no surprises here – is healing and my experience of the 3 breathwork sessions we’ve had, has been one of such deep stillness where I have allowed myself to fall into the depths of my being, held safe, where the intelligence of my physical body can do its work, unencumbered by my mind!

On returning home my nasal drip picked up momentum and went from overactive to full on flow by Sunday evening. By the time I got to the prone position on my sofa I was streaming with a big box of tissues by my side. In the evening we watch House of Cards and Kevin Spacey is excellent distraction!! Griping viewing.

Monday
9th February
Week 5, Cycle 2
Day 14
I have taps for nostrils. They are ‘on’ permanently and I feel crappy.

Steaming my head over a bowl of boiling water and tea tree and clove oil really helped clear my head for at least 30 minutes. I googled home remedies and read that so many natural remedies are far better than packaged and patented cold remedies. A spoonful of raw honey, grating of ginger and lemon into hot water felt supremely healing.

I spend a day, with continuous hot drinks, little sleeps, rests, scrabble, telephone chats and writing my blog. There are bits in my blog that I feel so deeply about, I cry when I write them or I’m hugely energised by the possibility of it making a difference to someone finding something that works and a route though the mire. It gives me a sense of purpose for this extreme treatment. We might even have less bleach poured onto our planet!

I am reading a daily message from ‘A course in Miracles’ I’m on day 109. A number of people I have met over the years have talked about the impact of ‘A course in Miracles’, so much so that I am now reading it every day.Today’s message is very apt and really resonates with me.

Day 109 of a course in Miracles
I rest in God.
We ask for rest today, and quietness unshaken by the world’s appearances. We ask for peace and stillness, in the midst of all the turmoil born of clashing dreams. We ask for safety and for happiness, although we seem to look on danger and on sorrow. And we have the thought that will answer our asking with what we request.
“I rest in God.” This thought will bring to you the rest and quiet, peace and stillness, and the safety and the happiness you seek.
Chris Cade – free on line daily messages for ‘A course in Miracles’.

One Comment

Janina Moninska

Hello Nicola! Thanks for writing and sharing your blog…you are such an inspirational being..was lovely to share an evening of cocktails and conversation with you and Mark…I am going to listen to your audio recording now…sending you healing and love, Janina

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