Piia Pauliina
  • scissors
    April 4th, 2010

    I did not have the 2B chemo last Monday as planned.  My neutrophils were too low, again!  Luckily not so low that I could not go on my Lanzarote holiday.  It is frustrating that these neutrophils keep going down regardless of the boosters, as I hate delaying my treatment.  Lucy, my lovely ‘key nurse’ reassured me it is normal for them to go down when one has had as much chemo as I have had, and they are not concerned me missing chemo.

    So last Tuesday I flew to Lanzarote to spend about six days with my mum and my step dad, Jukka.  I felt like I was going on a holiday with a child, except in my case the child is my cancer.  I had to plan and pack so much extra stuff for the cancer.

    It was important that I did not leave any drugs behind.  I was advised to pack all the drugs as hand luggage in case my suitcase went missing.  To my surprise, I had no problem getting my boosters through the security, even though I was carrying injection syringe needles with fluid inside them.  Tip: bring a letter from the hospital explaining about the drug in case you get into trouble.

    The flight went well.  I had prebooked a seat by the isle so that I could easily stretch my legs and have a little walk every now and again to reduce the risk of DVT.  Oh, and I was wearing flight socks as well.  I found these black knee high flight sock from Boots, which look just like normal knee high socks.  Highly recommended.

    It was almost surreal to arrive into ‘summer’ after such a harsh, cold winter.  As soon as I had got off the plane, I got rid of the woolly tights and shoes and wore my flip-flops!  I have enjoyed this holiday so much.  The sunshine and the warmth have been so therapeutic.  I have had to be mega careful about the sun though.  I have noticed that my skin is definitely more photosensitive, and seems to burn far easier than ever before.  I used to wear SPF 15 and be fine with it, but now I burn even with SPF 30, and really have to use SPF 50 at all times.  Also, I seem to have got brown spots and freckles, which is also a new thing.

    I have not done much on this holiday.  Every day I have gone for a long walk by the seaside, and the afternoons I have spent reading.  Perfect.  It is a quiet resort.  There are mostly families and old people.  Suits me fine.  And, I have only worn my wig twice in the evenings when we have gone out for dinner!  I love my wig, and I will continue to wear it once I leave this place, but it has been so liberating walking around without it.  Oh, I should mention that I have hair.  My hair started to grow during the second chemo, as those drugs do not cause hair loss.  It is thicker and fuller, and curlier than before!  However, I will lose my hair again with this current chemo.  But it has not happened, yet!  I suppose in London, I do not want people to know I am wearing a wig as this would raise questions (and I do not want all people to know I have cancer) if for one minute I had long hair, then short hair, and then long hair again!  Nobody knows me here and I do not care what people think of me here.

    It is Easter Sunday and I am flying back to London this evening.  I do not really want to go.  Actually, what I would really like to do is to get on a plane and fly somewhere other than London.  Maybe Barcelona!  I suppose, I would like to continue this ‘cancer free’ holiday a bit longer.  I have to go back, and continue with the treatment, otherwise how else am I ever going to get rid of it.  I simply have to plan more holidays, as they are definitely the best way to boost my moral, motivation and my spirit!


    Lanzarote!  It was so quiet there.  Even the beaches were pretty much empty.  Lovely.

    Lanzarote! It was so quiet there. Even the beaches were pretty much empty. Lovely.

    I love being by the sea, and the sun!

    I love being by the sea, and the sun!