Liz's colonic journey


Just got back from a very, very slow walk around the block with Pat and the dogs. I didn’t think I’d make the full kilometer, because just getting up the stairs to the ladies at the Bellevue Cafe, Kloof this afternoon was pretty hard work. Liza suggested it as a nice place to meet, and we’ve been wanting to check it out for ages. We knew we’d hit gold when we walked in at 12 and found only 2 tables free – the place was humming.

This is   Pat’s Pie of the Day and my Cob Salad:

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Enough food to feed 6 people! Very tasty and lovely garden patio for ambience. Very nice interlude all round.

Back to actually walking. It’s weird how the legs can feel so noodly yet they can still work alright. I was a bit puffed but it was great to meander down the road at Rocky’s pace – no way I’d have been able to hold Pepper. I appreciated every one of Rocky’s ‘postboxes’, but not the old chicken bones that idiots drop on the sidewalk, less than a meter away from a trash bin?

Our cough mixture addict had been back on Friday – 2 liter Cellarcask and two empty cough mixture bottles appear every Friday. Shame.

So good to actually feel like blogging. I’m feeling pretty out of touch, especially conscious that my work colleagues have been picking up my slack because I haven’t been able to get into work much.

I think Pat and I are starting to get a sense of how this chemo works. We know that the 8th day seems to be the sore day with tummy cramps. I usually feel good on the days that I’m having treatment.

Day 1: I have the  Camptosol which makes me eyes play tricks on me – so Pat has to drive me. The treatment takes about an hour and a half. Reading and writing are difficult.

Day 2: Usually feeling good – taking the Zofer antinausea and the Omez that stops stomach ulcers. The treatment takes half an hour and I feel good enough to go into work.

Day 3: Infuser pump is removed and I can drive and go to work.

Day 4: A bit tired and nauseous. Can do a bit of screen-work, reading and writing.

Day 5: Tired but functioning – usually sleep a lot

Day 6 & 7: Don’t feel much like eating – cooking is out of the question. Feels like constipation but isn’t.

Day 8: Stomach cramps from diarhoea that is so far on the extreme end that it takes 12 Imodium tabs to try and get some kind of control. Sleep not really an option.

Day 9: Still crampy and washed out, but able to face food and simple chores around the house.

Day 10: Starting to surface, able to do email, commenting and thinking about work

Day11, 12, 13: Starting to giggle a bit more, play with dogs, can drive a bit and get shopping done.

Day 14: Back to day 1: Bloods, Chemo, wonky eyes.

I’ve decided to do Day 1 Chemo on Wednesday this week, so that I’ll have the worst side-effects over the weekends and hopefully be able to be present at work.

I’m really chuffed with the way the veggie patch is looking:

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The veggie patch is kind of a metaphor for how I’m feeling – a little tattered round the edges but happy to carry on growing. I can honestly say that having my sister and her family visit the week before this chemo, got me back on my feet. Love you guys, thanks for the laughs – even the monkeys stealing the Quality Street chocolates off the coffee table as we were enjoying that excellent braai.




I’ve lost about 7kgs with this chemo, and I think I got quite dehydrated on this last round, which probably didn’t help the tummy cramps. On the plus side the liver pain is definitely much better, so I reckon the chemo is working. I’ll be having a CT scan next week, and then we’ll see whether the side-effects are worth the benefits of this chemo regime.

In the meantime we are getting fully into planning our California/UK trip. My British passport hasn’t come yet, but there’s still five weeks to go before we leave. Time to build up walking stamina for the San Fran hills. I got quite intimidated when I saw the pics of Sioux, Mandz and Chrissie labouring up the hills. I’ve warned Pat that she might need to hire a wheelchair for me!

So many people in my life have been doing amazing things. Sharon B is a hero for actually starting and finishing the Sani2C race last week. I knew she’d do it, and hubby Dave had no doubt, but as always it’s self-doubt that gets us. She did it – and was my inspiration for walking round the block today. What a great tribute and acknowledgement for Robert.

Denise’s daughter is going through rough times with liver issues and the whole family is on my mind. And Joan and Cedric dealing with kidney transplants between their kids – so brave. Well done to Janet for her generosity and to Craig for going through this stuff. It’s a truly inspirational story. Victoria and Lungile dealing with young T’s rock bottom CD count and infections yet turning up for work and smiling and doing their very best.

It amazes me how incredibly courageous people who think of themselves as ordinary are.  This is heroism. I’m blessed to know such remarkable people.




Comments on: "Extra-ordin-Aire" (4)

  1. Thanks for the update Liz and for sharing your understanding of the chemo routines and body patterns – this demystifies what you are experiencing for me. It seems such a practical approach of getting a grip on new normal as it continues to change. So good to hear the pain associated with the liver is subsiding. It was wonderful when you walked in during the Monday meeting and sharing Graham’s Norwegian cake and contributing to the exciting discussions. Maríxxx

    • It was great to see everyone and to be part of the energy – such an exciting time for eLearning at DUT. Graham’s cake was delumptious – the cherry on the top!

  2. Dearest Liz, I’m writing this from Cape Cod where the weather is miserable but I’m with my family and it doesn’t get better than that. Thanks for this blog — you are of course the hero of all who read it. Your generosity of spirit is always uplifting and inspiring and we are so, so lucky to know you. XXX

    • @Sioux – loving the idea of you and the fam at Cape Cod and enjoying that beautiful part of the world. Enjoy.

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