Janice Issitt                    Life and Style

travel, interiors, photography, home, crafts, personal style

18 Jul 2019

Here I go Again - FEC chemo starts this week

Hi there y'all, well if you haven't guessed it I'm back on steroids and therefore I'm blogging in the middle of the night. Finally yesterday after a series of problems, I started this next round of chemo.  It's called FEC which just makes me think of the Father Ted character who shouted Feck all the time, well, imagine him, and that's me. FEC are the initials of the three drugs and these three are completely different to the last three (one of which was herceptin). I will continue to receive herceptin but it can't be given at the same time as the FEC trio so that will be another joyful trawl to the hospital every three weeks involving needles no doubt. 

FEC is a follow-up cocktail I believe, a less invasive dose supposedly, well we shall see,  I will keep you posted here on how that differs from my first four rounds. 

It still involves the thing that by far more makes me worse than anything and that's the steroids. I feel like I never recover from the interrupted sleep even when not taking it and I'm sure it adds to my daily fatigue. I've had to resort to some opioids and see if I can get a few more hours on those, including cbd oil.

Having a few weeks to get over the infection in my breast and a break from chemo, (which I had to insist on as they hospital says it was against protocol)  I can see that my creative needs do return, I just needed to access that bit of my brain that guides my style and have a serious word with it. Worried that I would never have the energy again for full photo shoots with my really heavy equipment, I decided to pair it down to a tripod and a black background so that I could photograph the flowers currently going hell for leather in my garden. A lovely way to record my achievements just outside the front door. Planting a country cottage flower border at the front has made the whole place smile, it has changed it such a lot. On the areas where there is gravel I have taken tips from a good friend and bought some wicked galvanized planters.

My friend Rachel visited and helped me with a few small girly jobs that needed a womans touch, sorting out my wardrobes, making a cover for a chair, and cutting my hair which was long overdue but I didn't trust anyone else so I've got rid of the tangled ends in a hope this will make brushing less of a big deal. My hair is thinning but not so bad that I couldn't do a style to disguise it. Keeping some length helps with that. I met another lady doing the cold cap yesterday who also has long hair and like me, she trimmed the ends so you don't have to pull when brushing but keeping the length for styling and disguising any bald patches. I don't seem to have any bald patches, just a bit thinner that's all. 

My summerhouse is coming along a treat and when we've finished I will do a full blog about creating the 'she' shed with all my special needs in mind. It's incorporating lots of reclaimed materials which will act as cladding to thicken the walls and old windows found at junk yards and on ebay. 

On Chemo you need to keep out of the sun so a shady space where you can lie down is a great way to get out of the bedroom, I can have a few hours appreciating the garden and the pond that is teeming with birds. I've even got a rescue wild rabbit which I'm fattening up for release away from the cat that brought him to me.

The 'She Shed' will enable myself and local companies to use it as a backdrop for photos, and if you can bring your products to me and help with the styling then we could be on the road to getting me back to work. I have to see what the light is like but I have the feeling that it could work as a lovely backdrop for mood photos.

The AMARA IBA awards have been in touch (although I'm not sure I qualify anymore) but if you think that 'lifestyle' includes the downside of dealing with cancer, then perhaps they can find a space for me in the 'Best use of photography" section as I try to incorporate and illustrate inside and outside my home, during this period of transition. Creating the best recovery space when you are ill is probably one of the most important bits of decorating you will every do. You will spend lots of time staring at those walls and life will feel very harsh, so the warmth and comfort of a beautiful space is vital and shouldn't be underestimated. 

I will put up a link when I have one for voting.

In the meantime, my ideas for the summerhouse/ she shed, continue to keep keep me perky, and the husband is building a palace fit for a queen out there. Painting starts this week so once that's done inside we can try out the furniture.  I am toying with a feature wall of wallpaper at one end, currently on the look out for the right thing I've ended up pretty much 'glued' to a company called Woodchip & Magnolia but also harking back to Cabbages and Roses and Sanderson, I just can't decide. It needs to look very faded like it's been there for years.

Hope to see you next week with more flower portraits and more news about the summerhouse. Oh and to let you know how the FECKING FEC is going with my usual honest tips on how I'm coping with it. But whatever it is you are all doing with your prayers and your wishes and your thought and kind words, it's working to fill the void of love that I just couldn't find to give myself and a very dark time.  

All the best Janice

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