The Personal Blog Of Steffi Lewis

Founder & creator of YourPCM ...


Cancer: Yes, Some Days Can Be Awesome

The calm before the storm ...

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If you're reading this from about 9:30am onwards on Monday 4th August, I'll be sitting in the Chemo room at Northampton Oncology plugged into large amounts of toxic chemicals via my PICC line for Chemotherapy 2 ...

As I now know from round 1, the physiological effects of Chemotherapy do calm down after a while. As the cycles are three weeks apart, by the beginning of the third week I found that I had more energy and wasn't napping every afternoon like I was previously. My palette has also sorted itself out, it doesn't hurt to chew and my sense of taste and appetite has returned somewhat.

Unfortunately, before the effects wore off, I lost my beloved hair and now look a little like the Borg Queen from Star Trek! But I do have groovy fake hair that looks like I've spent the afternoon in a very expensive salon and, for those times when I don't want to wear it, I have a range of hats.

"Ok, I do still have a general malaise from the Chemo but it does improve slightly every day and I was able to enjoy a fabulous weekend!"

When Kirsty and I met with my Oncology specialists on Friday, we asked for more information about takeaway vs restaurant food and why I wasn't allowed to eat either. It turns out that all takeaways are off limits because, although an outlet may have a 5 star or A rating, someone could have a bug or sneeze in the kitchen that day. As I have no immune system thanks to the Chemo, a simple bug, bacteria or virus that wouldn't normally affect me could end up putting me in hospital!

But for a trusted restaurant? We argued the point! My specialists said that I couldn't go to the restaurant because I'm not allowed to be in a crowd of people. At which point Kirsty said "what if the food came to Steffi?" and a discussion commenced about getting food from the restaurant as long as we were sure it was cooked in a super hygienic kitchen.

As the Globe Inn is three doors away from me, Kirsty went and spoke to the landlord Waldo, who let her meet the Chef and inspect the kitchens. An hour later we had two plates of Gourmet burgers, Chips, Onion Rings and Coleslaw sitting on my coffee table!

We had a Doctor Who evening as well. No talk from the outside world, no stresses ... just catching up on the end of the last season, the 50th anniversary stuff and Matt Smith's regeneration into Peter Capaldi in his final episode. Well, the new season does kick off on 23rd of August after all!

"We scoffed wonderful food, watched amazing TV and vegged out for the evening! I loved every minute of it!"

Sunday was spent alone, mostly pottering around in my garden. My Sweet Peas were dying off and needed to be taken down and I found a Clematis flowering in them that I didn't even know was there! That took some surgical precision pruning to save it! I also harvested my onions and had to throw away the Cabbages that had been eaten by caterpillars! Shame, but a lesson learned for next year.

A bit of weeding, a bit of grass cutting around my now empty raised beds and I also tidied up my 'tomato wall' against my shed and counted at least 50 young tomatoes growing there! I filled my green bin and even had to go throw a pile of weeds over the back into the copse once the bin was completely filled!

"Wow! I got a lot done, but it was so worth it in the end. I took plenty of breaks, so don't worry!"

I really needed to get the gardening done on Sunday. Like I said in the intro to this blog post, by the time you're reading this, I'm probably hooked up to a drip being filled with Chemotherapy again and I won't want to do anything like gardening for the next couple of weeks.

In September, I've got 30 consecutive sessions of Radiotherapy scheduled, which will bring a whole new set of challenges between then and Christmas! I'll save talk of that until we're closer to the time and I know more about it.

Now to get on with the next phase of treatment! Chemo 2 ...

Love, light and logic ...


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More about Steffi Lewis ...

Foodie, sci-fi nut, cat lover, brain aneurysm & cancer survivor, countryside dweller, SaaS entrepreneur, developer and networker.

Published my first website in 1993 for the Open University and am highly experienced with Windows Servers, SQL Server, HTML, Classic ASP, JavaScript, and CSS.

I've also worked as a professional photographer in Los Angeles, USA and been a vision mixer and producer for live television in my time.

I live in a village north of Milton Keynes with my two cats, Baggins and Gimley, and a large planted aquarium full of unruly tropical fish.


01908 875991