Three: It’s a magic number

This morning I woke up with a Jack Johnson song in my head: The 3 R’s. The opening line goes like this:

Three it’s a magic number
Yes it is, it’s a magic number

I don’t actually know the rest of the song, so all day I have been humming those two lines in my head. Why? Well, today was round three (officially / unofficially). I also squeezed in a 3 km run this morning and it’s exactly three months since my first round of chemo. I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to numbers, which is surprising as I’m rubbish at mathematics. As you know, seven is not a good number for me. Let’s see how three goes.

Mother decided to show off her new baking skills and whipped up some sticky cinnamon rolls for the nurses and other patients. There is always a selection of treats and snacks on offer provided by a patient. Well, the rolls were an absolute hit! One elderly Dutch lady came over when she found out mother had made them.

“Are you European?”

“No, I’m from New Zealand.”

“I haven’t had anything this good in thirty-two years.”

The lady went on, and on, and on about the rolls to every nurse. Well done, mother. Unfortunately for me, the new combination of drugs makes me feel nauseous instantly. The only thing I can stomach is fruit or dry biscuits. No sugar-laden rolls for me.

Mother was also given a gift today. She’d won a prize in the Christmas raffle. Could the day get any better! As usual, I reluctantly walked over the scales to weigh myself. I took off my shoes this time (every bit helps!). 66.9 Kg. Woohoo! I weigh less than before Christmas, the day IS getting better and better. Next stop: Dr Oliveira. What is usually a quick five-minute chat to check my WBC levels, turned out to be a very interesting meeting. We were discussing my final treatment and she asked if I wanted to continue to use Zoladex for the next two years – Zoladex is the injection that keeps me in menopause.

“Why,” I enquired.

Apparently it’s not recommended to have a child within two years of treatment. That’s the first I have heard of this (research to follow..). Not that I am planning on having a child right now, but I hadn’t considered that it’s not recommended.

“I guess I have two years to train and race Ironman instead,” I justified.

As it turns out, my doctor is currently training for Ironman! I wish I had know this three months ago. I informed her I was about to register for (half) Ironman 70.3 before I was diagnosed.

“There are still spots available for the 70.3 in Cairns,” she informed me.

“When is it?”


“June? That’s a bit soon, isn’t it?” I joked.

“Why not, you can train for it now.”

Did that really just happen? Did my oncologist just encourage me to train for Ironman. She agrees the more active you are, the easier treatment is, and the easier you recover.

“I love you.” Yes… I told my oncologist that I love her.

Now before everyone starts panicking that I am going to head out tomorrow and throw myself into a crazy training regime, relax. I know my limits. At the moment, I struggle running 5 km continuously. I’m not going to start training now for a half-marathon distance. I think I was destined to have her as my oncologist. The nurses, on the other hand, were a little stressed by her encouragement.

Next step: get set up in the chair. This morning I had my pick between chair 3 or 4. I decided to continue with my magic number of the day. Mother wasn’t impressed as chair 4 is ‘The Corner Suite’. I also realised that today is the 9th. 9 is divisible by 3. Sold.

I won’t lie, receiving the drugs is getting harder and harder. I knew it was going to be a tough day when I went TO the oncology ward feeling nauseous. I can no longer look at the bag of drugs, or watch them inject it through the IV. Thinking about chemotherapy, even the word, sends my gag reflexes into overdrive. I sat there patiently trying to think of anything but chemo. The lunch tray came around, no thanks! I stuck to my fruit and carrot sticks. Mother decided to try the sandwich and informed me it was tuna… TUNA *GAG*. I think it’s a bit mean of the hospital to send tuna sandwiches to the oncology ward. People already feel sick, don’t make it worse. The treatment passed without any hitches and I am back home resting in bed.

One more down…One to go.


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