day six: two steps forward, one step back

I’m starting to think I need to do my daily blog at the end of the day, not at the beginning… but hey, since when have I ever done things the easy way..

Before I can even think about today, I need to talk about yesterday. Because yesterday was a big day!

It was a crackin’ start to the day. As you know, my pathology results came back clear. I successfully dried my own back after showering – baby steps towards independence. I had two drains removed – I didn’t feel a thing, phew. I had a few hours’ freedom from my IV pole – oh the freedom! I was put in a neck to hip compression stocking – instant six-pack! I had some very special visitors. And, it was Mother’s birthday. *Takes a breath*

What could possibly go wrong?

Well, let me tell you…

It was lunchtime, which meant I was due for my next round of antibiotics, which in-turn meant it was time for a new cannula. I knew my freedom from the IV pole had a limited timeframe, but I was a little sad for it to be ending. Was it too late to run and hide from the nurses? For me, having a cannula put in is the most unpleasant thing, ever. Six-months-on from chemo and it still causes me grief. The psychological damage caused by too many failed attempts, and the sensation of the drug entering the bloodstream, is something that is yet to be forgotten. A visitor had just arrived prior to the nurse wheeling in her big metal trolley full of paraphernalia. I had no choice but to suck it up and put on my invisible big-girl-panties.

The second cannula went in with ease, the antibiotics infused, but shortly after trouble started to brew. It started to feel ‘uncomfortable’. Then it became difficult to do anything with that arm – pushing my IV pole caused instant pain. There’s a difference between ‘uncomfortable’ and ‘painful’, and I knew I was surpassing the latter. I called the nurse and she confirmed what deep down I already know. The cannula had ‘blown’ and would have to come out.

Since I’m only expected to be in hospital until tomorrow, the nurse rang Dr O, explained the failed second cannula and asked if I could be switched to oral antibiotics. I crossed everything in hope for her to say the magic word – Yes. It wasn’t to be. *Sigh*. I understood her reasons, if I get an infection the expanders will have to come out and months will be added to this process. And we don’t want that! But it meant another cannula. *Deeper sigh*

I should have been relieved, the third cannula went in with ease, but I wasn’t. To ensure they didn’t miss again, Dr O ordered them to put it in my elbow – possibly the most uncomfortable and awkward position possible. Everything suddenly became difficult again. Now, I know you all think I’m eternally positive, but I had a moment. A BIG MOMENT. A moment where I may have shed a tear (read: I cried)… because of a silly needle in my arm. I nearly gave up doing my double laps around the ward because it was too difficult to push the IV pole. But then I reminded myself that giving up is not an option! So I forced myself around for a second lap (with a ‘my world is ending’ look on my face). The mood quickly passed when another friend arrived for a visit and the olds arrived with dinner and cake for Mother’s birthday.

That was yesterday. Today is a new day.

This morning I am starting my day with an accepting mind. I am accepting that my independence is going to be challenged, again. I am accepting that the nurse will have to shower me, again… and dry my back, again. I’m even taking deep breaths with every letter I punch on my keyboard with my right hand, because I am unable to type with my left.

On a brighter note, I’m excited (and hopeful) to be going home tomorrow. I have been completely spoilt with visitors, gifts, and flowers, but there are two others in my life that haven’t been able to visit. These two have been by my side since I moved home, and by my side with each phase of treatment. To mark day six in hospital, I am dedicating my blog to my two furry friends. To Jack and Lulu. I’m not sure how I’ll stop them from jumping all over me when I get home, but I can’t wait to see them.



Don’t come any closer, she’s resting.


You rest. I’ll keep watch.




You need me to get anything?


We’ll make sure you don’t fall off the couch.


I’ll just stay here incase you need something.


2 thoughts on “day six: two steps forward, one step back

  1. It takes so much courage to go through this treatment Rochelle, you are a brilliant and I stand amazed at your perseverance.

    You will conquor this thing and come out more complete and more powerful than before.

    I will keep you in my thoughts and prayer’s Rochelle. God is with you, He will not forsake you. Kari Jobe sings a beautiful song with those words in it.

    Love from

    Janet Trapp
    Cityhope Church Ipswich

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