Problems Down Under

By Stethoscopes (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons
Things were going fairly well this cycle (cycle 5 of chemotherapy) until last week Thursday. A few days leading up to Thursday things down below were stinging when I went to the toilet. A fairly common side effect that I have suffered from continually during my treatment is chronic constipation. So I thought nothing of it - it was something that was commonplace and I just had to put up with it. However, Thursday was quite a hot day and by the evening I was curled up on the sofa under a blanket, shivering!

We took my temperature and it was 37.7 degrees C. This is over the threshold of 37.5 so I had to call the special chemotherapy helpline number. They advised me to come into the hospital straight away as they were going to admit me. I had an infection.

I really didn't want to go in as now my mind has associated hospital with my chemo sessions that make me feel terrible! So it was a mental battle to overcome and pack my bags and go.

In hospital my blood tests revealed that I had virtually no white blood cells in my blood, so I was classed as neutropenic and was rushed into an isolation room. I was hooked up to a variety of intravenous drips throughout my stay - it was quite hard to keep up with it all.

After a couple of days a space opened up on the specialist cancer ward. I love it there as they know what they are doing and you also get to know the nurses and doctors, especially if you have had to stay a few times like I have.

As each day went by, I began to respond to the medication and started to not feel so terrible. They gave me extra bone marrow injections, which ached as usual, but they did the trick and my neutrphil levels increased.

I was also on laxatives to help with my bowel movements which led to episodes of diarrhoea. At least things were moving! The constant pain down under became not so constant and only occurred when on the toilet. By this stage, it was Monday and the rest of me was feeling OK and blood tests showed I was no longer infected. So I was discharged.

I am at home now - which is great! However, down under still hurts pretty badly. The doctor found a tear and a hemorrhoid when he examined me so going to the toilet is very painful. I am administering external cream to try to sooth things a bit as well as continuing to take laxatives to keep things soft.

I have an appointment back at the hospital on Tuesday where they will assess whether I am able to undergo my final chemo session on Thursday, or not.

I feel I am so close, but yet so far. There are still many mountains to climb before I am through! It is getting exhausting and I am getting sick and tired of it! I am determined to have my final session of chemo, whenever it may be. But I really, really, really don't want to go through with it! Just the thought of it makes my stomach turn! Wow - chemo makes me feel SO sick! I hate it! Yet it is my only option if I am to choose life, so I grit my teeth and go through with it.

People call me brave - but I'm not really. Jesus makes me brave. Without Him there is no way I would be able to cope - no way at all! It is amazing how much courage Jesus can give you. This is a song someone sent me last week to encourage me - I hope it encourages you too!



  1. Thanks again for your honesty, Matt. We're praying that you will be able to have that last chemotherapy, even though you naturally dread it, and that God will use it to heal your cancer and also help you with the bowel problems

    1. Thanks for continuing to pray Maggie. It means a lot.


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