Part 6 – Recovery at home after 1st Chemo cycle

It was never going to be an easy time but the fatigue really caught me out. I’ve run a marathon before and the fatigue after that is absolutely a walk in the park compared. I think I felt because I was in good shape I would maybe avoid some of the fatigue, but this wasn’t to be. For around 10 days after I left the hospital I was pretty housebound, at times I literally couldn’t move – dad had to at times rescue me on the stairs because my legs literally wouldn’t move me. There’s no words to describe it, but it was hugely frustrating to be unable to do literally anything at times. It’s all so frustrating.

I’ve had 2 chemo boosters, they were just administered at the hospital as an injection and I then went home. I was told that there is a 1 in 7 chance of having a reaction to the booster, and if I was to run a temperature (above 38 degrees) it was to be ignored on this day. In normal circumstances if I ran a temperature I had to immediately go straight to hospital.

Anyway, so I had a reaction, gah, not ideal. Ran the temperature and felt absolutely horrendous that evening, staggering about and struggling to function. The worry was that although I’d been told it would be a reaction to the booster, what if it was just coincidental and was something else. After a stressful evening by the morning it had cleared and I felt more normal. Phew!

Side effects overall I’ve been very lucky, I’ve had a constant ‘hangover head’ which has given a kind of brain fog that hasn’t gone away. This was really bad for those first 10 or so days and has now cleared a little, but there is no escaping it. The hair loss started a few days ago and over the last day or so has got a lot worse. I had my hair cut gradually shorter,  but my scalp these last few days has felt on fire, like I’m getting needles stabbed in it. Shave it off real short – helped a lot!

Tinnitus, the fatigue, mouth ulcers, hair loss and the weird metal taste as side effects but aside from that I’ve been very fortunate. I feel awful but it could be a lot worse.

April 25th, next cycle starts on 27th April. 1 down, 2 to go!


  1. Keep battling Ollie, you’ll get there and I’ll be waiting for you on the other side of the net to ram a 12mph serve down your neck! xx

  2. My biggest question thinking of you on treatment number 1, was really how quickly you are brought down by the treatment. Like you I thought youth and fitness was possibly going to stave off severe effects in the short term, am saddened further to hear the effects were so strong so soon, but being positive, with good reason, kicking cancers butt. Stay positive my friend. AndyT

  3. Oli, your bravery not just in facing your diagnosis and treatment but also in delivering your experience through this blog is humbling and inspiring all in one go. I am lucky to know you personally and can literally hear you saying these words as I read and I think that’s something that people will really relate to.
    I simply cannot imagine the waves of emotions (not to mention nausea etc) that you must be feeling every day but I know that you have an amazing family and your friends (no matter how far away we are) will always be ‘there’ for you.

    I must say, on a personal note, the hair loss for me is exceptionally troubling – Your nickname won’t make sense any more! ;o)

    I should also say that your having had this experience and the conversations we had before your surgery, and this blog, I have checked myself – for the first time, at 32 years old. It proves that awareness is everything so thank you for being you, for being strong enough to use your own experience to raise awareness for others.

    Keep going pal. I’m with you every step of the way.

    Like all cancer sufferers that are fighting their battles with the evil disease, you’re a hero. As one consultant I used to work with said “why can’t cancer just f*%k off?!”


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