“This one will make your bum itch,” said the Ward Sister to me as she hooked a new bag up to the pump. I had become so used to all the weird and wonderful (and downright painful) things that chemo did to you that I greeted this piece of information with a shrug of the shoulders but also a sense of curiosity. An elderly guy in a chair in the main part of the ward heard what she said to me, and piped up,

“It’s the best feeling I get all week.”

I waited, in anticipation, wondering when the feeling was going to hit me. This drug had already turned my pee a sort of pretty rosy red colour, so this new experience could only be a bonus. Suddeny, there it was.

“Oooh,” I exclaimed. “My bum’s on fire.”

“It’ll soon go,” said the nurse.

In a sense, anything that happened seemed almost natural. I learned to be surprised by nothing. So, my dwindling eyesight did not really register properly and certainly did not take centre stage. Unlike everyone else in the chemo ward, I was in a bed, being too weak to sit in the leather chairs that lined the walls of the main room. I felt very cut off from everyone else, and was unable to join in any of the conversations that were going on. I attempted to watch what was going on, however, from my half sitting, half lying position. At first, I could see the nurses going to the patients and hooking them up to their drips, changing the drips, and various other things. As the weeks wore on, I was a little disconcerted to find that I could no longer see what was going on. I mentioned this to the haematologist and he seemed unconcerned, telling me that when this was all over I may need to see an optician and get stronger lenses in my glasses. One of the drugs that I was being given could cause some loss of eyesight. This was likely to be minimal though.

I ceased to worry too much about my loss of sight, as there were so many other things to contend with. I simply trusted that if I got through this lot, I would get the glasses that I needed. Undergoing chemotherapy was, in the words of the ward sister, still a “leap of faith.” No one knew which way it was going to go.

9 thoughts on “PART 2 of MY STORY OF GOING BLIND

  1. I am not sure I believe in chemo… the results sound terrifying and worse that the original disease… I had radiation treatment after my cancer and it has destroyed part of my ribcage and the top of my lung, so I won’t be volunteering for anything else!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. blindzanygirl

    Oh my God! I had no idea that this had happened to you as well albeit from radiation and I assume not from chemo as well. If you had read all of my original book you would say that I too struggled over chemo. I was very tempted to not undergo chemo at all and in any case as my cancer was so advanced and I was so near to death anyway I wanted to make the decision just to let myself go. However relatives coming and various other people put pressure on you and so I made the decision to go forward with the chemo. I so agree with you about the terrible effects of chemo although it doesn’t happen for all people. I guess that before you start you do not know just how it is going to affect you personally as everyone it’s not the same and many people have it successfully and go back to having a fairly normal life again. They can go back to work and just resume normal things. Sadly for many people this does not happen and it obviously has not happened to you and that is just absolutely horrific. I don’t know which of you I am speaking to but you most certainly have my empathy. The chemo destroyed my lungs to well at least, left lung and my right lung had already been damaged by tuberculosis which I had many years ago. I do so agree that chemo can do absolutely horrific things. I have often said since all this happened to me that I wished I had not gone forwards with it. It’s saved my life but it left me in the most terrible mess. I know that this is not conventional thinking but we don’t have to go with convention doing. You have my absolute empathy and I stretched out my hand to you and hold yours.


  3. Chemotherapy is a very potent combination of drugs to destroy the cancer cells but also destroys many of healthy cells in the process. It a price one pays for the chance at survival. As you said the side effects experienced aren’t the same for everyone, they usually warn you of things that might happen but no one is certain till the therapy starts. I am sure it was a very rough time for you and you lost your eyesight in the process. But I am so impressed by your courage Lorraine that you are sharing this painful story with us. Sending you warm hugs and love.


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