So, having dreaded being laid up in bed over Christmas, I am so glad to report that I had a great one and ate all my christmas dinner and even managed some Buck's Fizz and mojitos! Despite the disruption of flooding and bugs, all my children managed to travel to me and they wouldn't let me lift a finger. Having them all here with their other halves and my 15 month year old granddaughter made my Christmas perfect. Day 4 and 5 of chemo were my bad days last cycle and they fell on Christmas and Boxing Day, so I feared the worse, but apart from fatigue, I was absolutely fine!! I'm convinced that the reason was down to not taking all my anti sickness meds. I took the steroids for three days as prescribed, but left out the other two prescriptions. I didn't feel sick at all and the awful restlessness and tremors I had last time were absent! I also didn't have stomach pains and constipation, followed by the runs this time. I will report all this back to my nurse when I see her pre my next chemo cycle. No matter what chemo you have, the side affects will be different for each individual receiving it and I guess I am lucky in that I am not a sicky person. I felt low after my family left after boxing day and I felt a bit lost and lonely on my own, so I gave myself a slap and having heard so much about the positive effect of exercise on cancer, I joined a gym yesterday and have even managed to find myself a Nike bandana, how cool is that!! The following is an extract from a very interesting Macmillan PDF 'Physical Activity Campaign Report' that you can download from this site: [There is a growing body of evidence that suggests physical activity can reduce cancer patients’ chances of dying from the disease. Breast and prostate cancer patients can reduce their risk of dying from the disease by 30–40% if they do recommended levels of activity, compared to those doing less than one hour a week. Bowel cancer patients who do around six hours of moderate intensity physical activity a week could help reduce their risk of dying from the disease by around 50%, compared to those doing less than an hour. There is emerging evidence that it can also reduce the risk of the disease coming back for breast and bowel cancer. This is significant as there are around 550,000 women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and around 240,000 people who have been diagnosed with bowel cancer living in the UK today.] Obviously, discuss this with your doctor, nurse, oncologist first and take this report along with you. I sent it to the club I have joined and they have found it interesting too and have printed it off for all of their personal trainers. You do need to be sensible of course and listen to your body. I will be doing a mix of treadmill walking, some low weights, pilates and yoga three times a week. There is a lovely spa area there too, but I will avoid the jacuzzi, steam room and sauna. The jacuzzi is risky due to bacteria and I'm not sure that I can cope with the heat of the sauna, steam room and my hot flushes! I'm not really a fan of swimming unless it comes with sun, sea, sand and a pina colada, but I can at least lounge by the pool with my kindle and people watch. Apart from the physical and mental benefits of exercise, it gets me out of the house and into a healthy environment, which is an emotional boost too. This has been a very positive chemo cycle so far and I am learning to read and understand my invaded body better as time goes on. I'm certainly kinder to myself and going with the flow is easier to relax into now. When i was diagnosed with breast cancer, I cancelled my night away at a posh hotel for a gala NYE event with friends, as I couldn't risk losing the expense of it should I be too unwell to attend. I am gutted about it and I'm sad that I will be alone this year, but I will raise a glass of whatever it is I feel like drinking tomorrow night (maybe champers) to wish us all good luck with our cancer battle in 2013. xx