26 March - Feeling dizzy

This last session of chemo has knocked me for six a bit. Until then I would feel a little dizzy if I climbed the stairs a bit too quickly. But at the moment even getting up from a chair makes my head spin as if I am about to faint.

According to "Living with a Brain Tumour" chemotherapy affects the bone marrow causing low counts of red cells in the blood. From school biology lessons I seem to recall that those are the cells that carry oxygen round the body. So I think the dizziness is due to the brain not receiving as much oxygen as it would like. In other words it is to be expected and I will just have to take it easier for a while.

It would be nice to know how long it takes the blood to recover once the chemotherapy is over, though, and whether there is anything I can do to speed the recovery process up a bit.


  1. Hi Julian,

    Blood cells recover very fast when the chemotherapy stops. After the last doses chemotherapy, the lowest values will be find after 12-18 days. After 4 weeks the blood cells will increase again. With a low haemoglobin you will have dizziness and fatigue. I hope you will soon recover and will feel better. All the best, Paul

  2. I just saw this blog for the first time this morning. Julian, the only thing that's incurable is a good disposition, and you certainly seem to have that in abundance. Reading of your story, I'm reminded of a Chuengze story about a farmer who lost a horse. The neighbors came over to sympathise and offer condolences. The farmer said, "Maybe so, maybe not." The next day, the horse returned along with six wild horses. The neighbors came over to congratulate him and tell him how rich he would soon be. "Maybe so, maybe not," was his reply. Next day, his son tried riding and taming one of the horses; he fell off and broke his leg. Neighbors came over just as before and offered condolences, how he must be suffering. "Maybe so, maybe not," said the farmer. The next day, a group of military men came to the house and demanded the farmer turn over his son for military duty in a planned major offensive. When they saw the son with his broken leg, they granted him a permanent exemption from service. The neighbors came over to congratulate the farmer, to tell him how wonderfully fortunate he was. "Maybe so, maybe not," he (by now predictably) said.

    I sincerely hope that the silver lining of your trials turns out to be a complete recovery. Good writers need to stick around.