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Friday, 28 February 2014

Chemo - Day One

It took quite a while to get to sleep last night, but I did manage to sleep.  We woke up, and I said to Leonie that Radio Two must be thinking of me as all the songs they were playing were my favourites - it turned out that it was my Ipod that was playing, not the radio - no wonder I liked all the songs.  We left for school with a shopping bag full of food for the day ahead.  On the way to the hospital I popped into work as I had forgotten ALL my chargers, Karyn had reminded me thankfully.

We arrived with about half an hour to spare and I was called through on time.  I was introduced to my nurse Mandy and a student nurse, called Chris.  Mandy was really nice, and I noticed that Chris was wearing some adidas trail trainers, I thought he may be a runner!

I was put in a chair, which was pretty awesome; legs up, legs down, long & short legs, head up, lie down, more height, less height - so many combinations, all at the touch of a button, I played all day! I was hooked up to the machine, my friend for the day, and Leonie, my mum and I all watched a DVD, which was informative.  The people on the film, produced by Rosemere, were all upbeat and positive.  First drugs in were anti sickness and steroids, quick and easy, but I was warned that I may have a stinging sensation in some private areas from the steroids, thankfully this didn't happen.  Next up 2 hours of a saline flush, to perk up my Kidneys ready for chemo. 

We had a brew, played top trumps "DC Comics", and chatted to the nurses and other patients.  My mum left after watching the DVD and would pick us up later in the afternoon.  Lunch came and I grabbed a sandwich for Leonie, I couldn't eat the wheaty goodness, so I had my picnic; crispbreads, ham, cheese with custard creams, kits kats (GF) and an apple.  I think all the staff and patients were a bit jealous, dry sandwichs and lumpy soup for them!

The next up was a chemo drug, which is the one that causes hair loss.  It is used a lot in breast cancer treatment, but my dose was small compared to theirs.  That was just a fat tube full, so it was over pretty quickly then it was the trial drug, Avastin for 90 mins.  We got to know our neighbours more in the afternoon, chatting away, my next door neighbours called themselves Mr & Mrs Rambo, Mrs Rambo was having the chemo, Mr Rambo finished his book and gave it to Leonie to read.  Everybody there was a lot older, but they were so easy to get on with.  Most were coping well with cancer and chemo from what I could tell, some were a little quieter, but the room felt happy & lighthearted rather than like a mortury!  All the people I spoke to would be there over my next session's so we will all see each other again, and it will be a little more relaxed when you know everyone, I will have them all doing the conga next time!  My trials nurse, Claire, visited a couple of times which was good to see and she went through everything again, confirming details and explaining that I would be taking drugs home; who to contact and when; what to do during the 21 day cycle.  It is a complicated plan, but I can stick to it, just a case of remembering what to take or do and when.

I finally got a chance to meet up with Macmillians, and Rachel was really helpful and straightforward with loads of good advice,  which I hadn't even thought about.  Over the day there was a lot of information to take in, and I'm glad Leonie was there, not only for her support and to help out remembering all the infomation, but her company was invaluable.  Lots of other patients came and went throughout the day, some only stayed an hour, others two.  A couple half days and a couple of us were the full day.  There are two things which we all laughed about, firstly, with all these liquid drugs going in, all of us were going to the loo a lot, even the people not on chemo were as well, from all the drinks they had!  As you can imagine, sitting in one place for 8 hours, there is boredom, and lots of free soft drinks and hot drinks were drunk by everybody.   On top of that, the total medicinal intake must have been 5-6 litres. Secondly,  beeping! When drips finished cycles, the machine's beeped continiously.  There were a fair few machines, so lots of beeping.  Also, if you moved too much, the machine stopped itself, and beeped continiously.  I was told off by Chris silently, to stop moving - to begin with it was about every half hour, but around mid afternoon it got to every couple of minutes, while I tried to get a little more comfortable.

Another chemo drug pumped in, and it was starting to get a little later, Leonie had text my mum to let her know we would be here a while longer.  I had to finish my day on another 2 hour saline flush!  In the late afternoon, Mandy came over and have me my take home bag of drugs.  10 boxes! Some early morning, some after breakfast, some at lunch,  some after tea, and some before I go to bed.  More anti sickness, steroids, chemo drug, drugs to aid bowel movements, more drugs to protect my stomach.  Luckily Mandy was really thorough and wrote dates and times on all the boxes.

I finished up about 6.15 and my mum had arrived, and soon after we left the hospital. I was fine and dandy, a little tired and achy, and hungry too!  We went back to mum's and ordered a takeaway to pick up, I drove the two minutes back home.  The boys were staying at granny and grandads so we had a quick call with them before bedtime. I couldn't eat all my takeaway but I did enjoy it and saved some for lunch.  Leonie and I watched a bit of TV, I had my drugs and we had a few phone calls and socialised with friends on line.  We went to bed, but I couldn't sleep, probably the steroids. So a late night while my body gets used to a day of drugs.  I think the total number of drugs today was 11, quite a cocktail, but who's counting, its my army of helpers to reach places I can't to beat cancer.  I keep saying I didn't do much, and I did just sit for most of the day, but it was a long time to be pumped full of drugs.  Lets see how I cope with it over the next 21 days.  I just hope it won't be too difficult.  I know I have the support if needed but my view is to take each day as it comes on its own, and carry on as normal as possible!  Bring on the fight cancer, you don't know who you have chosen this time, you don't have a chance with me!

1 comment:

  1. Forgot to mention the tingly bottom drug, must have slipped my mind!! Sounds like you took it all in your stride, the first step on the road to robin hood bay.