Wednesday, 5 September 2012

An eventful day at Chemo.

It began like any other day, wake up, shower, get dressed, wake my sidekick up, breakfast then a hasty walk down to catch the bus to take us to the hospital. The weather was sunny and warm, the journey there uneventful and we arrived at the main entrance in good time. First a visit to see my sister who is currently in hospital in the ward above the McMillan unit where my chemo is administered.

Later we journeyed down the talking lift (she who talks to all who board her as if they are simple, you know “Doors closing, Going Up!” etc.) and duly arrived at the restaurant. There wasn’t much choice for me (as usual) so I plumped for the fish with Tomato Proven├žale whilst she chose Beef Lasagne.  After our dinner, we found ourselves killing time until my chemo appointment so did our usual circuit of the hospital, finally ending up at the now familiar McMillan entrance. My sister and niece were stood above us (the Ward where she is directly above the McMillan unit) waiving frantically. My first job was to profusely apologise to Tom who man’s the desk for continuously insisting on calling him Bob. (near enough for me as its the same amount of letters) but he dismissed it and kindly forgave my lack of memory in being able to remember names.

We were still a good hour too soon, and the chair I was booked in was currently occupied, or I could have gone in to wile away the time in there.  A cappuccino coffee  and hot chocolate later we were at last called in and I took my seat ready for the inevitable heating of veins, pricking of veins, filling up of drugs and chemo that was to follow. After impatiently waiting another twenty or so minutes, where myself and another lady observed that they were short staffed, one of the chemo nurses finally approached me with the news that my bloods were too low.  She decided to take some more bloods to test and after warming up the veins on the back of my hands, proceeded to attempt to insert a cannula. Unfortunately I had a bleed, (first time that has occurred!)  and blood spurted out all over the newly changed pillow cover and splattered onto my jeans. Kerri nearly fainted but in her typical fashion,didn’t look away. Then strangely enough, the nurse had a devil of a job extracting enough blood to test.

Later (by now I had told Kerri to prepare to sleep here overnight) she returned with the news that my blood count was too low for Chemo.  Reacting I suppose to my downfallen face, she stated that she would go and consult with my Oncologist, who was in clinic today. Following anther wait, she returned stating that my Oncologist had decided that as I looked so well (she had passed me on the corridor earlier, when I said ‘good afternoon Dr …………’ and thought that she hadn’t recognised me, but she does always seem to have her mind elsewhere) However, she must have noticed me, and because I looked so well had decided that my chemo could go ahead. So Steroids and Anti-sickness in whist my Chemo was sent for, and off we went!  Meanwhile the time was a ticking, and it was easily four o’clock before my Chemo arrived and began dripping into my veins.

She had it set too fast (I have really narrow veins) and it began to hurt as it went in, but we solved it by placing another hot bag over my cannula to warm my veins up. I shall have to remember this strategy for the future. Kerri was nodding off, and as there was a spare chemo chair (they are relaxer chairs) I told her to sit in one put her feet up and go to sleep, which she promptly did. I do envy this ability she had to practically sleep on a clothes line, it takes me all my time to sleep in my own bed. Finally at about 5.15pm, my flush had finished, I was uncoupled from the pump machine and after some great care and hard pressing on a dressing by me, my cannula was removed.  I kept it pressed down for ages, as I could visualise arriving in town with blood oozing out of the back of my hand, and shoppers staring and panicking (although these days, they would probably have completely ignored it all, or not even noticed)

At last our bus arrived and we journeyed home. Next job I will be under the spinning doughnut again, having a CT scan to check on whether this strategy of just giving my Citoplatin has worked or not, and then I suppose we will take it from there.



  1. Technogran, while thankfully I do not have any personal experience with this disease, I do appreciate your candor in posting about your treatments. perhaps, it's difficult for some folks to understand or care to read, but I find it a part of who you are and as it's a continuing part of your life, there's not reason NOT to blog about it. And, you always include all the details which humanize the pot.

  2. Beautifully descriptive writing in this post about a horrible subject. I had to turn away in parts, returning only because I wanted to know what happened at the end of the post. Reminded me of a book I read by the French climber, Maurice Hertzog in his book Annapurna.

    Sorry to hear you are going through this trial. Please keep posting as much as you feel you can, as I think it's good to see what others are going through - its easy to forget how easy our lives are at times.

    DC xx


What do you think?