Tuesday, 8 April 2008

29. 1st chemo session - 1 down | 5 to go!

Tuesday 8th April

Early. Yuck. I do so detest having to be civil first thing in the morning. Appointment was at 8.15. Aj dropped me off [he would have come, so would Mum and ten other people, but I decided to go alone, as sitting around for 8 hours or so is tedious, especially with a grump like me] and I raced into the little shop, grabbed a sandwich, bar of chocolate, a big bottle of water and a bag of sweeties. Some Werthers Mints – never again. They are so sweet I was at risk of diabetes...dumped them in the free sweetie tray for general consumption. Anyway, I was late going in which freaked me out totally – waiting is not my strong suit, and particularly not today.

Eventually got going at about 8.40. had the pre-meds, which take ages, but as the pharmacy are merrily mixing up your chemo in the interim, it’s just as well. First they soaked my hand in hot water to get the veins up, then they throttle your arm with a band, and put in the cannula. Didn’t feel a thing. Marvellous.

I then had Ondansetron, Dexamethasone and Piriton. All of these for anti-nausea and ant-allergen. Having been told some chuckalicious tales about the Piriton tickling your nether regions by Tracey, I was rather expecting some amusement there, but nope! Nada! Everything went in through the cannula, and then they chuck a bag of saline in there to clear the line for the chemo. Piriton made me very dopey, and for the rest of the day I coasted between being sleepy or wide awake. Had the Paclitaxel first, that took 3 hours. Then a bag of saline to clear the tube, then another one of glucose, as the chemo is in glucose [I think that’s what she said], then the Carboplatin. That took about half an hour. Then another two clearings, and out! All told, I was there for about 8 and a half hours.

The Paclitaxel is exhausting, and it made my arm really hurt, near the cannula, and further up the arm. Not screaming pain, but painful enough. The nurse put a fluffy heated blanker around it and that knocked it right back to bearable like a small headache, with occasional sharp stabs of pain [it obviously is an attention seeking drug this one]. She said it’s because it’s so cold it bothers the veins. My veins were NOT amused. I could read my book and ignore it [during an awake bit!]. Also made me feel a bit delirious for a while. But nothing radical.

1 hour in my hand was ok and I gave back my new friend, the fluffy heated thing. Once I sassed out the system, I could unplug myself from the wall and trundle about. Just as well, as I drank more water than a thirsty camel, and was nipping back and forth to the ladies and the water machine for refilling my water bottle every half hour. WHAT a palaver trying to get reorganised clothes-wise with all those wires hanging out of my arm! NOTE TO SELF: must plan better clothes next time. Roll on summer. Oh, and remind veins that this is a team effort and they should kindly not be so disruptive.

In the meantime the lovely ladies from Force were nipping in and out with cups of tea and coffee, biscuits and smiley faces. Managed to trundle out to the waiting area and get a coffee myself too. Rather startled the waiting people I think. Woman And Personal Darlek get A Cuppa. Hmm.

Lunch time the nurse came round with sandwiches – thank goodness I bought one – all they had was egg and tomato. YUCK! What?? Who thought of that for people who are trapped in chairs for 8 hours? Are they mad? I had chicken and stuffing – far more civilised. But at least they offer you something. Better than a poke in the eye. And the coffee is ace.

Aj arrived as the Carbo was due to go in, what a nice thing to see his face! By the way, the chemo comes in huge great bottles instead of bags, and everyone dons a big smock to deliver it. The Carbo was ok for me – feels very cold going in, but apart from that, no problemo. One of the other women had a side effect of a very red face with breathlessness, and had to have oxygen and a lot of attention, but she was ok after a while. Poor thing, she was very stressed. I was very grateful that I didn’t get that. This time.

The place was like Piccadilly Circus today – full to the rafters, and I was amazed at the nurses having such a lot of people to deal with all at once. I don’t think they had much break time, and they were running all day. Ran out of chairs too, and everyone looked a bit frazzled. But everything still done with a kind word and no fobbing off if you needed to know anything.

Hoorah – last glucose wash and: ESCAPE at last – raced into the car with Aj, lighting a ciggie on the way ;o] Felt ok apart from a sort of wobbly leg thing, but I think that was sitting around for so long. They joined the veins in making their disgust felt. We went to the Quay for a quiet glass of wine, and then home. I felt slightly queasy, so took the tablet they command you to take, drank yet more water and sipping a glass of wine as I type this. I am not tired today, don’t feel too bad at all. Still a slightly wobbly tummy, but it might be psychological? Anyway, will see what tomorrow brings, as that’s supposed to be the day it hits you. I have 2 more tablets to take tomorrow for in case of nausea, then a pack of ‘in case’ ones for the days after, and hopefully I won’t need them. Hand still having stabbing pains but I think that's just from the cannula - had it after the surgery too.

If each one goes like today, I shall be eternally grateful. One down, five to go!!

Righto! Back to the wine and water!

1 comment:

  1. I'm so happy it's finish and everything was almost OK. It seem that I spent all the day with you in the hospital as I thought all the day about the chemo. Good and as you said 1 down!!! Love Isa


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