Chemo

Chemo Wednesday again – and today was a looooong day!

Let’s get the stats out of the way: I’m now mid-way through my fourth week (of six) of treatment.  Side effects have hit home.  I haven’t eaten anything by mouth for almost two weeks.  And I’ve driven just over 1,100 miles to and from Preston for my sessions.

Today’s were C4/2 and R18/12.

Except I nearly didn’t receive today’s chemo.

I’ve been feeling so ill that I’ve spent the past two days in bed, getting up only to drive to Preston to act as a sitting (well, lying) target while Britain’s finest radiographers presumable play Radiographer Super-Galactic Blastoids against my stubborn cancer bits.

Nausea plus fatigue equals, well… nothing really.

Just staying in bed.

Yesterday I was due in at 11.15am, but simply couldn’t get up.  So, Kirsty called the hospital and rearranged my session for 7pm, so that I could spend the day recuperating.

I got up at 6pm, still barely able to move.  Another call.  ‘We’re open until 9pm, but he HAS to be here today‘.

Due to sheer force of will, I got there and had my RT session at 7.45pm.

But, that was it.  My time driving myself to and from my appointments was at an end.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking…  ‘Hey we haven’t seen a picture of Tommy in a ridiculous hat recently!

Well, tough.

Because the rest of you are thinking: ‘Why the hell are you driving yourself to and from hospital, you utter buffoon?!

Because I wanted one thing I could still do for myself.  One thing that I had control over.  I can’t even eat for flip’s sake.  Let me have a bit of a pootle in my car once a day!

Oh, and Kirsty can’t drive.

Although you wouldn’t think that with the constant frequent occasional which-lane-to-be-in and watch-that-guy-over-there tips that issue forth.  But that’s another story…

So, today I have surrendered and asked friends and family for help with lifts to and from my hospital appointments.  And I was utterly overwhelmed by the response.  So many people offered that I had the entire two and a half weeks filled within an hour.

Thank you all, so much.

But, today I did drive in for chemo which, as I said, I almost didn’t get.

Cancer had clearly been fighting back.  And I looked so ill by the time I arrived at the ward that the nurses insisted on me being seen by a doctor before they would issue the meds.  For a while, they weren’t sure if I could handle any more chemo.

That sounds scary, but I’ve net one or two people at the Rosemere Centre who have been in that position.  Chemo has had such a negative impact on their health that they’ve been forced to stop treatment.

Was I about to become one of those patients?

No.

No, I wasn’t.

(Sorry.  I should have built the tension up a bit more there).

The doctor arrived, checked the results of my blood tests (worryingly low in some areas), examined me and my vitals – and said I was good to go.

So, I goed.  Sorry, went.

I was hooked up to my first two-hour flush and meds, and then had to wait for my black bag o’ doom to arrive for the actual nasty stuff to be pumped into my body.

Except, they don’t start preparing your meds until they get the go ahead from the ward, and that request came late today.

Which added another two hours onto the session.

At 5pm, I staggered out of the chemo ward and went downstairs for my radiotherapy session.

I was utterly wiped out.

This couldn’t end quick enough.

I just wanted to go home.

And then there was a problem with my radiotherapy mask.

Remember that thing…?

tommymask2

The mask has to fit tightly across my head and neck to keep me in exactly the right position for Radiographer Super-Galactic Blastoids (my RT).

And I’ve lost weight.

Quite a lot of weight.

Hurray!

But that’s a bad thing here.

Boo!

The mask was now as loose as Amanda Holden (UK reference, apologies to readers elsewhere), and it wasn’t keeping me in the correct position.

So, it took two refits to get it right before it was blasting time.

I finally arrived home at 8pm, had two vanilla milkshakes through my stomach peg for tea (yum!), then went to bed.

Do you know…

The more I go through this cancer thing, the less I like it.

Opt In Image
Support Tommy and Get Stuff!
Become a patron, support Tommy and get exclusive content every month

Like many children's authors, the large portion of Tommy's income comes from holding speaking events and writing workshops in schools - two things he is currently unable to do. It's not all doom and gloom, though. Tommy is still delivering great writing advice - and lots of other stuff, too - via Patreon. From just $1 (about 70p) per month, you can get access to this completely exclusive content AND help Tommy through this difficult time. Sign up now!  Just click on the button below for more details. Your inbox will thank you for it!

Please help by sharing this post...Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on Tumblr

8 Comments


  1. Aw tom that sucks! Keep holding I to the fact it’ll all be done with soon tho man, you’re a bloody strong trooper. If it helps I was in a hospital that same day, getting a quick check to make sure I didn’t have anything sinister and cancery lurking. Hospitals suck. It’s all looking okay tho. And you’ll be on the path to a full recovery soon, we’re all counting on it 🙂

    Reply

    1. Hope you’re OK. Fingers crossed for you.

      Reply

  2. What an ordeal but you can get through this Tommy – keep posting !

    Reply

  3. I’m so pleased that you managed to drive yourself for so long. But now the time has come to accept offers of help for taxi services etc. I would help but I’m in Bath in Somerset so quite a commute. You will find that if you accept all offers of help that certain friends will just have time to do one thing, but oh, does that one thing make a difference. I lived alone during my chemo and had terrible night sweats. I had a friend who came over changed the bed and took all the dirty bed linen home and washed and ironed it. She felt guilty that she couldn’t do more..no that’s brilliant. Another one used to come in with a newspaper every day. Keep strong and use all these virtual hugs and best wishes x

    Reply

    1. Thanks for the kind words!

      It’s amazing what one kind gesture can do, even if it doesn’t seem to be a big thing to those helping out. It makes all the difference.

      Reply

  4. Tommy, if by any chance none of your pals can drive you, I will pay for the taxi fare. Don’t hesitate to ask – you’ve made me and my sins laugh and shiver so much over the years, I owe you one. DM me for details, Philippa aka KM Lockwood.

    Reply

  5. Tommy, keep going mate, and keep strong cuz youre doing fantastic and showing this thing who is boss.
    Youre amazing and a role model for all and we’re urging you on all the way.
    Cant wait to see you and meet Kirsty at our place soon, cuz thats a definite ok?
    Love and all the best wishes and thoughts in the world from me and Tina Xxxooxxx

    Reply

  6. Hang in there mate – lot of people Downunder are thinking of you!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *