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!‘
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, 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…?
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.
But that’s a bad thing here.
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.