Hi, me again.
So, for anyone curious about how chemotherapy is given by medical staff read on – it’s a multi-disciplinary team effort, let me tell you, and the staff I have met have been absolutely fabulous. Here goes …..
I trust I have included everyone but I was attended by so many folk please forgive me if I have omitted anyone or confused them. On arrival I was assigned to K but also quickly met F who pointed me to my corner of the ward, which was empty but quickly filled with more patients and bustle, more nurses, doctors, assistants, tea people, patients’ loved ones, all welcomed with big grins and kindness.
When K arrived she led me to a senior nurse, E, who then ‘walked me’ through what was going to happen, explaining possible reactions, short and long term side effects, how these would be treated and a final instruction to just keep asking (for anything: info, help, drinks food – cannabis – no, kidding!). I may later, however!
After that K prepped me for cannulation – in first go – not like the previous Friday when I went for my blood transfusion of packed red cells. Now that was a disaster. Several nurses both had several goes at getting a decent vein entry – to no avail. I have those slippery-sucker veins (alludes to ‘Pretty Woman’), that look easy, but move when approached by a needle.
They both felt bad as I began to look like the bull at the beginning of a bull fight getting the Picador treatment, but I was happy enough after eventual success. And what’s a few minor scratches when you are about to be poisoned for several weeks? Anyway, I digress, as there was no problem today, Whoop, whoop as my daughter Ellen would say!
I then met with Dr P, one of the medical oncologists, who answered even more of mine and Elaine’s questions. All good. Then, I had another chat with yet another member of the team to tell me about the switches to some of my medications. New anti-inflammatory, new anti-nausea, new anti-pain (as well as the Chemo). Off to the Pharmacy!
Finally, the Epirubicin starts to flowdown my cannula and into my arm. I know this cause it’s red. I’ll pee red for about several hours later in the afternoon proving I have ‘had it’, and that my kidneys are functioning. I then switch to the Oxaliplatin. The unfortunate thing is that because of the hypersensitivity to cold this drug causes I have to negotiate not choosing to wear a ‘cold cap’ to protect and minimise hair loss (or hang around for lots more hours getting warmed through between drug swap-overs). Not me, I’m afraid. I’ll have the number 5 buzz cut later if I do get hair loss.
So, I’m underway. I get a semi-predicted visit from two of our friends, Alison and Martin who had arraged to meet Elaine for a coffeee mid-morning – nice. I had more blood taken before I left to monitor the progress of my previous blood transfusion, and at last, we were on our way home.
A ‘grand day out’, as Gromit (‘Wallace and Gromit’) would say. K and F were marvellous all day – and still swabbing the place down as we left – Friday afternoon – 5:00pm – Angels (1997), “Life Thru a Lens”...Robbie Williams
“Life Thru a Lens”, Robbie Williams. (1997)