Tuesday, 1 October 2013
Chemo Ward 7
So it didn't help that I was mouldy but chemo seems to get smoother and easier, now we have settled into a routine.
I go to the farm with HWISO in the morning to "give the orders". This involves turning up and standing around outside the tractor shed whilst everyone discusses what to do, talks about wind speed and plough points, puts their head on one side and nods a lot and then a tractor seems to start up somewhere and off we go, in our blustery, busy, chugging autumn rounds of planting the corn for next year.
HWISO drops me off at the hospital, where I sit in "Blood tests" clutching my number, until it's my turn. It can take a while first thing in the morning, as it opens at 7.30 am and all those people who have been on "starvation" overnight and have not yet had their early morning tea, have been queueing up since 7 a.m. I have to say, it is the main grumble in there that the Canteen doesn't open until 8 am and some people come in with their thermoses. Us English and our tea. They say we are "going over" to coffee in the mornings, but this is certainly not the case in West Suffolk.
I go in and sit on the chair.
"Chemo patient", I say. "I should be on the system."
This system is that Dr W orders pre-chemo blood tests for me on the computer and this should negate the necessity for carrying around a load of blood test forms in my wallet (which are just the wrong size and get stuck in the zip for weeks on end). However, both Dr W and the Phlebs know the system is not all it is cracked up to be, so I always have a spare one. Yesterday, it needed to be found....
I can only have blood from my left hand side but I have learnt that if I cook it on the way to hospital by wrapping it in a scarf and keeping my hand up my sleeve, the veins are still useable there. I am dreading the moment when it may have to be my feet...
Bloods done, off to the canteen for something to eat - bacon bap - and a read of the newspaper and then off to "bag" my Lazy Boy in the Day Unit, wait for the blood test results and have my chemo.
Since my second degree burn is still there - everything takes forever to heal when you have cancer - I am not allowed plasters. This includes the plasters to hold the Picc line in place. So I have to take the responsibility and hold it in. This scares the nurses witless but, at the moment, it is what I insist on. As the chemo can be delivered in 5 minutes with 5 minutes either side for "flushing" this is not arduous and it gives me a chance to sit with the nurses and chat - they obviously have to watch that I don't forget to hold the needle firmly in.
I had Anne yesterday and was continuing a conversation I had had elsewhere about 70's girls, the frequency of having a bath, plastic tubes you put on the sink taps to wash your hair that either a) scalded your head as you could never get the temperature right; or b) exploded mid-rinse cycle so you always had slightly greasy from shampoo, negating the point of washing it anyway, hair. It was a lovely conversation and we both giggled from start to finish. The 1976 drought - share a bath - showers were a strange American invention that'll never catch on.
Ping - Oh goodie, done and dusted. Home via the pharmacy for the pills for the mouth. Sleep. Wake up. Pain subsided.
All in all, not as bad as it could have been.
And that people is your Eribulin 101