Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Change to my chemo regime


I went to my pre-assessment this morning where they took my bloods and weighed me.  Phew, my weight has stabilised.

I saw an oncologist (I seem to see a different one every time) and told her about my two trips to A&E, including the blood clot in my lung.  Her face was a picture and she kept telling me that I was 'very lucky' and that I must have a good heart and lungs.  I didn't like to ask how lucky, or if I was lucky because I hadn't actually died.   Sometimes it's best not to ask a question you don't really want to know the answer to.

Brain scan


The oncologist is also going to arrange for me to have a brain scan. This is to see whether there was any damage from when I knocked myself out a few weeks ago (see Games Without Frontiers), not to see if I do indeed have a brain.  Many folk do wonder about that.

You know what?  My body will have been checked out thoroughly as a result of having had cancer and going through treatment.  That's got to be a good thing.

Change of drug


Because of the side effects from the docetaxel, I am now going to be switched to weekly chemotherapy on a drug that will seemingly be less harsh on me but just as good.  It's called paclitaxel.  I'll be getting weekly infusions for the next six weeks.  They are also going to try to merge my day for pre-assessment with my chemo day so that I don't have to go two days in a row to the City Hospital.   That will save me making an extra round trip every week and I won't have to hang around for two consecutive days.   Every cloud and all that.

Blood thinning injections


As for the blood thinning injections the oncologist reckons I'm going to be on them every day for six months.  Six months!  My stomach is already starting to look like I've done ten rounds with Floyd Mayweather (he's a boxer, right?).

PICC line


I also got my PICC line put back in today.  I won't tell you exactly what one of my friends with cancer calls the line, but let's just say it rhymes with PICC as in 'PICC the ****'.  She really makes me laugh and is an absolute tonic.  

The nurse who put the line back in jokingly called me a 'sensitive critter' when she did it to me last time (see Second chemo and its aftermath). So I got my own back and took the opportunity to rib her mercilessly today.  Boy, we had some craic.

There was another nurse in with us and we started to talk about holidays and travel when all of a sudden I felt a sharp stab in my left arm.  The nurse had taken the opportunity when I was distracted to inject the local anaesthetic into me.  'Hey, you didn't warn me!' I said.  'Yep, I knew you'd be distracted by talking, you sensitive critter.'  Cheeky.

Sad songs

There was one incident whilst I was waiting between sessions that did upset me a little.  I went into the ladies loo and could hear gentle singing coming from one of the cubicles.  A young woman then emerged, with red rimmed eyes, and apologised to me.  I told her not to worry as it sounded lovely.  'I sing because it's the only thing that stops me from crying,' she said.  I didn't want to pry but she explained that she had been on chemo and radiotherapy.  

My heart just went out to the woman.  I wasn't sure what to say so did my best to reassure her, probably not very successfully.   I felt so sad. 

A week's chemo holiday


This afternoon after I got home, the hospital rang me to say that my white blood cells were far too low to proceed with my pre-planned chemo the next day.  It would be too risky and so they needed to defer my chemo for a week.  Heck.  

On the plus side I am now getting a week off chemo/side effects, my taste buds will hopefully improve further - and most importantly - I should feel well enough to go the Belfast Giants first home league game of the season on Saturday after all.  Get in!

PS

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