Thursday, 26 March 2009

Chemo Day 1

Well there is never a dull moment in my life and Chemo day 1 was going to be no exception.
It kicked off the day before when Donna being bed ridden with a virus so should have realised this day would be no different. I decided to make a beef risotto for tea and get the ironing out the way. Phone is going most of the morning and I have in my mind that I want to get certain jobs done before I leave. Got organised to leave remembering to print a map for Rachel and pick up messages and there is one from Rachel saying she has missed the train. RACHEL HAS MISSED THE TRAIN!! She’s having a laugh so ring her and yes she has missed the train. She’s upset but tell her it’s not a drama and she’s using the promotional picture of Daniel Craig to cheer up.

As I start walking down the canal I realise that at least there will be less car parking charges with Rachel turning up at 12. Bright side to everything. I come across 2 women and their dogs. Dog A on lead, Dog b no lead. Dog A is being restrained by it owner snapping back at Dog B chasing Dog a round it’s owners leg. Not a pleasant sight and I don’t fancy going pass this at all. Dog b finally gets restrained by it’s owner and she marches off past me. I ask if she has a lead for him and she replies with “He doesn’t need one he wasn’t being aggressive” This rendered me speechless and I checked the other lady was ok before carrying on.

Well I’m having an eventful morning and not got to the hospital yet. Gail called and told her what had been happening and I carry on deciding to change my route along the way, ending up by Tesco’s. I’m wondering where the other road leads to as they might be quicker and thought I better stick to the one I remember using with Kath. This is when I remember that I could have brought my Sat Nav ….

I get to Oncology for 10.05 and the receptionist books me in but I ask her if I can go to the lou first and get some chocolate. I come back relieved and armed with a giant marathon bar and my nurse calls me. It’s not the nurse I met the other week so I am taken back with that not that it’s a problem just not what I expected. I correct her as I am a Miss and it’s Sue. I’m taken into a room with big comfy chairs and I choose my perch as I am the only patient there. Nurse sits in front of me on a foot stool and starts asking me what I know about my treatment. Told her what I remember and she goes through the Fact sheet again. I’m confused about the difference between one drug being fed intravenously and the other 2 fed into the saline. She tries to explain and I can’t take it in. I wish I hadn’t asked her I just want her to start the treatment. She passes me tissue and waits for me and I said don’t worry carry on as I just want to get out of there. I have a warm blanket to put over my hands whilst she fetches my drugs and the Somerset Cancer Care lady pops in and confirms that she can’t massage my hands as the nurse has put heat blanket on but I think she feels sorry for me and offers to sit with me until the Nurse gets back and we chat. My nurse comes back carrying 2 blue trays with bags and syringes of drugs and saline, along with another nurse who is carrying 1 tray with similar contents. My face said it all and after I had confirmed my name and address my nurse puts down her 2 trays and said she would be back in a minute after doing the same for the other nurse and off they went. Even the SCC lady thought they were all for me and she’s a regular visitor!! Relief reigned and I’m offered a drink and opt for the hot chocolate and biscuits.

My nurse comes back and arranges the drugs and starts looking for a vein on my right hand (The SCC Lady goes off now to see other patients). I have a pillow on my lap and the infusion machine is on my right so I’m thinking great I can look away, move pillow over no problem. No can’t be done as she can’t get a vein. Has to be my left hand so all the tubes are sat on my lap whilst she gets a vein on my left hand. Tears are rolling now, and I ask if she will be able to move the equipment, can you cover my hand I don’t want to see (The wall is boring). Nurse reminds me of my iPod – yes and she passes it over, I start to listen to a meditation and calm down. Nurse carries on and sets up and is then able to move machine over the left hand side but she still has to sit directly in front of me to inject drugs into the cannular placed in my left hand. I take a peak but can’t deal with that right now and go back to my iPod.

I start to feel relaxed and brave enough to face my nurse, she has covered everything up but I can still see the syringe and I know what that’s doing as I can feel the cold liquid in my hand. Well at least I can drink my lovely hot chocolate with my right hand and nibble biscuits, we start chatting about anything but not what’s going on and I feel better. We talk about the new Cancer centre and software she’s had training in. She doesn’t use the Somerset Cancer Register (project I work on). I suggested about having tables to the side of the comfy chair for the hand to rest on rather then our laps (That would be my idea of heaven for this treatment) and she laughed. It’s ok I’ll ask one the bosses in Cancer Services!!! Good luck she says. (Watch this space as I may insist on bringing my own). As we are chatting away, refreshments lady comes in and accidentally bumps into nurse and says whoops sorry Suzanne. I replied it’s ok it wasn’t me it was the nurse you bumped. Yes and that’s why I said sorry Suzanne. Oh right, it suddenly dawned on me that when I first met my nurse she hadn’t called me Susan she’d said I’m Suzanne. One all as she did call me Mrs Davies and we both laughed.

Another Lady came in for lunch order. Ooh no one had mentioned lunch and Suzanne advised that her 11:30 may want some but hadn’t arrived yet. Yes I did ask and suggested that they make my appointment later next time ……..

11:30 lady comes in and sites on a comfy chair, seems very confident, clearly done this before. She’s left with the hand heater blanket and Suzanne disappears for a bit as I’m now having the infusion and we have a chat. The machine started to bleep indication the infusion had finished and Suzanne arrived swapped bag over to help flush me out then dismantled everything from my hand and no, I didn’t look. She talked me through some more results. Cruella is 31mm. I think she’s bigger then that so will take my own measurement and compare.

Well that was it I was handed my coat and told I could leave. Rachel had text to say she wouldn’t be too long so phoned her to tell her where I would be waiting. Phoned Gail, had a few more tears and a giggle. One of our senior managers walked through and I called out to him and chatted for a bit, as he left Rachel turned up. Took her in to show where I had been and the support centre went back to look at scarves and the SCC lady was there and she showed us what to do. Finally left with the minimum car parking fee just for a change, and went into town for a well deserved pint and lunch. Had an bright orange wee before leaving then went to the crystal shop which was lovely picked up Holly from school came home and then it all hit me. I am no longer in denial of what is happening to me.

My mouth had been watering but the tablets were doing its job as I wasn’t sick. Went to bed for an hour at 4:30 and indulged myself in self pity. It was a pleasant time this morning I want to say in bed till it’s all over, why me, why now. Going to get a T.V for my bedroom then I won’t come out.

Eventually came downstairs had some tea made some phone calls and did some meditation. Took iPod to bed with me and listened to some tracks with some very poignant lyrics, took a Z tab and went to sleep.

And that was the end of 1st Chemo day 1!


  1. Did well girl, keep it up :-)


  2. Well done you! xx

  3. Thinking about you Sue x

  4. Only you would even entertain the idea of exploring a new route on your way to your first chemo appointment!! That's why we love ya mate. x

  5. Shows I still have my sense of adventure. Fancy coming up Killamanjaro?