Well chemo day has finally arrived, luckily I had a 9am appointment so it wasn’t too long to wait before heading off to Cheltenham Hospital to the Oncology unit. We got there in good time and clocked in. Oncology patients getting chemotherapy are given a pink permit for the car park so you don’t have to pay for your car parking. There are assigned parking bays for oncology patients and after getting it wrong on Friday, (I did not have a pink slip then!) we had the knowledge to get it right this time.
We sat in the main waiting room which was good as I could get a phone signal there, so sent a few messages until we decided it was too draughty so moved closer to the oncology unit. Once I was in there is a communication blackout, no signal which I’m afraid I don’t like.
I made the Dr laugh last week as I asked if the chemo rooms had wifi and he said I was the first person to ask that 🙂
Just after 9 a nurse called my name and I recognised her from Gloucester Hospital, she had treated me after one of my surgeries. She apologised and said that my meds hadn’t come down from the pharmacy yet and she was hoping they would be here at 9:30, I said that was fine, she asked if I was nervous and I said “no, not yet!” She replied, “Good, you have no reason to with me” 🙂
At 9:30 she came out again and apologised saying that my meds still hadn’t arrived, she was going to chase it up for me. So it was back to the waiting game and my game of choice was Angry Birds 🙂
I think it was just after 10 that the nurse came and found me, she said my meds were in and that she would come and get me in a few minutes. I was just in the little shop buying a “Buffet Bar”….. Note to self don’t buy it again, it wasn’t very nice and gave me really bad heartburn! I was also buying Mum a coffee so I went back and said we were about to go in.
I managed to shovel the buffet bar down as quickly as I could, (not a pretty sight!) and for those who know me, yes I did drop bits down myself!
Within a few minutes the friendly nurse was back and it was time to go.
I was taken into a room with 5 armchairs in, two people were already in there, attached to their drips and both were fast asleep. I was shown to my chair and a stool was brought over for mum so she could see what was happening.
I was told to remove the jewellery from my right arm and then she brought a big bucket of hot water and told me to out my hand in it. It felt lovely and warmed me right up. I could have stayed like that for hours but sadly it was removed and I had to dry my hand and then a tourniquet was strapped around my arm and the usual, clench your fist, now you will feel a slight scratch…… Hmmmm bollocks was it a slight scratch. Normally I don’t feel them going in, but I did this one, it wasn’t bad but I did wince a bit 🙂
I then had the cannula fitted and all the tubes taped to my wrist, the pillow, my hand, you name it. Then the drip was connected and this was the anti sickness drug, she warned me it could feel cold and to say if it got uncomfortable, oh boy was it cold! It was like getting brain freeze in your hand, so I left it for a while and then said something so she got a heat pad to rest over my hand and that felt loads better. She also warned me that this drug could make me feel like I am sitting on a hairbrush, lol that made me chuckle. Luckily I didnt get that sensation, so she let that go through for a while then injected a different anti sickness into the port on the tube. I did however feel like a space cadet and it reminded me of that fluffy blurry feeling when you have had a smoke or two….. Not that I admitting to doing that, I’ve just been told that’s what it’s like ok 😉
After that it was the red stuff, ok I’ll look up the real name…. epirubicin (ep-ee-ROO-bi-sin) or Ellence® (ell-ENCE) apparently this is pretty toxic stuff and can damage your veins, so they give it first so that your veins are nice and strong at the start and then the other drugs come in after and push it all through. Again this felt really cold and I had a slight tingling sensation in my hand as this went in. Se checked the cannula and could see it wasn’t going in quite right so made some adjustments and then it went in better. She put 4 syringes of this stuff in, each syringe was 30ml I believe so took a while to push it through as she does this manually. After this, I then had the 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) put in, there was less of this one but she said it was quite thick so took a while. The last treatment was the cyclophosphamide or Cytoxan® this was in a drip bag and went in over 15 mins. Once this was finished I was flushed through with saline, now this made me feel a bit funny, my nose started to sting and tingle and I sneezed quite a lot.
Then it was all over, it had taken around an hour, so that wasn’t bad 🙂
I felt a little light headed for a few minutes so Mum drove me home and I am feeling ok so far, the doctors said to drink a lot and keep my intake of fluids up, she didn’t mean alcohol though… GODDAMIT! 🙂
So that’s all for now folks, time to eat before my taste buds get corrupted and I can’t taste the nice things anymore 🙂 xxx