Thursday, 27 September 2012

Welcome to the Chemo Lounge

You can leave your hat on as you step inside.

Round One: Chemo vs P

And at this stage it would appear that I am winning.
Well my very bad cough and virus seems to have cleared up after the chemo. Not sure it is a recommended treatment for such common day ailments but I am actually feeling OK.

I am sure the very special drug regime that A/Prof E lined up for me certainly helps.

However it was a bit touch and go this morning as to whether I would even get to start.
I had called ahead on Tuesday and spoken to the breast care nurse to let her know that I was really unwell and that I did in fact have a temperature.

So they were waiting for me and I was ushered into a private room - make sure I kept my germs to myself.

Whilst I was certainly feeling a whole lot better than I had been the previous two days my attempt at the old makeup and lippy trick didn't seem to impress the oncology registrar. She wasn't convinced that I was well enough and the troublesome little nodes in my neck were of concern.

Any way they decided to do my bloods ( that's the lingo for getting a blood test - get with it) and see what my white cell count  was.

Now as I have written in previous posts I have a mild case of anticipation anxiety and I was a little anxious about getting the cannula in.

In preparation I had stuck 2 emla patches on the back of my hand hoping to cover the right vein. I felt a bit like that guy in the Libra Sanitary Pad advert who had stuck them all over his body. Wasn't quite that bad.

Well with the very steady hand of S the little cannula went in with hardly a blip. My anxiety levels dropped immediately

So bloods were taken and that meant we were free to go for a coffee and wait for the results. (again that waiting game)

Team Chemo today were the Fabulous M and my gorgeous daughter S. So we slipped out and enjoyed a great coffee.

And the good news on our return as was that my makeup and lippy had done their job and I was OK to start round one of IV Cocktails in the Chemo Lounge.

My Cocktail list is of the FEC  group. The official names are Fluorouracil, Epirubicin and Cyclophosphamide ( not sure they are acceptable scrabble words)

The first lot is given via a large syringe which is slowly pushed through the cannula. It was a little uncomfortable but very bearable. This first cocktail is bright red - kinda of like a vodka and cranberry.
There are 2 of those that get given.
Then the next two are through IV bags. First one takes about 15mins and the second around 45 minutes.

And then when that is all gone through - a little saline flush and it was all done.

I actually can't begin to described how surreal this all feels. My body has been pumped full of essentially toxic chemicals and yet I am sitting here not really feeling anything different ( OK I know, don't tempt that chemo god)

And there is no doubt the waiting the anticipation and the the fear of the unknown have been so hard to deal with.

Last night was one of the toughest I have had in this whole time. I was feeling like shit, couldn't imagine that I would ever feel OK, and did dare to utter the words "this whole thing is so unfair and I don't deserve to have to be going through it"
Not one for self pity felt justified.
S was an angel and I actually let her reverse our roles - she "spooned" me in bed, stroked my head and just let me cry and be vulnerable. She stayed there till I drifted off to sleep.

This is all been made a little harder because Ducatilad can't be here with my physically. He is navigating his own stuff and needs to be the son he needs to be. We both get it, we just don't have to like it.

So here I am 8 hours post my first round and I still  feel I am on top of this. Just a relief to get started.
I am aware that there is till a long way to go and lots to get through.

But I think given everything this is as good as start as I could have hope for.

I am going to slip myself one of the little white pills that helps with both nausea and anxiety cos I figure a good nights sleep is a blessed thing.

Here's hoping it gets me through.

As always

P xx


  1. You are dealing with some very tough stuff. I get anxious about nothing!

    I love your daughter for loving you so well.

  2. Hi Mary. The night before chemo was quite a turning point for me. I allowed S to see me so vulnerable and you know what it is OK. Being spooned and stroked was so soothing. Now I know that all the times I did it for her has given her the strength to do it for me. I am just so glad that the timing worked out for her to be here with me. The universe answers.
    Still feeling OK this morning.
    Thanks for all your comments

  3. P, I hope you are continuing to feel reasonably OK. I've been thinking of you. Big love to S, what a woman! xx

  4. A tribute to how well you raised your lovely daughter! Laura

  5. Like mother like daughter! Both legends! You are in my thoughts constantly. Wishing you all the strength you need. xxx

  6. Long time no blog, have been thinking of you and hoping the chemo is going as good as chemo can go... Laura from work