Chemo Round 1

Yesterday, Thursday 7 June,  was my first chemotherapy day at the Freeman Hospital. Three weeks earlier than originally scheduled, because of the original fast-track I was placed on back at the end of March.

So, quite naturally, Wednesday night was a bit rough – hardly slept at all, which is never a good start for any kind of day.

Anyway, I got myself to Ward 35 at the Freeman just a couple of minutes late (didn’t quite time the buses right), was told to take a seat in a day room and moments later they took me to a treatment room and started doing things to me. First, the usual blood pressure, temperature, height, weight, inside leg measurement, err skip the last one, they didn’t actually do that.

Then the fun of finding a vein for the cannula bit. Right hand didn’t want to play, so it had to be the left. That worked OK, and they then ran a saline drip to flush nicely, and I was taken to a different day room, where I sat down to wait.

After a while, the fun started with some pills to take (anti-sickness stuff), followed by a slow infusion from a syringe of lethal drug 1[1]. Once that was in, it was time for lethal drug 2, which was delivered over a couple of hours through a drip. The drip was controlled by an electrical device which managed the rate of flow and only beeped annoyingly a few times.

The drip was a bit odd. I could feel my arm going funny – not painful, but tingly and just, well, odd. This is apparently normal.

Once all that was done, it was time for another flush before I was disconnected and had the cannula removed. It was then time to go home.

I had something to pick up from the Amazon locker at Gateshead, so I took the Metro rather than the bus. Bad Move. It was around 4pm by the time I got to the Metro station, and when the train arrived it was busy. I couldn’t get a seat for a few stops, which was not good, as I was feeling tired. I managed to haul myself out at Gateshead, collected my parcel and got the bus home.

Once home, I pretty much collapsed into my chair. Messaged and emailed a few people, took a few phone calls from friends and vegetated in front of the TV. I must have nodded off to sleep at some point. Woke up at around 8:30 and started getting ready for bed – this is a bit of an operation as I have to set up the feed thingy (I’ll do a report on that at some point) and carry up the feed kit, a jug of water and syringe for flushing my tubes, a bowl for spitting and throwing up (constant hazard),  reading material and me.

Anyway, got to bed, took the anti-sickness medicine just in time to not prevent me from throwing up quite extensively. Took the bowl back downstairs to empty and rinse it and got back to bed. Took the extra anti-sickness medication to make sure things stayed calm, and gave it half an hour before starting the feed at 9:45.

Read for a short while, then settled down to sleep. And woo, hoo, etc! I slept properly! Woke up a couple of times in the night, but got back to sleep just fine. Was semi awake by around 6am, but drifted for a bit after that.

Stopped the feed at 7:45, gave it a bit of a rest before starting on the medication. Took the anti-sickness stuff first and waited a bit before taking my regular medication, then waited a bit more before taking my chemo drugs. I have four pills to take twice a day – two 500mg and two 150mg. They settled down OK, but I stayed in bed for a while longer (apart from a quick bathroom trip, don’t ask, you really don’t want the details) before getting up for a shower and to get my clothes on.

Spent the morning catching up on email, Twitter and so on (all the stuff my brain couldn’t have processed yesterday).

Tesco’s delivered the supplies I ordered about an hour ago (soap, shower gel, toilet rolls, etc…), and now I plan to have a relaxed rest of the day (not that I could do much else)

Notes for future sessions: take advantage of the free transport services on offer. Don’t struggle to get home on public transport, let the nice ambulance service look after me.

Current state: weary. This is, apparently, normal. Should improve in a few days.

[1] These things are pretty nasty – the idea is that they kill cancer cells, but they’re more than likely to knacker plenty of normal ones

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