Between the chemo sessions

If I was to choose a soundtrack for the past two weeks of mine that would be this one:

[very talented people, aren’t they? :)]

My life has been very busy in the first part of this month. The oncologist referred me to unsergo all kinds of fancy medical checks to rule out a possibility of there being a primary cancer somewhere else eating on my insides. So, ECG, xrays, CTS, including one done in the nuclear medicine dep. in the Bedford hospital… all of them done one after the other. So, I was imagining it would make sense to hire a camper van and park myself in front of the hospital so that I don’t have to go back and forth …. 😉 Of course, all the time, I had to be watching all the symptoms appearing in my body, take all the meds to protect me from possible side effects of the chemo and all this I was facing with engergy levels rapidly falling…. and one might think that all the chemo tanking should charge me up;))

The chronic fatigue is rather annoying for me as I tend to do many things at the same time. Nevermind the fact that two young boys in the house and a cheeky puppy are quite a handful. So, all this is a challenge. I am grateful to friends who have helped me by taking me to some of the appointments.

I found the checks quite interesting, perhaps not thea injections ;)) but all the computer equipment was interesting and the staff very nice and helpful.

HospitalsidePatientCorridorArrowsLady1XrayMan1BinBistroLunch

However, it was also scary as I was quite aware of the fact that the very detailed checks could reveal other problems in my body… So, the anxiety of waiting for the results was unpleasant. When the oncologist told me the checks proved I had no other tumours! 😀 Yay! What a relief – only one nasty monster to battle with! The fist chemo also made the tumour shrink a few millimeters! The first chemo also made my hair start falling and to avoid having it all over my house I had to shave it off, so now I am trying on all the fancy hats I can lay my hands on! 😉 It is, however, a new thing in a way, as this time I didn’t shave my hair off out of desire to be funky but out of necessity and as I go places, do shopping or enter various institutions, the eyes of others I meet show they instantly know I am battling the big ‘C’ – it is almost like being marked with the letter C on my forehead, but I guess, I will get used to it and learn to ignore the looks… People always look and notice the different others… I have always been different and this one is just a new kind of difference 😉

A few days ago I had to have a Hickman line fixed in the hospital in Cambridge. I didn’t expect the procedure to be this unpleasant. It was almost like a mini surgery as I had to be sedated and have a local anesthetic given as a cannula was inserted in one of the major veins in my chest through my neck where I now have some sexy stiches and a line was brought out through my chest for the chemo nurses to be able to inject the chemo drugs into me through there…. [sigh] Sounds complicated, doesn’t it? It was necessary though as my veins in the arms, royal as they are [joke] would not cope with the chemo drugs… So, now, I am walking around with a tube hanging out from my chest and for the first time glad I am wearing bras as they prove a good hiding place for it! 😉 Anway, my neck is not hurting any more and now I have to focus on the fact that my arms will not be stabbed with needles any more…. 

The hospital in Cambridge is huge and ugly, looking more like some sort of factory, but it is inspiring too – I happen to like such buildings and find them quite photogenic.

AdencolBuilding

Like in any hospital here, they start all the procedures with taking swabs to see if the patient is a carrier of MRSA bacteria which on the skin are harmless but once they get in the blood can be lethal… So, they did the my swabs and I had to take a shower to scrub my chest with a special soap to prepare it for the Hickman line insertion procedure.

Swabs

There’s also some waiting involved before the procedure and time to recover after it… So, I had some time to look at every detail around and when my eyes could see clearly I was capturing those details 🙂

BedBed2Bed1Tubes

The day after the procedure in Cambridge I had my second chemo session but I shall talk about it in the next post.

It has been a very tiring fortnight but made more bearable by some faithful, loving people who on a daily basis make me smile, share their time with me and are curious about how I am feeling in all this experience and even express their care in practical ways. I appreciate it beyond words and will never take it for granted. It is a wonderful gift that will be with me forever.

 

TIP 1: If a member of your family or a friend is facing some challenging circumstances in their life, they don’t really expect you to fix the situation – they just secretly wish you will be with them in it; walk with them to the finish line… So, be there…. just be there… not just think about them as thoughtS cannot touch hearts…. words, actions and presence can…. BE THERE – you will not regret! 🙂 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s