I think I started off on the wrong foot because I tried to drive the wrong way into the car park, but honestly I went in that way on Tuesday & suddenly it was no entry on Wednesday. How random. So I had to leave Tony to park the car and hope that he would find his way to the ward.
I thought, and this was how it had been explained to me in the pre chemo appointment that I would see the consultant and then have the chemo. With this being my first treatment, there was no consultant just straight to treatment.
This wasn't great as no one really explained what was happening, I rolled up my sleeve, exposed my PICC and in it went. There was the standard checking of DOB's, names etc but nothing else.
And that was it. It pumped it's way in. No drama, no issues, none of the incessant beeping that had blighted my first stay in hospital when I kept rolling over while they were transfusing the blood.
Lunch was available, although nothing to write home about. The pump counted down how long it had to go and then when it finished then nurse came and reset it to make sure that i got eveything. Then they flushed the line with saline & it was time to go home.
The whole thing took about 3 hours in total.
I got my bag of 'goodies' to take home and off we went. Although it wasn't quite that simple. The nurse came to let me know about my next appointment's. Yep, appointment's, Now I understood that generally there were 2 appointments one for the consultant appointment & blood tests and then one the next day for the chemo, but I had been assured that I would be able to have the blood test done locally & then see the consultant and have the Chemo all in one day. I must have explained this about three times to this nurse. She didn't seem to grasp it. I have 2 small children, a 60+ mile round trip (& a car that thinks petrol is a lovely thing to drink) I cannot be doing two trips to Guildford when I can have blood taken locally & then have it all done in one day as it only takes about 3-4 hours. As soon as my next appointment comes through I shall be on to them like a rash.
The thing I didn't enjoy was the atmosphere in the treatment 'ward' I suppose you would call it. It had a lot of chairs with IV trees and pumps next to them and people connected to various bags of chemicals. But that was it, there was no chatting, no swapping war stories.The only person who spoke to me delighted in telling me how lucky I was. I do feel lucky when I read other peoples blogs and posting on bowel cancer and cancer forums, but I didn't feel lucky then & actually I wanted to get a word in edgeways but I wasn't able.
And then we left.
And the side effects kicked in. Walking down the corridor the wind rushing over my damp lips made them tingle. Well that wasn't too bad, I suppose, except that they kept tingling & probably would have been worse if we had had further to walk.
The stop at Starbucks for Coffee and cake demonstrated another couple. Washing my hands after going to the loo the hot tap took a while to warm up and so my fingers went numb. Then a beautiful looking blueberry muffin had to be nibbled so as to prevent massive pains shooting through my mouth and jaw. Crying was out too.
Driving home the nausea kicked in too. Once we had picked up the kids and got home I examined by bag of 'pills'. God you need a degree to decipher what to do with them.
- The box of chemo tablets - Take 4 in the morning and evening after food
- An antisickess to be taken the evening following chemotherapy, but as late as possible (Tony had to wake me up to take this)
- Another set of antisickness to be taken 3 times a day before meals
- More antisickness to be taken 3 times a day after meals
- Anti diarrhoea tablets to be taken as and when needed.
- As well as the anti MRSA stuff I have to stick up my nose three times a day and
- The anti MRSA wash I have to use everyday.