Its been had. The pink poison has been delivered into my veins and I am now starting to feel a little bit tired from it. A long day, almost finished. I thought I’d update you all on the process.
At 8.30am the treatment was booked in to start. Me accompanied by my mum. I was fasting as the blood sample they needed to take would show off a more accurate figure if I was fasting. I have very high cholesterol on top of everything else, so they just wanted to make triply sure if I needed to start taking statins against it or not. I can hear a ton of you shouting at the computer! “Don’t do it!!! Statins not the answer!!” And I agree. I’m really the first person to agree to disagree about any long term medications. I would love to say the politically correct reason for me to dislike medicines, but to tell you the truth it’s mostly just 2 reasons that make me hate meds:
1. They have side effects that you can’t control. They make you fat or moody. I mean seldom do they make you glamorous, thin and energized…
2. There is a firm possibility you will forget to take it… Well then what? Are enough studies made on people who “neglect” their meds for a couple of days? No I don’t think so either.
I know at the end of this chemo I have to go on 5 years worth of hormone stopping meds. To really kill off any possibility of the cancer returning in any form. But that’s different. I know the reason, I basically have “bought the t-shirt”, and to prevent the food of the cancer which in my case feeds on hormones, there is just one way, get rid of them… Hormones can be good for quite a lot of things in life. 3 of my best assets are thanks to my hormones I guess. (My 3 lovely girls) and although in years to come (their teenage years) I might curse the hormones, in the same way I will be thankful that I’ve had some even though they have ended up supporting the killing team… Move over hormones, you are next on the list!!!!
We came to the Dungeon of Dread which I had re-named to the Dungeon of Death to the horror of the 20 year something nurse that was looking after me. Because my “port-a-cath” was so new they decided to put the catheter in my vein in the hand instead. 2 failed attempts from the young nurse another nurse stepped in (also young and Irish). She managed after one fail to put the needle in and attach the tubes for the drip. She took the fasting blood samples and by this time I was getting really hungry.
After another 40 minutes they came back to say one of the blood samples either had or hadn’t coagulated. Hence the reason more blood had to be pulled but from a new site as the saline apparently had made the catheter unusable… Ok so needle inserted in another space in the hand again. This was all done on the left hand as I have had a lymph node taken out under my right arm. Blood taken again and finally I could have some breakfast!!!
Whilst breakfast was given my fancy headwear was being fitted and turned on. It has to go on really tight and first they wet your hair and add conditioner to it. Then they strap on the helmet. “Oh you should be used to this being a rider and all”… I heard the strapping down nurse saying. She literally couldn’t have strapped it any harder. It was hard opening my mouth so eating breakfast was out of the question. I asked her to give a little slack on the chin strap. Then the machine was turned on. Had I not already been in so much pain from the arm, I still think it would have been too much! I don’t often cry, but I could feel myself welling up.
After breakfast the young nurse arrived again and started to pour the “E” compound into the catheter. It has to be done manually and has to be mixed with saline on its way in. The “C” compound is much friendlier and easier to administrate. We had gone through the possible side effects of the chemos a hundred times it seams yet there are always new ones creeping up. The bleeding gums and today a lot of focus on constipation. After 15 minutes trying to administer “E” to my vein and failing hopelessly as my vein decided it didn’t wanna play today. I could add another “possible side effect” to the list: me accidentally killing a nurse for stabbing my veins…
Another nurse came down to the dungeon. The head main man for blood extraction. He had one go with a wider needle. Stabbed a couple of times and after causing me some more pain he decided to call it the day. No more veins were in sight on that left arm and hand. They had used their electric blanket to try and conn my veins out of hiding, but to no avail.
The superior head nurse came in and explained it wasn’t safe to use any of my narrow nasty veins. I could come back on Friday and use the “port-a-cath” as they didn’t like to use a “newly fitted” one. Mum started to call it my “port-a-loo” and she’s not wrong there. We were going back and forwards with the pros and cons of doing the chemo on Friday. Of course at the end you would do what is safe for you. If the “E” would come in contact with any of my skin or tissue it would burn it. That’s why they are so careful administering the drugs.
We waited for them to get hold of my boss woman, Dr Jones. She wasn’t happy. They were all told off I think as they shamefully came back to me with a “plan C”(sorry not the “C” drug it gets a bit confusing…) I was going to have the chemo today. They were going to use the “port-a-loo”! In the waiting game they had turned my helmet off and after wearing it for a good two hours I can’t say it was still painful. Uncomfortable yes, but not painful. But I was so cold. All of my hands, legs but first and foremost head ofcourse. They had removed it and I had dried my cm spiky hair. Mum touched my scalp and yelped! I got two nurses in my little “hut” and we started the conversation hat or no hat. It’s only a 50% chance that it will work. Most of the time you will only keep some hair… I think that’s almost worse. Thin hair that you have to be so careful with not to destroy…. Weighing up the issues on the one hand a possibility to maybe keep some hair with the combination off adding 2 1/2 hours to every chemotherapy session OR just hope you are one of the 20% that magically keeps their hair and just enjoy (?) chemo as a quiet time. For reflection not just pain and cold.
I decided to go hatless for the rest of the treatment and when they used the”port-a-cath” it went really smoothly. I was finished at 3.30pm and I could leave! I didn’t have to wait with the cold hat until 5.30pm! A small victory in it self.
We went back to the flat but as I had been in all day I decided to take a walk around the neighborhood. I brought a Chocholate box bought at Fortnum & Mason and a card to lovely Max the hairdresser at MichelJohn’s. His surprised delight to see me and to receive his gift was priceless! In the card I did leave a note that I was writing about him here. Let’s hope he can read my handwriting and can see everything good he has done in the world. Well in my world that is!!!
I was contacted by a young girl from Mallorca. The strange thing is she contacted me the time in January I was over looking at horses as she wanted me to find her one. After the videos I made and sent to her it all went a bit quiet from her. Well I had my own problems and when you scout horses for people that you don’t teach and know well you don’t know if they will go for the type of horses you think could be good. I didn’t worry but then I heard that she had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. She had her second op yesterday and she is so brave. I think she is using my blog as an English practice but she also told me it gives her energy and positive inspired optimism! (Her words!!) that’s an incredible feeling so Neus here is for you! Besos grandes!
A slow stroll through Mayfair with mum in a lovely early evening. Some shopping of rare books might have happened as well as some secret purchase for my lovely husband. It’s hard when you have treatment in a different country from where your family is. I’m not sure who it’s harder for. I think them. Here I have a schedule every day. I know what I’m up to every day, but I’m in a new environment. I guess at home there is a small shaped hole on the sofa. Many cuddles to be missed out on. I think my dog Smilla (well technically she belongs to Myrna) misses me the most. Her and Jack (the other Miniature Jack Russel) are telepathicly tuned into my whereabouts. They know roughly as soon as I know that I am going somewhere. That being a day ahead or 2 weeks. Very strange.
Now back at the flat and other than me being exhausted there are no other side effects so far! Fingers crossed!
Keep Smiling 🙂 Your loved ones can feel your love even when you are removed from each other! <3