Wednesday, February 01, 2006


First Chemotherapy yesterday. We were warned that we might have to wait a long time before being seen: you announce your presence, they tell pharmacy, pharmacy take up to 2 hours to prepare your drugs, Then you get called in. So I went prepared with book and knitting, and planned a trip into Harborne in the interim too. As it was, we arrived, asked to see the trial nurse, were told she wasn't around, waited a bit, asked if they could ring the trial nurse, a message was left on her answering machine, went into the waiting room, saw the trial nurse, got checked out by a doc to make sure a queried infection wasn't a problem (not sure, it might be cellulitis, might not, have some more antibiotics just in case) and then went in for Chemo.
We'd been having some discussions about how you describe the process of sitting there with a drip in you for a while. Are you being dripped? Injected? Infused? We asked the chemo nurse and came to the conclusion that I was being infused, which made me feel like a cup of tea. Actually I felt more like a jelly. Having gone through the op with no qualms (having had several in recent years!) I was downright scared of the chemo.
I had cause.
I was sat in a comfy chair and my hand warmed with a wheat pad. They like to put the drip in your hand at the beginning, cos once one bit of the vein has had the chemo drug pumped through it they then can't use that bit of vein again, and either have to insert the drip further up on the same vein the next time, or use another vein.
The first needle bruised me. I was then moved into a private room, in need of tissues and some reassurance. In fact I was in floods and being a complete drip about having the drip inserted. The second attempt on a different vein worked for a bit then stopped. The third (second opinion sought by this time)hit a valve. The fourth and fifth attempts didn't work. The sixth, in the elbow, worked. So that is that for that particular vein. My left arm can't be used as I have to avoid injury as I have no lymph nodes in my armpit. They reckon they can get one more treatment in, using the only other visible vein, then I'm going to have to have a Hickman Line inserted. This will mean that all the drugs and blood tests can be done using this, so each individual treatment will be easier. However it will mean having (yet another) minor operation.
Once the drip was inserted, the chemo nurse then injected the Epirubicin into the tube (and therefore me!) It was a disconcerting red colour and took a good while to go in. This was followed by another couple of syringes of other drugs (antiemetics I think), one of which she warned me could feel like I was sitting on nettles for a minute. And it did, but not too bad. Maybe small nettles.
Meanwhile, Paul was sent to the pharmacy, to collect 7 different medications, 6 of which we had to pay for. I've drawn up a chart, as one of them is 4 times a day on an empty stomach for 5 days then discard the rest; one 3 times a day with meals for 3 days then as needed; one once a day; one 2 tablets four times a day for 5 days... I think... Plus a mouthwash, and suppositories (if needed) (not to be confused).
I've been back to the hospital today for an injection, then I need to go back next Tuesday for a bloodtest, and the following Tuesday for my next lot of Chemo. And more tablets.
Meanwhile, the only side effect I've experienced is pink wee (only temporary, I'm assured!) I've got around a fortnight left of my hair, so I'm going to get a wig this afternoon, and get my haircut, with a friend from Poly, Louise, who is coming up anytime soon. Photos will appear on the website!


Blogger Rosie said...

Oh Lucy...lots of love coming across the pond from us Thompsons. We were in prayer for you all day the 30th especially. Our church and Chloe's school are praying too.

Sofia just looked at your photo on the website and made kisses, so you have officially been blown kisses (I think Eleanor probably got a disproportionate amount of them, as S. kept saying "Baby! Baby!!") from Sofia.

Lots from us too.

Dianne & co.

5:48 pm  

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