Strapped up arms, patched up hopes

Strapped up arms, patched up hopes

Chemo on Monday went fine. The only bother was I was in the midst of a fever (wasn’t allowed my prednisolone beforehand) and when that happens your veins decide to go underground and don’t like to come out to play. So the poor nurse couldn’t get a cannula in. Took 4 attempts (I hate those bloody things!) before she managed to get one precariously into a vein in my hand so I could start treatment.

Firstly it was a couple of pre-meds (steroids and anti-sickness) then on with the Gemcitabine. It was a doddle really, didn’t make me feel poorly at all. I was just knackered afterwards and fell asleep in the car on the way home. Probably just emotions though. Once I got home it was straight to bed.

Oh and the steroids I’ve been put on: Methylprednisolone …but wait for it: 1000mg/day!!!! Bloody hell, that is a massive dose! That equates to 1300mg normal prednisolone. Luckily I managed to convince them to prescribe me some Lorazepam to take when needed otherwise I’d have been going mad. Its been okay but sleeping past 5am just doesn’t happen. I have a rather red round face at the moment. I look a bit like one of those No Entry street signs. 

Tuesday was a resting day, then Wednesday was back to the hospital to have my PICC line fitted. I’ve had one before during ABVD treatment, it’s a small pipe that’s inserted into the left upper arm that sits in a large vein that goes over the shoulder and stops just above the heart. Once in and its settled down you hardly know it’s there. You wear a sock over it to keep it in place. There are however a couple of downsides: no swimming (bummer), no deep baths (double bummer), no rugby, moto-x, kick boxing, skydiving, karting etc (uncountable bummers). Oh well, will have to save these activities for later in life. Having it fitted was actually a right laugh. The PICC nurses (yes, there are people with such job titles) remembered me from 2015 and we had a good giggle. They said they loved my Zim accent and I think were just trying to get me to talk. They fit the line and then you are sent down to Radiology for an x-ray to make sure its in the right place. Unfortunately because my platelet count is still really low I bled all over the x-ray room, which brought out more hysteria and laughs from the radiologists. They padded me up with bandages and I had to walk back to the ward doing my very best impression of Hitler on parade to try to stem the bleeding. But it was in and all was fine.

Friday was back to the hospital for PICC line dressing change, blood count check and a quick word with the consultant in the foyer of Bexley wing (he wanted to talk steroids). He’s dropped the Methylpred completely and I am now back on my low dose of 25mg/day of normal Prednisolone and see how I get on over the next few days. This worries me as I don’t want any more fevers. Ive been okay on that front. In fact struggling to get my temp over 35.9 (I’m normally a 36.5 person). But we shall see, they know best. I also had to ask the doc whether Gemcitabine is a placebo, as in all honesty it is very tolerable compared to anything I’ve had before. He had a bit of a laugh and assured me it was real gear and would be doing it’s thing. I also know the Cisplatin to come Monday week won’t be so pleasant, I have had it before with ESHAP and you need tons to fluids before and after to flush it though your system fast.

But hey we live day by day and try keep things as normal as possible. Kids have been great. Taking Caitlin to football today. Some sport to look forward to on the telly (Go Spurs! Go McClaren! Well at least try finish a race…) Hoping to get out for a walk then pop over to a friends party tomorrow night. Monday will be back for treatment no 2 at the hospital.

Oh I suddenly like tea again. After almost 2 years of not being able to go near the stuff Emily bought a box of Builders Tea which looked appealing. So I am drinking loads of it and trying to make up for lost time. Probably not such a good idea!

To finish off this post, one thing that I keep thinking about is don’t ever dilly dally with plans. You never know whats just round the corner. We were planning a short holiday which we’ll have to put on hold now. I was planning a blokes karting trip which I can’t do now for fear of dislodging my pipe. Get on with it. Break out the credit card. Book that flight. Do it!

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