Saturday, 19 January 2008

2007 Mar 17th - Chemo Round 1 No 4

17 Mar 2007

No anemia here.......
Category: Life

I had my fourth chemo pack wired up on Tuesday and managed to flash Bob who was sat opposite me hooked up to his drugs (he's on the usual bag on drip stand that take two hours every visit). To explain I usually shove the tubing down my top to minimise yoiking - that's a technical term for "opening doors with your chemo tube" and a practice I don't recommend. He didn't seem to mind. His mate John is chatty too (I say mate, I mean someone you see a lot on daily/weekly visits but never knew before you had cancer). Like me John had other plans for this year, his far more exciting as he goes to Australia every year and has had to put off his visit until Christmas - bloody chemo it doesn't half spoil your fun! John has cancer on his gall bladder that has spread to his liver and is inoperable - but like a lot of us still being positive
Also fact fans, John said he liked my shoes (hmmm?) and after some comparisons, I actually have bigger feet than he does. I'm sooo ashamed.
Feeling a bit nauseous the last few days and still very tired but managing the drive to hospital so far. No weird sunburn yet I'm pleased to report. I'm also doing my very best not to look like I'm going to hospital in that I have only once resorted to joggers and a t-shirt with trainers.
I get regular compliments on my chemo bag, now take my magazines into Kerry one of the radiographers since she made me promise - she pays for Closer every week so I take her Heat. Also got asked where I got a pair of shoes from by a really young student so I can't be looking too bad.
Treated myself to a Nintendo DS Lite and am "attending" Dr Lobe's Brain Academy and training a German Shepherd called Spike - we won our first frisby contest so I've nearly got enough to "buy" another really! I got a bit of extra cash from an insurance policy (interest I wasn't expecting) and thought sod it I'll buy something frivolous. Will probably get RSI now in the PICC arm which I managed to make bleed and spoil my lovely white dressings (smaller than the size of a penny so nothing major but it was a bit sore). Now got most things down to a fine art whilst being permanently attached to a small shoulder bag via tubes, but have caught it a couple of times, as I said, not recommended!
I have a little statistical* info for you - initial data from Valentine's day and recent results from 6th March after two weeks of drugs (free on the NHS no less!)

My red cells (Hb) are up!!!!! +2.4% to be precise - I rock! I've not even been on the red wine or guinness, must just be good diet. Also Tyson doesn't seem to be bleeding so much lately.

White cells are down 17.3% to 4.3 but they're still fine.

Platelets were 306, now 296 so not much change there.

Neutraphils were 3.2 now 2.64, down 17.5% best keep an eye on those babies. (they make up 65% of your white cells)
*source Lincoln Hospital

Now got lovely diarrhoea plus cystitis but not feeling too bad (except tired) in myself. Had serious painful cramps the last two mornings that I keep thinking are my delayed (maybe never to happen) period but turn out to be trapped wind. Doh. More peppermint tea required.
Actually went out on Thursday night to work late Christmas party (dept one) which, having missed the company one preferring a biopsy and camera up bum I thought I should make an effort to attend. Had an indian - really can't eat anywhere near as much as I used to and had to leave before the ice cream/coffee so I could get to bed before 11pm but it was great to get out. I had a few prickly eye moments pulling into the car park and felt a bit panicky meeting Angela in my office but it was fine. My old managers didn't say a word, but I didn't go out of my way to talk to them either, the dept head did say it was good to see me, but for some bizzarre reason instead of saying what I really thought, I just said "it's a free meal!". Fact is having done 70 mile round trip to hospital for radio, then a 70 mile round trip in the opposite direction is VERY tiring for me so I had a two hour kip in the afternoon to make sure I wasn't too tired. Lots of laughs - always good medicine, and of course I dragged conversation down to gutter level on occassion just to remind them what they were missing. Scared a couple of people by saying that if my chemo leaked onto my skin it would probably melt it...............and no they didn't want to take a look at where the tube goes in my arm, men are such girls sometimes!
Considering toilet problems I felt remarkably lively today and had a work mate round to taxi me to hospital (like to drag the average age of the room back down towards 50) and brought me a fantastic orchid! Now have to research how NOT to kill it! She sends great sarcastic emails that put mine to shame and makes me laugh out loud too so again more medicine. It is good to be reminded that you are still the person you were before cancer, however she got me to watch Jeremy Kyle against my better judgement - god I hope I don't get hooked on that. How do such beauty and personality deprived girls get more than one bloke to shag them in the same week so they don't know who the dad is???? I mean I'm not Kylie Minogue but I was a fair way from the ugly stick I think and I NEVER get that much attention
Flog it is on now and I like a good antique. My bones feel old enough to be sold at auction lately although my brain is a B+ on Brain Academy so it ain't all bad.

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