Sunday, 4 October 2009

chemotherapy -

17-30: this is about Friday, 2nd October.

I feel nervous each time I go to the Day Unit for treatment - and even more so today because I would like a brief chat with someone about how to handle a couple of problems that I am finding upsetting. But I get there fine - park - walk along the long corridors which are beginning to be familiar - I even know where the loos are. I carry a small rucksack of 'survival' gear - magazines, food and a CD player. I am stressed. I am early.

I wander around near the Cancer Information Centre - and a volunteer strikes up a conversation - and I tell him about some dilemmas I have with getting exhausted when people are kind enough to visit - after ten minutes and a few tears (hidden by my glasses) I go on my way - encouraged.

The process of the treatment is straightforward - I report in - I just have time to get a coffee before I am called in - I sit around warming a hand to get a good vein for the drip needle (which I don't even feel when inserted - but I did look away). I sit around waiting for the chemicals to be delivered and checked - looking at pictures of boats in a magazine and barely turn the pages before the small bag is delivered and dripped in. This particular one (vinorelbine) can have nasty effects if it gets out of the vein, so a nurse has to watch it in - but this is only for five minutes. A bit more messing with the tubes - and job done and I am out and back home (where I sleep it off for the rest of the day) a couple of hours after leaving.

This is the end of the second cycle of treatment - and I send good messages to the chemicals to get on and destroy cancer cells and leave the other cells alone. However - a couple of days after the first treatment I start to feel - - side effects. I find these difficult to describe because they are like nothing else I have ever experienced. I use the words 'fatigue' and 'zapped' - . The last couple of days I have felt OK for some of the morning - then I have more or less lay around for the rest of the day - apart from eating and blogging. Very boring - - but if it zaps the nasties - it is worth it. Last time, the side-effects wore off after the second week.

The regimen is combined vinorelbine and carboplatin. The first treatment of the cycle has both - so takes longer than Friday. The second treatment is just vinorelbine.

No comments: