Day 72

Chemo No. 3

It’s a heartbreakingly beautiful day, clear skies warm sun at 7am, the sea glass flat no wind.  It’s a day to be on the boat out in the bay, chugging out on the motor, sails furled by ready for wind, and to drop anchor and eat, doze, read, chill. I managed this a couple of times last year but the days are rare and today is one of those.

Instead I’m on the train to Truro, Treliske and Chemo No. 3

It starts well, half term no school children mobbing the train, a bus within minutes to the hospital and I’m allowed to wait on the bench in the sunny courtyard at Haematology sitting beside a huge rosemary bush… Siobhan is back, Gaynor waves hello. My bloods are taken and we chat about S’s holiday and my symptoms. Siobhan shows me the centrifuge for separating the blood samples and how she makes the microscope slides.

Siobhan has enjoyed the diary website and would like to show it to others in the department.

I have two hours to wait before the chemo session so I sort expenses and chase my medical records through the ? Office. Everyone’s very helpful. It looks like I can get a cd copy of my PET and CT scans here but will need to go to Derriford for my biopsy slides.  Though the neck biopsy should be available here thinking about it. There’s a £10 charge and I have to provide ID.  I’m interested in this stuff because I’ve found some CT scan reading software for the Mac and would just like to see myself sliced into 1000 segments! Who wouldn’t?

The day then drags because of yesterday’s bank holiday there’s a large number of people waiting to chemo and a shortage of chairs in the ward, and a rush on drugs. I have to wait 4 hours in a crowded room. I plug into the iPad and write emails to family and friends. But am super conscious that I’m surrounded by unwell people and coughs and splutters worry me. I’m not putting myself into these socially packed situations at home so why here? I go outside at frequent intervals to get some air. No ones being told how long to wait, but I don’t make a fuss. Though next time I might. I could find a quieter place or wait in Haematology or sit on a bench outside and they could call my mobile when ready for me.

Eventually I’m called and bingo I’m given a single room and a bed which is a joy. I can spread out my hospital papers and sort them out. Siobhan comes with revised  papers for the clinical trial for me to read and sign.  Wendy my chemo nurse today is experienced and calm despite the mayhem out there and she quickly gets things moving while chatting to me and dealing with issues outside. It all goes fine. But its a long 11 hour day.

Ali and Milli pick me up, Milli is silky after swimming in the sea earlier and in a big love mood wanting to lick me and being very funny.  Back home we make checken stir fry lots of crunchy veg and strawberries to follow. Meanwhile in Breaking Bad the cancer man is upping his resolve to make money to pay for the health care his family want him to have and things continue to go out of control in every sense…makes you thankful for the NHS! My friend Kathy in New York is delighted I’m watching this and amused by the photo of me in the blog wearing the full face respirator and chemical suit and ‘working on the bus’. “You’re that man! It’s like your making crystal meth dude!” Thanks Kat, I’d missed that connection…