Days 417 – 418

Dose.

I’m settled into my room in Waddington Ward at Kings now, and hooked up for day 2 of the 6 days of high dose chemo.

Yesterday was mostly quiet which gave me time to adjust to my new surroundings.  Quiet until late afternoon when I was given the first shot (BCNU) which was pretty strong and rather horrid – instant skin flush, dizzyness and headache, eye ache, nausea and finally spectacular vomiting of my supper.

David S came to visit bringing supplies (organic beetroot juice and coconut yohurt) and when things calmed down we were able to have a nice chat.

I’ve got a routine going I think: up about 6.30am and shower then I’ve worked out how to temporarily re-arrange the bed, chair, table and medical gear so that I can create some open floor space and enjoy my Qi Gong 8 Brocades and continue with learning the Tai Chi short form.  It feels good to be stretching and moving, and I hold a strong picture in my mind of the beach and cliffs and sea at Logan’s Rock.  This is my time.  At 8.00 breakfast (porridge, a banana and an ornage) and then various tests and bloods and a check in by one of the doctors, more anti-sickness pills and something to help prevent deep vein thrombosis.  Then the chemo starts at 10.00, and that’s what’s happening now.  I’ll be hooked up til lunch time then free until the next shot at 10pm.

I feel ok this morning – no nausea as yet which is a relief.

The room is clean and calm.  Carers and nurses come and go, beds get changed, floors mopped, water jugs brought in, pills in paper cups, tea or coffee or hot water for me.  There’s a few things to sort out still like the special bodywash and mouthwash the hospital want me to use, and the exercise treadmill provided in the room is broken – it’s needed to help keep circulation going, again to ward off the danger of venous blood clots – I’m going to feel like a hampster.

What else to report?  The food is ok – the menu’s are comprehensive and there’s lots of choice, but freshness isn’t one of the qualities coming through, partly by design in that everything is steam cooked so that it’s sterile I guess.  I can have peelable fruit like banana and orange.  I spoke breifly to the hospital dietician when she visited yesterday, but she’s sceptical of the theory of a low sugar diet being helpful in the fight against cancer – no evidence as usual, and only an issue with obesity etc.  I don’t know.  I guess I’ll do my best with it and look forward to getting home when I can follow my own diet again.  If things go well I might still get out of here by the end of May, despite the week’s delay in getting a bed.  I’ll concentrate on that.

There are nine patients in the ward – less than some of the others treating stem cell, but there’s no interaction between patients at all.  We’re all in our own rooms and our own worlds of treatment.  You can’t really see into the rooms from the corridor and anyway it seems rude to look somehow, even just to wave…