Day started with Ruth picking me up just after 7am and finished with me walking back through the door at 6:35pm. What a hell of a long day!
How the day went:
- Arrived at the cancer society car park just before 8am.
- At the cancer day unit around 8:10
- Off to see the Chemo nurses around 8:15 (weight taken along the way)
- Cannula inserted and 1st of the fluids started to be pushed through - saline with potassium - 1 litre odd administered over two hours
- 2nd fluid then started around 10:30, again 1 litre over 2 hours, this time it is saline and magnesium.
- 3rd fluid is the cisplatin itself - approx 200ml administered over 1 hour
- 4th fluid is another litre of saline, this time with both potassium and magnesium. It is around 1:40 when this starts with normal 2 hour cycle.
- Happy pill at 2:45
- Off to radiotherapy unit @ 2:55
- Meeting with Clare who explains a few more things and give me my appointment schedule
- Into the treatment room somewhere around 3:30
- Back up to the chemo unit for last of the saline to be run through, take my weight and go through the anti-nausea pill regime.
- Cannula final removed around 4:35
- Off to cancer society to sort out parking permit
- Join rush hour traffic at about 4:50
- Stop at Countdown for bicarb of soda for mouthwash mix @ 5:55
- At Chemist to get scrips filled at 6:05. Some issues with exactly what was needed and that delayed this all a tad. Resolved with help of the card I got from Wendie.
- Local roast for dinner at 6:15
- Home 6:35
- As a result of all the fluids going through me - topped up with 2 x 750ml water taken orally - I ended up taking toilet breaks every 30 minutes or so. This entailed unplugging my "dance partner" (the infusion pump), going to the loo (not an easy task getting both me and the pump into the toilets) and then coming back, plugging it back in, reading for a little while, then repeating the process again and again. Gave up on reading my book around 11:30. Ruth (sister, not nurse) asked why I hadn't given the pump a name and I said it was unlikely I 'd get the same pump each time, so the generic "dance partner" was enough.
- David & Kylie arrived just after the cisplatin was loaded up. They stayed until I disappeared into the radiotherapy suite. (Thanks for the welcome distraction guys)
- The cisplatin bag had my name and details on it - duly checked by the nurses that I was who I was meant to be. Because the cisplatin is sensitive to light, they put a black plastic sleeve over it - and this had my name on it as well. Other patients just got a paper bag crudely put over theirs.
- There was a steady stream of patients through the chemo suite all day. As I was first in and almost last one out, I was either the only newbie, or only one receiving this particular treatment. I certainly seemed to be the only one receiving all the fluids, most people were just getting one small bag of something and were gone in an hour or so.
- Ruth, the clinical nurse came up and introduced herself - a real sweetie - and I'll be seeing her a couple of times a week. She was also at the Hugo session and helped me get through it. Think we're going to get on really well.
- When the nurses are handling the chemo bags, they wear aprons and rubber gloves to protect themselves - seems they handle so much every week, they need to take some extra precautions so they don't get dosed accidentally.
- At the end of the day, my weight was up by 1 kg, all due to the fluids. Apparently norm is 2 Kg, so everybody was really pleased/impressed with how my kidneys are functioning. Hopefully over next day or so that will return to normal.
- As the radio & chemo is my primary treatment (as opposed to surgical remedies with radio/chemo being post-op treatments), this means I won't be bumped from my treatment appointments - I effectively have priority.
- I should start all the secondary care stuff (mouthwash, using aqueos cream, etc) now so it is all routine before the need really arrives.
- Ruth (the nurse) took a look at Jake and has decided we should put a gauze pad around Jake to reduce the pressure from the flange onto my stomach. She did this today and almost immediately it felt more comfortable. I'm seeing her again tomorrow and she'll review what impact this is having.
- Clare (part of the RT team) reiterated the treatment was going to be tough come around mid-cycle i.e. around 3-4 weeks.
- During the Hugo session, they decided to cut out the eyes and Hugo looks even meaner as a result. FYI, Hugo was tighter today because of all the fluids that had been run through me, so hopefully will be a little more comfortable tomorrow.
- During the day I was given a full daily dose of the anti-nausea drugs, so hopefully I'll sleep OK tonight.
Hugo session is 12:50 tomorrow, so I'm hoping nothing untoward happens overnight and I can go to work as normal in the morning. Nick is on taxi duties tomorrow.
Good night all.