Once upon a time as a couple we visited the labour ward before I gave birth. Once, as parents, we visited a new school before we enrolled our children…… now a new hospital and a pre chemo visit. Yep, there is a day for this! To visit the chemo “suite”, meet the team, ask all the questions and have your bloods done to ensure your body is ready for the infusions that will save your life.
I’ve met my nurse. A lovely, caring and ever so patient lady. Lesley spends a whole 2 hours with us, answering all my questions and concerns. Giving us all the details, explaining what will happen and when. It is quite a schedule.
Chemo will be given for two weeks and then a week break in between. This is my 3 week cycle. We will have 4 cycles and then assess the situation. Bloods will be taken before each session to start and depending on how my body copes, maybe just once per cycle. Numerous meds and steroids will be given to help with side effects and sickness.
The infusions will take 6 hours…. SIX hours pumping liquid through my veins! A scary thought, very scary but this, my only option. It is not all chemo drugs though, plenty of fluid given alongside the drugs as it is toxic to the kidneys!!! Just take it all in, I tell myself. They know what they are doing. We talk what to look out for incase of any untoward side effects, we talk about A&E and where to go if I need it and we talk about blood transfusions. I am given a list of numbers of who and where to contact at any point.
I’m given the result of my PET scan. Do you want to read it…. “NO”, I quickly replied. There was a sudden chaos in my head and I half closed my eyes like a child while Lesley skimmed over the summary. I couldn’t read it. I couldn’t bare to hear any more bad news or if anything had spread more than we already knew. The results were as expected as we had known a couple of weeks back. I will read the report another day……. just not today.
So off we went, that was our day. All the talk of toxic drugs, injections and tablets was already throwing my mind off balance. I came home, filled the bath, added a cup of salts to detox and lay back……… and breathe.