I know I promised you a post about Saskia, but I’m afraid I haven’t got round to that yet. The next one will definitely be about her (probably).
Part of the reason I haven’t got round to writing about her is that last week was chemotherapy week, so we had two trips to London – Wednesday for pre-chemo assessment clinic, and Friday to receive the actual treatment.
Both trips went well. The doctors in clinic were pleased with my progress over the last couple of months, and are hoping this represents what they call a ‘clinical response’ to the chemotherapy. In a couple of weeks I will have a CT scan to determine whether or not this is the case.
Personally I am not getting my hopes up too much, primarily because I have had them dashed too many times before. I was actually reluctant to write this on the blog, in case I was tempting fate – but I figure you’re all on this rollercoaster with me now.
It would be fantastic if it were the chemotherapy eliciting a positive response, but I am also aware that there are other things going on. I have had radiotherapy on certain areas, and a new improved ‘pain management’ regime (painkillers basically).
So it’s difficult to know what’s doing what – but fingers crossed for the chemo!
I was wondering whether I would actually get the treatment, as I have been suffering from light headedness when I stand up after long periods sitting – most likely due to the chemo killing all my red blood cells. Chemo doesn’t determine good from bad cells. It just kills all fast growing cells – cancer cells (we hope) and good cells alike. But my blood test results on Wednesday must have been ok, as I got another big dose of chemo on Friday.
The actual delivery of the treatment went well – aside from dealing with a nurse who was infinitely more interested in repeatedly informing us about her social life than paying full attention to my treatment.
“After you’re done I’m off down the Slug and Lettuce in Wimbledon for a few gins”
“I see, can you concentrate on what you’re doing please, this treatment is kind of important to me”
“Tell you what, I’ll do a manual flush so you don’t have to wait around”
“Ermm… are you sure you are doing this for my benefit, or so you can get down the Slug and Lettuce?”
The manual flush turned out to be a very easy procedure, which involved not doing any kind of flush whatsoever (a flush is where there put a small amount of saline solution down the line into your arm, to make sure you get any treatment left in the line).
I was going to write her lines in some kind of cockney accent for effect, but I decided not to for two reasons:
1 – I remembered this blog is supposed to be about accuracy and honesty.
2 – She wasn’t in the least bit cockney.
And in that spirit I should admit that I wasn’t brave enough to say my lines in that little conversation recital – I did think them though, which I believe makes me kind of brave, to a certain extent.
Anyhow, aside from that little detail, and a slightly bruised vein in the back of my hand, all was fine. Now to see if the lightheaded episodes get any worse after this dose of chemo – and the preliminary results are in… yes, it’s got worse.
In other news, I have made a little resolution – to stop moaning about my appearance.
While on the train home from London on Wednesday a little girl, maybe ten years old, got on the train with her Mum. The girl had a quite severe facial disfigurement, with most of her facial features hard to distinguish, from what looked like some kind of serious burn injury.
I looked at her, and thought that if she manages to cope with that permanent disfigurement, especially knowing how horrible kids can be to each other over the slightest little differences, then I really should not be moaning about being (hopefully temporarily) a bit fat with a round face.
Its funny how life can sometimes make you put your own problems in perspective.
This doesn’t mean that I’ve suddenly got my confidence back in my physical form, those issues won’t just go away. But it does mean that I recognise that in the grand scheme of things, it could be worse, and I should appreciate that fact.
Right, I think I will leave it there for today. Next time, Saskia!