Finally, it’s time to get cracking!
Up at 0430 for painkillers then back to bed and slept through till 0630.
Off to the specialist cancer clinic for 1030. First job was to pick what we wanted for lunch! As we were going to be there for a few hours they laid on lunch for us, this is a nice touch and very much appreciated.
Next was a meeting with the chemo nurse. They have to do so more checks before I am given the tablets. There are standard questions that they will go through with me every week, this is to check that I’m not showing any signs of not being able to tolerate the medication. Then an ECG and blood pressure checks. All were ok.
Over the latter part of last week I developed a rash on my leg that although has now started to calm down was still quite red. I pointed this out to the nurse and she checked with my oncologist to see if he wanted me to have antibiotics. The worry is that if it is an infection it will not get better without antibiotics as the immune system will be lowered by the chemo tablets.
I was relieved that he was not concerned and I could go ahead with the chemo. I was dreading any delays.
I have to take the tablets either with or after food so we had our lunch early and then I took the first tablets. As was previously explained to me, I’m not to touch the tablets but should press them out of the blister pack into an egg cup (for example) and then into my mouth. In total there are five tablets to take twice daily.
The process for the chemo will be that every Friday I will have a blood test to ensure that my blood numbers are ok and confirm that I’m coping with the treatment ok. Every Monday I will have to have to go through the same set of questions to ensure that I’m not showing any signs of severe side effects. Once I have done this and ‘passed’ I will then be given the next weeks supply of tablets.
I then had to wait for an hour before I could start my radiotherapy.
The actual treatment is quite quick but the time consuming part is to get me in the same position every day. This is achieved by lining up the lasers that deliver the x rays with the three tattoo marks that I now have on my skin. Before the x rays are delivered the machine takes a CT scan. This is then overlaid on the first CT scan that I had originally. Again, this is to ensure that I’m laying in precisely the same position as the ‘control’ image.
Once they are happy that I’m in the correct position the x ray treatment starts. It only takes about two minutes.
I said to the radiologist that when the machine was ‘zapping’ me, it felt like the tumour was more painful. She said that some people say the same thing, but appears to be psychosomatic.
Once all of this was completed, it was time for home. Before I left, I was given the complete timetable for my five weeks of treatment. 1 down, 24 to go!
I had a client meeting at 1500 which I completed with no issues.
In the evening the tumour was quite painful, not sure if it’s just starting to complain about being zapped or if it would have been painful anyway!
I had asked the nurse how long it can take before the tumour starts to shrink and hopefully the pain subside. She said that some people notice a difference within a week of starting treatment, particularly when they have chemo and radiotherapy at the same time. I really hope that will be the case for me.
Before bed I took my evening chemo tablets. This was about 1100. I had to take them that late as they need to be taken approximately 12 hours apart. Over the coming days I will slowly move the time to a bit earlier so I don’t have to stay up to take them, I tend to go to bed earlier now as I’m so tired.
So far, so good. Let’s hope this proves to be the case in the next few weeks.
That’s it for today.