Saturday, 24 March 2012

A Visit to Chemo

Or, my original title, abandoned when the strike through wouldn't work in the title box...

The C word ward.

Cathedral ward is not a ward in the normal sense of beds and lockers. It is a large room where large comfy looking [but growing steadily more uncomfortable as the hours drag by] leather armchairs line the walls  in curtained bays. Each bay has a wall of plugs, lights, and fan behind the chairs, and drip stands with special boxlike attachments which cleverly time the speed of the poisons delivered to us in an effort to kill or cure us or, in my case, prolong my life.

All the chairs are occupied. Some patients relax and read or do puzzles others talk to their companions, seldom is anyone alone. NOAOS and I talk or play scrabble on his remarkable phone. He is not too well this week and it is very hot in the ward. An hour drags by as my arms are wrapped in a heat pad in an effort to enlarge my tiny veins .
Success at last only two attempts,then 10minutes of a flush, 30 minutes first chemo. bag, another flush and final chemo. bag of 60minutes  and another flush. Only 3hours and 40 minutes...then another wait as my drugs are collected explained and handed over..  I was given some Steroids so I'm quite happy.  No time today for joy rides so it is straight back home.

I nag NOAOS to make an appointment to see his doctor. He now has a date for his knee replacement operation; please please let there be an end to his pain.

I feel OK but I know that by day two/three that awful lethargy will have hit me and I'll be good for nada. Still, just one more to go and we'll see.

Ta Ta darlings. Hope I haven't written anything that could scare a newbie...it truly is a pain free experience simply rather boring...oh and take your own lunch...their sandwiches are either processed cheese or ham.

And the nurses are all totally fabulous, hard-working, dedicated, funny and have become friends.

23 comments:

  1. There must be a standardized plan for all hospitals and clinics to have to follow for the layout as well as the furnishings in these cubicles! If I hadn't already known you are in England and I am here in the good old USA, in Pennsylvania, I'd have sworn your description fits to a tee the cubicles at our local cancer clinic here. I had my last chemo treatment there a year ago this past December but go back once a month now to have the port flushed. Only thing different -for me, anyway -was that I was always by myself and passed the time between watching tv or sleeping!

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  2. Good to hear you are making friends wherever you go, Moannie! Sorry to hear it's boring, but I'll bet you are the entertainer there...

    Mwah, dahlink! Take care, much love to you and your warm arms.

    Fhi xxx

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  3. So glad there's only two more to go. The best to you.

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  4. I'm glad it is pain free for you, you have a wonderful way about you.

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  5. I remember when my mother went through chemo for her cancer (which she battled and won) she was always talking about how great the staff were. They were open and friendly and traded jokes. She actually liked the visit.

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  6. I, too am so glad this treatment was pain free. You are so brave and generous to share this with us and I thank you.

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  7. That brought back memories....... wish I could call them happy ones.
    You are doing well!
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

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  8. So glad you're on the countdown to it being over. Sounds exactly like where Lorne went for his chemo. After the first time, when I accompanied him, he preferred to go on his own and just read. But I felt like I was there, worrying about him being alone and maybe in pain. HE is doing just fine now, although the whole experience did age us incredibly. Best wishes to you. Sending hugs across the continent and pond!

    Leslie

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  9. When my dad was taking his chemo, the little curtains would be drawn around his recliner and one or two more chairs which my mom and myself would sit in to pass the time with him...and we were packed in there with the IV stand as tight as sardines....we couldn't even hide our feet from the people behind the adjoining curtain. There was a tv in the corner of the ceiling though, with a speaker in the chair so that my dad could hear it, but he usually would drift off to sleep for a while, so my mom and I would just sit and talk, or she would leave to check on their dogs and I would stay alone and watch him sleep. One time, my mom woke him up when she got back to find out how he was doing, and he was upset with her because he was "fixing to jump in the creek". lol He was having nice dreams. I will never forget those times with him. I am sure NOAOS won't either.

    I'm so glad to hear that you are nearly through with the chemo. I bet you get a great report when you go back to see the doctor. You sound wonderful. I am looking forward to hearing more about your exceptional life!!! Hugs!!!

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  10. I know that you will have been an ideal patient at each and every visit...no wonder the nurses are friends now. Keep on keeping on and looking forward to this being behind you. It is good news about the knee ops for NOAOS too.

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  11. Thinking of you........I know it is tedious, and you would rather be in the garden.

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  12. Sending good vibes your way! Stay strong.

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  13. Praying for you and prayer heals...love coming your way
    Sandi

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  14. long hours there but glad the son and nurses make it bearable. when they yucko days hit, you just do what you have to do and pull up the covers around your chin. wishing the best for your son in his own surgery.

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  15. looking in from the outside thinking how I would handle it, I was lucky I didnt need chemo or radiation just surgery .. when the not so hot days hit, just do a lie in ..

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  16. Moannie, I'm so happy to hear you're nearing the end of this particular road. Just a bit more treatment, eh? I'm praying for you. So are many others. We love you!

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  17. You're a strong lady, Moannie. I'm glad you've only got one more to go. Hang tough!

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  19. Still sending you lots of healing vibes. :-) You are so awesome.

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  20. I have been through this so often and still you are my shero and brave and stay POSITIVE!!

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  21. Moannie, I left you a long comment earlier and I don't see it! I'll pop back and check later, and then if it's not there, I'll have to try to remember what I wrote.

    I just wanted to send you some encouragement and let you know I was thinking about you both.

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  22. You could have been descibing our chemo day room as well, although we have the addition of those cool caps hanging about the place like space helmets. Must have the exact same staff as well, ours are wonderful, friendly and aimiable though their days must be tedious having to insert cannula's day in day out, with the monotony only broken for them if a patient has a reaction, when all hell brakes loose.
    It is boring, they should show films or something, or have entertainers visiting to break up the monotony of it all. I am now beginning my chemo again as mine has returned, as it will keep doing. Keep well and keep smiling.
    TG

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