2 weeks from now I will be on my last cycle then its a case of getting over the build up of toxins prior to a stoma reversal hopefully in November. It is not until now that you realise how much support you receive from the nurses at WPH. Angels indeed. I understand that others who are in greater need than myself need access to these special people, but I have had a lot more than my fair share of attention from at least two of them. So what will I feel like when the chemo is over and their help is no longer there?
Thursday 27th September
Prior to my Blood Test Sue and I attended the Cavendish Cancer Support Centre for a counselling assessment. It’s Sue that needs counselling not me - she is the one that has to sit back helplessly whilst I feel that I'm doing something about it. The main reason for the appointment was not for counselling but to get some hypnotherapy in order to help me get back to sleep once I had woken during the night however when asked about other concerns I noted that I was unhappy with the amount of weight I was putting on. It's my sweet tooth. The outcome was that I left with appointments to see a herbal dietitian and a hypnotherapist just prior to my 12th and final treatment. The morning appointment at the Cavendish Centre meant that we had a fair amount of time to kill before my appointment at WPH so opted to get the blood test out of the way then have some lunch hoping that the results would be back before the consultation. Blood test done we settled down with a coffee and scone and upon the last mouth full I was called in for my consultation.
The Oncologist was obviously concerned that my continued low platelet count may mean not completing the full course on all of the drugs notably the Oxaliplatin which affects platelet production with the risk outweighing the benefit at this late stage. I have set my stall out for 12 full blown sessions so I'm not interested in packing up now even though he quite clearly stated that "Chemotherapy Can Kill You"
Anyway the blood results had not come back yet. He carried on to say that after my final cycle he would contact my specialist surgeon's secretary to to hand my case back over, then hopefully My stoma reversal would get under way 4 to 6 weeks later followed by a full body scan in December. Hopefully it will be "Happy Christmas - everything looks Fine " For now anyway.
Back home as expected a phone call confirmed that the platelets were a little low again and that I needed to be back at 08.30 for another blood test. With my "Glass Half Full" attitude I never doubt that I'll achieve the magic 100 but in an attempt to remedy the situation later that that night I had 2 pints of medicinal Guinness at the Parish Oven - We didn't win the quiz even with 32 points.
Friday 28th September and PICC Problems Again
Up at the crack of sparrow (05.30) and in WPH for 08.10. Dressing changed but there is no joy on the flush or blood draw back until I crank my arm to get it working then I'm back to the waiting room until the results come through. Launa (the young lady who I sat next to last time for treatment) came into the waiting room with her husband and sat opposite for a chat. I handed over my copy of the Anti Cancer book that I had read hoping that it would give her some ideas of how to improve her condition.
2 hours later - BINGO - platelet count 103 - Yippee - GET IN, obviously the Guinness did the trick.
Rachel , the ward Sister set up the drip but there's still a problem getting the drugs to pump in so it's a case of bending my arm again and holding it out to one side - I'm conscious that everyone will think I'm gay with such an unusual pose but every time I straighten my arm the pump sounds an occlusion (Whilst no one was looking I craftily reset the pump myself). 2 hours in this awkward pose seemed more like 3 but it is a case of grin and bear just to get through it. Helen called to check out this recurring, unusual problem but felt that we could manage the situation at this late stage without any interference to the line. She remained with me to administer the 5FU and to connect the canister even though it is not her job. Special treatment? - You bet - not only that but I got a peck on the cheek as I was leaving from my other fave nurse Rachel - just in case this was the last time that she would look after me.
ONLY 1 MORE TO GO and I think that in time my hair will come back thick and darker than before - No Grey - as if by magic.Life on the bottle
Sunday 30th AM Update - LIFE ON THE BOTTLE
It was a long Friday Night on the bottle having just 3 hours sleep and being fully alert throughout Saturday so I thought that Saturday night would be better - But not really having just 4 hours sleep. But what's new. It maybe a sub conscious thing not being able to settle back down after tending to Bob's pouch because that is what I expect so therefore I don't even try. The strange thing is that I don't mind since it gives me some quality time alone, either blogging, writing or surfing the web.
The good news is that changing my tablets seems to be doing the trick to stop me feeling sick.
I'm now on 1 x 20mg Omeprazole at night and 1 x 30mg of Lansoprazole during the day. Both do similar things by reducing stomach acid build up that causes irritation and acid reflux (heartburn). If they work this well for the whole of next week then I'll be a very happy bunny.