The next 6 months become this strange treadmill.
Every fortnight on a Wednesday we go off to St. Luke’s in the morning to have my blood taken 2 hours before my oncology appointment. My blood is tested super quick, and I am told in my appointment whether I am well enough to have chemo on the Friday.
The more chemo you have, the more your immune system is weakened. When it gets too low, you are put on injections to boost your immune system, to get you back on track.
I then go to the appointments desk where I book the next session of bloods and chemo before leaving. It is very efficient.
It is in this queue that I meet my other dear friend. This particular day the queue is long. There are a lot of patients patiently waiting to book their next appointment. She is behind me, young and beautiful. We get chatting. She has a young family. My heart breaks.
Friday all being well, we head back to St. Luke’s where I sit in a chair for 3 hours receiving my chemo, and then just before leaving, I’m given a portable dose that I carry around until Sunday, when it finishes and can be disconnected. I’m also given a stash of pills to be taken at regular times, anti-sickness and steroids. I take them without question.
This particular Friday the young lady in the queue is in the same bay as me having her treatment. We spot each other as I’m wheeling myself to the loo. Do you remember earlier when I said that the chair nearest the toilet is the best seat in the house? That’s because one needs to go quite frequently whilst attached to the drip. I wheel myself over and we have another chat. She’s on a different regime, but her appointments are on the same days as mine. I’ve made another friend.
Side effects are very strange during this time. Tingling of the fingers and toes. Legs go wobbly making it difficult to walk and almost impossible to go up the stairs. I perfect the technique of a hand’s and knee’s crawl going up and a sit on bum going down. Electric shocks go through my fingers if I touch anything cold, so no door handles, cutlery, taps. You try washing your hands without touching the taps! But it’s only for those days that I’m on chemo.
Tuesday is when I get extremely tired. This is the day my immune system is at its lowest. This is the day I don’t want to see anyone, mainly because I don’t want to catch anything. A simple cold can have me in hospital. I get up early so I can do some work at the computer, but by 3pm, I am exhausted, so I go for a 3 hour nap to recharge the batteries. Wednesday and Thursday are the same. Friday I am not so tired, but I still need to take it easy.
By the following Wednesday I am finally back up to speed, just in time to go to the Hospital for my next round of bloods, Oncology appointment and hopefully chemo on Friday. And, so it goes on, but at least I can catch up with my two new friends.