I set off for the train clutching my huge pack of notes and my new green tea flask sent over from Gwanny’s fwend Lissi’s daughter Triffi in HongKong. Grampa picked me up from the station, took me to the day unit, got me more tea, passed me my water bottles, checked the maths. Our chemo nurse today was Jessica. She was lovely and very together. She tutted over the vein we used last time, as it experienced a bit of leakage into the tisssue, was itchy and red about a week after the chemo and is now discoloured. She chose a new one nearer the thumb.
The lady next to me was called Heather. She has a pic line fitted in her upper arm, as she has to have chemo every week and would soon run out of veins. Her breast cancer has come back after eleven years and has metastasized to bones, liver and lungs. She’s good at saying that word, metastasized. The trick is to put the stress on the first ‘tas’, the second syllable. The symptom which led to the discovery of her cancer in the bones was backache. She was full of cheer and stoicism though. She used to be a midwife. We talked about home births, water births. Her daughter is eighteen and is called Chloe like my Chloe. Her son Harry was picking her up. He is twenty one. We said we would meet again in three weeks. Same time, same place.
The lady on the other side had breast cancer too. She has just finished three sessions of FEC and had her first Docetaxel today. I was able to suggest a few things that I have learnt so far as she has heard of the dreaded aches. I told her to have some codeine in ahead of time, maybe to see a homeopath to find her constitutional remedy and to take B vitamins (recommended by other patients on the Macmillan blogging site). In turn she told me that the FEC caused her to feel very sick for the first five days, but for the second cycle the doctors prescribed some very good anti-sickness pills which worked. I’m going to aim to have them ready for my first cycle and be done with it. Who wants to be chundering everywhah making little vomcanos all over the place for five days? Not me.
The trial nurse, Cat, came by to fill in more answers on the forms and pick up a urine sample from me as they have to check I’m not pregnant and other things. That would be really sad. Toxic radioactive baby. Poor thing. And at my age, we would have to pretend it was Chloe’s. I was impressed as Cat told me she looked up Carcinosen last night online as she was interested in what I had said about it. I told her she might end up a homeopath lol. I asked her how many people are on the trial. Get this: I am only the third person at Addenbrooke’s to go on it. This is a surprise to me. I had imagined I was number six hundred and seventy eight or something.
Facebook comments on the radioactive bone scan stuff have prompted ideas for a wicked story, some of the details courtesy of fb friend Catherine Barry. Was hoping the steroids would write it for me during the night, but that didn’t happen. Will try now before they wear off.