Three down, three to go

Last week I had my third chemotherapy session (of six) followed by appointments with my GP and Oncology Consultant. The chemo session was very efficient and quick – we hardly needed the chit for the car to allow us to stay over two hours. The next session might be a little longer because of additional information needed for the Stampede trial. Continue reading “Three down, three to go”

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The best laid plans . . . .

At this point in my last chemo cycle I was in Ward 5 at SMH having been admitted the night before with a temperature and rigor (the shakes – and definitely not of the milk kind). So this time I have made even greater efforts to keep clear of potential sources of infection but as I approach my immunosuppressed period Liz and I both go down with colds. Snuffles and sneezes all round. I have a word with CCHU who say keep a close eye on my temperature and that I can take Day Nurse (other remedies are available) or whatever if required. Continue reading “The best laid plans . . . .”

“You don’t feel your usual peachy self”

That is how my sister-in-law described being on chemotherapy – not ill but not your usual peachy self. She had a different regime to me with weekly doses then a gap and then the same cycle again (more a Matterhorn than my Ben Nevis to use my earlier analogy). At one time there was just a pretty standard dose for all cancers but now it is fine-tuned to the cancer, where it’s at and to the patient. The dose is calculated on the individual’s surface area (estimated from height and weight)! Continue reading ““You don’t feel your usual peachy self””

So you want to know what my chemo session is like?

Three weeks on from my first chemo session and it’s time for Round 2. Visiting a hospital is a bit like being on the tube in London – you are surrounded by people who don’t talk but you can study them and try to guess what they are doing. Going in to Wycombe Hospital the first impression is “Oh dear, these people look ill”. Going in to the CCHU at SMH (sorry Cancer Care and Haematology Unit at Stoke Mandeville Hospital – home of the Paralympics) the impression is a little different – you know that everyone is a cancer patient or their partner or friend, but you have no idea  what form of cancer or what their prognosis is. Initially I assumed that every male had prostate cancer but soon got over that misconception. Continue reading “So you want to know what my chemo session is like?”

Beetroot is not my colour

I had thought I was doing so well until my temperature hurdled the threshold for contacting the hospital. I have a little red book which gives a list of things to look out for with strict instructions to contact the Cancer Care and Haematology Unit (or the Cancer Ward at the Churchill  if outside “office hours”) should my temperature go over 37.5 degrees (or below 36 degrees). Mine was 38.8 degrees and my face was impersonating a beetroot. Continue reading “Beetroot is not my colour”

Am I being too cautious?

On Monday afternoon I should have been giving a talk to Abingdon U3A. I had revised my Furthest South talk to cover not only the Heroic Age of Antarctic exploration but also more recent expeditions and tourism using images from our 2006 trip. I was ready to go but hadn’t run through this latest version to ensure that it didn’t go on too long. So a little more preparation and refinement was needed, but nothing too serious. However I had contacted them as soon as I knew I was going in for chemo to postpone the talk. Continue reading “Am I being too cautious?”