Week 1, Seven to do…

Chemo 2

Week 1 begins, seven weeks to do

Week 1 of treatment starts - seven weeks in total to do.

Let me just get this out of the way first. Then I can get on with the rest of the stuff.

Starting Radiation and Chemotherapy treatment for cancer is frightening! It is scary, stressy, it is exhausting and it is totally unknown. I don’t care who you are, what you are how big your balls are or how cool, relaxed and unfazed you are.

It is scary!

OK, done that said that, meant that!!!! Don’t believe me? Try it!!! (no don’t!)

The Hope Regional Cancer Center is where I am lucky enough to be having my treatment. Their doctors are world recognized, their facility is new and comfortable and their nursing staff are amazing, friendly, funny and they are buying my Suck My Glock Tshirts!!

The Hope Center is 9 miles away and I am driving it. The current lockdown (Corona Virus) makes the roads nice and quiet so I can do about 15 minutes door to door.

I don’t think I could feel better looked after anywhere.

Tuesday was Day 1. A long day….first Radiation treatment which seemed to go on a long time. They adjusted me part way through so it was, in fact twice as lengthy as it should have been.

Then onto Chemo. Drips put into my Lifeport to feed in anti nausea + streoid (Decadron), Benadryl to ward off allergic reaction (and make me drowsy) and finally the big one Cisplatin.

This first Cisplatin dose ran for 3 hours.

I’m in a room, laid back on a lazy-boy and comfortable. There about 5 other treatment chairs in the room and it is overlooked by the nurses’ station. Constant banter, chat and laughter….food, snacks anyway on demand and actually a place to escape for some moments of peace and reflection.

Today, Day 2 was much easier. Chemo first, this time only 1 hour for Cisplain and half an hour for the others. Radiation was over and done with in 5 minutes and Wednesday is ‘Doctor’ day when I get a brief review with Dr Murshed, the center’s medical director.

I need to gain weight apparently! He reckons I will lose up to 10lbs during the treatment so I need to bulk up using up to 6 bottles of Boost or Ensure per day.

I was worried about pain and I was worried about nausea. So far, they have upped my pain meds a notch and that makes them effective for longer and I have a prescription for nausea meds but so far have not felt the need to take them.

Pain and nausea affect different people in different ways. I dread nausea but it is rather like sea sickness….having spent a lot of my life at sea I have often been asked if I ever got seasick. The answer is…not yet! I hope that will be my answer as we go though this treatment.

Tomorrow is Thursday - no chemo but it is Labs day. Blood labs to be taken plus a radiation treatment. Friday and Monday radiation only, then Chemo return on Tuesday, Wednesday - you get the drift…..

Nothing much else to say about how it is going. It is tiring but it is life-saving.

I am happy to be where I am being treated and that is the most important thing to me. I have trust and faith in the doctors and nurses who are treating me and I am blessed to have such a wonderful facility so close by.

I know they are going to do their best for me and I must do my best in return to work with them and keep a healthy, happy attitude - for as we all know, attitude is everything.

I don’t think about the treatment being unsuccessful. I am content to go with the flow and see where this journey leads.

Being in the Cancer Center, I don’t see unhappiness or misery. Today one of the ‘inmates’ finished his last chemo session and a bell was rung, he was handed a certificate and had pictures taken with the nurses! It all makes for a lovely experience!

I know it is very early days but 2 down, 33 to go, not that I’m counting….