How rubbish am I – 2 days before treatment 2 and I havent even updated on Treatment 1 – Well it didnt kill me (although there were moments that I wondered!!) so I supposed its time, let me take you back to 3 weeks ago ….
So there is no more avoiding it, the day had arrived. Chemo treatment one was upon us.
I had got myself into a bit of a state before I left, the two youngest were being particularly clingy meaning it wasn’t easy to get ready, and I felt rushed and stressed and ended up snapping at carl and bursting into tears. I was distinctly overdressed – who me? – but I didn’t care I was making an effort and not letting this beat me
I walked in to the unit clutching my little purple card and put it in the box. No running away now – that meant I was here and ready. HA!.. I was here at least.
I sat down and within minutes my name was called and I was taken round to the treatment room. It was just a ward with reclining chairs instead of beds really. Deep breath and in we go.
I sat down and the chemo nurse asked if I was using the cold cap or not – I had decided not to, checked I had signed all the required forms and then put my hands in a bowl of warm water. One could almost be fooled into thinking a nice manicure was too follow.. almost… had it not been for the big bags marked DANGER and with the poison sign on the trolley next to my chair!
They start the treatment with a anti sickness tablet, then they put a cannula in. I wrongly assumed that you would be given a IV bag and left to it whilst it did its business. But the chemotherapy part is administered by hand due to this risk of tissue damage if it was to spill out of veins
Then comes a dose of steroids and flush that through. The actual chemotherapy regime is two different drugs, in my case epirubicin and cyclophosphamide.
The Epirubicin is a bright red liquid (which turns your wee the same colour!) they put that in whilst a saline drip is attached to flush it through your system. Its odd, it feels very warm makes your mouth feel pretty gross and metallically. But they have thought of everything and the lovely nurse has a box full of lollipops ready .
The cyclophosphamide is administered in the same way but has a very strange instant side effect. It feels like you are sat on a hedgehog… and not in a nice way. It only lasts for about 5 minutes but yeah wasn’t expecting that.
The actual Chemo only took about an hour and I was very lucky that a lady from the Local Breast Friends support group had just finished in there where I arrived, so she sat with me and kept me company. She will probably never realise how much that helped. For all the boldness I was about ready to get up and run – and trust me if Im debating running theres a good reason.. like cake or zombies! – But having Jo there talking to me, making me laugh, reminding me that its just a few months and its what’s killing the cancer really helped. In fact we were both surprised when the nurse said that’s it!
They pack you off with a bag full of tablets – steroids, anti sickness etc and instructions to ring if you have any issues. I popped and met Emma for a quick coffee as she was working. I didn’t feel poorly straight away, in fact I felt a bit wired.. my heart was racing and I was flushed.
And that was that – the journey has started ..