This post comes to your screens relatively late, since I had my first chemotherapy session on 14th September, but how can I have a cancer journey blog without journaling how the very first experience went!?
As I mentioned earlier, the news that I’d finally be having my first chemo session was ever-so-slightly daunting, considering it had always seemed weeks away in my mind, but overall my main feeling was of relief to finally get the healing process under way.
If I cast my mind back a couple days – Tuesday 14th September started like any other – with observations being done at the usual convenient time of 06:30. The only difference being that on this day I’d ordered myself an actual semi-hearty breakfast for once, essentially ordering a full English without any of the meat or eggs. This was a nice change from the usual bowl of crunchy nut cornflakes, or no breakfast at all, that I’d been enjoying thus far.
Since I still had a little bit of covid left in me (2 positive and 2 negative swabs), I was to be taken to a dialysis ward in the hospital, where a make-shift chemo centre had been set-up for others like me. The 2 nurses running the ward had seen patients in this space before and administered the chemo, but this was the first day they’d ran a proper clinic from the area. As expected there were a few bumps in the road, but these were all pretty minor, such as not knowing where certain bits of kit were or having to leave and get little things brought up to them from their usual place of work.
Despite being somewhat disorientated, I have to commend the nurses whose names I didn’t get (one of them was possibly Sarah?) for making the whole experience surprisingly comfortable! I’m pretty sure they both worked later than they should have and definitely missed their own lunch breaks as a result. Some heroes really don’t wear capes, but still manage to provide you with a nice bed, a cheese sandwich and some water.
The actual chemotherapy was rather, dare I say it, underwhelming. In my mind I saw it as just yet another IV drug session, of which I’ve had many by this point. The course of drugs being administered to me are AVD; two of the drugs were pushed through the cannula via a syringe, with the third being hooked up to a bag and pushed through over the course of around an hour to an hour and a half. This particular chemo drug was kept in a light sensitive bag which was new.
Although it wasn’t exactly painful, the third drug definitely caused a stinging sensation in my hand at times as it went through. It was a bearable burning sensation, but the nurse placed my hand in a heated pack throughout which really helped to balance this out.
I wish I’d written down which drug it was, but one of the first two drugs left an interesting tingling sensation around my lower crotch area. I was told this might feel like sitting on a bush of nettles, and I have to say that was the perfect way to describe it!
The entire process lasted around 3 hours, and before I knew it I was being wheeled back to my home ward, along with all of it’s creature comforts that I’d previously taken for granted. It’s been 2 days now since then and I’m almost nervous to say that I haven’t felt a single side effect of the chemo so far. In fact I was feeling so fine after that first dose that I even logged into my laptop, cleared my personal inbox (3,000+ e-mails) and did some much needed life admin.
In the back of my mind I know that this period of no side effects can’t last, but I’ve decided to enjoy the good times while they’re here and deal with any of the negatives as and when they come.
Famous last words I’m sure.
Since the chemo went rather well, and since I’m no longer feeling nauseous or feverish, I’ve now been allowed back home. I was therefore finally discharged from the hospital yesterday evening, 15th September, and I bring this news to you from the nook under the staircase in my home. Maybe I’ll take a photo of the nook in the morning and insert it here.
Feel free to interact with the post whichever way you choose, and as always, I’ll send you off with