Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Day Two

I'm in treatment phase at last. Day Two and feeling normal. I'll explain how it goes just to set the scene.

The worst thing so far? I have to wear a bumbag for 5 whole days. This is what it looks like. The tube from the bag goes into the line in my arm. I had the line put in on Monday and it will stay in place for the next 2 months. Means I don't have to have needles for blood tests or meds, the PICC runs into a major blood vessel near the heart. Mostly once I am dressed properly the line is invisible, but for showering I need to wrap the dressing to keep it dry.

I never did pass glad wrap 101. So trying to wrap my arm with one hand is a bit of a joke. And I'll know for next time that a hair wash before chemo will be much easier than trying to shampoo while attached to a bottle. So what's in the bag?

This is one of the drugs that I have in three doses. The other one was a smaller bag of something purple that was infused over an hour. That happens in the chemo day unit, where they have beds and recliner chairs and cups of tea and magazines. I talked with women who has been going there once a week over the past 12 months and was cheerful about everything. Chirpy is the word to describe her as she is as light and active as a bird.  
Chemo day stay
In my medicines box I have a variety of anti-nausea drugs and I don't intend to hold back on them. 

Radiation is 5 days a week for 7 weeks. I get 8 zaps, and the whole thing takes about 10 minutes, most of which is making sure the mask is lined up (that means I am correctly placed on the table inside the mask) according to the complex requirements that hopefully ensure the same places receive the pulses each time. It is painless. 

The hospital is a 20 minute walk from the Cancer Lodge. Today I walked along the lake to the Boat House, stopped for a coffee, wandered up through the rose garden and along to the big white house on the hill. coming back I went the other way around the lake. 

From the Lodge there are views across the lake but my room faces the other way - east, across the town to the hills. Room 18 is mine from Monday to Friday. Everyone goes home for the weekend. I drove this week but once the side effects start to take hold there is a door-to-door shuttle service to Rotorua that I can use. All this - the Lodge, 3 meals a day, transport - is funded through the Cancer Society. Know that your donations are doing good and are appreciated. 


  1. I get the sense it is all a bit surreal. Is it heartening to be with others who may be going through something similar?

  2. Hang in there, JC. I'm glad you are getting looked after.