In the event, it wasn’t that bad.
We arrived at the oncology unit of the local hospital at 2pm, both of us feeling not a little anxious and saying very little to each other. I had tried to be cheerful but I could feel Michaels anxiety and I felt helpless to reassure him as we were going into the unknown.
A friendly receptionist showed us to some “comfy chairs” at the far end of the unit which was full of bald people on drips and their relatives.
The bald man, (who still had a few wisps of hair) opposite was quietly reading, whilst a pump gave him the chemo, he nodded slightly to us and continued reading. He could tell we were first timers but did not attempt to start a conversation.
Thanks to Sylvia, I could close my eyes and visualise my fear as a black box, mentally toss it around, wrap it in paper.. and throw it out.
As we waited for the nurse we both silently watched the goings on, People were in open cubicles with their relatives, obviously much further on in treatment as most had lost their hair or had some growing back. . In contrast to our tense state they were all relaxed and cheery. Some joking and laughing as if this was an everyday thing, which of course to them it probably has become.. Music was playing, there were Biscuits!
This really helped. Slowly the cheery atmosphere of the place normalised the whole procedure. suddenly there were lots of other people in the same boat. Suddenly we were not alone.
….and of course Michael, who everybody seems to know, then recognised at least two other people there who smiled and said hello.
We held hands and Michael said, “thanks for being supportive”…which I really didn’t think I had for the past day or so, but I am glad he felt I had been… and that’s when I thought to myself ” welcome to a world of bald people”
We waited around half an hour before the cheery nurse was ready and she swiftly inserted the cannula and started to slowly syringe in the drugs one at a time, explaining each one as she went.
For those who need information about the chemo which is called R-CHOP here is a link.
And then within two hours it was all done. The poison that will hopefully blast away any cancer cells in his blood or spleen was in and with a sense of relief we were sent away with a goodie bag of drugs to counteract the side effects. Anti sickness, anti gout, anti viral, anti fungicidal, antibiotics, anti reflux, injections to boost the white cells and steroids.
So far, 24 hours later he seems fine. He says he feels no different.
We have sat on the edge of our seats and watched the exciting tennis semi final at Wimbledon…..Andy Murray is in the final, YES!!
One down ……five more treatments to go.
and a year ago we were having a wonderful visit to,…. surprise …Paris!!
with incredible concerts