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
I’m glad you’re both feeling a little better about the process and I’m very grateful that Michael seems to be tolerating well so far! Hugs tou, both!
Thanks Jane….Hope you too arte well…..so far so good. Both had a good nights sleep and and feeling much less anxious. Love Denise
So glad to read this post and know that the first treatment went fairly well – and that Michael feels good the next day – will hope that continues!! Also good to hear that he didn’t have to stay in the hospital overnight for the first treatment! I know you said when the next treatment would be but I’ve forgotten – is it once a week?? Anyway, it’s just good to read your positive report – hang in there and I’m sending prayers and hugs your way!
Hi Sandy, thanks for stopping by. You know your prayers mean a lot to us.
The first part of the R-CHOP is a drug called Rituximab and that is the one he may need an overnight stay as they need to monitor effects more closely, but it depends when they can get a bed so the regime had to be tweaked a little. This may be next week or the week after. Then if he is fit enough, treatments should be every three weeks from last Thursday. Love Denise
So good to hear you made a smooth transition to the world of Bald People! I watched the Murray match here in sunny southern California and was so excited to see him win. Looking forward to his final and to reading more from you, as always.
Ho Laurel, yes both the quarter final and the semi final were nail biters. Of course I am very partisan and only get excited about tennis when there is a British player involved and actually Wimbledon is the only sport I get interested about.
What has happened to all the American tennis players? Wimbledon used to be dominated by them. I know Serena Williams was knocked out but there must be more.
Will keep you posted
Denise, like the others I am so pleased Michael has reacted well to his chemo so far. I know he is proud of his hair and doesn’t want to lose it, but at least as a man he won’t look strange and need a wig. My friend who had chemo had a couple of really nice wigs made and then couldn’t wear them in warm weather as they were so uncomfortable! Of course Michael will need to make sure he doesn’t get sunburnt but from the photos I’ve seen he looks very good in a hat! Hope he continues to do well, thinking of you both, love Janet x
Thanks for your good wishes Janet. Love Denise
I’m so glad the first treatment went smoothly. I think of the baldness as a badge of honor. I love Sylvia’s approach to dealing with fear. Somehow visualizing it makes it less scary.
I’ll be cheering for Andy tomorrow. I’m hoping for a great competitive match with Andy as the victor. If he wins I’ll think we’ll hear the cheers from England all the way here in the US.
Yes – other than Serena there aren’t many American players high in the rankings. But I love watching great players, no matter what country they’re from.
I hope Michael continues to do well.
Well of course Andy Murray’s subsequent success was a great distraction from our worries. Yay!!! Great final.
Glad to hear things went as well as they can in these circumstances. I hope you’ve managed to enjoy the weekend. Apparently you are now enjoying a “heatwave”. 🙂
Yes enjoying the summer. Looking forward to the mens tennis finals today. Love Denise
Well Michael actally has a lot of hats and he looks stylish in a trilby or a panama. Keepinghim out of the sun is a bit more difficult! Love Denise
There is no support better than the one you can get from just being with fellow patients, who suffer from the same illness as yourself and have been through the routines before you. “Puncturing” the drama balloon, so to speak, is a powerful drug in itself, gives you back optimism and strength to take yet another step forward. Good to hear that Michael seem to tolerate the treatment so far. Hugs,
Too true Gitte. Being with those people really helped. Thanks for stopping by. Love Denise
Five days later and Michael is still tolerating treatment. A bit of decline in energy levels yesterday bur we are having a heatwave and did not sleep well the night before, so I don’t know if that is the cause.
On fatigue. I have been exhusted during all this. Two days post chemo when the tension went from me my energy levels suddenly increased.
Nice to see you here Gitte.
So happy to hear this news – hopefully, he will tolerate all the treatments as well!! Please tell Michael I said Hello and am wishing him well! And of course, you know you are in my thoughts too – love and hugs to both of you!
Even though I don’t know what it’s like to enter the world of bald people with a spouse, I remember when my mother decided to take matters into her own hands and cut off her hair. She felt empowered but it was a shock to me because I had only known her with long hair worn in a bun.
Michael and you continue to be in my thoughts. With love, Mary Kay
Mary Kay, all these thought s are much appreciated. Love Denise