Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Seconds out - Round 1

The hands on my watch seemed to spin faster as my first chemotherapy session approached. The nurses explained the process and escorted me to a tiny, private room with a bed and a what looked like a hat-stand with 4 or 5 drip bottles hanging over a small computer. Today I was to be given P and E; tomorrow we'll whack a shot of B into the chemo cocktail.

Pint of coffee - be careful what you wish for, small nurse!
Small nurse gave me a Lasix Frusemide tablet to help me pee; she needed urine samples for various tests once the intravenous drips started to take effect. Ellie (Moniek's mum) had bought me a can of draught Guinness the night before, which I gratefully washed down with several Tiger beers. I had also kick-started the morning's chemo preparations with the most enormous cup of coffee I have ever seen. I didn't think I needed the tablet but she insisted, and I obliged by presenting her a total of 2.7 litres during the session. I don't think she will force the tablet issue again.

Big nurse gave me Benadryl, a strong anti-histamine which would make me sleep, and Emend to suppress vomiting. I asked why I was being confined to a bed without a view, rather than shifting my bum cheeks in the comfy chairs like everyone else. The lazy-boy recliners looked like business class airline seats from which one could keep an eye on all kinds of interesting activities.

Small nurse said that I needed to be isolated and monitored because I would feel dizzy, nauseous, extremely tired, and desperate for a piss. I asked her to predict how bad it would get, but she couldn't say. From what I could ascertain, it sounded like 2am after 8 pints and a dodgy kebab. I began to question my lifestyle, and just did what I was told for a change.

It took 3 hours and 15 minutes for all the drips to drip through the flow-control computer, along the pipes, into my chest via my new robo-tap, around my body, and into the rapidly-replaced piss bottles. Given the nature of Chorio and the typical horror stories of chemotherapy, I was expecting to feel a little off-colour. When Moniek showed up with a pint of freshly-squeezed banana & mango juice she said 'wow, you look better'.

I'm now back at the apartment, next to the flowers my family sent to Moniek's family (beautiful, and greatly appreciated - thanks!). There's a smell of warm ciabatta bread coming from the kitchen, and I can hear the ting of a salad being tossed in a stainless steel bowl.

I'm told I'm in for a rough ride on day 3 but, for now, I'm doing great.


  1. Glad to see first session went well mate.

    Kicking it off with a Guinness is nice style but ciabatta and tossed salad......you obviously do have girls genes after all!!

  2. Ay up me duck!

    good onya for a solid first day! The Aussies are right behind you big fella!

    Lots a love
    The Levs

  3. Glad it went well Rick!!
    Hope it goes/gone well today!
    Just been in town and drove past St Helier - No dogs or man with a green cap hanging out the window.