Typical Chemo Week

Out of the blue I was notified on Tuesday afternoon that my treatment was cancelled for Wednesday due to equipment failure. It was only a data logger playing up, supposed to record the temperature of the drug in transit, but consequently there was no way to prove that the temperature was maintained in the correct range. Perhaps it wouldn’t have been critical except for the need to satisfy strict protocol for the research trial. They don’t take any risks. It is a priority to avoid anything that could invalidate the trial data. I get the impression that as time passes, I am more and more valuable to them, including monetarily, as their investment builds up in terms of expensive tests and treatment I have had.

Anyway, on Tuesday afternoon I was told all the local trial patients would skip a week, but on Wednesday afternoon another call came to say problem fixed, come in on Thursday. Therefore I had 2 mornings at the hospital this week because of an appointment with the Audiology department on Wednesday.

My week after chemo has gone pretty well. The pattern is usually something like this:

Day 1, 2, 3 – I’m taking so many strong anti-nausea pills that I feel great. Sometimes I’m ready to party!
Day 4, 5, 6, 7 – noticing some side effects (especially nausea) increasing
Week 2 – feeling generally fine
Week 3 – the punishing effect of the chemo drugs (cytotoxins) shows up in my blood test as depleted white blood cells, which means my immune system drops to its lowest. I don’t feel any different, but I have to remember to dodge snotty people who sneeze and cough.

After feeling more sick in cycle 5, this time I was given an additional anti-nausea medicine to take on days 5 and 6. The doctors warned it may make me feel drowsy, but what I experienced was feeling somewhat dull (a bit witless). So strange! Also swaying a bit, so I bumped into door frames on my way through. I managed ok by not attempting anything challenging, and perhaps it was better than nausea. I don’t know… The sensation has worn off now, thankfully!

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