Pre-chemo chat

nurse discomfort

Today has loomed large on my calendar for some time.  For some time, that is, in the weird and wacky elasticky time conundrum that has clouded my head since cancer came to call.  In the normal world, I think I have only had this appointment for an unbelievable two and half weeks.  In my cancer infested world that two and half weeks is more like several months.  Time has become decidedly odd.  It is not my friend.  Anyway.  The appointment in question was my first date on the chemo unit.  I got to turn up, be shown around and have a ‘little chat’ with one of the nurses.  Note to self: do not use phrases like ‘little chat’ in connection with major life incidents.  Ever.

The unit is unexciting.  It consists of several individual bays mainly with large chairs although one or two had beds.  There is a kitchen for our use and I was encouraged to bring in drinks or snacks/food in with me.  Before I can have any chemo, I have to have blood taken each time.  This needs to happen 24 – 48 hours beforehand so a double trip to the hospital is in order.  On the upside, they offer two for one car parking, or buy one get one free.  Not as in parking a second car for free.  Rather, the second trip is the freebie.  So the Captain and I will not be travelling in convoy.

Once the bloods are done, the drugs are made up and the cocktail will be administered via a peripheral line.  Hopefully.  Historically I have not had the best of veins.  They assure me they will be fine.  Some units use various sorts of permanent access lines (PICC / Hickman) but here, they stick to the more usual cannula unless there are problems.  The list of side effects was gone through in some detail, and a folder full of information was handed over which I will duly digest at some point.  It is very sobering hearing all the gruesome possibilities.  One could even say that it does not look like it is going to be a barrel load of fun.  I found myself zoning out at various points.  I think sitting in the unit, hearing all the horrific possibilities, made me want to absent myself anyway I could.  I do not think I missed much.  All of it has been given to me in written form anyway.  Just in case.  One might think they had come across this issue before.


4 thoughts on “Pre-chemo chat

  1. I work at the Royal Marsden – “chemo brain” is talked about informally as if it was a condition in its own right! Be kind to yourself 🙂


    1. Looks like I’m getting ahead of myself Sue 😉 This is just my normal brain, imagine how dozy I’m going to be once my brain is swimming in chemo!


  2. I remember my arms being immersed in a bowl of water for 5 mins prior to be venflon insertion helped veins pop out!
    Can’t say they were great memories though my friend so essential to have treats for during and afterwards. Andy driving home essential too. Love ya my fellow chemo survivor xx


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