Chemo#10

You know what it’s like, you’re on your way back from a long holiday or a work trip. You’re knackered, feeling a bit grimy and all you want to do is get home. You don’t want to have to negotiate an airport packed full of people also trying to do the same thing and you desperately hope that you’ll get a decent seat on the airplane.

That’s kinda what chemo #10 was like for me.

Now I’m into double figures, which is amazing, I’m more than half way through my treatment. I’m homeward bound. But the journey back is proving a bit tricky.

My chemo cable – delivering the anti-cancer drugs

I was at hospital on Wednesday with my friend Louise. When I was having chemo last year, she arranged for a load of friends to go to see Kylie Minogue in Hyde Park. The concert was very soon after my treatment finished. It was something lovely to look forward to. So having Louise there for chemo coffee made me think that it’ll be all over soon.

After last week when I got my own room, I hoped it would go just as well. Ha! I’m far too optimistic sometimes. This week was incredibly busy. There were more patients and less staff than usual.

At the chemo unit there are a number of wards where you can have your treatment. Aside from the private rooms, each ward holds about six people. Three along each side. Some people are more squashed in than others. Just like the worst seats on a plane that you really hope you don’t get allocated, I was slap bang in the middle of the smallest row. If I reached out my arms , I could easily touch the people on either side of me.

I know it doesn’t seem like a big deal but I was going to be stuck there for hours, in-between patients who were twice my age, in a chair that wouldn’t recline. As you can imagine I wasn’t in the best of moods. Luckily Louise helped to lift my spirits.

Mmmm magnesium

We’d turned up an hour early but there was still a delay before take-off as it was so busy. Once we got started I needed a couple of hours of magnesium. Watching it drip into your veins is frustrating. In a weird way, I always can’t wait to get going with the bad stuff.

Having the chemo itself took one hour however I spent six long hours in total in that horrible chair sat far too close to sick strangers.

I’m so glad that there are only eight more sessions to go. In the time it’ll take, I could probably fly right around the world and throw in a few stop offs. But I’m not going dwell on this. I know that this treatment is giving me extra time so that hopefully in the future I‘ll be well enough to go off on my own foreign travels.

6 thoughts on “Chemo#10

  1. Hang in there, Helen..you are an inspiration to all of us – keep thinking about those foreign travels you will be able to make in the future…

  2. How do you carry on with the chemo when you know it can’t save you. I only found out on Wednesday that I only have about a year, since being diagnosed in November I really thought between 5 and 10 years. They say more chemo is possible later on but I can’t help but wonder why bother, it will still be a year and the chemo is so bloody awful. How do you decide it is worth it?

    • It’s really really hard, I can understand why you’re wondering if it’s worth it. Yes it’s so bloody awful. I think it depends on how much extra time it could give you. For me, I’m having chemo as I hope that it will help me to live longer. But there may come a point in the future when I decide to not have any more treatment. I wish I could be more help. This must be one of the most difficult decisions we ever have to make.

  3. loved your airport analogy. It hit home, as I have spent just under 48 hrs trying to get back to Kiev and due to snow here spent most of the weekend at Amsterdam Airport before arrving home at 3am this morning. So if that’s how Chemo feels, it’s a tough challenge every week. But worth it. As my trip was too when I saw my wife and kids this morning.

  4. I feel for you and that 6 hour stretch in the middle chair. I hope next time you get something more comfortable – and for sure something the reclines! May it be first-class flying as much as possible. Hang in there. ~Catherine

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