Today is Saturday but I started this yesterday. Yesterday was middle Friday. Middle Friday is a special day. It’s my equidistant day. The day that’s furthest away from my chemo day. My chemo day is the Friday when I visit the Headland Unit at RCH Treliske. This is the department that deals with administering my, and everyone else’s chemotherapy. I affectionately call it my plug and play day because my medication gets plugged into my chest that will enable me to play for a few months, or maybe a couple of years longer than would otherwise be the case than it would be if I didn’t have chemo.
My chemo day is followed by me sporting my pump. The pump is a device, not dissimilar to a panda pop bottle, but thicker and under pressure. Inside this panda pop bottle are drugs so toxic that if spilled on your carpet at home the recommended treatment is with a Stanley knife (yes really!) These drugs are administered, under pressure, through a tube that connects to my port-a-cath that then delivers the concoction through yet a further tube that’s threaded into my jugular vein and terminates just before my heart. Clever stuff really.
For 46 hours I have to carry my panda pop bottle in a small pouch around my neck (I sometimes pop it into a convenient pocket). This panda pop bottle, which has become known as my medical medallion, is with me “all day and all of the night”. The attachment of this bottle is a pretty specialist job as is the disconnect. The disconnect takes place on the Lowen Ward (the oncology ward at RCH Treliske).
Up to 7 days before my chemo day I need to have a blood test to help fine-tune the chemo concoction. The most convenient day for my blood test is the Thursday before middle Friday which gives me the longest period without appointments and to have a life.
The Thursday before chemo day I meet with my consultant to further help determine my chemo and peripheral medication (those that help deal with the side effects etc.). Then ...ta da .....its chemo day again.
For some people this regime would be challenging, but for me.......
This my life!
I know I’m not the only one with cancer and a whole host of associated appointments and interventions designed to improve and/or lengthen their lives. And I know we all deal differently with the hand we're dealt. Some are quiet and private, some don’t want to talk about it, some are angry, we’re all different. I find myself talking and writing. I’ve chosen to share my experiences.
Simultaneously I’ve chosen to see friends (as appropriate and possible), walk when possible, continue with home projects, be a dad and grandad, dress well, eat well, drink some, exercise (sometimes) and bugger off in the motorhome while we can. Through all of this I find the anecdotes, l see the positive side, see the funny side and the bright side and seek out humour whenever I can. But amongst all of this there’s a couple of very frightened peeps. I heard this early today “The tears of a clown sometimes flow freely”.