Gordon W
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First Day Chemo

Gordon W
Posted by
05 Aug 2015

The weekend of Aug/Sep 14 when I started my treatment

….so where was I? Yes on Sunday 31st August I was transferred to the  haematology ward where almost the first thing I was given was a cup full of prednisolone steroids which I had been warned would make hoover up at 2 in the morning (fat chance of that!) but they do make you quite lively. Maureen came to visit me and she had been brought over to this hospital by my daughter Catherine and her partner Jon. They had the dominoes with them so there was going some serious jousting going off!!!
Well it all started all right but then I got the giggles and started quoting from Harry and Paul's story of the Two’s . I feel strongly that it should be compulsory viewing as it summed up BBC 2 to a tee but of course I was very very drunk by then, but I was there!

The next morning September the first I was straight of the a department to have a Peripheral Infusion Cannula (PIC)  line fitted. A nursing sister was to do the procedure and she numbed a small part of my right arm just above the elbow, made a small incision and inserted the thin line with 2 tiny tubes inside it. When she got the line up to my neck she told to look to my left so the she find the right track for it in the direction of my heart. It was a simple and painless process for me followed by a quick x ray to be sure that it was correctly routed which of course it was. Then back to the ward.

The standard procedure treatment for my lymphoma is a process called R-CHOP - the P we have seen is the steroid and the R stands for Rituximab a type of chemotherapy and this is the first test in the chain as the small amount of drug has to be given progressively in order to monitor the patient for any kind of adverse reaction to it so it takes hours!
If you are interested enough look up the names of the other chemicals yourself but one of them was red and had to be injected in conjunction with a saline drip and it took ages as it is done by hand. It tastes metallic and mustardy at the same time and yes, you guessed it, it was developed from WW1 mustard gas!
The whole job took until almost midnight by which time I was pooped.
I stayed at this hospital a further 2 day so that they could monitor my progress. The big swelling on the left side of my face began to respond to the drugs and went down rapidly making me feel a lot more comfortable and confident.  Just before leaving the unit the head big brain asked me if I would like to transfer to his unit rather than the one I was going to to - being a loyal sort of fellow I said I would stick with my current specialist. I have to admit that the distances to travel had a lot to do with it  but had I made the right choice? WE’ll have to wait and see.



Thanks so much for the update Gordon.

These blogs are really informative and really useful for someone about to start treatment or people like me who don't know a great deal about R-CHOP or treatment for lymphoma.

Intrigued to read more in your next blog...