Gordon W
Posted by

First R-DHAP

Gordon W
Posted by
12 Aug 2015

Here comes the Chemo again

So here we are in late May and a dare has been set for my salvage chemotherapy to start. Salvage! What a word! It conjures up pictures of desperation but I did not immediately latch on to that potential right then, I just took it in my stride say “OK, lets get on with it then, everything will be OK this time round”     As far as I was concerned I still came under the heading “treatable” (as discussed earlier!) and that this just an annoying difficult setback but entirely able to be dealt with.   I was to be slid into the system on Sunday 31 May to begin the R-DHAP on MOnday 1 June, exactly  months to the day I had started my chemo treatment.
I was overtaken by events.  On Friday 29 I had a rapid decline in my breathing. It started in the early evening and quickly got worse ending up with me calling triple one for advice. Out came the ambulance and by the time they arrived I was becoming quite panicky with being unable to breath deeply enough. The inevitable happened and I was carted off to hospital. The usual tests were done and because of my temperature it was assumed I had an accompanying infection so I was put onto intravenous antibiotics through a cannula and not my newly fitted Groshong line.
Have you ever had a Groshong fitted?  I collected a box containing the kit which consisted of a fine line with 2 lumens at the inlet/outlet line from my Macmillan centre and reported to radiology where I was met by a nice team of nurses and taken to be made ready for the procedure. I made the same suggestion I had made to the needle biopsy team because the same conditions applied. They thought it was a good idea.
I was anesthetized but not offered any sedation. At the beginning all was well. I had no feeling of the incisions made and the initial insertion of the line went well. Then came the hard bit. The doctor began to use both his thumbs to force the line from the nape of my neck down towards the exit point for the collar and lumens. It took several minutes and was quite violent, I have never been so roughly handled in my life and was left somewhat traumatised by the whole process. I was walked back to Macmillen where I had to sit down for 2 hours in order to recover some of my sensibility. A couple of days later I returned for my first flush of the new line and one of the nurses noticed that the collar did not appear to be correctly located and was outside the wound and stitched into place there. A decision was made to monitor the line and see if the situation might resolve itself.

Back to my admission.  Although I was able to explain what all the arrangements for the rest of the weekend would be which was all put in train by everyone so well done, I still had to be on the open disposal ward. This has more than its fair share of nutters and shouters in it at anytime and can be quite disturbing. On a previous stay a patient refusing to take his meds became bonkers and was accusing a doctor of all sorts of crap and was chasing him to beat him up. I got out of bed and confronted him whilst the porters then restrained him. Very dramatic.
On the Saturday evening I was transferred to my Macmillen ward and settled in ready for the chemo. I had my R on the Monday and because it had been some time before I need to have it spaced out to prevent adverse reaction. The P was the same as usual and I had it then as well  lots of it! Next came the sinister one. So sinister it comes in its own black overcoat! Like Dracula this stuff is sensitive to light. All the while I was hooked up to water which seemed to fill me up and make me feel uncomfortably bloated wanting  to pee all the time. That first week in June was very sunny and I kept getting told off for getting sunburnt! I was able to make my escape but was on a very short piece of string with constant follow ups over the next few days...but that is to come.



The Groshong procedure sounds horrific Gordon as does all the complications that you encountered. I really hope that you're well now? Are you currently in remission?


No. I am in a clinical trail as my last remaining chance of survival. I actully have a reasonable confidence about this - it is entirely new and very cutting edge but it is the last chance!

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