Paul Lockyer
Posted by

Starting what was estimated between 12 to 16 weeks of chemotherapy.

Paul Lockyer
Posted by
03 Dec 2015

It was like l going for my first day at school, the prospect of up to sixteen weeks of chemo felt quite daunting but off we went !

I tolerated my first of session of chemotherapy reasonably well, although l had some nausea the following morning. The one thing l remember initially was as soon as treatment started feeling so tired, l would spend hours (like many others) fast asleep. It was strange that this affected my wife too. Back for the second go Tuesday afternoon, that evening I took myself off to bed around 21:00 and begun to feel shivery, my temperature was 38.0c within half a hour it was above 38.5 & we were on our way for the first fever visit to the hospital.

On arrival I explained I was having chemo etc. and was taken straight into the A&E, the nurse confirmed my temp & took blood tests before hooking me up to the dave/antibiotic drip & admitting me to the ward. Back on Orsett Ward.... oh no not me again, the same routine the flow balance chart & all, the best thing presenting the prettiest nurse with a bottle of the finest urine l could provide.

Its soon clear how busy it is on the ward & chatting with one of the nurses about the NHS auditors l suggested that they spend a few days actually on the ward to see how stretched the nursing staff are, we proper laid into them. She was mortified when l confessed that actually l was the auditor. The fever/high temp. delayed my chemo treatment as I was admitted to hospital until the weekend. After several bags of saline solution & antibiotics l was passed fit to go home.

Monday 12th its back to the Haematology Day Unit to restart the chemotherapy. The weeks passed fairly quickly at this point, I was having Campath three times a week (l asked for a payroll number as I seemed to spend as much time there as the nurses). I remember feeling kind of wooly while having my treatment, if you search "rhubarb & custard" cartoon on youtube you'll understand. 

When first diagnosed my white cell count was around 210 this count actually got higher topping 240 +/- before steadily going down, we celebrated every week it declined. I started to count down the weeks but realised that this decrease was not quick enough for the weeks remaining, was there still a problem ? 

Below is a picture of how chemo affected my wife, she didn't get a break either rushing home from work each day to take me. Also a "dave" you ain't lived til you had this as your bathroom buddy ! (I had to turn it on its side sorry)

Comments

10.12.2015

Paul,

Thank you for another fantastic blog.

I love the way that you kept your spirits up during treatment even with the set backs. You have a lovely way of describing things and touch upon some really important issues without ever getting too heavy - quite a skill.

I remember the drip line 'Dave's' only too well from my time in hospital. They used to drive me mad when I went to the toilet with all their beeping when you took them out to go to the loo - my amazing nurses never once showed me how to put it on mute!

The tiredness you and your wife both felt is completely understandable given the chemo and the strain all the stress and worry your wife would have been feeling will have had on her. Did you have any other side-effects at all from the chemo? I remember my taste buds going on strike and everything tasting horribly metallic.

Hope you're well and thanks again for the blog. Really informative and so useful to others going through treatment.

20.12.2015

Hi Andy, l don't recall much in the way of side-effects from chemotherapy. I had the fever dash after the first couple of treatments & a few mornings of nausea. I kept a healthy appetite but due to the fluid l struggled to digest my food easily so had to eat little amounts at a time.