Friday, 25 April 2008

Whinge whine

Not very well the last couple of days. Evening before last I felt pretty rotten, my head started really aching and pounding, which wasn't fun. As the evening wore on, my temperature rose to 38, which meant that I was meant to ring in to the hospital and see if I should go in for some demestos strength IV anti-biotics. I was naughty and didn't. I felt rough, but wasn't ready for that.
I went to bed and didn't sleep too well. The withdrawl from steroids (at least I reckon that's what it was), kept me needing to get up to go to the toilet and then to keep drinking more water (good combo).
I woke up next morning and felt a lot better. My temperature was normal but I felt totally knackered (due to not sleeping much, I guess), so didn't do much in the day, appart from try to get some more sleep (thwarted by someone outside who was doing something with a chainsaw from 10.00 till 2. If I found out who, I might be inclined to return the favour!)

Anyway, whinge over. I feel improved again now. Yay!

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Sleepy time please

wow! The power of modern technology. I'm currently in bed and writing this post on my SPV smartphone. Cool! although it takes ages to type on the ickle keyboard.
Been feeling ok last few days but today am knackered as I didn't sleep too good. Seems to be on day after the end of the steroid pulse my body decides that sleep is for losers and that night time is a time to be filled with rapid fire pointless thoughts. Last night instead of sleeping my brain decided to design a mexican restaurant, including an all you can eat buffet fajita style lunch, staff profit share system based around a customer loyalty scheme and marketing campaign. So you can understand why I'm tired. I just couldn't stop thinking pointless stuff.

Monday, 21 April 2008

Chemo #4

Well, number 4 is out the way. That's the half way point. I've been told that I'll be getting a scan before the next cycle, which is cool. Be good to see how things are going.
It's Monday and the weekend went pretty well. I don't feel too bad. So much better than the last cycle. Last time I had this annoying headache thing going on, but this time it's all been good. I've felt tired but not too bad. In the evening, I sometimes felt a bit sicky but they extended the length of my primary anti-sickness tablets, which seem to have done the trick.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Leather Vein

Yesterday I went in for my pre-chemo blood test (next chemo is tomorrow, whoo! :S )
I joined the queue of happy (not really) prospective blood lettees, and after a few minutes wait, was invited into the blood letting room, where I sat in the chair that looks like it used to be used for prisoner lethal injection executions.
It was the same blood-letter (I think they prefer the title phlebologist) that I had at the end of my last cycle. He was very polite and quite smiley (makes a change. The smiley bit that is). He found a vein on my left arm and stuck in his needle. Surprisingly it didn't particularly hurt (good work!), but then no blood came out. He smiled apologetically and said sorry several times as he repeatedly partially withdrew the needle and then prodded it back in again. Again, strangely, despite his constant string of apologys, it wasn't painful. He said that this must be a popular vein and that there was scar tissue and the chemo probably hasn't helped matters. Finally, he made the killing thrust and with a triumphant grin was able to extract enough blood from the leather vein to fill his little tubes. Note to self, steer future blood letters, sorry phlebologists, away from the leather vein!

Tuesday, 15 April 2008


It's been a little while since I last posted and it's back to blood test time again.

This week, I've been into work, which is quite weird after being stuck at home. Good to see everyone and good to feel like a normal person again!

I've been thinking about how quickly time seems to fly by. I mean, it only seems like 5 minutes ago that I made my last post, but it is over a week. On friday is chemo number 4. I'll be half way through. Hard to believe. So, in light of how quickly time passes, it got me thinking about all the things I want or wanted to do and have never got around to. One of those is learning to play a musical instrument. Something I've intended to do since I was in my teens and "never found the time to do". So, I've started taking piano lessons. I've had 2 so far and am enjoying it. I wondered, if the teacher is only used to teaching kids, then when I get a note right, I might get a gold star and a lollipop. Sadly, not the case.

Monday, 7 April 2008

Blood test

I went into the local hospital to have a needle stuck in my arm and some of my precious life blood sucked out and stuck into a little bottle. Sounds quite nice when I put it like that. Basically, I have to have 2 blood tests each chemo cycle. One is a week after and the next is two days before. The idea is that they can check my white blood levels (and other blood stuff going on). So far, chemo has nuked my white cells and last chemo session they had to do another blood test on the day to see if I was okay to be squirted full of poison again.
Its kind of weird. You wander into the hospital, grab a numbered ticket and wait till you're called, then you go into a little room and sit in what looks like a chair designed for executions. A band is wrapped around your arm and when you're not expecting it, a needle is jammed in and some blood taken. Sometimes they try to distract you by asking a question, sometimes they give a warning, "get ready for a sharp scratch" and other times they just carry on with a bored expression. Can't blame em being bored. The lady who took my blood today (very painlessly, in fact) had just done 46 other people that day. I guess she should be pretty good with all the practice.

This last week, my first week into the cycle, kind of sucked. Basically every day, other than today, I've felt like I was going to be sick, except known that I'm not. A bit unfair really. At least if I could have just hurled, it might have sorted it out! Anyway, today the sickness monster returned to its cave until next time. I'll miss you.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Chemo #3

Chemo #3 went down okay. It took a lot less time than before. The Rituximab took 2 hours to go in and the actual chemo was about an hour and a half. Unfortunately, it was really busy at the day unit, so I didn't get to see my usual consultant and had to see a stand in doctor. I went through to see him but he had his face glued to my notes and other than the few words he spoke when he made brief eye contact he spent the rest of the time mainly scribling away in silence. Kind of rubbish. He asked a few bland questions, misanswered a few of mine (i.e. gave me answers that I had to query until he answered them properly or I gave up), also he seemed to have had a major, successful, personality bypass operation. He made me think of a very dull version of John Major!

(a pic of John oozing his usual charismatic presence)
I had to nick name this consultant character, Doctor Charisma. This name got back to my normal consultant who was suitably amused. We then had a quick chat about some discoveries regarding statins and Rituximab (don't ask, I'm just interested in all the technicalities and new discoveries) and then I was good to go home.
During my time there, I spoke to a couple of other fellow Lymphoma friday participants and eaves dropped on another. The main thing was that I was a lot better off that some of the others there. One guy, a 37 year old bloke, had Lymphoma in his bone marrow and pretty much everywhere, another was recently diagnosed, with a delay of several weeks due to a bit of a botch up by an ENT consultant and had Lymphoma in his abdomen, neck and all over. Not nice.
I confirmation from Doc Charisma, that the nodes in my neck are now gone (oh yes! Be seeing you, losers!) and that the discharge notes from my time at Hotel Torbay (the Torbay hospital I ended up in over easter), confirmed that my chest mass had shrunk from 10cm to 5cm, which has me a very happy chappie.
Dr. C did not mention my scan at the end of cycle 3 and I forgot to ask (my head was a bit buzzy with pre-meds though), so I've emailled my normal consultant "The Moule-meister" (he is called Dr. Moule and is very good) and hopefully he can cofirm the details.