Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Inject me good

On Saturday morning I was still a bit zombie-esque but livened up by the afternoon. My wife, the kids and I went to Bridgnorth in Shropshire to visit my wife's best friend. We got there, had a bit of a chill out and then went to find something to eat. We ended up in a pub, not far from her house. The food was okay but the bar staff seemed to be having a sponsored sulk. I expect they made a fortune on that. Unfortunately, Harry, my 3 year old, decided that now wat the time to test his boundaries and investigate his parent's ability to maintain discipline, whilst in a public place. Basically he started acting like a little swine. Generally being naughty and screaming. Perfect. Sam, my wife, was trying to calm him down and finally cracked, taking him outside and returning magically in less than a minute with a calm boy. Not sure how she did it, but it probably involved shouting and pointing! Later on I went to bed and the ladies went out on the town (I was a tad envious, as I've not been properly (i.e. drunkenly) been out for ages). They stumbled back in around 1ish, with Sam's friend the worse for wear, complete with some burger (from the compulsary burger/chips purchase on the way home) stuck to her cheek. I didn't mention it, as I thought it would be a nice discovery in the morning.
Next morning, for some bizarre reason, Harry decided to wake up at 6. Normally, he is difficult to coax out of his bed in the morning. Must be due to the new scenary and that there was a new cat to chase around. Sam's friend was up and active (much to my disbelief) and took the kids for a walk whilst we got up in a more leisurely manner (yay!).
We took Harry to see the steam trains at Bridgnorth station as he is currently obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine and friends (I can sadly admit that I can now name the vast majority of the trains, due to over exposure). He loved it and got really excited.
We got home around 8pm and that about summed up the weekend. Oh, we watched Lost, which is about the only show we both like. She likes Sex and the City, which I can't stand and I like Battlestar Galactica, which she hates. Ho hum. By the way, the start of this series of Lost, I reckon was a bit pants but now, since the break, it's getting pretty good again (although not a touch on Galactica, that has got to be the best TV at the moment).

Monday was blood test day and there was a big old queue this time, with it taking over an hour to get seen and puntured. I went for some lunch then but after started to get the familiar feelings of coming down with something (headache, sinus like pain and generally unwell feeling, with a rumbly tum). My temperature was up to 37 but no higher. Tuesday I still felt under the weather a bit but felt improved. I got a call from the hospital to say my white blood count was low and they wanted to start me on a course of injections to kick start the bone marrow into producing more. The stuff they inject is called a granocyte colony stimulating factor. Sounds good to me (appart from the injecting bit).
Last night Harry was poorly, which is kind of ironic, as the hospital told me to be extra vigilant about keeping away from ill people, but not a lot you can do there. Today, Harry has perked up, but still seems a bit under the weather. I feel pretty decent and have just had the lovely district nurse, a lady called Claire, pop round to give me my first of 3 injections. It wasn't bad, she was pretty good at injecting it slowly, so it didn't hurt (unlike the last time I had one, where it felt like they were having a good root around inside! Perhaps I'm just a wuss.)


Sandra said...


You don’t sound like a wuss. Not really. Certainly not like some people (e.g. myself) who look away whenever they’ve got to do a blood test, not to see the blood filling the syringe thing... Now that’s totally wussy.

Haven’t seen Battlestar Galactica yet. But don’t like Sex and the City either. Can’t see what all my friends love about it. Might end up being dragged to see the movie, but if that at all happens it’ll be against my will. Will keep eyes shut, scream in the wrong places or eat popcorn very noisily!

(Lost my patience with Lost. I liked the 1st series, but then... I reckon they lost it. Might get the complete set on DVD once it’s all over, watch it back to back – and maybe get into it big time again)

I was going to ask you something. The links that show on the bottom of your posts – chemotherapy side-effects, hats & wigs for chemo (?!?), etc – are they recommended by you? Or just ads by google...?

Good luck with the remaining injections (ouch)


Richard said...

Hi Sandra,

Great to hear from you again!

Yeah, I stuck with Lost, despite some ropey episodes. I guess I'm one of those people who has to know the answers.
The only other show that had me hooked was Heroes, which I'm eagerly awaiting the next series of.

The links below posts are not ones I recommend, they are just google ones.
In terms of supplements and things I have used, they are Beta Glucan (due to reading a few papers citing that beta glucan may increase the effectiveness of Rituximab, which is one of the drugs I'm being given), Co-enzyme Q10 (due to seeing a paper saying that it may provide a cardiac protective effect when taking Doxorubicin, which is one of the chemo drugs I'm getting, side effect is that it can cause heart damage, nice). Also, prior to chemo session, I take isoflavones, which have been cited as possibly making the cancer cells more responsive to chemo drugs. So, nothing certain, but I don't see a down side and my consultant has given me the thumbs up. I did dabble with Papaya extract, to attempt to increase the amount of dead tumour tissue broken down but it was foul to drink and I have no way of knowing if it helps. I may try it again, depending how masochistic I feel. Also tried a few other bits and bobs but noticed no change.
In terms of chemo side effects, I've been pretty spared. No ulcers, no vomiting (well, just the occasional gag in week one after chemo, but that's no problem to deal with). The anti-sickness drugs they give you are pretty good. The main problem, in week one post chemo, is feeling drained and tired and for me, around day 6 or 7 feeling spaced out or zombie like possibly due to steroid withdrawl.
First week after is a bit rubbish but it is manageable, its not like you're in pain, it's just irritating/uncomfortable.


PS. Sorry, but I've started looking away when they take blood during a blood test too. I used to watch, out of interest, now I prefer to watch the wall!

Damnyoureyes said...

Who you trying to kid you've always liked thomas the tank engine, I've heard you've boxers with them on.

Richard said...


After knowing you this long and all we've been through, you go and give away my Thomas the Tank Engine secrets! Simply unbelievable. Still, at least you kept quiet about my Professor Yaffel from Bagpuss fetish! No one must ever know!


Sandra said...

Okay. Maybe (just maybe) you’re a teeny weeny bit wussy. But I heard it can be charming.
I’m actually a squeamish wuss and my husband says it’s endearing (he smiles in a funny weirdish way when he says it though)
Walls can be far more interesting than syringes filling with red stuff. If they’ve got posters, you can read them, laugh at the terrible photos, think of ironic comments, etc. If they’re blank... blank canvas works too. All you need is to add imagination. And then look back again once the deed is done.

And hey, I got hooked on Heroes too! It started kind of slow but then it really got me going. I was in fact suffering from serious Buffy withdrawl symptoms when it came along (got a thing with vampires). But now all is good. Buffy season 8 is back in comic novel print form and... can’t wait for the next series of Heroes.

About the papaya extract thing, papaya is actually a very tasty fruit – if you can find it ripe enough. Supermarkets sometimes have it but they’re always green and then go off before they taste any way decent. I recently found “Formosa” papayas in fruit and veg shops (maybe African ones?) around Bounds Green and Finsbury Park (Stroud Green Road), in London, but heard they are everywhere.
I know from experience that the said fruit is really good at aiding digestion – and having a lot of it including the seeds (yucky) is particularly good in cases of constipation. Not heard of the other papaya’s qualities, but maybe if you could get a lot of it and blend it all together... would that turn into “natural extract”? Should be less foul to drink though.

Huge thankyou for your tips on supplements. I’ll pass them over right now.

Take care,


PS: Thought I’d better not comment on the Thomas the Tank Engine boxers or any fetish-related post, that would be totally crossing the line here
(but oh!)

bicycle repair man said...

Hi there
found my way to your blog through innocent. Professor Yaffel, huh? Wasn't that a well-spoken wooden bird that tried to keep Bagpuss awake? Interesting as fettishes go...
Hope your road to recovery is relatively speedy