Life seems to be one long round of medical appointments at the moment. Prior to chemo treatment it’s necessary to have an echo cardiogram. I had to take a trip to sunny Shoreham-by-Sea for that pleasure. I was ushered into a waiting room to join an obese man and his wife – both coughing and spluttering. I took a seat as far away from them as I could and started to read a book about animals that someone had left (I forgot to take my phone, which is my usual “pass the time” standby).
Within three minutes, Sue, the cardiac physiologist, fetched me and proceeded to scan my heart and lungs. When done, she wrote a report within five minutes and I was able to take it away. It really could not have been more efficient.
This week I attended a group Chemo Information Session at the hospital. My companions were a couple of gents, so rather unlikely to have the same complaint as I have. A Macmillan nurse told us about the magnificent support that the charity offers to cancer patients. I think I will probably benefit from them rather more than my companions will – the support includes a contribution to a wig, a pamper day, and a fitness gym – all of which I shall take up.
We were then given a stern lecture by a senior chemo nurse. She drilled into us what we needed to do to care for ourselves while recovering from each session. Any sign of a raised temperature and we must page the hospital. Her delightful Northumberland accent had me daydreaming about the countryside of that county, and my mind wandered slightly until I was brought back to reality by her wagging finger for which she is, apparently, famed. The information session was rounded off by a visit to the chemo suite. I was shown a cold cap, which can help to slow or prevent hair loss. But it can be rather uncomfortable, so I decided against that. It was also decided that I won’t need a PICC line, which some people need in order to take the chemotherapy. It sounds rather fiddly and labour-intensive, so I am glad I’m not going that route. And a major perk: parking for chemo patients is free! Yay!
Overall, I was cheered to find that I should be able to function more or less normally for most of the time bar the occasional PJ day. What with all the preparations I am making, I do expect to get through fairly easily. But you never know.
I asked about fasting (see an earlier post). They don’t advocate it but won’t forbid me from trying it.
Today saw me taking Bob to a couple of appointments concerning his health, but tomorrow it’s me again off to the surgery for a pre-chemo blood test to ensure that my blood count is up to par.
My boy has booked his flights now, so I really hope that none of my sessions needs to be postponed, causing him to have to change them. I am so looking forward to having him here for sessions 2, 3 and 4.
I don’t know about the rest of the NHS, and I know that in part they are struggling to cope with the funds they have available, but I really could not ask for anything better than the care I am receiving from the NHS and the Macmillan nursing team.